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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved an agreement to allow a private mausoleum to be built at Evergreen Cemetery and is asking for 50 percent of the construction cost for perpetual care.
The agreement removes any liability for the village, said Lynn Niggemann, administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s May 26 meeting.
Nasser Hadidi, who is proposing to build the mausoleum, also plans to place $5,000 in a perpetual care fund for the 28-foot by 20-foot stone and brick mausoleum that would be located in the new section of the cemetery toward the back.
Niggemann said she had worked on the agreement with the village’s attorney to remove all liability from the village.
Hadidi, who hired his own attorney to work on the agreement, also will pay for the village’s attorney fees, she said.
Scott Gunnufson, village president, expressed doubt that $5,000 in a perpetual care fund, even with interest after 20 years, would be sufficient for repair and maintenance of the mausoleum.
The village also is waiting for confirmation from the state about the plans for the mausoleum, he said.
The proposed mausoleum was discussed by the village board at the May 11 meeting, and at that time, Hadidi said he was waiting for approval of the plans from the state, that he had been trying to obtain approval for the past year, and that he believed the state was not sure how to handle a private mausoleum.
The mausoleum will be for the burials of Hadidi’s family members and will not be owned and managed by the village.
Mark Halpin, village trustee, said he agreed that $5,000 does not sound like enough money and also expressed doubt the money would accrue very much interest by the time the mausoleum needed maintenance.
According to the agreement, if the $5,000 is used on maintenance for the mausoleum, the $5,000 will be replaced within 30 days, Niggemann said.
Hadidi’s successors, heirs or assignees are responsible for the maintenance, Gunnufson said.
Insurance would cover the repairs for any damage to the mausoleum caused by weather, said Niggemann, adding that she was more concerned about deterioration over time rather than damage to the mausoleum.
“The number is on the low side, in my opinion,” Halpin said.
Carey Davis, village trustee, suggested asking for an amount equivalent to 50 percent of the cost of constructing the mausoleum.
Gunnufson said he had just finished building a garage with a concrete floor for $10,000.
Many things can change over the years. The family intends now to take care of the mausoleum, but who knows about future generations, Davis said.
Hadidi purchased the lots for nearly $7,000 last year and will have the cost of building the mausoleum this year and putting $5,000 in the perpetual care fund, Niggemann said.
The village board could consider asking Hadidi to supply 50 percent of the cost of building the mausoleum within five years, she said.
Anne Jenson, village trustee, asked how much the deductible is on the insurance for the mausoleum.
There is no insurance policy yet because there is no structure to insure yet, Niggemann said.
Village board members also agreed they wanted the mausoleum to be upgraded to steel shingles rather fiberglass.
The plans for the mausoleum were drawn up last July, and Hadidi has said he is willing to make changes requested by the village board, Niggemann said.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the agreement for the mausoleum with $5,000 in the perpetual care fund now and 50 percent of the cost of construction to be added in five years as well as an upgrade to steel shingles for the roof.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved training requests for an advanced emergency medical technician course for Mary Krall, Makayla Mattson and Tony Bell at a total cost of $2,029.44. The money will come from the rescue squad budget. Ambulances are now required to have one advanced EMT on board when they go out on a run, Niggemann said. The eight-week class is available through Chippewa Valley Technical College.
• Approved a temporary Class “B” fermented malt beverage license for the Colfax Softball Association. The notice of the application was not published in the newspaper early enough for the six-month license to begin June 1, so the village board will have to approve the six-month license at the next meeting, Niggemann said. The approval grants a picnic license for the softball association for June 1, June 4 and June 8.
• Approved online backup for the village hall’s computer server and the police department’s computer server with Cramer Consulting at a cost of $3,000 per year. The cost will be shared by the village clerk’s office, the police department, the water and sewer department and the streets department.
• Approved reducing alcohol license renewal fees for July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, for the liquor licenses for Mom’s on Main, the Outhouse Bar and The Blind Tiger from $400 to $200. The beer licenses for those establishments will remain at $100. If any of the establishments are sold during the year, the new owners will pay the original fee of $400. The reduction in license fees is intended to help the establishments financially after being closed for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Approved resuming meetings at the village hall. The Colfax Village Board has been meeting at the Colfax Rescue Squad and by the online platform Zoom in order to be able to maintain the social distancing of six feet to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The village hall meeting area is not large enough to allow trustees, village employees and visitors to sit six feet apart.