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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved increasing the pay for trustees by $250 per year to $1,500 and increasing the pay for the village president by $450 to $2,000 per year and that the pay per meeting should remain at $20.
The village board discussed the prospect of increasing the pay for village trustees and the village president last year but were unable to approve the pay raises in time to meet the statutory requirement, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s November 14 meeting.
The Colfax Village Board consists of six trustees and the village president.
According to Wisconsin State Statutes Section 61.193, elected officials cannot approve pay for their positions after the date when nomination papers can be circulated, and the raises do not go into effect for those positions that are up for election until after the next election.
The first day that nomination papers can be circulated is December 1.
Village trustees Carey Davis, Anne Jenson and Gary Stene were elected to their positions in April of 2022, so the pay raises for those positions would not go into effect until after the election in April of 2024.
The positions held by Jody Albricht, village president, and village trustees Margaret Burcham, Jeff Prince and Jen Rudd are up for election in April of 2023, so the pay raises could go into effect for those positions following the April of 2023 election.
The pay raises would be in effect after the organizational meeting on the third Tuesday of April, Niggemann said.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved changing the base pay for the village president from $1,550 to $2,000 per year and changing the base pay for village trustees from $1,250 to $1,500 per year and keeping the pay per meeting at $20.
Voting in favor of the motion were Jody Albricht, village president; and village trustees Margaret Burcham, Anne Jenson, Jeff Prince and Gary Stene.
Village trustees Carey Davis and Jen Rud were absent from the meeting.
The question of changing the pay for village board members came up late last December when the village board contemplated going to one meeting per month and increasing the per meeting pay from $20 to $40 to compensate for one meeting rather than two.
In addition to not being able to change the compensation for board meetings at that time based on state statutes, village board members eventually concluded that if the board met only one time per month, and an issue came up requiring board action right after the last meeting, the issue could end up waiting as long as six weeks before being addressed by the village board.
In additional business at the November 14 meeting, the Colfax Village Board approved snowmobile routes in the village.
Niggemann said she had asked Colfax Police Chief William Anderson if there were any problems with the snowmobile routes and trails as they are, and the police chief said he did not see any reason to modify the routes and trails that have been in use.
Mike Buchner, president of the Colfax Sno-Drifters, said the snowmobile club also did not have any reason for asking to change the routes and trails.
If there are problems with snowmobiles using or not using the approved routes and trails, the village should contact Buchner, and the snowmobile club will address the problems immediately, he said.
The snowmobile routes were first approved in November of 2020.
The approved snowmobile routes include:
• East side of Dunn Street to Railroad Avenue, east to County Road M, north to state Highway 40.
• East side of Dunn Street to Railroad Avenue, east towards the east driveway of the Colfax Fairgrounds to the footbridge, across Highway 40 to Johnson-Olson Road, west on High Street to Colfax High School.
• East side of Dunn Street to Railroad Avenue, west to Synergy Cooperative.
• Synergy Cooperative parking lot to Express Mart using the alley east of Synergy.
• Synergy Cooperative parking lot to the Outhouse Bar using Legion Drive and the alley between Highway 40 and Cedar Street.
• Synergy Cooperative parking lot is the designated parking if snowmobilers plan to visit any businesses on Highway 40.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved bartender operator licenses for Roxanne Marshall and Lauren Hill, Synergy Cooperative, for November 14 until June 30, 2023.
• Denied a rezone, based on the recommendation of the Colfax Zoning Board of Appeals, for a request made by Jeanne Anderson to rezone a vacant parcel on Dunn Street from R-5 Multifamily to Ag-1 agriculture. The lot was rezoned from agriculture to multifamily in 2020 when Woda Cooper Companies was considering constructing a 32-unit rental complex. Multifamily zoning fits better with the village’s comprehensive land use plan and the objectives for creating Tax Increment District 5.
• Approved an estimate from Jack Bever in the amount of $3,516.84 to repair one of the compactors used at the Colfax Solid Waste and Recycling collection site. Bever repaired the cylinders on November 19, and after taking the unit apart, found one of the two motors had ceased functioning. Bever has ordered the part and will complete the repair when the part arrives.
• Approved a professional services contract with Fred Weber of Weber Inspections for building inspection services. The village does not pay any fees associated with the building inspections.
• Accepted a grant in the amount of $8,120 from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for household, hazardous waste collection, known as Clean Sweep. Colfax Solid Waste and Recycling is planning to offer a Clean Sweep collection in 2023.
• Approved an agreement with Baumann Associates to audit the village’s finances for 2022 that includes $24,585 to $25,650 for the audit of the village’s financial statements; $1,650 to $1,750 for preparing Form C for the year ended December 31, 2022; preparation of the report for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for $2,700 to $2,830; a single audit for 2022 for the sewer utility related to the lagoon bank stabilization project for $6,000; and reconciliation of the budget per GASB No. 41 for $720 to $750. The total cost for the audit will be approximately $37,000. The Village of Colfax’s budget was $1.24 million for 2022.