Please enter your login information to view this article.
Username and Password Help
By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Community Fire District will save about $40,000 all together on the new fire station currently under construction.
The savings in sales tax will be $30,725, said Cory Green, Boyceville fire chief, at the Boyceville Community Fire District Board’s August 14 meeting.
In addition, the fire district will be earning $5,300 in interest on the money borrowed to build the fire station, said Bob Anderson, chair of the Town of Stanton.
At a bid opening March 6, Shefchik Builders, Inc. out of Menomonie emerged as the low bidder with a base bid of $1,612,456 to build a new fire station in Boyceville.
The interest will be earned on the money borrowed to build the fire station while the money sits in the fire district’s building fund, waiting to be paid out to contractors.
The balance in the building fund as of July 31 was $1,205,273.73.
The fire district will be saving money on sales tax because municipal projects are exempt from paying state sales tax.
Wisconsin Credit Union also is doing some remodeling, and Green said he had picked out office furniture for the fire station that the credit union no longer needed and which the credit union donated to the Boyceville fire department.
The savings on fire department furniture is between $8,000 and $10,000, Green said.
In July, Green said he had visited with Dave Cihasky of Five Bugles design to pick out another carpet color for the fire station.
Green said he feared the original burgundy color that had been selected would turn pink over time.
While he was looking at the plans for the fire station, Green said he had noticed the future living quarters included in the new fire station was listed as having a tile floor.
Green said he arranged with Cihasky to leave the floor concrete with no tile, which will save the fire district an additional $1,100.
Green also asked fire district representatives for suggestions about companies to install computers and a network at the new fire station.
Computers and a network were not included in the fire station bid, and Green said he hoped the savings on the office furniture would help pay for the computers and network.
As for the fire station, “it’s on track … it’s going up,” Green said.
Darlene Lee, the Village of Boyceville’s clerk-treasurer, has been serving as the clerk-treasurer for the Boyceville fire district as well.
At the August 14 fire district meeting, Lee said perhaps it was time for the fire district to think about hiring a clerk-treasurer.
The fire district has been paying the village for Lee’s services at $1,500 per year for an estimated 12 to 15 hours per month, although more hours are needed during development of the budget and at the end of the year.
The compensation to the village does not take into account the use of the village’s office space, computers and other equipment.
The annual cost of the fire district clerk-treasurer’s wages is approximately $3,400, with the deficit of about $1,900 being covered by the village, according to information Lee distributed to fire board members.
Lee noted that she and Karen Adams, Boyceville deputy clerk, both do work for the fire district.
Duties for the fire district clerk-treasurer include monthly payroll, W-2s, quarterly 941/unemployment, 2 percent fire dues, prepare for the annual audit, reconcile checkbook and savings account, bill annual assessments and fire truck payments, budget, pay bills and run checks, bill for fire runs, update fire runs spreadsheet, receipt deposits, prepare and post agendas, daily mail and answer telephone calls and e-mail, according to the information Lee provided.
The past year has been “a big workload” with the extra work related to the construction of the new fire station, and the situation has been “a chaotic mess,” Lee said.
Neither Lee nor Adams receive any extra compensation for the fire district work, although there is a meeting per diem of $40.
The arrangement with the village clerk-treasurer also serving as the clerk-treasurer for the fire district “might have worked previously, but the responsibilities have changed,” Lee said.
The ambulance service still relies on the village clerk-treasurer to send out agendas and minutes, but the ambulance service is completely self-sufficient otherwise, she noted.
Hiring a clerk-treasurer for the fire district was not part of the agenda for the August 14 meeting, “so you can’t vote on it tonight, but I want you to start thinking about it,” Lee said.
“I wanted to put it on everyone’s radar … there are times when Karen and I are swamped,” she said.
Anderson noted the issue of a clerk-treasurer for the fire district had been discussed at the five-year planning committee meeting.
The committee had talked about a compensation of maybe $5,000 per year, but the amount was “ballpark — maybe too much, maybe not enough,” he said.
Several fire board members wondered if Lee would be interested in the position of clerk-treasurer if there was separate compensation from the fire district for the work.
Lee said it would depend on the compensation and that she would have to think about it.
“It’s not on the agenda, but I want you to start thinking about it (and to consider) what Boyceville has done for the fire district,” she said.
The Boyceville Community Fire District Board also approved a debt modification agreement for the new fire engine at the August 14 meeting.
The Town of Tiffany has paid off Tiffany’s portion of the new fire truck, so the loan agreement will have to be modified for the other municipalities in the fire district.
The total annual payment for the new fire truck was approximately $39,000, but with Tiffany’s portion paid off, the payment will be reduced to around $34,000 annually.
The payment amounts for the other municipalities will have to be recalculated, Lee said.
Current payment amounts for the new fire truck are $8532.77 for the Town of Hay River (22 percent of the fire district’s equalized value); $5,429.95 for the Town of New Haven (14 percent); $5,042.09 for the Town of Sherman (13 percent); $8,144.92 for the Town of Stanton (21 percent); $4,266.40 for the Town of Tiffany (11 percent); $6,205.65 for the Village of Boyceville (16 percent); $1,163.56 for the Village of Wheeler (3 percent), for a total annual payment of $38,785.34.
In other business, the Boyceville Community Fire District Board:
• Learned that as of August 14, the district had $94,628.10 on hand with bills to pay of $4,440.47.
• Learned that the fire department has made 53 runs to date. In 2018, the fire department made 61 runs for the year.
• Learned that after the Cucumber Festival parade, all of the fire trucks would be filled with fuel at Synergy Cooperative since Synergy planned to have the fuel pumps down for at least two weeks to make some necessary modifications related to proper venting. Green also noted while the Synergy fuel pumps are down, the fire department would have to do subsequent fillings of the tanks at Glenwood City or in Wheeler.
The Boyceville Community Fire District Board meets next on September 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyceville village hall on Charlotte Street.