HG sidewalk and floodplain project invoices approved

by Steve Ottman Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE—The Village Board Tuesday approved three resolutions to for outstanding invoices for Strategic Municipal Systems (SMS) for the non-motorized transportation pilot project sidewalk project and FEMA floodplain project.

After a lengthy discussion, the board voted 5-0, with Dale Wuestenhagen abstaining, to approve the resolution for the sidewalk project and the resolution for the FEMA floodplain project.

The board invited Scott Schramm to discuss the FEMA and sidewalks projects and to move forward with these projects this summer.

Schramm and the board discussed the FEMA project, identifying the its purpose and reviewing the steps for completion.

Public Works Chairman Dan Binversie felt that an informational meeting for residents affected by the floodplain study would be good for the village.

This meeting was not included in the original scope of the contract, and Schramm estimated that it would add an additional cost of $1,000-$1,500.

President James Scheiber asked Schramm whether the study was complete, noting that the Department of Natural Resources stated that the study was not been approved yet, and they have recommended several changes.

Schramm stated he is confident he has the required approvals from the DNR, despite the DNR representative’s statement to the contrary.

He felt that she is outside her authority in saying it is not approved, as the study meets all of the Wisconsin Administrative Code requirements.

The DNR will receive a copy of the final submittal to FEMA, which does address the changes she requested. There is a short checklist that needs to be completed by the village prior to being able to send the submittal to FEMA.

Schramm will forward that checklist to Clerk- Treasurer Lavonne Athorp. He will also forward the conditional approvals he has received from the DNR to Public Works Director Ryan Welsing for his files.

The board then reviewed the NMTPP sidewalk project. The state Department of Transportation has requested a few minor changes to the contract amendment that was submitted in January. Schramm estimated it would be at least one week before he could get the amendment revised and returned to the village for approval.

Athorp reported that during the trial period for paperless meetings, board members wouldn’t have copies of the minutes to review during the meeting, so time for the review wouldn’t be necessary.

If paperless meetings continue, this would continue to be the case, and the time could be eliminated for reviewing purposes.

Some of the board members noted that being able to ask questions regarding committee minutes was valuable, and it should remain on the agenda.

Athorp agreed that it was her preference to keep the review of committee minutes on the agenda, however Trustee James Meinnert questioned whether the board needed to take time during the meeting to read them.

The board voted 6-0 to strike the reading of committee meeting minutes during the meeting.

Scheiber reported that state legislators were in attendance at the last department heads meeting.

They noted that the state budget did include maintaining transportation aid and shared revenue costs, however, there was no increase in property tax levy allowed.

The group asked the legislators to consider adding a three percent annual increase in the levy to the budget, but the legislators were not optimistic.

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