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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound Village Board has approved a contract for 2024 with the Dunn County Humane Society at a cost of $1,770.72.
The contract is calculated on a per capita basis.
“It’s worth every penny on the police side,” said Elk Mound Police Chief Chad Weinberger at the Elk Mound Village Board’s November 6 meeting.
So far this year, Elk Mound has taken five dogs to the humane society, he said.
One of the dogs had an injury, and the humane society covered the cost of a veterinarian to treat the injury and any medication the dog needed, Police Chief Weinberger said.
It would be cost prohibitive for Elk Mound to build a kennel facility and staff it and then pay the cost of veterinary care for any injuries or other medical problems as well as pay for any medication, he said.
Dogs came into the village from outside of the village, and one dog in the village got in a fight and was torn up by pit bulls, the police chief noted.
Although Police Chief Weinberger did not discuss it, by state law, if the village did not contract with the humane society, the village also would have to keep records on the animals and make sure they are vaccinated and licensed, or that the cost of vaccinations and licensing has been prepaid by the new owners, before finding another home for the animal.
State law contains a number of regulations about taking custody of stray, abandoned or abused animals, how long they must be kept and what steps must be followed before the animal can be released to a new owner.
State law also is specific about who can take an animal into custody. If the village does not have a police officer, and the village appoints a humane officer, that person must take training for certification approved by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved the 2024 contract with the Dunn County Humane Society.
The Dunn County Humane Society’s second quarter newsletter contains a list of the municipalities that contract with DCHS.
Dunn County has 22 townships, seven villages and one city.
The villages in Dunn County that contract with the Dunn County Humane Society are Boyceville, Downing, Elk Mound, Knapp and Wheeler. The Village of Colfax was included on the list for 2023 but will not be on the list in 2024. The Village of Ridgeland was not on the 2023 list.
The City of Menomonie also is on the 2023 list.
The Towns of Colfax, Dunn, Eau Galle, Elk Mound, Hay River, Knapp, Lucas, Menomonie, Otter Creek, Peru, Red Cedar, Sand Creek, Sheridan, Sherman, Spring Brook, Stanton, Tainter, Weston and Wilson also contract with DCHS, so 19 of the 22 townships.
The Towns of New Haven, Tiffany and Grant are not on the 2023 list.
All together, 26 of the 30 municipalities in Dunn County contracted with the humane society in 2023.
In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board approved raising sewer utility rates by 10 percent.
The village will have phosphorus compliance expenses every year until the village comes into compliance with the limits set by the state Department of Natural Resources, said Mark Levra, director of public works.
The sewer utility needs additional revenue growth. The increased revenue that is coming in from the Settlers Ridge development is not enough additional revenue to cover the expenses coming up, said Terry Stamm, village president.
Every year, the village can apply for a Safe Drinking Water Fund loan that could cover the cost of compliance if the village were to receive the loan. Elk Mound could start out with $1.5 million in renovations, and then if that does not correct the problem, would have to do more, Levra said.
The cost for compliance could be in the millions of dollars over a certain number of years, he said.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved increasing the sewer utility rates by 10 percent.