Siren song bewitches Glenbeulah

by Sabrina Nucciarone
Review Correspondent

GLENBEULAH - A recent request for the village to look into the number of times a siren must sound — and sound properly – led to a discussion of liability and state statutes at the Oct. 11 Village Board meeting.

Citizens present to voice their concern indicated that once a week would be enough to test the siren, but once a month would not be adequate because people may forget the day, time, or purpose of the sound drill.

Though many towns and villages across Wisconsin have siren-testing on a regular schedule, when questioned if there was a liability for the village or if a state statute needs to be followed, “we’ve not looked into that,” Trustee Dan Grunewald had to admit.

Village President Douglas Daun said the board would look into a new siren, having a sounding schedule of once a week, and any upgrade needed, according to what is researched on the subject of liability and state statutes.

Cell towers have become a mainstay on the landscape and Glenbeulah is no different. Village Attorney Michael Bauer explained the current situation the village is in regarding the placement of a new tower — away from the village center — powered by Verizon.

Offering “good news and bad news” on the matter, Bauer offered the good news first.

In spite of a first filing by Verizon that was denied by the board because of technical and legal issues, Verizon provided what is called a search ring. A search ring is the area in which frequency issues, if any, show up because of the landscape — hills, trees, buildings, etc. — that may stop communication waves from reaching the intended coverage area.

The bad news, Bauer said, includes that where the village wants the tower is not sufficient. He added that knowing the search ring allows the village to look at different sites that are suitable.

“This information gives you more time to find out other property that could be used as a site,” Bauer said.

For best possible return for both parties, the board indicated the village must own the property and the property has to meet the needs for construction of a tower, according to information Verizon provided to Bauer.

An extension will be filed and a public hearing about the issue will be tentatively scheduled for January. If no extension is filed by Dec. 7, by statute the first filing is deemed approved.

The Glenbeulah Fire Department has been overdue in upgrading wearable fire protection gear.

Fire Chief Michael Mooney indicated that the protective wear used by firefighters has to meet federal standards. The gear currently being used has a shelf-life of 10 years and Mooney said they have been in use for about 15 years.

“What is available now is 50 percent lighter and 30 to 40 percent more flexible,” Mooney said.

With a budget of $30,000 to replace current gear, the prices on the coats and pants will increase July 2018 and Mooney said he would like the gear ordered before the prices go up, based on the state contract supplier.

The mild weather had the village putting off the replacement of a snow thrower, but when someone asked the age of the current one in use, it drew a few laughs.

Based on a review by Herbie Kohlmann, who provides maintenance for the village, the main brands being reviewed are Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Ariens, as John Deere does not make a walk-behind model.

Other concerns discussed were if there is any trade-in value with the old snow-thrower and what, if any, the municipal discount would be with any and all possible retailers.

“We have to do our due diligence to find out all the prices,” Trustee Scott Starniticky said.

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