Elmwood to pay $14,000 to replace election machines, board decidesELMWOOD — The Elmwood Village Board dealt with a countywide action concerning election machines early last week.
By: Sari Gordon, Pierce County Herald
ELMWOOD — The Elmwood Village Board dealt with a countywide action concerning election machines early last week.
The federal government had required all voting municipalities to replace their election machines with ones certifiably compliant with federal regulations. Though the village already had compliant machines, they were compelled to buy new ones with federal funds granted for that purpose.
Pierce County designated a company from which every village and town could buy the units. That company just went bankrupt, thereby rendering the equipment obsolete and the software unusable.
Every municipality must still supply compliant machines, though they must now do so at their own cost. The Village of Elmwood will buy four new machines from a company, Command Central, which will give interest-free financing until next year. With a $1,400 reimbursement from the county, the village expects to spend $13,895.
It was noted the bankruptcy was announced in April, and the village was unaware of their noncompliance until this month. The board voted to approve the expense, with Trustee Dick Tiffany opposed.
Angela Popenhagen of Stevens Engineering in Hudson, village engineering firm, reported to the board Upper Woodman between May and Pierce streets has been completed, and the final retainage is being paid.
Popenhagen met with the public works committee to discuss the unfinished work by Pember Companies on Lower Woodman Street from Hwy. 72 to the school. They reviewed the punch list (four remaining items) and the liquidated damages available under the contract.
It was stressed Pember had not been returning calls for a very long time and, though they finished some work, a good deal remains. The contract says the village is entitled to nearly $160,000. Instead, the village will pursue 77 days worth of unfinished work time at $500 a day, for $38,500, plus $45,751 in extra costs. The village is currently retaining $23,459 for uncompleted work, but will release and then recoup the money in liquidated damages.
Village President Bill Stewart said, “It’s time to write a letter.” Popenhagen will draft the letter to be reviewed by the village attorney.
The board reviewed the compiled results from the community survey. Popenhagen said the survey return rate was very high, with over 140 people responding. Most villages hope for 30 or so. Respondents were split male to female and were either employed full-time or retired.
Most were “extremely positive,” noted Village Clerk Jodi Pulk, and were most vocal about the state of properties needing cleaning. Many wanted more “rooftops,” a term Stewart attributed to former Board Member Bob Weix, meaning businesses, services and homes. There is also a need for transportation for the elderly. Further discussion revealed the nursing home van is broken down, but a cooperative effort between them and the new assisted living facility could easily provide a solution.
In other business:
—The board granted an extended use permit to the Sandbar for this Saturday and Saturday, Sept. 6, for a class reunion and a retirement party. On Sept. 19, 20 and 21, the American Legion is hosting its fall convention in the auditorium. The board approved their picnic license.
—The fire department will hold a chicken feed fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 13, to buy needed equipment for their new pumper truck. The truck is set to arrive between Thanksgiving and December, and more information about the event will be publicized.
—The board approved temporary operators and picnic licenses. They also gave the okay to close right in front of the hall for overflow attendance.
—There were two nursing home board appointments, Tom Weber and Dan Schuler.
—The village has decided to try new office hours. The office will be open between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. every weekday but Wednesday, when it will be open until 6 p.m.
—Bowling alley fees were raised from $1.75 to $2 a line for league bowling. Open bowling is already up to $2. Locker fees had been $1 per year and are being raised to $5 a year. Bowling season starts in September. There will be an ad for a part-time bowling alley attendant position. The job will be about 20 hours a week on Monday through Thursday and Saturday.
—The current price of pop for auditorium event rentals is 50 cents a pound (premix) and the price of a cylinder has gone up from $9 to $16 since 2002. The rates have not been raised since 2002 and so the board voted to sell pop for 75 cents.
—It was announced Polly Evans is starting dance classes for all age groups as a fundraiser for fixing up the auditorium.