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BOYCEVILLE—The Village Board has a committee called the “Visual Improvement Committee” and their function is to call upon Village residents that need work on their property to keep the village looking clean and neat.
At Monday evening’s meeting the board spent a considerable amount of time discussing items that the committee had presented to the board. The board looked over the “list of concerns” that contained the names of 26 property owners that the committee has identified that needs items addressed for clean up. Included in that list was, junk vehicles, weeds, grass mowing, garbage dump and an empty lot full of garbage.
But, the discussion on visual improvements began some time before the agenda item about it was reached. When Police Chief Greg Lamkin was making his report, Village President, Gib Krueger questioned him by saying, “did you cite that car parked on the lawn?” Kruger stated that the village ordinance prohibits vehicles from parking in the yard. “That’s part of your job,” Kruger contended. The chief indicated that the Village Attorney informed him that the ordinance was not enforceable. But Krueger continued by saying “that the top six priorities from last year are the same as this year.”
Board member Brad Stevens explained that he was the chair of that committee and how they addressed items that need to be corrected. They went to residents and spoke with them or left a door hanger on the front door with what needed to be taken care of within a ten-day warning period to complete the task.
Stevens told the board that he had received some threatening phone calls about the action of the committee.
When the board was reviewing the 26 items on the Visual Improvement list, the Police Chief presented a list of 17 items on that list that have been resolved. A couple of the board members spoke about the improvements that have been made. Board member Luke Montgomery noted that he was afraid to walk on the sidewalk in a couple places because there were drug houses there. “Now they have been cleaned up,” he informed the board.
Krueger summed up the discussion by saying, “We have not got the message across, and what good are our ordinances.”
Later in the meeting the board entered into close session to “consider performance of Chief of Police and Police Department personnel regarding enforcement of possible ordinance violations identified by the Visual Improvement Committee.”
The board took no action following the closed session.
President Krueger was also upset with the Dunn County Communications Center. Krueger noted that he called the center to attempt to get in contact with the police chief and noted, “I got 20 questions from the guy there, just to talk to the cop.” He made a suggestion to the board that if they wanted to talk to the police they should just call his number and leave a message.
Village to raze old feed mill!
The Village Board approved moving ahead with tearing down the old feed mill at 910 Main Street. The facility has been vacant for a number of years and recently the village purchased the property.
The Village’s Public Works Director, Don Rose reported to the village board that he has been in contact with a firm out of Eau Claire that specializes in salvaging old buildings. Rose indicated that the more material the firm can remove from the property, the less that has to be transported to the County’s facility. He noted that the county charges $63.50 per ton of material that is on top of the transportation charges.
Rose told the board that he still has to work out details of the agreement and maybe the firm can start next week. He said the job would not be completed until November. “I know that it was hoped that it could be taken down before the Cucumber Festival, but letting the salvage company remove items will save the village money,” Rose told the board.
Good news on Main Street
Erik Evenson of MSA out of Rice Lake informed the board saying that, “the good news on Main Street Improvements is that all the underground work is done,” except that the big culverts at the west end of the project will be set this week.
But he explained that the construction company encountered a “Sink Hole” at the west end of the work which will require the company to extent the project 50 feet more to the west to repair the hole. village president questioned him about the extra cost and Evenson said between $5,000 and $6,000, but noted that there were savings in another area.
Evenson also gave a timeline for the work to be completed and said that all should be done before Cucumber Festival, except that the light poles have been delayed and will not be installed by the celebration, which starts on August 16th.
Police Chief Greg Lamkin reported that his department had 131 calls for service last month, which was an 18 percent increase over last year. “We have several active child abuse cases that are time consuming and we have also participated in the county-wide traffic initiative which resulted in 28 traffic stops last month.”
His report indicated that the department as a 25 percent increase on service calls over last year, and noted that CSO Traxler has had great success with compliance for ordinance violations and the department made five misdemeanor and one felony arrest last month and issued 17 traffic related citations to municipal court.
In other matters before the village board, they approved a Certified Survey Map for the Robert Noah Property along County Highway N in Hay River Township. The parcel contains 10 acres.
Approved a Class B temporary Picnic license for the Nathan Bauer Memorial Softball Tournament for August 2 to 4.
Approved a traveling library to be placed at the Friendship garden.
Approved a garden shed for the Vets on Airport Property.
The board did not make a change on the Community Development Block Grant program. A representative from Cedar Corporation presented the board with options regarding a request from the state to discontinuing funding their own grant fund.
The board was told that they could return the remaining money in the fund and then homeowners wishing to apply for funds would then be directed to the Chippewa County Housing.
The board was informed that the village has just over $39,000 in the fund and that there are two applications for that money now in the works.
The board learned that the village currently has 31 loans outstanding with a balance of $495,134. If the village would opt out they would have to return the fund balance and when a loan is paid off the village would have to return the amount paid off, less 15 percent to the village for administration of the loan.