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By Renee Bettendorf
BOYCEVILLE – During their monthly board meeting on Monday evening the Boyceville Village Board voted to vacate an alley. They also opted to table discussions about winter parking, village employee vacation time and how to create a new lot.
On a four to zero vote with Trustee Jonathan Farrell abstaining and Trustees Megan Mittlestadt and Shawn Mittlestadt absent the board voted to vacate an alley located between Main Street and highway 170. There were no public comments.
According to the Village Clerk Treasurer, Brittany Halvorson, the alley was vacated for two reasons; lack of use and a village resident’s difficulty in selling their property because a shed on the property was technically on village land.
By vacating the property, the land will go back to landowners who own land abutting the alley. Each landowner will gain about eight feet.
Police Chief Greg Lamkin spoke about the possibility of revising the village’s winter parking rules. Currently different parts of the village have differing regulations regarding winter parking. He would like to see the rules streamlined so all parking is the same throughout the village.
Right now, from November 1 to April 1 there is no parking from 3am to 7am in the downtown area, elsewhere in the village there is no parking from 2am to 7am with the exception of Race Street where parking is dictated by even and odd days.
Lamkin pitched the idea of enforcing parking rules by the weather instead of by the calendar. He pointed out that the whole point of the winter parking rules is so the snow plow can get through and that he’d rather not write parking tickets if there’s no snow. He also said that if a snowstorm should happen in October or April, the current rules don’t apply.
Don Rose, Director of Public Works, recommended that Lamkin write warnings if there was no snow and tickets when there is snow. That way the village wouldn’t have to buy new parking signs. He also said that oftentimes they can’t get all the streets plowed by 7am anyway.
Craig Dotseth, upcoming Director or Public Works, wondered if the current winter parking rules are a problem that needs to be solved. He went on to say that people are creatures of habit and they like to park in the same spots, which can pose problems with plowing.
“It’s a lot to chew on,” said Village President, Luke Montgomery.
The board decided to table the matter and bring it to the Committee of the Whole for more discussion.
The board also tabled a discussion about paid vacation time for village employees. Trustee Shawn Mittlestadt showed up a bit late to the meeting and presented to the board a possible new vacation policy that would change how hours of vacation time are accrued. The board decided to take the matter up at the next meeting.
How to create a lot on the corner of Highway 170 and County Road O was a third discussion that was tabled by the board. The land where the new lot is proposed currently has two houses and several outbuildings on it. The new property line would have to go through one of the outbuildings.
After some discussion it was decided to seek guidance from a surveyor before making any decisions.
The Boyceville Village Board also:
-Learned from Lamkin that a K-9 unit was recently at the high school, no drugs were found, however one student was cited for an unloaded firearm.
-Heard from Halvorson that Beverly Biggard was hired as a Chief Election Inspector and that the village is actively trying to recruit more inspectors.
-Learned from Lamkin that the police department had 172 calls for service in October. There were 19 arrests and 29 citations.
-Heard that Village Resident, Trudy Chernak, is displeased with the board’s recent decision to allow the police chief to take a police vehicle home.
-Voted in closed session to pass a policy that would cover 95% of health insurance for all eligible family members of qualifying village employees.