Waldo hears referendum presentation, potential propane facility plans

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

WALDO — Representatives of the Sheboygan Falls School District addressed the Village Board at its meeting Monday night.

Present were District Administrator Jean Born, School Board President John Mauer and School Board member John Johnson.

Born gave several highlights of activities in the district. She distributed the district’s annual report and a fact sheet regarding a $30.9 million referendum in the Nov. 8 election, which proposes building a new middle school.

Details were given on the proposed new building. Village President Dan Schneider asked if the high school would need significant maintenance in the near future.

“Here’s my concern,” Schneider said. “This board has worked very hard over the last six years, that I’ve been on it, to reduce the cost of living in this town because of construction projects mandated by the DNR. My concern is that we continue that trend. We have, in this community, an aging community, and a lot of fixed income situations. And the last thing I want to see is people having to move.”

Born replied that, while the high school would require maintenance, the district has found ways to save money. She said the middle school was the highest priority. She also said it is hoped the district will be able to sell the old middle school building.

The point was made that as much as possible, local labor would be used to construct the new middle school, should the referenum pass.

Schneider said he’d been involved in several construction projects, and “every time that we used local contractors, it always turns out better. So when the first move [in the proposed project] is to go with a general [contractor] out of Milwaukee, when there are capable generals within the area, I look at that and say, ‘What’s the reason? Why do we do that?’”

Mauer said a series of interviews had been conducted to find the contractor they’d selected. He admitted that the choice to not use a local contractor had not met with total approval.

Supervisor Mike Hintz asked for a breakdown of why the middle school needed replacement. Born replied that the building’s structure makes it difficult to update for technology; the HVAC is inadequate; and the cafeteria is too small. Mauer said the board had looked at renovation of the existing building, but the estimated cost would be nearly as much as a new building. He said there was also a huge liability and safety issue with the existing school.

Hintz doubted that it would be easy to sell the existing middle school building.

The school district people thanked the board and left.

Propoane tank farm proposed

Schneider said Ferrellgas has expressed possible interest in developing a “tank farm” near the railroad tracks. They are considering a facility of “fourteen 30-thousand-gallon tanks of propane” and making that into a distribution site, Schneider said.

“I’m waiting on an actual layout of what this would look like,” Schneider said. “But this is what they’ve kind of discussed with me. The property is zoned accordingly for this. They have looked into all the state requirements and feel as though they can meet all the state requirements.”

Schneider said he’d conferred with the village’s attorney, asking if the village would have any oversight.

Schneider said he’d like Ferrellgas to come in and give a presentation to the board and to residents. He especially wanted village residents to receive information on this proposal. He said the tank farm would be a financial benefit to the village, but whether that outweighs safety concerns or other concerns, was just one of the questions he had.

Schneider said, “I think we need to approach it with an open mind, with safety on the one hand, and benefit to the village on the other. And what makes the most sense.”

The board unanimously approved:

• Two requests for rental of village facilities.

• One application for an operator’s license, for Rachel Pratt, for Kvindlog Services.

• An ordinance removing the clerk/treasurer position from being a salaried position.

• Hiring Traffic Services LLC to refresh the parking position markings on the streets.

The revised schedule of permit fees, reviewed and discussed by the board in the past two months, was approved with one dissenting vote.

The board scheduled two special meetings to discuss the 2017 budget, on Sept. 21 and 28 at 6 p.m.

Police report for August: Two citations (no seat belt, $10; following too close, $200.50); five warnings; two complaints investigated; (property damage accident; EMS call); two arrests made (disorderly conduct; party to crime of reckless use of a weapon); one traffic accident investigated; six property checks; no court appearances or warrants.

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