Another serving of Pea Soup Days setPea Soup Days are set. Many issues were discussed at the quarterly joint meeting between the Village of Somerset and Township of Somerset on March 26; including announcing Pea Soup Days 2008 will be August 1.
By: Tom Lindfors, New Richmond News
Pea Soup Days are set.
Many issues were discussed at the quarterly joint meeting between the Village of Somerset and Township of Somerset on March 26; including announcing Pea Soup Days 2008 will be August 1.
Knox Box Ordinance
The Knox Box ordinance is making headway. Travis Belisle, Somerset fire chief, made the request last year that all new businesses to Somerset be required to purchase a “knox box” to attach to their business fronts that will hold a key to the establishment. The key to the box would be a master key that is only accessible to the fire/rescue department.
“So we don’t have to wait around for the keyholder to arrive,” Belisle explained.
Belisle said he hoped the already-established businesses would see the advantages and eventually get a box too.
Jeff Johnson, Village president, said the Village Board will approve the ordinance at their April meeting. Ed Schachtner, Town chair, said the Township Board will look at the ordinance after the Town attorney goes over it.
Old Town Hall Committee
Rita Lawson, member of the Old Town Hall Committee, asked about the water issue at the Old Town Hall on Main Street. Currently, the building has no water connection so the volunteers working there have been using a hose from a neighbor’s faucet to water the garden. The Village Board set a budget for the committee, including reimbursing the neighbor for the water used.
One Board member suggested putting in a PVC pipe underground from the neighbor’s property under the ground so the volunteers wouldn’t have to haul the hose so far.
Lawson also said the inscribed memorial bricks should be installed in June.
Apple River Bridge Crossing
Ryan Sicard, Village Board member, said they “would save three miles” by putting ramps to Highway 64 at 50th Street.
“Ramps at 50th Street would meet more criteria -- it would just be for emergency vehicles,” Sicard said.
The Boards have been trying to find alternative means to the Apple River Bridge in case it is ever impassable in an emergency. Ramps on County Road I have been ruled out as too expensive.
“This is a much cheaper alternative than a second bridge crossing; it’s definitely worth considering,” Sicard said.
Belisle said they are applying for a 95/5 split grant for a new $600,000-700,000 truck.
“That would replace Engine Number 2,” Belisle said.
A Board member asked if the old engine could be sold. Belisle said it was possible, but not as a working fire engine.
“The purpose of the grant is to replace non-fixable pieces of equipment,” Belisle explained.
Vision 64 Discussion
Next on the agenda was discussing Vision 64 -- the group of concerned citizens that has been meeting regularly to define a direction for Somerset and its surrounding areas in terms of growth.
Denise Gunderson, Town supervisor, has been involved in the Vision 64 meetings and said it was important for the Board members to be involved.
“They want participation, not to dictate,” Gunderson said.
Johnson said that the Village Board is interested in expanding the industrial park for a healthy tax base.
“There’s a lot of passion there,” Johnson said, “but I get a strong opinion that they are protective of the small-town atmosphere.”
Sicard said the Village’s comprehensive plan for development would be beneficial for the Vision 64 group.
Johnson suggested Vision 64 members attend the joint meetings between the Village and Township as well. The next quarterly meeting is June 25 at the Village Hall at 7 p.m.