EM contracts for $2,500 water rate study
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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound Village Board has contracted with Ehler’s Inc. for a water rate study in the amount of $2,500.
The water rate study would include a cash flow analysis as well as assessing the impact to residents on a $2.5 million water system improvement project, including the cost of land acquisition for a new reservoir, said Karin Wolf, village clerk-treasurer, at the Elk Mound Village Board’s February 20 meeting.
Ehler’s Inc. is the village’s financial advisor.
Wolf said that she and Mark Levra, director of public works, had met with representatives for CBS Squared and Ehlers about the water rate study.
A water system study conducted by CBS Squared recommends that to improve water service for village residents and to insure there is an adequate amount of water pressure for Settlers Ridge and to fight a fire at the school district and the apartment complex that a new reservoir be installed east of the school district buildings in Elk Mound, that a loop be installed for the school district buildings and that an “east loop” be installed for the Settlers Ridge residential development.
Installing a reservoir above the school would cost an estimated $1 million. The school loop would cost an estimated $415,000, and the east loop would cost an estimated $685,000.
Based on 2022 bids, the total cost for the project would be $2.1 million. By the time the village is able to take on the project, the cost will likely be more than $2.1 million, according to representatives for CBS Squared.
At the February 6 meeting, the village board sent the CBS Squared proposal for professional services at a cost of $162,750 for the $2.5 million water system improvement project to the public works committee for discussion and a recommendation.
Levra reported at the February 6 meeting that he had received an e-mail message from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin stating the village would have to let people know their water user bill would go from $35 to $98 for the $2.5 million project, based on residential usage of 3,000 gallons per month.
Levra previously told the village board he did not know the method the PSC had used to arrive at the numbers included in the e-mail message.
In addition to the long-range cash flow analysis for $2,500, the proposal from Ehlers included an application filed with the PSC for $4,500, a rate implementation letter for $3,500, a final report for $500 and a presentation for $500, for a total of $11,500.
“We need to be able to put the big picture together,” said Terry Stamm, village trustee.
Stamm is Elk Mound’s retired director of public works.
The $2,500 would be money well spent “to protect ourselves … we can use the information to Elk Mound’s advantage,” said Cynthia Abraham, village trustee.
The Elk Mound Village Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal by Ehlers for Phase I for the long-range cash flow analysis.
In addition to Abraham and Stamm voting in favor, Greg Kipp, village president, and Village Trustees Bob Bachman, Tim Benjamin, Jesse Jenson and Patrick Lien also voted in favor.
In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:
• Learned there had been 60 calls for service for the Elk Mound Police Department in January.
• Learned that the most unusual police department case was a raccoon that entered a residence through a cat door and then bit the resident. The raccoon was disposed of and then sent off for testing, said Elk Mound Police Chief Chad Weinberger.
• Learned that Julie Conlin, administrative assistant, has started training for her duties at the police department.
• Learned that the Elk Mound Police Department has been investigating the sexual assault of a child. The investigation has taken between six months and a year and has involved 90 officer hours, the police chief said. The police department had 130,000 images to review and 160 gigabytes of data. The Dunn County district attorney has made an initial charge, and other charges are pending, he said.
• Learned that the Elk Mound police chief is not recommending the village participate in “No Mow May,” which is an initiative to help bees that pollinate flowers, fruits and some vegetables to survive early in the spring when there are not very many plants pollinating. There is enough open land and crop land around Elk Mound where the bees can find pollen in May, and the existing ordinances should be enforced, Police Chief Weinberger said. “No Mow” would set Elk Mound back and would “kick the can down the road” on progress that has been made in cleaning up certain properties around Elk Mound, he said.
• Learned that the police department has been working with the Elk Mound school district as part of a grant the school district received for student achievement. There has been an improvement in attendance and in grades, the police chief said.
• Learned that the Elk Mound fire department had responded to four calls in the past month, including mutual aid for a structure fire and a call for a dump truck that had rolled over.
• Approved special resolution 23-4 to accept the public improvements from Settlers Ridge.
• Approved a loan advance to fund the third installment of the Tax Increment Finance District No. 2 incentive program for Settlers Ridge. The village will be making the final payment of $200,000 from the line of credit issued by Bremer Bank, Wolf said.
• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Virginia Olger (The Pourhouse).
• Approved part-time Limited Term Employment Officer Ethan Kjellberg through December 31, 2023.
• Approved a change in the village’s ordinance for training standards for bartender operator’s license applicants. Training will be obtained through a technical college district and the testing approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
• Approved a budget transfer of $500 from the solid waste and recycling equipment fund for the support of the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation.