Elk Mound to deed over warning siren lot to homeowners
By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — It has taken more than three years, but the issue of the old warning siren tower in Elk Mound and the lot where it is situated will soon finally come to a close.
The Elk Mound Village Board approved deeding the siren lot at S103 Garland Avenue to Joe and Lisa Hassemer at the October 7 board meeting.
According to the motion approved by the village board, the Hassemers will pay all of the costs associated with deeding over the lot and will then have one year to take down the old warning siren at their own expense.
Joe Hassemer spoke to the village board during the public comments portion of the meeting to say that he and his wife were still interested in acquiring the lot, which is adjacent to their property.
Terry Stamm, the retired director of public works who is now serving as a village trustee, noted that over the years, the Hassamers did a good job of mowing the warning siren lot.
Lisa Hassemer first approached the village board about the warning siren lot in August of 2012.
Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer, subsequently found the deed for the lot and discovered that the deed did not show any transfer of the property since 1947.
The Hassemers have lived in Elk Mound for about 20 years. The warning siren essentially was in their backyard until May of 2012 when a new warning siren was installed next to the new village hall.
Lisa Hassemer told the village board at the August of 2012 meeting that when they purchased the property, they were promised they could buy back the 1,900 square feet where the siren was situated for $1.
During her research, Hahn discovered that the village purchased the entire lot in 1911 for $300, and that the village sold off the 66-foot by 100-foot lot where the Hassemers’ house is located in 1947 for $50.
Joe Hassemer told the village board at the October 7 meeting that without the deed to the warning siren lot, there is not enough room for him to add onto their garage and that they also would still like to use the lot for a garden.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved deeding over the lot to Hassemers as long as they cover all of the costs associated with transferring the deed and as long as the warning siren tower is taken down within one year of the deed transfer.
In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:
• Approved a lease agreement with the Elk Mound school district for the ball field at the Lions Club Park in the amount of $2,500 per year for the next ten years. The Elk Mound Board of Education also will have to approve the agreement. According to the agreement, the school district will maintain the infield.
• Appointed Terry Stamm as the village’s representative on the Dunn County solid waste board. Stamm replaces Village Trustee Tony Schrantz.
• Approved an agreement with Steve and Margaret Dieter of 307 University Street in the amount of $400 for an ice rink.
• Approved CBS Squared as the village’s engineering company for future street projects.
• Approved moving $2,500 from the records management account to police patrol wages.
• Approved purchasing an overhead door opener for the cold storage building in an amount not to exceed $600.
• Approved designating $80,000 for the 2016 street project. The village board has not yet determined whether the 2016 project will be Garland Avenue or “the dump road.”
• Approved an agreement in the amount of $675 for Dunn County to collect the real estate and personal property taxes for the village.
• Approved an audit contract with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP. The contract represents a 3 percent increase over last year.
• Approved an assessment contract with Bowmar Appraisals.
Following a closed session, the Elk Mound Village Board:
• Approved an increase in hours from 26.5 per week to 30 hours per week (three-quarters time) for Julie Conlin, representing a 182 hour increase per year, along with a 2.5 percent wage increase, from $14.86 per hour to $15.23 per hour, for a total increase of $2771.86 per year. In addition, Conlin will receive 75 percent full time of holidays for a total of eight days, 75 percent of full time vacation for a total of 11 days, and 75 percent of sick leave for a total of nine days (none before), term life insurance at 75 percent of full-time for $375 per year. The increases for Conlin will become effective January 1, 2016.
• Approved a 2.5 percent wage increase for Len Hemenway, department of public works, resulting in $19.70 per hour total, effective January 1, 2016.
• Approved a per hour wage increase for Mark Levra, director of public works, of $1.50 per hour bringing his hourly rate to $23.50, effective January 1, 2016.
• Learned from Brenda Carpenter, chair of the employee relations committee, that Dan Lew, department public works, upon hire was given an increase to $20 per hour and one additional week of vacation if minimal certifications were met and a satisfactory probationary period of 1,040 hours was met. The increase is scheduled to begin June 22, 2016.
• Approved a 2.5 percent wage increase to $22.55 for Travis Hakes, police chief, for 2016 if the next three months of reviews go well. Hakes has 1,102 hours left of his 3,120 probation hours. The increases are expected to become effective January 1, 2016.
• Carpenter reported that the employee relations committee reviewed the following with Travis Hakes:
Hakes will create a group email composed of the employee relations committee and village president to e-mail communications, including a complete work schedule and shift changes if any. Hakes and Elk Mound patrol officers are expected to complete a daily log of all activities, dates, times, and mileage. Carpenter will provide these documents to Hakes. The employee relations committee will be conducting a monthly review with Hakes to begin in October using a paper copy of the review.
After reconvening into open session, the Elk Mound Village Board:
• Approved a wage increase to $24.90 for Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer, and approved overtime of three hours per week for Hahn effective January 1, 2016.