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Village board approves East End Street Dance

The Ellsworth Village Board approved a dance license for the East End Street Dance Monday evening.

The vote was 3-1, with Kenny Manfred the lone trustee to dissent. Voting in favor were Trustees Dick Hines, Curt Wandmacher and Rick Sweig. Trustees Dave Deiss and Neil Gulbranson were absent from the meeting.

License stipulations

Several months ago, the board had turned down a premise extension to the grand re-opening of Danny Dunn's Bar in East Ellsworth and it was thought this would put the street dance in jeopardy. But Jason Marks of Broz Bar and Grill put in for a regular dance license with the village, which was approved first by the health, license and welfare committee on Jan. 20.

The area for the street dance will be fenced off with a four-foot fence and is for persons ages 18 and up. The license also stipulates the music must end at 12:30 a.m. and clean-up must be completed by 1:30 a.m. Marks also stated in committee (he did not attend Monday's board meeting) he's willing to provide security with off-duty police officers and will donate proceeds of the street dance to any organization of the village's choosing.

The license allows persons to purchase beer inside Broz Bar and carry it openly out in the street within the fenced-in area.

The annual street dance is slated for the weekend of July 11-12.

In other board action, trustees voted to accept the resignation of part-time Police Officer Kyle Knotz and instructed Police Chief Greg Place to begin the process of finding a replacement.

Burning mad

Board members heard from Scott Freier of Freier's Electric and Heating on new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines on outdoor wood-burning boilers. Board members have heard complaints from citizens about the amount of low atmosphere smoke the boilers produce, especially if they burn wet wood, garbage or rubber. They were looking into ways of regulating their use within the village.

Freier told board members EPA guidelines for new boilers require them to have a gasification burning process that will only allow dry wood to be burned. This will cut down on the amount of smoke, ash and particles being released into the air.

For older boilers, Freier talked about having them extend their chimney pipes above nearby homes or other structures as a possible regulation or using the new EPA guidelines as the basis for any new ordinances regulating their use.

"I think a lot of communities do not know what to do with these heaters, so they either make a law to ban them completely or just do nothing," Freier said. "They don't want to have to enforce any specific rules for their use, so they find it easier to go in either extreme. These new guidelines give us rules to follow for their use."

Freier also said new state statute calls for the inspection of older boilers by local UDC building inspectors.

Committee reports

The board heard reports from both the library and ambulance boards. The Ellsworth Library Board announced the HAS contribution to the library director will be $3,300 for 2009, pro-rated and paid quarterly. The Ellsworth Area Ambulance Board announced Shannon Schommer has been approved as the new treasurer; a plan is being developed to divide non-emergency transfers more equitably between the ambulance service and River Falls Ambulance Service to River Falls Hospital; a new ambulance purchase for 2010 is foreseen at a cost of $135,000; the salaries of both the director and assistant director were increased by 3.5 percent, which amounts to $3,000; and providing a sleeping space for on-call personnel from outside the village limits was discussed.