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updated 7:23 PM CDT, Oct 22, 2014

BRF Common Council Minutes

  • Written by Bob Gabrielson
  • Published in News

 (3/6/14) The regular meeting of the Common Council was held at City Hall in the City of Black River Falls on March 4, 2014 at 6:00 P.M. 

Alderpersons Johnson, Herman, Rahmlow, Olson, J. Eddy, Gearing-Lancaster and Chojnacki were present. Alderperson R. Eddy was absent.  Mayor Danielson presided.

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It was moved by Alderperson Johnson, seconded by Alderperson Olson to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the February 4, 2014 Common Council meeting.  Motion carried.

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CITIZENS IN ATTENDANCE

6 citizens were in attendance.  No items for discussion.      

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COMMITTEE REPORTS

It was moved by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster, seconded by Alderperson Chojnacki to approve the Committee of the Whole minutes from February 19, 2014.  Motion carried.

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The Committee of the Whole met at City Hall in the City of Black River Falls on February 19, 2014 at 6:00 P.M. Alderpersons Johnson, Herman, R. Eddy, Rahmlow, Olson, J. Eddy, Gearing-Lancaster and Chojnacki were present.  Mayor Danielson presided.

1.      The Department Head monthly reports were reviewed.  Department heads present were Tammy Peasley, Steve Schreiber, Todd Gomer, Jody Stoker, Dave Frederick, and Brad Chown.  Steve Peterson was absent due to medical leave. 

2.      City Administrator Brad Chown reported the 2010 used taxi was sold on sealed bids to Running, Inc. of Viroqua, WI for $4,775. There was discussion on placing the Rye Bluff Addition debt service on the tax roll. The special assessment revenue and payments from the developers from lot sale proceeds will be ending soon and the city will need to continue to meet its obligation for this debt through the tax levy.  This will have no effect on the city's borrowing capacity as this debt is already part of that equation.  The Council was advised the city may end up doing the same thing with the debt for the Lallapalooza development in coming years. The Mayor and the Administrator attended a meeting with Hope Gospel Mission and other stakeholders regarding their desire to establish a thrift store and a housing development in the old Wal-Mart building.  The project is contingent on Wal-Mart selling the property for substantially less than the asking price. 

3.      Library Director Tammy Peasley is looking forward to the shelf move at the library March 17-19.  Julie White is the new Youth Services Coordinator and will be working approximately 20 hrs. /week. 

4.      Fire Chief Steve Schreiber had nothing further to report.  Mayor Danielson shared news of house fires linked to thawing of frozen water lines in Blair and Chippewa Falls.

5.      EMS Division Chief Jody Stoker advised he continues to develop duties for the two new EMT positions and will not fill the positions until they have a solid plan. 

6.      Street Superintendent Todd Gomer reported it has been an exceptional winter.  The City has had numerous sewer lateral freeze ups in the city which are the home owner's responsibility and they had one 8" sewer main freeze up that was the city's responsibility. Urged everyone to run their water as the Utility Department has advised to prevent these problems. The Superintendent's new pick-up has a transmission sensor issue and is out of service indefinitely due to a national back order on the part needed. Continue to have ice build-up issues in the alley on South Second Street between Main and Fillmore.  The owner is addressing the ice removal and will need to make building alterations in the spring/summer to prevent future issues in this location.

7.      Police Chief Dave Frederick had nothing further to report.  Discussion was held on the filling of the vacant full-time patrol officer position.  Chief advises 5th officer is needed to provide 24 hour coverage.  The department's 8 part-time officers also have other full-time jobs so not always available.  Discussion was held with part-time vs. reserve officer programs.  It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson J. Eddy to fill the vacant full-time patrol officer position in the Police Department.  Motion Carried (7-1) with Alderperson Johnson voting no. 

8.      There was discussion on the Side Letter of Agreement between the Professional Police Association and the City to use part-time officers to fill open shifts.  Citing the stipulations outlined in the letter for the City to fill the vacant position by April 1, 2014 and unanimous approval, it was moved by Alderperson R. Eddy, seconded by Alderperson Rahmlow to dismiss the Side Letter of Agreement in its entirety.  Motion carried. 

9.      Mayor Danielson explained issues we have had with snow removal at several locations in the city this winter.  Nothing has been done by the land owners.  Chapter 8, Section 8.06 of the City Codes authorizes the city to remove the snow or contract to have the snow removed and bill the land owner.  It was moved by Alderperson Chojnacki, seconded by Alderperson Johnson to hire a contractor for snow removal.  Motion Carried.

10.  Citizen in attendance, Brady Palmer, questioned why city ordinances are not being enforced citing snow not being removed from sidewalks and dog feces on sidewalks.  The Council advised the snow removal was addressed earlier in the meeting prior to Mr. Palmer's arrival.  Chief Frederick advised officers do not patrol the sidewalks, but the department does address concerns when complaints are received.  Mr. Palmer will contact the Mayor with details on the other sidewalk concern to see if the city might be able to address that as well.      

11.  The City Administrator updated members on a request for a bike lane on Main Street between 5th Street and 11th Street. WI DOT advises there is not enough room to designate a bike lane. Painting a white line to define lane is an option, but it would be un-enforceable.   

12.  The City Administrator provided members with emails from Jim Hoffman and Ryan Ramthun outlining the operational plan for a concrete batch plant previously approved by the Council.  

13.  It was moved by Alderperson Johnson, seconded by Alderperson Herman to approve the vouchers for December 2013 and January 2014.  Motion Carried.

14.  There was discussion on the ending balance differences of January 2014 vs. January 2013 on the January 2014 City Treasurer's Report. The City Administrator will continue to research this and report back to the Council.  It was moved by Alderperson R. Eddy, seconded by Gearing-Lancaster to approve the City Treasurer's Reports for December 2013 and January 2014.  Motion Carried.

15.  It was moved by Alderperson Rahmlow, seconded by Alderperson J. Eddy to approve the Revenue & Expense Reports for December 2013 and January 2014.  Motion Carried. 

16.  Mayor Danielson advised members there are issues with the Hatfield dam requiring a six foot draw down of Lake Arbutus.  The snowmobile crossing on the Black River near the old Pines area is closed as well as the boat landing by the dam and the canoe landing on S. 3rd Street.  The Municipal Utilities will be able to produce more power during the draw down due to the increased water flow.

17.  Alderperson Chojnacki requested clarification on reports that Kwik Trip had looked at the Old Pines area as a possible building site but were not interested due to ground contamination.  The City Administrator was not aware of any such activity or findings.

18.  It was moved by Alderperson Herman, seconded by Alderperson R. Eddy to adjourn.  Motion Carried.

Alex B. Chown

City Administrator

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It was moved by Alderperson Johnson, seconded by Alderperson Rahmlow to place on file the Utility Commission minutes from February 24, 2014.  Motion Carried. 

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OLD BUSINESS

None.

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NEW BUSINESS

It was moved by Alderperson Herman, seconded by Alderperson Johnson to approve the revised City Treasurer's Report for January 2014.  Motion Carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Johnson, seconded by Alderperson J. Eddy to approve Ehler's & Associates to distribute RFP's for $5,225,000 Electric System Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2014C.  Motion Carried.

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Mayor Danielson extended an opportunity to two citizens in attendance who arrived after the start of the meeting to speak now.  Steve Abrahamson declined the offer and stated he would attend next meeting.  Andy Ellingson stated he was there for the discussion on the Lunda Park and was informed this discussion was going to take place in closed session. Dan Diehn offered the explanation as to the authority for the closed session and reasons for conducting this discussion in closed session.  

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Mayor Danielson explained the proposed renewal to the Boundary Agreement with Brockway was the same as the original agreement with two changes.  The date was changed from February 27, 2007 to February 27, 2014.  Item #8 addressed Brockway's petition to incorporate which is no longer an issue so item #8 was removed.  Mayor Danielson informed the Council the addendum to this agreement outlines the room tax agreement between the two entities as well.  It was moved by Alderperson J. Eddy, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve the renewed Boundary Agreement between the City and the Town of Brockway.  Motion Carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Herman, seconded by Alderperson Johnson to adjourn in to closed session as authorized by Section 19.85(1)(e) of the Wisconsin Statutes for the purpose of deliberating the investing of public funds.  Attendees were advised per the public notice we would not reconvene in open session this evening.  Motion Carried.

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Alex B. Chown

City Administrator

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Black River Falls

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Humidity: 99%

Wind: 5 mph

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