Waldo board meets new police chief

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

WALDO — The Village Board had a full evening of business Monday night as it passed the 2018 budget, heard plans from 4-H club members for a village dog park and met new Cascade Police Chief Jason Liermann.

A public hearing was first held for the village budget. Village President Gary Dekker said the board had done a good job of holding costs, though “We don’t want to cut services if we can help it. One of the nice things about living in a small town is, hopefully, we can keep the quality of life here better.”

The board discussed several financial issues, but the budget itself brought no questions or challenges from the public.

Lt. Jason Liermann introduced himself. He has taken the place of Capt. Cory Roeseler, whose resignation will be effective Jan. 2. Liermann said he’s worked under Roeseler for 15 years.

“I started law enforcement back in 1999, part-time for the village of Elkhart Lake,” Liermann told the board. In 2000, he said, he accepted a position with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department.

“I like being on the road and active in the community,” Liermann said.

He went over the Waldo police report, providing details as he went along. Dekker commented that the report in recent months had given more information, something trustees had expressed a desire for. “This just lets us know more about what you’re doing,” Dekker told Liermann.

Liermann and the board discussed the coming increased use of drones: in the air, on the land, and underwater.

Dekker said someone expressed amazement to him that there is drug usage in Waldo. “I would be more amazed that there is not, unfortunately,” he told Liermann.

Liermann replied, “What I can say is — I grew up in Waldo, and I’ve known the community a long time — there are drugs everywhere in the county.” Waldo, he said, had drug users.

“Every community has users. I can tell you that Waldo is probably one of the better areas of the county to live in, when it comes to drug usage and crime. We’re a pretty safe community,” he concluded.

Liermann said Waldo has one of the most dangerous intersections in the county. When asked whether it is possible to install flashing lights or stoplights, the term “roundabout” came up. When several trustees groaned in response, Liermann said he was at first against roundabouts, but he has become convinced that they are safer than other alternatives.

Tessa Parrish and Hailey Seehaver of the Waldo Fireflies 4-H club presented information and plans regarding their proposed dog park in the village.

This was a follow-up to their presentation to the board the previous month. They came with drawings, potential rules and other features for the proposed park in Waldo, which they based on an existing park in Sheboygan Falls.

Trustees were very recep- tive to the 4-H club’s proposal. Numerous aspects of the project were discussed.

The board voted unanimously to refer the project to the Plan Commission.

Included in Village Administrator Bruce Neerhof’s report was the fact that a home buyer might plan to use the building as a rental, or “air B&B (bed and breakfast).” Trustees discussed this, and whether that kind of use is subject to village ordinances. Neerhoff believed it would be like any other rental property. Dekker said the matter should be looked into.

The board discussed painting and other maintenance on the water tower, which is planned within the next few years.

The board unanimously approved:

• A resolution borrowing $24,000 from the Waldo State Bank, which will be fully repaid by April 1, 2018.

• Rental of village facilities to two parties, and a possible third which has not been finalized.

• The 2018 budget, which includes $196,535 in property taxes (a 2.58 per cent increase over 2017).

• The 2018 joint powers agreement with Sheboygan County for emergency response systems. Dekker described some future improvements of emergency medical dispatching, such as precisely locating callers using cell phones.

Police report for the past month: Two citations totaling $40 (two parked vehicles facing the wrong direction); five warnings; five complaints investigated (three parking violations); supervision for trick or treating; suspected unlicensed vehicle (investigation showed it to have a valid license); 16 property checks; no arrests made, traffic accidents investigated, court appearances or warrants.

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