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Roberts discusses proposed ambulance facility

Last month, Matt Melby, director of New Richmond Area Ambulance Service, gave a presentation to the Village of Roberts Board about the new facility they are hoping to build in New Richmond. The ambulance district approached each of its members to share in the cost of financing the building.

The only hitch: the Village of Roberts isn't officially a member.

The village had discontinued its membership about 10 years ago, but the ambulance service has continued to cover their 911 calls since, Melby explained, the village falls within their district. Despite the fact that the Village of Roberts has not paid any dues for years, the ambulance service still used their usage times and population statistics to gauge a proportionate amount the village would pay for the building -- approximately $50,000.

"We would be willing to waive the annual assessment for 2011," Melby told the board. He also said they are planning on starting the project in 2011, so they would need the money for the 2011-2012 year. The total cost of the proposed facility is $900,080, to be split proportionately across 11 municipalities, including Roberts.

The Village of Roberts discussed the advantages of joining the ambulance district again at their Nov. 8 meeting.

Melby said that if someone were to call the 911 dispatch center requesting help in the Village of Roberts, it will show the address and which ambulance/fire/emergency service is designated.

"What would the dispatcher do if we are dropped (from New Richmond Ambulance)?" asked Nathan Stork, board member.

"The dispatcher probably wouldn't know what to do," Melby answered. "The contract guarantees that your citizens will have ambulance service."

Rand Waughl, board member, said that if the Village of Roberts was not going to participate, they should let Melby know as soon as possible so they can adjust the costs to the other municipalities.

Willard Moeri, village president, said that getting the money in 2012-2013 would be more feasible for the village. Melby said that he would ask the ambulance board about extending the deadline for Roberts since they had only three months notice, while the rest of the municipalities had years.

"We're not throwing this in the corner," Moeri said. "Just want to find the best way that we can."

Melby said he will attend the next village board meeting with the ambulance board's answer.

New Squad Car

Police Chief Dan Burgess told the board that the department needs a new squad car. They have $24,000 set aside for the vehicle, but they are unsure of what kind to get.

"The Crown Victoria production has ceased, and most of the remaining ones are going to large departments with large orders," Burgess said.

The new Ford Interceptor would not be available until late 2011, and Chevy Caprice and Impala's - though smaller - will not be available until 2011 either.

"That leaves us with the Dodge Charger," he continued. "There are issues with maintenance and upkeep costs; plus they don't have the durability the Fords and Chevys have had."

He told the board that some departments have been purchasing sport utility vehicles instead.

"I would like to see the options available," Moeri said. "Nothing against the SUV, but it boils down to what is best for us in the end."

Burgess said he will get some quotes and present them to the board at the December meeting.

In other news:

• Bill Rubin, executive director of the St. Croix Economic Development Corp., addressed the board about the EDC's mission and how they are asking for each of the local communities to write 6-8 lines about their business parks to include in promotional literature.

• Burgess said that winter parking is in effect and they will start issuing citations beginning Nov. 15.

• The board approved repealing Ordinance 2010-4VB modification of yard regulations. A portion of the ordinance is being moved to a different ordinance. They approved the revised Ordinance 2010-5VB - Section 70-292 modification of yard regulations, and the revised Ordinance 2010-6VB - Section 270-42 accessory use and structure setback requirements.

• Tim Johnson was approved as the seventh member of the CDA board.

• Doreen Kruschke, village clerk, said they have had three showings of the former library building; one in particular seemed interested.

• Two representatives from Credit Management Control out of Green Bay gave a presentation to the board about handling the municipality's collection calls. The board said they will discuss the issue further.

• The board approved Resolution 2010-3R - Authorizing an application for state trust fund loan from the Build American Bond program, not to exceed $400,000. The money will be used to finance the Division Street project.

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