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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Although the Colfax Village Board has approved an agreement to allow a private mausoleum to be built at Evergreen Cemetery, the village still has not received any communication from state agencies.
Attempts have been made to have contact with the state about the definition of a private mausoleum, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s June 8 meeting.
The plans for the mausoleum have been under review by the state for quite some time, and there appears to be confusion among state officials as to whether the state must also approve the plans for a private mausoleum in the same way the agencies would have to review and approve the plans for a public mausoleum owned by the village for which the village would sell vaults.
The village board first discussed the mausoleum at the May 11 meeting, and at that time, Nasser Hadidi, who is proposing to build a 28-foot by 20-foot stone and brick mausoleum, 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 would be located in the new section of the cemetery toward the back.
The mausoleum does not fit the state’s regulations for a building, Niggemann said at the June 8 meeting.
Part of the hang-up is that there would be human remains under the building, and state officials assumed it would be a public building. In reality, it will be a locked structure with only family members buried there, and it will be a private mausoleum, she said.
The state agencies involved are the Department of Safety and Professional Services Plan Review Department and the state Cemetery Board.
Hadidi is appreciative of the village board and of Niggemann’s efforts on his behalf, said Scott Gunnufson, village president.
Niggemann said she had sent contacts to the state agencies for funeral homes that have done private mausoleums.
The state should not be involved because it is a private mausoleum, she said.
Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad, included information on COVID-19 in his report to the village board, which was part of the village board’s packet.
If Colfax Messenger readers are wondering about how well it worked to follow the Dunn County Health Department’s guidance for COVID-19, statistics from surrounding counties may give some perspective.
“An example of how following Dunn County’s guidance is working, look at how we compare to neighboring counties that may or may not have issued guidance and the percent change in COVID-19 cases 5/15/2020 to 5/29/2020,” Knutson wrote.
Here are the statistics included in the report: Dunn County had a 36 percent increase; Eau Claire County had a 65 percent increase; Chippewa County had a 49 percent increase; Barron County also had a 36 percent increase; St. Croix County had a 108 percent increase; Pierce County had a 181 percent increase; and Polk County had a 200 percent increase.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as of June 10, Dunn County had 29 total cases of COVID-19; Eau Claire County had 126 cases; Chippewa County had 60 cases; Barron County had 21 cases; St. Croix County had 108 cases; Pierce County had 51 cases; and Polk County had 36 cases.
Knutson’s report notes that a directive from the Dunn County Health Department issued June 2 has asked county residents to “stay the course.”
To continue to protect themselves, their families and loved ones, and neighbors and the community, Dunn County residents should continue to practice good hand hygiene with thorough hand-washing with soap and water; cover coughs and sneezes; avoid touching your face; stay home when sick; practice social distancing of six feet between you and others; wear a cloth face covering when you are in public and unable to keep physically distant; and avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors.
In her report to the village board, Niggemann said the Colfax Softball Association has started their leagues on Monday and Thursday nights.
The softball association has been informed to follow the Dunn County guidelines and to take additional precautions with concession stand surfaces to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We have asked that no tournaments get held until after July 1, 2020, and to enforce any and all guidelines in place at the time of tournaments,” Niggemann wrote in her report.
The Department of Public Works is implementing a daily cleaning schedule at the park bathrooms, she noted.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board approved a six month Class “B”/ “Class B” retailer’s license for the Colfax Softball Association from June 8 to December 7.