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By Cara Dempski
ELK MOUND — Members of the Elk Mound Village Board of trustees heard an update on an exploration of economic development opportunities for the Village from President Steven Abraham on December 7.
Terry Stamm, trustee and village representative to the Dunn County solid waste and recycling board, explained during the meeting that things are progressing for the village and other municipalities to take over the Elk Mound waste and recycling site. The site will serve several townships, the villages of Elk Mound and Colfax, and will be operating under its wintertime hours, which will extend from November 1 to March 31. Summer hours will be from April 1 until October 31.
One thing many Elk Mound area residents have been concerned about is the crowded space on Saturdays and the inability to get in to make drop offs. There will be Wednesday hours starting January 1, 2021, the site will be open from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, with Saturday hours from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
One concern the people staffing and managing the site have is that all users follow the disposal rules. Stamm pointed out that Elk Mound police chief Chad Weinberger has also provided a special box for the site for prescription medication disposal; medications can be placed in the box, and Weinberger will see that they are safely disposed of. Those using the site will be asked to place materials for disposal in the proper places – for instance, salvaged metal to be disposed of should only be placed with other salvaged metal. There was no indication during the board meeting of how disposal rules will be enforced. Residents of the nine municipalities participating in the user agreement will be sent tags to hang from the rearview mirror in their vehicles, as their new permit to use the site.
Stamm indicated there will also be an information sheet available soon to the public regarding all the new hours, operation dates, and potential fee schedules for items requiring a disposal charge. There is already some information available at the village hall.
After Stamm’s report, Abraham explained he would like to put together an information sheet or packet that can be provided to businesses who might be interested in operating in Elk Mound. It would have information about village demographics, the local area school district, and other relevant information. Stamm asked Abraham what benefit an economic development committee or developing businesses in Elk Mound would have for the village, he asked at one point, “What are they going to do for us?”
Another trustee, Greg Kipp mentioned the potential for increased wear and tear on Village roads and other areas overseen by Public Works due to increased traffic and usage. Abraham mentioned a southern Wisconsin community named Belleville, that is roughly three times larger than Elk Mound has formed an economic development committee like he has in mind. He has contacted Village officials there to ask if he could attend a committee meeting to get ideas. He hopes to have more to report at the December 21 meeting.
Elk Mound village public works director Mark Levra reported that tree trimming on top of the mound hill has been completed. This will allow people using the park space up there to see down into the village. He also said the battery packs storing the power from the solar panels used to light the flag at the top of the hill are starting to go bad, and new ones may need to be purchased.
The board unanimously approved an operator’s license for Gabrielle Nichols of the Elk Mound Travel Stop, based on Weinberger’s report that there was nothing concerning in her background. An operator’s license for Holly O’Connell at the Pourhouse also received unanimous approval.
The board unanimously approved appointing Karen Walth as the deputy clerk and treasurer based on the recommendation of village clerk Patricia Hahn.
The Elk Mound Village Board will meet again at 6 p.m. on December 21.