ELPD to enforce Howards Grove ordinances

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – Violate a village ordinance in Howards Grove and you could be hearing from the Elkhart Lake Police Department.

The Elkhart Lake Village Board Monday approved a one-year contract for their police department to provide ordinance enforcement services to their neighbor to the east down County A.

Howards Grove canceled its contract with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services last year and has been negotiating with Elkhart Lake since to replace some of that service.

That included a first agreement rejected by the Elkhart Lake Village Board in December.

Elkhart Lake Police Chief Michael Meeusen told the board’s Protection of Property and Persons Committee Monday that the new agreement will cover mainly enforcement of village ordinances.

As for patrols or responding to calls in Howards Grove, Meeusen said that would be minimal. “We’re looking at probably 10 hours a month on the high end,” the chief said. “Hopefully we’re not going there a lot.”

Instead, his department will rely on Howards Grove village employees to report and photograph ordinance violations, with Elkhart Lake then issuing citations.

Those citations will be answerable in the Elkhart Lake Municipal Court.

Village Administrator/Clerk/ Treasurer Jessica Reilly noted that the contract is for one year, from this April to April 2018. It will not renew automatically, she added.

The committee recommended, and the board agreed, that a clause should be added to the contract allowing either side to terminate the agreement with 60-days notice.

The board endorsed a plan to finance the mandated reserve fund for the Northern Moraine Utility through a 15-year sewer rate surcharge rather than a 10- year plan.

The 10-year plan to raise the needed $500,000 would mean an annual increase of 91 cents on the rate, while spreading it over 15 years would reduce the increase to 78 cents.

“My feeling is we want to stretch out the payments as long as we can and minimize the impact on our residents as much as we can,” Trustee John Schott said during the Public Works Committee discussion of the issue.

Reilly said the Northern Moraine Utilities Commission presented four different proposals, ranging from the 91 cent increase to the 78 cent increase.

The increase could be imposed all at once, or by 50 cents in July and the rest at the end of the year, Reilly said in outlining the four different proposals.

“It’s going to increase no matter what,” Reilly commented, since the commission rejected the village’s suggestion to finance the amount rather than raise it through a rate increase.

Since Village President Alan Rudnick, Elkhart Lake’s representative on the commission, will be out of town for the next commission meeting, Schott was designated to represent the village at that meeting. He was directed by the board to push for the 15-year, 78 cent rate increase alternative.

Meeusen and First Responders Capt. Darren Lindstrom presented their annual reports to the board.

The board approved a concourse, street closure and parade of cars for the Ferrari Challenge Saturday, Aug. 12.

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