Howards Grove board sets new meeting rules

by Steve Ottman Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE—The Village Board approved changes to their bi-monthly meetings Tuesday.

A motion was approved for a four-week trial of paperless meetings. The agenda for each meeting would be projected on a screen.

Clerk/Treasurer Lavonne Athorp stated that copier costs, copier toner, paper costs and cost of employee time could save $277 in the first year.

The board also made minor changes to the schedule of regular meetings.

Meetings would remain on the first and third Tuesday of the month, except for when a meeting falls on a holiday or election date. The meeting could be rescheduled according to the workload. There will be at least one meeting per month.

All meetings will be held at the municipal building unless specified but always within the village boundaries.

The contract with the fire department was approved for one year.

Athorp reported that she is working with a vendor on a variety of items in the accounting software. The vendor will visit to help with personal procedures to train three employees on-site. The process for sewer billing may be ready by mid June.

Public Works Director Ryan Welsing was commended on the department’s efforts during the recent snowstorm. They have responded to a few complaints, but overall fielded more compliments on the clean-up of the village streets.

The crew put in 13 hours work for 15-17 inches of snow removal. Welsing said this was an unusual storm that presented some unusual problems.

The board met in closed session regarding a review of engineering issues. After the meeting, a decision was made to postpone any decisions for the time being on the sidewalk project.

At last month’s meeting, the 2012 year-end village and sanitary department financial reports were reviewed and placed on file. The board would like to review the revenues to determine whether there are any funds available to adjust reductions in the 2013 budget.

Zumba classes to be taught by Amy Butters at the Community Center were approved. The board allowed a 90-day trial at the center with the rental fee to be a donation on any money made above $30.

Athorp said that with the new accounting software, the village and sanitary departments could use the same bank account. It would save time by reducing the number of bank reconciliations each month.

The board voted to place long-term funds in a nine-month CD and will further research what can be done with the funds by next November.

Athorp also reported that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has sent a letter regarding the billing process for the State 32-42 project.

The invoices for the project may be received from one to three years after the project is completed.

The letter encouraged the village to maintain budget considerations for up to three years after completion. Welsing said that estimates don’t include parts of the project that the village is responsible for.

Village President James Scheiber reported that there are funds still available in the 2013 stewardship fund. Athorp will review if there are any projects in the village that qualify. 2014 preliminary budget information can be submitted in June, aiming for an October finalization of the 2014 budget.

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