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Roberts to get a new squad car, disinfecting system

Police Chief Dan Burgess told the board that he had gotten bids back for purchasing a new department vehicle. The board considered all the information at the meeting Monday, Dec. 13.

Burgess said that the Crown Victorias -- the traditional squad car -- are getting more difficult to find as many of the larger departments are buying them before the new model is introduced. As an alternative, he began looking at SUVs.

They got a bid back from Hudson Ford for a new Ford Expedition for just over $22,000.

"If you look at the numbers and resale value down the road, the Ford Expedition is one hell of a value at that dollar amount," Burgess said.

He told the board that they would be able to transfer much of the equipment to the Expedition with minimal effort. Plus, he added, given the weather conditions, a SUV would make more sense.

"With the storms we get, with the Crown Vic, we are severely grounded. If we have this type of vehicle, as least we are mobile."

The board approved ordering a Ford Expedition from Hudson Ford for $22,792. The department is hoping to get it by Jan. 1.

John Bond, public works director, said that he believed the snow removal the past weekend had gone well, although he admits there are a couple of streets in town that aren't plowed yet.

"The local gas station was out of diesel fuel this weekend and our little tractor with the snowblower is in the shop, so the hiking paths are not cleared off yet," Bond said.

He also told the board that the Department of Natural Resources has mandated that municipal drinking water needs to have a disinfection system in place by 2013. He explained that there are two main options: UV filtering or chlorination.

"UV is far more expensive than chlorination," said Bond. "The downside is the UV is very effective as water flows past it, but could be contaminated downstream. Chlorine is probably the best option."

Bond said that there is funding available for the treatment systems; however, since he estimates that there are more than 50 communities in Wisconsin that will need to comply, the sooner the Village of Roberts applies, the better.

Angi Goodwin, village engineer, suggested that the village go ahead and start the preliminary paperwork for the grants right away, as it will need to be done sooner or later.

In other news:

• Moeri admitted to asking public works to snowplow a private residence by The Old Country Store after the resident called in the request. Chuck Pizzi, board member, said that it was not appropriate for village to do that for private areas. Moeri apologized and said he wouldn't do that again.

Pizzi also said that it was against policy to have tables or chairs removed from the park building, regardless if someone is renting the facility. More than 15 tables were removed from the premises that weekend for a function, and they were returned later on.

• Burgess said that St. Croix County is trying to encourage municipalities to set up their own emergency management plan rather than rely on the county completely. Burgess said it boils down to getting cooperative agreements in place before an emergency.

• Katy Kapaun, board member, said that the library was planning on increasing its hours to include Mondays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., but not sure exactly when that will happen.

• The board approved Ordinance 2010-7VB Sec. 70-291 regarding the parking requirements.

• Morei suggested tabling the New Richmond Ambulance Association agreement decision, since he said they are "not ready for the next step."

• The board approved hiring Credit Management Control to help with collecting debt.

• The board is reviewing the proposed police department policy and procedure manual submitted by Burgess.

• The 2011 renewal contract for Intellisys was approved.

• Veolia Environmental asked to change the day of garbage pickup in the Village of Roberts from Tuesdays to Fridays. Representatives explained that would enable them to switch off with Hammond, and have extra coverage. The board agreed and Veolia said they will send out a mass mailing to all customers notifying them when the change will occur.

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