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Village Board: "Can't comment" on charges

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New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

Things got a little heated at the Village of Roberts Board meeting July 14.

During the Public Concerns section, Charlie Grupe, Roberts resident, asked the Board about the recent Police Review Board meeting on Wednesday, July 9.

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"How much money (has been spent) in regards to the lawsuit that no one is supposed to know about?" Grupe asked.

Eric Fisher, Village President, said that William Rodosevich, Village Attorney, advised the board members not to comment.

"It will be public soon, but not now," Fisher said.

Matt Delander, a former Roberts Board member, continued to question the actions of the process.

"Why isn't Bill (Rodosevich) handling this? Why are we paying for three lawyers? Did the board sit down and hear both sides?" he asked.

Fisher said the Police Review Board maintains its own legal representation to avoid conflict of interest with the Village. He also said they have followed the Wisconsin state statute requirements.

Willard Moeri, former Village president, asked if the two newspapers who were in attendance at the Police Review Board meeting were under the same "no comment" restrictions as the Board.

"What happens in open session, happens," Fisher said, bringing the discussion to an end. "It will all be public soon. Everything has been handled through the proper channels."

Weed control

Nathan Stork, Board member, brought up the subject of weed control in the empty lots around town.

John Bond, Public Works director, said in order for the Village to step in and mow the lots, they have to wait until the weeds reach a certain height, give the landowners two weeks to cut it themselves, etc.

"It's a long process," Bond explained. "If the lot is not in a developed part of town, where do we draw the line?"

Library Status

Katy Kapaun, board member, reported that the library board decided to increase the two paid position hours, due to rising circulation numbers.

"In January '08 we were at 4,400 circulation," Kapaun said. "Now we are over 6,000 a month. Plus we have over 169 children enrolled in the summer reading program."

Brenda Hackman, Library Director, said the library has been crowded, but in a good way.

"Everyone is so supportive," Hackman said. "A little boy came in and donated $10.16 to the new building fund. He said he gets $3 a week, and breaks it up into savings, spending and charity."

Kapaun said the additional work hours will be paid from county money that had been allotted for library materials.

In other news:

• Bond said a local business has found a way to use the fly ash/cinders that is swept off the streets. They agreed to pay half of the upcoming sweeping costs for taking the product.

• The Board decided to stay with the current paint color and "Roberts" writing when the water tower gets repainted.

• Bond will check into prices for a waste-oil heater for the shop garage.

• The Board decided to table the $27,200 preliminary engineering design for Division Street contract with Ayers Associates until Angi Goodwin, Village Engineer, could be present to answer questions.

• The Board approved two picnic licenses for the Roberts Lions Club: one for July 16 and one for Aug. 23.

• The Board approved liquor license extensions for L&M Liquor and for Sidetrack Saloon for an anniversary and wedding, respectively.

• Fisher said he will be gone for special training for six weeks in August-September.

• The Village of Roberts Board meets the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Village Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

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