“Workforce housing” could be coming to Elk Mound and elsewhere in Dunn County

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND  — “Workforce housing” for young professionals could soon be coming to Elk Mound and other locations in Dunn County.

Steven Abraham, Elk Mound village president, reported at the Elk Mound Village Board’s April 4 meeting that he had met recently with Eric Turner, director of the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation, and Seth Hudson, senior manager of economic and community development at Cedar Corporation, about workforce housing for young professionals that would feature one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.

The units would be offered at market price and would not be low-income housing, Abraham said.

[emember_protected] The potential developer plans to tour Elk Mound, Colfax and Menomonie to look at land available in the municipalities’ Tax Increment Finance Districts, he said.

After that, the Elk Mound Village Board will receive a presentation at a future meeting, Abraham said.

The proposal would be for 12-plex units, he noted.

The village board will want to see photographs and other evidence pertaining to the building of such units elsewhere, Abraham said.

“It should be interesting to see how it develops,” he said.

After the presentation to the village board, the proposal will be referred to the plan commission for review and for a recommendation to the village board, Abraham said.

Expectations

Since Elk Mound has been without a full-time police chief for several years, village board members were given the opportunity to talk about their expectations for Chad Weinberger, Elk Mound’s new police chief, who attended his first village board meeting April 4.

Elk Mound Village Board members talked about the importance of visibility, availability, communications with the village board and village residents, flexibility, efficiency and building trust.

Village Trustee Paula Turner also said she would like to see Police Chief Weinberger enforce existing ordinances “in an equitable manner.”

People are excited to have a full-time police chief again, Turner said.

Village Trustee Deborah Creaser-Kipp, the chair of the public safety committee, said the “talk around town” was that people were excited to have a full-time police chief again.

“Much of the job is public relations and getting to know people,” Abraham told Police Chief Weinberger.

“I’m 36 hours into this adventure, and it’s like taking a sip out of a fire hose,” Police Chief Weinberger quipped, referring to the information over-load people experience when starting a new job.

The police chief said he is making a list of items that need to be taken care of in the police department, such as bringing the computer software up to state standards.

Elk Mound has been without a full-time police chief for about five years.

Following the retirement of Elk Mound Police Chief Randy Bartelt, the Elk Mound Village Board decided the village did not need a full-time police chief and hired Travis Hakes, who worked full-time for the Lake Hallie Police Department, to work as a part-time police chief in Elk Mound.

In November of 2014, a 23-year-old man from Ladysmith, Darren Bishop, burglarized the Elk Mound village hall, and among other items, stole a .22 caliber revolver from the police department.

Bishop, who was wanted in connection with other burglaries in Rusk County and Chippewa County, admitted later he had stolen the revolver to trade for methamphetamine and that he had targeted Elk Mound because of the limited police presence in the village.

During a sentencing hearing in federal court in July of 2015, Bishop was ordered to pay $10,206 to the Village of Elk Mound for damage that he caused to the village hall and the police department during the burglary.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Stacy Franz (The Pourhouse).

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Danielle Fredrickson (The Junction).

• Appointed Village Trustee Greg Kipp to serve on the Board of Review scheduled for May 29. [/emember_protected]