HG begins planning for 50th anniversary

by Steve Ottman
Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE . Details were discussed for celebrating and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the village in 2017 by board President James Scheiber at Tuesday's Village Board meeting.

Scheiber discussed the minutes of the Dec. 13 Continuous Improvement Committee meeting.

There will be a commemorative newsletter sent out. Plans are being made for fireworks to be staged by the Fire Department on the Saturday night of the Silver Dollar Picnic.

A plan for a village baking contest will be announced and prizes for the best 50th float celebration in the parade will be awarded. Also the bands are still being determined.

In the president’s report, the work in progress was updated. FEMA mapping is at 98 percent with no progress to report. There was an update on the codification of ordinances. The employee review is ongoing.

The police contract with Elkhart Lake was voted down. However the board is looking at alternatives and Elkhart Lake is still willing to meet. This will be added to the Jan. 3 board agenda.

Traffic flow by the middle school was discussed and dog licensing throughout the village is still a large concern.

Scheiber reviewed decision making models in a Power Point and also had discussion regarding the procedure on matters that come before the board and how they are added to the board's agenda.

The payment request from Northeast Asphalt for Kennedy Avenue and Village Hall parking lot was approved through the Finance Committee.

A resolution was approved to set the 2016 tax levy collectable in 2017.

The 2017 fire department contract with the Howards Grove Fire Department was approved.

Another resolution for setting village employees' salaries for 2017 was approved.

Clerk/Treasurer Joanne Lesser requested an increase in wages for the department of public works director and the clerk/treasurer positions. An explanation was given that these two positions are responsible for making sure that mandates are met, work is completed in a timely matter and the village business is conducted by board policy.

Trustee Henry Verfuerth questioned if there was a set policy or criteria to handle pay raises for village employees. Verfuerth felt that his previous work experience could be of help to the Personnel Committee.

Trustee Ed Pahl felt that the raise was justified for the clerk/treasurer because of the work load handled in the office. Trustees Lee Kunze and Jim Bilgo both felt the industry standard of a two percent increase in wages was enough.

Scheiber stated that the employee benefits and jobs were discussed at the Public Works Committee meeting previously, with compliments to the DPW director and clerk/treasurer.

After a motion to give the clerk/treasurer a seven percent raise failed, another motion was made to that the raises be made according to recommendations from the Finance Committee and was approved by a vote of 4-3.

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