If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — Should Elk Mound waive fees for youth baseball tournaments?
Should the village waive fees for all youth sports?
Or should the village accept donations from individuals for the ball fields used in youth baseball tournaments?
There are inconsistencies concerning who the village board waives fees for when considering use of the ball fields at the village park, said Cynthia Abraham, village trustee and chair of the property and finance committee, at the Elk Mound Village Board’s November 20 meeting.
Should the village board consider waiving fees for the youth baseball tournaments in 2024? asked Bob Bachman, village trustee and also a member of the property and finance committee.
Or should the village waive fees for all youth sports? he asked.
Bachman said he would personally pay the first $300 in fees for youth baseball tournaments in 2024.
Abraham said she would personally make up the difference between Bachman’s offer and the full cost of the fees and then would put the issue on the village board agenda so there is a consistent policy, Bachman said.
The Elk Mound Fire Department does not ask the village to waive the fees for use of the village park, noted Mark Levra, department of public works.
All or none
The village board must be consistent about the fees for youth sports and should either charge a fee for all sports or not have fees for any sports, Bachman said.
Elk Mound needs a clear policy that is consistent, he said.
Roughly 70 percent of the youth who play baseball are not village residents, noted Terry Stamm, village president,
The cost of supplies for the park is increasing, and then there is the time for the department of public works to pick up garbage and do other maintenance at the park, he said.
The village charges a park fee to developers who build houses in the village, and how much is it for one house? Stamm asked.
Several people replied that the fee is $400.
If the village board does not want to waive the fee for the youth baseball tournaments, Bachman reiterated that he and Abraham would cover the fee.
According to the village’s ordinances, developers must either set aside a certain percentage of the of the land being developed for parks or open space, or if the amount of land does not meet the specific percentage requirement or the land is not suitable to be designated as a park by the village board, “upon recommendation of the plan commission and the village clerk-treasurer, the village board may require, prior to final approval of the construction improvements plan for the subdivision, that the applicant deposit with the village a cash payment in lieu of land dedication.”
Stamm asked about the fees for tournaments.
For a non-resident, the fee is $150 for the park and $25 per ball field, Levra said, noting there are two fee schedules, one for residents and one for non-residents.
According to the parks policy that is posted on the village’s website, there is a minimum fee of $25 for non-tournament use of a ball field and/or lights for the first three hours of the event, and the fee is calculated at $10 per hour for actual time of use and any and all time over three hours.
The village charges a fee of $100 per day for use of the pavilion for village residents, village property owners and for any fund-raising activity. There is a reservation fee of $150 per day for non-residents. For groups of 200 or more, there is a reservation fee for the pavilion of $200 per day. Members of the Elk Mound Lions Club in good standing will pay a fee of $25 per day, according to the policy.
There is a fee of $500 per year for softball league use of ball fields and lights, and the fee is waived for Elk Mound Area Athletics in recognition of their contribution to the maintenance of the ball fields, the policy states.
Groups of 300 or more are required to file with the village clerk-treasurer a certificate of insurance in the amount of $50,000 and to have the village named as the additional insured, according to the policy.
Specific fees regarding use of the parks for tournaments is a $100 per weekend garbage fee, a $100 per weekend fee for the fields and lights and $150 per day for pavilion rental.
A one-day tournament will be $350, and a two day tournament will be $500, while a three-day tournament will be $650.
The Elk Mound pitch ball tournament is considered part of Elk Mound Youth Athletics Summer League, and there is no additional fee for the event, according to the park policy.
The item should be put on the agenda so the village board can discuss and agree upon a stable fee policy, Abraham said.
There is a contract with the school district for rental for high school use, noted Pat Hahn, village trustee.
There is a difference between high school athletics and youth athletics, she said.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved a motion to table the issue of fees for the ball fields and to put the issue on the agenda for the next meeting.
Village limit signs
The Dunn County highway department puts up the village limit population signs, and all signs have a population of 985 as per information from the state, Levra said.
Population signs are based on the last census, so the current signs are based on the 2020 census.
There are village limit and population signs on county Highway H north and south, and a sign on U.S. Highway 12 west at the village limits, Levra said.
The sign on Highway 12 east is to the end of the municipal maintenance agreement (MMA), he said.
There are no village limit and population signs on University Street, Division Street or 970th Street, Levra said.
The village has old village limit and population signs stored in the Department of Public Works building, he said.
The signs do not have to match. New signs are about $188 each, so village employees could install the old signs, Levra said.
The Elk Mound Village Board approved a motion to install population signs in the three locations this spring and to use the existing signs that are in storage.
• Learned that Lift Station No. 1 had been down for a week and that the Department of Public Works was waiting for parts to arrive. The equipment was first installed in 1988. Village employees thought they had found a workable substitute for the original parts but then realized those substitute parts would not work and had to find other substitute parts. Levra said he used two-day shipping and that the parts were supposed to be in Madison the day of the village board meeting. “I am hoping to get it up and running soon,” he said.
• Learned that the Elk Mound Police Department is experiencing increased calls to the Settlers Ridge development.
• Learned that in October, the Elk Mound Police Department had responded to 59 calls and that Dunn County had responded to 54 calls.
• Received a reminder that the village board trustee positions held by Cynthia Abraham, Tim Benjamin and Patrick Lien will be up for election next April. Candidates can start circulating nomination papers on December 1, and the nomination papers are due by January 2. Notification of non-candidacy forms must be filed by December 22. Failure to file notification of non-candidacy or to file nomination forms by the deadline will extend the nomination deadline for that office by 72 hours.
• Discussed the 2024 budget briefly. The Village of Elk Mound will receive an additional $46,000 in state shared revenue. The solid waste and recycling per capita fee will be reduced by $4,000, and the ambulance service fee and fire department tax levy will increase in 2024.