Howards Grove drops constables, contracts with sheriff for services

by Steve Ottman Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE—The Village Board eliminated the village constable positions and contracted with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department for the remainder of 2014 by a vote of 5-0.

Capt. Cory Roeseler from the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department gave the board information on how contracting with the county would work. He explained that Sheboygan County has contracts with many area municipalities, including Oostburg, Random Lake and Cedar Grove.

The goal of contracting with the Sheriff’s Department is to get on top of problems or issues that arise in the village.

Some of the benefits of the Sheriff’s Department are that they have the most current training as well as their own vehicles, insurance, laptop computers and office space. They can also assist the village’s Department of Public Works with winter parking, which enables the snow plows access to roadways in a timely manner.

The Sheriff’s Department is also available 24 hours a day to handle and mediate issues. Roeseler noted the usage of the Sheriff’s Department itself is a deterrent to crime and issues as it gets noticed on social media as residents become aware of the additional presence in the village.

The Sheriff’s Deparment would enforce ordinances including parking violations. The village would receive the proceeds from any tickets written by the department. A lieutenant would be assigned to the village to correspond via email with village employees and to provide a monthly report of time and service provided.

Village employees would also have the ability to email the Sheriff’s Department regarding nonemergency situations and issues, so resources can be applied to those areas as needed.

The cost of contracting with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department is $45.55/hour. It was noted that similar-sized communities have set contract amounts with number of hours determined for the year.

The 2014 budget amount for constables was set at $10,250 which would equate to approximately 219 hours with the Sheriff’s Department.

Village President James Scheiber asked the Personnel Committee to screen and interview any candidates for the Village Board for the trustee vacancy created when Michael Stockigt left. He also requested that the Personnel Committee determine a policy to follow for future needs in filling vacancies on the board.

Scheiber appointed trustee James Bilgo as Plan Commission chairperson.

The Nov. 4 board meeting was rescheduled to Monday, Nov. 3, to accommodate the fall election.

The Public Works Committee accepted a bid for the cold storage building to be used by public works. Trustee Lee Kunze summarized that the Public Works Committee received four bids and references from the two low bids were submitted. JM Borgwardt Construction was approved as low bidder for the cold storage construction.

The Public Works Department will also do the on site work and removal of old building. The new building will be located inside the fence where the gravel piles are currently.

The Public Works Committee discussed needed funding for the Whittier Lane project and a short term repair for Frost Road.

Kunze and Public Works Director Ryan Welsing explained that the top layer of road is sliding off on Whittier Lane, including that the street is breaking off into pieces.

Sheboygan County is able to reconstruct the road at full depth for $6,200. Welsing stated that this is an immediate need for the village and should not be pushed into the future for repair.

The repairs needed for Frost Road would cost an estimated $10,000. However, it could be delayed until 2015 when it is due to be a part of the scheduled road repairs in the village.

Welsing also stated the Public Works Department could patch and clean up this road as a temporary solution. Board members authorized $6,200 for repairs to Whittier Lane and for the Public Works Department to handle repairs on Frost Road.

Board members voted to charge a rental fee to Howards Grove Athletic Association for park usage for the Silver Dollar Days Event. The park fee per listed fee schedule is $40 per day for usage of Memorial Park.

The Finance Committee recommended a property tax refund to Ryan and Tiffany Hametner of 823 Tyler Rd. of $196 on their 2013 taxes. The board approved the recommendation.

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