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Arena Board appoints two new trustees

 

July 20, 2017



Arena’s July meeting found two new trustees for the board. They are Lauren Brown and Stephanie McCririe.

The board had been short one board member due to illness and trustee Sharon Glejzer recently moved out of the area. The new members were welcomed by the board, and a motion by trustee Melissa Bandell to accept appointment of the two to the board that was seconded by trustee Kate Reimann, was then unanimously accepted.

Clerk-treasurer Lisa Kopic conducted the swearing in ceremony. Village president Paul Pustina thanked them for their decision to serve on the board and stated that Arena will keep growing by getting more and more young people involved.

Arena is not going to die, he said. Brown and McCririe then took part in the board proceedings for the rest of the evening.

In public comments, Monica Reeve thanked the board and the community, as well as the Arena VFW in the successful celebrations over the past couple of weeks.

Reimann also used the time to say she wondered what is being worked on for the school closing issue. She said there isn’t a lot of time left, as River Valley will be closing the Arena elementary school next spring. Both Pustina and Bandell offered responses that it would be best to wait until fall to ask residents to attend meetings about the school, as summer is a very busy time for most families.

Pustina said he had talked with both district administrator Tom Wermuth and school board president Kathy Jennings, the Arena representative, and they agreed to have meetings in the fall. One board member stated that she will be enrolling her students in St. John’s Church in Spring Green in the fall.

Iowa County Emergency Management Director Keith Hurlbert spoke to the board about an emergency disaster exercise that will take place in the village on Sept. 30. There will be about 15 old cars removed, a school bus, and the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad will take part also. Location will be at the old Crusaders’ building and a block on either side of it. The exercise will begin at 8 a.m.

Oat Street will be blocked off completely and Sharon Street on the north side of the tracks and within two blocks on the south side of the tracks. The village will need to make residents aware that this will be happening so no one will panic. The exercise will test response in a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) situation and how the village will support the workers. How will a village with about 20 First Responders and 10 EMT’s get 100 or more others? They can enlist the help of other nearby communities.

There will be planning meetings about the exercise, but the police department won’t get all the information because it will be a test of how emergency personnel will react in a large disaster. He said the board should start planning for a large disaster and should also be at the scene that day. Equipment from other area villages can be brought in, such as a large ambulance-type vehicle at Dodgeville that can handle 100 injuries or deaths. So far the vehicle has just been housed unused at Dodgeville.

Pustina said when he first came on the board he knew there was a disaster plan, and he would look for it and the board will work on a more recent plan prior to the event. Bandell suggested the Home News should plan to take pictures of the event, too.

Participants should be 14 or older. It will be crucial for the village board to have a disaster plan in effect, as the board is the lawful leader of the village and each village board must make their own rules for disasters. If in a disaster there aren’t enough local resources, they need to turn to the county, then the state, then federal help, in that order. The first item for the board to decide is how to bring this disaster enactment to the attention of everyone in the village, and several ideas were already being researched.

Iowa County Emergency Management will bring this to the village at no charge, and he suggests the village have a checklist for procedures. The board thanked Hurlbert for the information.

Pustina made a motion to move agenda item number 26 to before item 8 because Martha Bauer was in the audience to discuss changes to the library and reading room. The motion was seconded and approved.

Librarian Bauer came before the board and spoke about the future of the Reading Room and the 501c 3 the library has. Bauer said there haven’t been any people interested in coming to the library now. Reeve had been in the habit of coming whenever a family used the room, but she wonders if it is worth her time to be there.

Bauer said they have had fall festivals which brought in some people, but then the interest drained away. She said they don’t have a budget so they can’t buy books, as several other town libraries nearby can do. Should they close the library and if so, what should they do with the $6,000 in money contributions they have? Pustina suggested they close it for a while, but keep the money in case they could move it to the school when it closes next spring. Kopic said it would be wonderful to be able to add their books to any that are left at the school, and the location would be much better for people to come.

Another problem Bauer brought up was that it has been very difficult to get a quorum of committee members to come to meetings. She asked that the committee be cut to five members who are interested in attending the meetings. It’s easier to get three to get a quorum. The village board agreed with this, also.

At the end of the presentation, the advice was to close the reading room for a few months, but have the smaller-size committee meet every six months, or so, and save the funds to see what the school building becomes when it’s closed in the spring. If they wish to have the reading room open by appointment only they could do that. Reeve said she could handle that much easier.

The board approved the Electronic Compliance Maintenance Annual Report (ECMAR) with a motion by trustee Jessica Voight, seconded by trustee Matthew Schroeder, and all approved.

The board also approved the 2016 audit report by Johnson and Block with a motion by Voight and second by Schroeder, with all approving. Johnson and Block found nothing wrong in the audit, but they always list recommendations for the board. These will be discussed at the August board meeting.

The board attempted to inspect a trailer property on Willow Street, but the landlord did not cooperate. It is still an issue. There is no water as it is currently turned off due to non-payment. Reimann said there has been much debris in the yard such as a washer and dryer, so it’s really an eyesore. Pustina will contact the village attorney to send a letter to the owner; it will fall on the landowner’s shoulders to prove it’s a livable address. Reimann suggested to possibly begin the process of razing of the property.

A 2010 journal entry was never made in the case of $687.40 which had been paid, but was sent to Iowa County instead of appearing on the journal at the village hall. Since it is seven years old, Kopic is requesting it be written off by the village. The board approved this write-off.

McCririe suggested to the board that an archery range be built on the old landfill property. This would be near or at the shooting range the police officers use for weapons training as needed. She said many people are interested in archery. The nearest archery range is at Waunakee so it would be a good drawing point for local people to have one here.  The noise would be much less than a weapons range. Police officials use the range and out of town residents are not permitted to use it, but the archery range could be a preliminary to a public rifle range, where the two could work together.

Pustina agreed the area of West Park would be ideal. He said there’s also a dog park suggested for one far west corner of the land, and Reeve mentioned the disc golf game that is set up there also, but doesn’t use the portion that would be a dog park. Pustina said there are 18 acres across the railroad that Arena Township gave to the village for $1. The decision was made to work on the plans for a month and bring it to the next board meeting.

Reimann was asked to get more information about the resolutions in Iowa County jurisdictions pertaining to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line. She brought copies of the Township of Arena 1815-01 resolution asking for more information about the need and its cost and Iowa County’s resolution to oppose the line. She stated there is a protest group of 200 to 300 people who will be meeting in Dodgeville to protest the line. The board liked the resolution presented by the township and agreed to work their own up by following that format to oppose the line.

Ben Thompson’s maintenance report was read by the board. He dragged the baseball diamonds, mowed, cleaned up the park, did weed eating, pulled the old pontoon boat out of the West Park pond, hung the field banners in a straight line at the ball park, put a semi load of bark at the playgrounds at the park, purchased two paint guns instead of annually renting a spray gun, picked up brush and mulch, pushed back the compost pile and brush piles at the dump, reported ECMAR and CCR, put bark at West Park along the bushes, sprayed weeds and sprayed for mosquitoes and pulled the old scoreboard down from the ballpark. He also did daily water tests and pulled monthly water samples, fixed Kubota mower deck as the main belt was shredded, fixed the door on the ball shed as someone had ripped off the hinges, fixed the pressure washer main line and changed highway signs and oil in the Kubota lawn mower, and greased the lawn mowers and skid steer. There was antenna failure on the water tower for Alliant Energy twice, so he opened up the water tower for access. The board accepted the report and remarked that he was always really busy and that he always looked for ways to save money, as in purchasing the paint guns instead of annually having to rent them.

The police report showed much activity also. There were 101 calls for service for June, 10 assists, 66 traffic stops with 46 citations, two arrests and 20 plus warnings given. Citations included driving while intoxicated, driving left of center, speeding over speed limit, not having vehicle insurance, operating while suspended, possession of drug paraphernalia and seat belt failure. Many of the stops included citations for several of these offenses at one time and both males and females were involved.

The police department also assisted the Arena EMS on a medical emergency on Washington Street and Highway 14, assisted the fire and EMS departments with a fire alarm on Sharon Street and Ray Hollow Road. They assisted Iowa County Sheriff’s Department and Arena EMS at the scene of an underage party on Amanda Road. They assisted a village resident with a key lockout, did a welfare check on Oak Street, had two dog complaints (different dogs) on Dalagosa Street, and responded to a damaged property complaint at the village parks and a worthless check complaint. Heroin is a drug problem.

The monthly financial invoices were approved with a motion by Bandell, seconded by Voight and all approved. The monthly Visa bill and financial statement were approved with Bandell motions and seconds by Reimann, approved by the board.

Bandell reported that the parks were doing well, although there was an act of vandalism. She thanked Voight for help. There will be a girls’ tournament next week.

Pustina spoke about the water and sewer and Dane-Iowa Wastewater Treatment reports. There will be changes next year because of paying off the loan. Dane-Iowa has approved the budget for next year and is waiting to work on an adaptive management plan to comply with whatever results are needed to comply with the phosphate mandate from the state.

Reimann gave the streets report, saying there was a meeting in June in which they discussed several options for work on streets and construction plans. They will be working with MSA Engineering and Jennings, who will present plans of the company at no cost. An estimate of cost will be worked up for the August board meeting for approval.

 
 

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