BOYCEVILLE — The Village’s board of Trustees heard concerns from citizens during its August meeting this past Monday evening.
During the public comments section of the August 13 meeting, a trio of village residents addressed the Boyceville Board ordinance concerns and unattended and debris-filled properties that are causing an eyesore.
The first to address the board were Jayme King and Jacob Holden.
The couple purchased the home at 211 Lynita Lane about two months ago but only recently became aware of a village ordinance that bans certain types of dog breeds such as pit bulls.
King informed the board that she and Holden had concerns with the ordinance stating that she owns a pit bull, which they brought leashed to the meeting. King said that the dog is a certified “emotional support animal” and has had the dog since it was a pup.
“I have paperwork that he is an emotional support animal,” stated King, who produced copies of the certificate for members.
King became emotional at times saying, “I have a sign in my yard (about the dog) and it cannot be in the yard on a leash without someone being present.”
The couple, who claimed the dog is very friendly and docile, wondered if the ordinance could be amended and why the previous home owner or the realtor had not informed them of this village rule.
Boyceville Village President Gib Krueger told King and Holden that it was their due diligence and not anyone else’s to be informed of the village’s ordinances.
“Part of the ordinance requires proof of $50,000 of insurance for bodily harm or death,” said Krueger.
The couple did state that they did have the necessary insurance coverage and would bring proof of it to the village clerk-treasurer’s office. They also asked when the board would take up a request to look at the ordinance.
Krueger said that the village had already corresponded with its lawyer but had not, as of Monday’s meeting, heard back.
When pressed for a time frame, Krueger told the couple that the village would have wait until legal counsel responded but could not give a definitive date.
“We don’t harbor any ill will toward you,” Krueger told the pair. “But we must wait to hear back from our legal counsel.”
Long-time Boyceville resident Kathy Hanson was the next to address her concerns to the village board.
Hanson said that she was upset about apparent hearsay that a supposed rat infestation in the 400 block of Main Street was coming from her home and in particular her Hosta plants.
Hanson denied that the troubling rodents, if any, were coming from her property which she said she works diligently to maintain. Instead, she took issue with some of the poorly kept properties that are adjacent to her home which might likely be the issue.
The Village Board and Police Chief Greg Lamkin were aware of some of the issues and noted they are working to resolve them.
Hanson said something needed to be done as it negatively impacts the neighborhood and property values.
Frank Retz, who farms just north of the village along County Road N, addressed the board concerning a land transfer in the Town of Hay River. Retz informed trustees that he had recently made an offer to purchase vacant farm land from an neighbor adjacent to his property including a seven-acre parcel on the south side of “N”.
Because that parcel was within a mile and a half of the village limits, Retz said it gave the Village territorial jurisdiction over that portion of the purchase.
Retz and professional Wisconsin Land Surveyor Lee Villeneuve distributed a certified survey map to board members and asked their approval to create the seven-acre parcel off the original 40-acre site so he could continue to use it as farmland.
The board gave its unanimous approval to do so.
The board had other discussions and approved several motions that appeared on its nearly 25-item agenda during Monday’s meeting.
Discussions about the village’s new radio-controlled water meters and their installation focused on the creation of a new policy to cover costs if residents want to opt-out of having the radio-controlled water meter and instead stay with the older, house-mounted meters that would still require quarterly readings by village employees.
Trustee Jonathon Farrell addressed the board on some of the proposed policy addition and changes including a surcharge for those that opt-out of having a new meter installed in their homes.
Farrell said there may be some concerned homeowners over the transmission of radio waves from the new meters in homes.
After some discussion, Farrell proposed a $100 per quarter surcharge to those home owners that opt-out of using the new meters to cover the cost of manual reads. More discussion ensued but the board finally voted to approve the surcharge policy.
The board also voted to give currently unmetered residences until August 1, 2019 to have the new water meters installed. Currently, there are 13 residences that are unmetered within the village limits which are billed at the village’s 11,000 gallon per quarter average.
President Krueger posed to budget a lump sum for the Boyceville Public Library in next year’s budget.
“I would propose that we give the library a lump sum which would be at their discretion on how to allocate it,” said Krueger, noting he did not seem to favor the negotiating individual salaries for library personnel.
Krueger said that the village had apportioned $59,335 for its share of the year’s library operational budget and proposed to increase it by just over three percent to $61,300 for 2019.
Trustee Larry “Bud” Gilbertson said in committee discussions they had discussed a five percent increase which would take the amount to $62,300.
After some intermittent discussions punctuate by periods of silence, Krueger’s motion to fund at the $61,300 level finally received a second and was passed 4-2 with President Krueger and Trustees Brad Stevens, Mary Lagerstrom and newly appointed member Trudie Chernak voting for the motion and Gilbertson and Farrell against.
Another proposal that drew some discussion was the motion to begin charging $300 for special meeting requests. While Krueger voted against the measuring saying it was an excessive amount, the proposal passed with Farrell, Lagerstrom, Gilbertson, Stevens and Cherank voting for the measure.
The board also had more discussion on the fence at the new Friendship Garden but decided to table the issue for a later meeting.
Finally, Trudie Chernak was welcomed as a new village board trustee. Chernak was appointed during a special meeting on August 1 to fill the remaining term of the seat vacated by John Hellmann.
In other business, the Boyceville Village Board:
• Approved the sale of airport hangar lot #17 to John Sand for $25,000.
• Approved a building permit for Calvary Mennonite Church for a nearly 5,500 square foot structure at 475 S. Boundary Road. The project is still in the permitting stage.
• Accepted a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-PF) and approved a contract with MSA to administer the grant amount.
• Approved operator licenses for Jaslyn Krueger and Justin Malean with expiration dates of June 30, 2019.
• Approved Class B Picnic Licenses for Community Action Club (August 17) for the “Where the Rubber meets the Runway” Radar Run, Boyceville Wrestling Club (August 17-19) for a softball tournament at Pafko Park, and the Boyceville Firefighters Association for a tractor pull on September 15 with a rain date of September 22.
• Approved building permits for: Karen Joles for a deck at 705 Granbakken Way; Robert Nash for steel roof at 502 East Street; shingles for a Rydel Rental at 1312 Tiffany Street; Brian Evenson for the construction of a garage at 12204 Center Street; Mary Larson for plumbing, electric and floor at 917 Main Street; plumbing, HVAC and a cement pad for Food Harvest at 1002 Main Street; doors and windows at St. Luke’s at 919 Center Street; and a fence at the Corey Day residence, 1424 Anderson Hill.