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Village of Somerset shoots down bow hunting proposal

To bow hunt, or not to bow hunt?

That was the question the Somerset Village Board pondered at its Tuesday, Oct. 18, meeting.

Several local hunters had approached some board members about allowing bow hunting on undeveloped village property off Highway 35.

Greg Sayers, chair of Public Safety Committee, said that the committee debated whether to allow bow hunters to limit the animal population in that area.

"But then, we will be asked about letting hunting on other areas, and then where will it stop?" said Sayers.

Jeff Johnson, village president, asked Police Chief Doug Briggs if there was any ordinance about allowing hunting within village limits.

Briggs said that the Village officers only have the authority to issue citations when a firearm or bow is discharged; hunting regulations are determined by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. A person who has discharged a weapon will not only be cited, but also referred to the DNR for hunting violations.

Sayers said that the Public Safety Committee suggested the village not allow bow hunting on the property. The board agreed.

Ryan Sicard, chairman of public works committee, said that the committee recommended revising the limited term position from within public works a summer wage scale to an hourly rate.

"There is no language, because this is not a union position, there is no guidance on wage schedule for this employee," explained Sicard.

The person in this position currently has been working for the village for the last two summers. The position will now allow pay increases based on performance rather than an automatic increase after six months.

As outlined, the position will start at $13/hour instead of the former $10/hour, based on certification from supervisors.

"If he is valuable, he is worth every dime," commented Johnson.

In other news:

• Lynn Berg, from Grace Place in Somerset, spoke to the board about the upcoming bell ringing campaign. She explained that it was a primary fundraiser to help the families in need in St. Croix County and asked anyone interested in volunteering to ring between Thanksgiving and Christmas to contact her at Grace Place.

• Randy Rosburg, Somerset school superintendent, gave a presentation to the board about the recent school district survey and why the levy decreased.

• The board approved hiring Evergreen Irrigation, Inc., for the wetland delineation of the Industrial Park, not to exceed $2,500.

• The board approved a beer garden permit for General Sam's on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 12 noon-4 p.m. This will coincide with the Gopher Badger college football game.

• The board approved compensating a resident in the 600 block of Hud Street $1,000 for an easement on their property -- the residents own the property but it is a village easement so they can never build on the property.

• Somerset Fire/Rescue Chief Travis Belisle said that the Champs benefit in October raised $1,500 -- of which his department received $500.

• The 2011 population report came out and Johnson said that the current population of Somerset is 2,639. Pam Donohoe, village clerk, said that 1,791 are voting age.

• The board meets every third Tuesday at the Village Hall at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.