Village board approves sewer hike
It was a situation the Ellsworth Village Board didn't want.
Monday night, the board, faced with the lesser of two evils, approved a 32 percent sewer hike starting in the third quarter of this year.
The reasoning was that, when the creamery went off line, it represented a 36 percent loss of gross revenue in 2006. In 2007, the projected short fall was 32 percent or slightly over $90,000. Something had to be done because, with the shortfall, the village wouldn't be in compliance with state law.
"We're forced on this," said Trustee Neil Gulbranson, a member of the Finance, Purchasing and Building Committee. "It's not a good deal, but it's the lesser of two evils."
The other evil would have been a new sewer plant, which would have been at a cost of $8 million.
In other reports:
--Went into closed session to discuss more Crossing Meadows news, along with the Planning Commission's recommendation concerning the Pamida building. Whether the board took any action was unknown as of yesterday morning.
--Approved a request from the Salary and Labor Committee for Police Chief Greg Place to hire Joseph Kastens, Ryan Most, Jessica Zupfer and Aaron Achterberg.
--Heard the latest news from the Library Board, which included the Summer Reading Program is underway with the theme "Get A Clue." In addition, new Library Director Mark Blando introduced himself to the board and invited each member to stop in and take a look at the library.
In other news, the board:
--Approved a Class B retailers license premise change request for Furlong's Bar and Grill to include a patio area on the west side of the building. Owner David Furlong explained they have customers coming in for sandwiches and dinners, but don't like the smell of grills or smoking. The patio will be 10x30 and will be maintained for summer months only. Furlong added the plans include alcohol on the deck, but no music or DJ.
--Approved additional temporary Class B retailer licenses for the Ellsworth FFA Alumni Tractor Pull June 29-30 at the fairgrounds, the Chamber of Commerce for the Cheese Curd Festival June 22-25 and the Ellsworth Hubbers baseball team six-month beer license. Further, they approved the Chamber of Commerce's Dance License for the Cheese Curd Festival and State Farm Insurance's Dance License for a customer appreciation event 4-7 p.m. June 8.
--Discussed the idea of implementing a Jake Brake ordinance. The idea was brought up by Trustee Curt Wandmacher, who said the concern was mentioned to him by a village resident. The idea was first brought up in 1999, but the request died due to how it could or would be enforced. The board seemed in favor of the idea, especially because Ellsworth is the only community in the area that doesn't have such an ordinance.
--Along those same lines, Trustee Kenny Manfred brought up the idea of an ordinance addressing animal feces. Manfred said dog and cat owners pick up after them, but there's a problem with horses. Similar to Wandmacher's request, the board seemed to go along with the idea, but couldn't approve anything at this time because it was just requests.