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Ellsworth Village Board approves 2014 budget

The Ellsworth Village Board approved the 2014 village budget Monday.

After the budget hearing was held at the beginning of the meeting, a unanimous vote of all members present approved the 2014 budget.

Members also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing several amendments to the budget, which included transfers of funds to different accounts for various projects, including the police impound lot and dog kennel construction, the upgrades to Young Field at Summit Park, a water pressure reducing station, the Bonnie Langer Memorial Park and for architect fees for the proposed new library.

The committee for the proposed new library received cost estimates for two potential sites. Trustee Curt Wandmacher reported to the village board the site at Summit Park would cost $4.9 million, and renovating and building on the existing block where the library currently is would cost $5.2 million. These numbers were beyond what the committee was proposing to spend, so the option of moving the library into space at the BMO Harris bank building will be looked at again. Trustee Neil Gulbranson recommended the committee look again into working with the school on a potential joint library project similar to that in Durand.

Also unanimously approved by the full board during the regular meeting were an extension of the ATV route sunset date per various ordinances and the election inspector list for 2014-15.

The board unanimously approved a Salary and Labor Committee recommendation to begin the hiring new part-time police officers. Members also unanimously approved a committee recommendation to adjust dollar amounts per current percentages village employees pay on their health insurance premiums with the new insurance rates which went into effect Sunday. This was done after consultation with attorney Ben Jones, who advised the village was not presently covered by the ACA (Affordable Care Act) because it did not have 50 full-time employees. In a similar vein, the board also tabled proposed changes to the village personnel handbook due to the ACA.

For more please read the Dec. 4 print issue of the Herald.