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Board urges residents to participate in task force

At Monday night’s Roberts Village Board meeting, Roberts resident Mark Hamlin told trustees he was concerned that the community was seriously underrepresented at the meeting of the newly formed St. Croix Central School District Facilities Task Force (FTF) held at the elementary school the previous week.

“There are a lot of kids coming. The way it sounds, they have to build somewhere. How much more are we supposed to lose to Hammond? Why not build here? Hammond and Roberts should be equal. This referendum is coming; you’ve got to get it right,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin raised points from the meeting regarding the potential reallocation of grades among all three buildings including moving the fifth grade back to the elementary school, moving the eighth grade to the high school and adding onto the high school.

“I think the best thing to do is, if you are interested, you need to go to the meetings and hear the whole story,” Village Clerk Doreen Kruschke said.

“We need to talk it up to get people to come to those meetings,” Village President Willard Moeri said.

The next meeting of the FTF is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, at St. Croix Central Middle School in Hammond at 6 p.m. Tours of the middle school start at 5:30 p.m.

Public Works Director John Bond announced that as of last Saturday, “Everybody was back to  normal,” referring to all the work that had been done to thaw frozen water lines as a result of the challenging winter weather. Bond told the board that he and Kruschke had completed paperwork that may eventually qualify the village for federal funding to help ease the financial burden from the extended winter.

“Because of the severe winter in Wisconsin, they (the State of Wisconsin) are actually trying to get the state declared a federal emergency because of all the added costs incurred by communities dealing with frozen lines, broken water meters and broken mains. There is a good chance the state will qualify,” Bond said and promised to keep the board informed.

Several issues remain at the treatment plant where ice damaged sensors on the tanks. Bond said replacement parts had been ordered and repairs can be completed once the necessary parts arrive.   

Bond solicited the board for ideas to submit for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The deadline for submitting projects is June 2. Qualifying projects receive grants that are co-funded by federal and state governments. Funds can be used for infrastructure projects including construction and repair of streets, water and sewer facilities.

While work scheduled for last fall on the water tower remains on hold, Bond learned that the new BFD drive installed last year has the potential to make the need for a water tower obsolete. Sensors can be installed to enable the pump to run on demand saving millions of gallons of water each year. Bond plans to explore the potential with the DNR in coming months.

The board approved two resolutions recommended by the Park Board, number 2014-1R - Outdoor Recreation Aids and 2014-2R - Outdoor Recreation Plans. The resolutions will enable the Park Board to apply for funding through the DNR’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The Park Board plans to use funds to purchase two parcels of land as part of a five-year strategic plan developed under the guidance of Brad Hentschel of SEH Engineering.

Other business

  •  The board tabled a discussion regarding how to word an advertisement for a new police chief until a special meeting scheduled for Monday, April 21.
  •  The board approved Ordinance 2014-2 VB which specifically adds the term “Compression Braking” to the existing noise ordinance, which will enable stricter enforcement of the ordinance.
  •  The board declined to renew a street sweeping/chipper agreement with the Hammond Public Works Department citing the large increase in cost and instead instructed Bond to research options to purchase a street sweeping machine. Discussion of available options is also scheduled for next Monday’s meeting.
  •  The board renewed its recycling and hauling contract with Scrappy for one year, contingent on removal of junk from his property prior to the start of Good Neighbor Days.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Village of Roberts Board will take at place at 7 p.m., Monday, May 12.