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By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Village Board has approved a special assessment for a sidewalk to serve Dollar General with payback for the special assessment due at the end of 2023.
During a public hearing held Monday evening, May 2, as part of a special Boyceville Village Board meeting, no members of the public spoke either for or against the special assessment.
The sidewalk will run on the west side of state Highway 79 and will use the utility easement for Trinity Lutheran Church, which will save $10,000 on the project, said Lukas Montgomery, village president.
In the past, payback on special assessments have been up to five years, he said.
Jonathan Farrell, village trustee, said he had no problem with a five-year payback, and at an estimated cost of $6,500, the payment would be about $1,100 per year.
Going out five years on an assessment is generally used for village residents, and the payback period should be one year since this is a business, said Don Rose, director of public works.
The Boyceville Village Board unanimously approved a motion for a special assessment for the sidewalk and also unanimously approved the payback for the assessment due at the end of 2023.
Voting in favor of the two motions were Montgomery and Village Trustees Farrell, Megan Mittlestadt, Shawn Mittlestadt, Bill Sempf, Brad Stevens and Sonya Zebro.
Following the close of the public hearing, the Boyceville Village Board moved on to the special meeting to talk about procedures for the village board and to approve committee assignments.
Montgomery reminded village board members that if they had something going on involving their families, that family comes first.
One personal shortcoming, he said, has been communicating with the other board members, and instead of waiting for someone to ask for clarification, Montgomery said he would work on communicating sooner.
As for the process to get items on the village board agenda, board members should speak to the department heads, which for anything related to administration would be Darlene Lee, clerk-treasurer, or Rose, as director of public works, and also to speak to committee chairs about agenda items, Montgomery said.
The department heads put most of the items on the agenda, he noted.
For complaints made by citizens or board members, direct the complaint first to the appropriate department head, and if there are issues involving residents, go to the police chief. Also include the appropriate committee chair, Montgomery said, noting that, for example, if he believes there is something wrong at the airport, he is going to speak to someone at the airport first and not call the state or federal government first.
Discussions and recommendations by committees are recommendations for the village board but are not concrete until the village board votes on the recommendations, he said.
In the past, committees have made decisions that have not been brought to the full village board, but the decisions are not concrete until the village board votes on the item, Montgomery said.
What takes place in closed session stays in closed session until there is a resolution, he said.
Montgomery said he did not want to have a citizen say to him, “I heard this …” and then he has to tell the citizen, “That was in closed session and I can’t talk about it.”
Village board members are public servants and are representatives for the public, he said.
Montgomery said he asks himself, when making a decision, “Is this the best use of my neighbor’s money?”
Farrell noted that in the past, lists of tasks have been presented to the village board as information about what needs to be done, and someone has made a motion and something has been approved, but it was not on the agenda.
Darlene Lee is doing a good job of making sure that the village board operates in conjunction with the state’s open meetings law, he said.
As for training, events and conferences, village board members are welcome to take part in anything they believe will be useful to them as board members, Montgomery said.
The village will pay for the training and will pay mileage. Some of the training is offered online as well, he said.
Farrell said he appreciates the discussion of the village board members on various agenda items, and that while he does not expect village board members to explain their votes either for or against, he appreciates if they express concerns because it might be something he had not thought of prior to the discussion.
The Boyceville Village Board approved the following representatives to boards and appointments to standing committees:
• President Pro Tempore — Jonathan Farrell.
• Boyceville Public Library Board — Jonathan Farrell.
• Boyceville Community Fire District Board — Lukas Montgomery, who was appointed as vice-chair of the fire board at the last fire board meeting, and Brad Stevens.
• Boyceville Community Ambulance District — Sonya Zebro. Montgomery noted he has also been attending the ambulance board meetings.
• Dunn County Economic Development Corporation — Megan Mittlestadt, with the understanding that Mittlestadt will give updates on any economic development activity in Boyceville to the DCEDC as necessary. Village board members agreed that it was not necessary for Mittlestadt to attend every DCEDC meeting since most of DCEDC’s economic development efforts involved the City of Menomonie with very little taking place in the rural areas of the county.
• Special Housing Committee — Farrell and Montgomery. Since Boyceville has signed on for the housing study being conducted by Dunn County, there may be more meetings, Montgomery noted.
• Administrative Committee — Megan Mittlestadt as chair, Shawn Mittlestadt and Zebro. Some of the topics that could be considered by the committee are a village administrator, the village’s comprehensive land use plan, a development plan for Anderson Hill, wage scale and evaluation forms, employee handbook revisions, and planning for the village’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, Montgomery said.
• Public Works and Facilities — Farrell as chair, Bill Sempf and Zebro. Some of the topics that could be taken up by the committee include the water tower, wastewater treatment facilities, wage scale and evaluation forms, planning for Pafko Park, Freedom Park and the Boyceville Responsible Unit for solid waste and recycling, Montgomery said.
• Public Safety — Montgomery as chair, Stevens and Zebro. Some of the topics that could be considered by the committee include hiring a third police officer in conjunction with the Boyceville school district, the police station, safety mirrors in alleyways, collaboration with the townships and updating the village’s ordinances, Montgomery said.