Howards Grove board sends notifications of sidewalk project updates

by Steve Ottman Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE—The village of Howards Grove Public Works Committee is continuing to work with Strategic Municipal Systems to send out letters to residents on the Mill/Audubon/Millersville Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program sidewalk project.

The format of the meeting was reviewed by the board members and they asked Clerk/ Treasurer Lavonne Athorp to contact the city of Sheboygan Falls about how their recent TLE meeting went.

The DOT recommended that individual concerns with residents should be handled by at least two people.

Parks Chairman James Meinnert reported that the park’s budget isn’t expected to change for 2014. The five-year plan was noted in the minutes review.

Trustee Dale Wuestenhagen volunteered to put a plan together to determine the feasibility of adding a bathroom to the Memorial Park Shelter.

A letter will be sent to Millersville Recreation Department and Howards Grove Athletic Association regarding the village purchasing policy.

Athorp reported that she attended a week-long Clerk & Treasurer’s Institute in Green Bay. Athorp applied for and received a full tuition scholarship from the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association.

Athorp attended sessions on professional writing, public and media relations, records management, advanced TIF, citizen engagement, developing a budget, federal tax responsibilities for government entities, tax roll preparation, and tax collection and settlement.

All of the sessions were informative. Athorp told the board, with the most valuable being the TIF session, budgeting and records management.

However, all of the classes had information that was helpful and pertinent to the job. This was the second year of a four-year program leading to certification, and she is looking forward to attending again next year.

Village President James Scheiber stated that Athorp and he met with the village attorney on the Harvest Homes TID and will be meeting with the developers to review the progress and discuss issues.

Scheiber asked that committee minutes be finished by board meeting dated so that they can be posted to the website.

During public comment at the July 2 meeting, a resident addressed the board regarding snow plowing of sidewalks.

He was glad to see that the village is installing more sidewalks, however wasn’t happy that the village is providing snowplowing on the sidewalks.

It is expensive for the village to plow and because they use larger equipment, the snow usually isn’t cleared very well, and leaves the sidewalks treacherous.

He feels that property owners should maintain the sidewalks in front of their own property.

Finance Committee Chairman Jeff Plass discussed dog licensing late fees. Costs for enforcing late fees don’t compare to the costs of recovery of the late fees. Upon recommendation, the board took no action to change late fees for multiple dogs.

The Public Works Department is considering tree removal on the southwest corner of Alcott and South Washington. It is located in the right a way and is too close to the road. Utilities and infrastructures are also affected.

R&R Tree-Cutting Service was hired as long as they carry proper insurance.

Director Chris Welsing noted that during annual maintenance on the Village Hall HVAC unit it was discovered that refrigerant was leaking in one of the units. The estimated cost of repairs is $1,500. After discussion HVAC Services was authorized to make repairs at a cost no larger than $1,800.

Trustee Lee Kunze updated the board on the NMTTP Mill/Audubon/Millersville Sidewalk project. If the deadlines are met, it is expected that the project could start Sept. 1.

Meinnert reported on the conditions at the parks. Mostly routine maintenance issues were discovered. The Howards Athletic Club requested that a backstop needs to be replaced on the softball diamond. Regular maintenance is being handled by Welsing.

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