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Shafer appointed as emergency management director

Wisconsin state statutes require municipalities to have an emergency management director.

“There is an issue with this. In the divine wisdom of the upper management of the State of Wisconsin, it appears that this is now a paid position,” said Roberts Village Board President Willard Moeri. “They continue to want us to do more with less. At least they didn’t recommend how much we have to pay this person. They are going to leave that to us to decide.”

Sgt. Aaron McWilliams recommended fellow police officer Todd Shafer for the position citing his previous experience as head of security for a refinery in the Twin Cities, which exposed him to responsibilities similar to those required for this position. As director, Shafer will need to undergo self-training and familiarize himself with the village’s emergency management plan. He will also be responsible for training village employees as well as board members and interfacing with the county on a monthly basis.

New board member Chad Svacina volunteered to work as Shafer’s assistant. Svacina gained experience dealing with emergency situations, security and hazardous materials while deployed in Iraq. The board deferred setting a salary for both positions until the next board meeting pending further investigation to determine if compensating Svacina for his service would constitute a conflict of interest.

Public Works Director John Bond reported that repair work on the water tower is scheduled to begin the week of July 28. In addition to sandblasting and repainting the exterior of the tower, Utility Service Co. Inc. will also repair an expansion joint and replace sections of pipe. The work is expected to take about three weeks.

“I’ve been keeping the fire department informed of this schedule. If during that time there are any structure fires, everything will have to be trucked in from either the lake or the town,” Bond said.

Members of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be on hand to observe a novel solution implemented by Bond using the VFD (variable frequency drive) on pump No. 1 to run the whole system by providing water on demand while the tower is out of commission. A pressure switch will be installed to maintain a steady 64 psi of pressure throughout the system saving 300-500 gallons of water daily and delivering uninterrupted service to residents.

The Park, Locust and Elm street construction projects were set to begin Tuesday, July 15, and are scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Bond said letters explaining the schedule, parking restrictions and street closures have been sent to affected residents. The first order of business will be to pulverize the existing asphalt which, in the case of Locust and Elm streets, will be repacked so the streets can remain driveable during construction.

The board scheduled a public hearing to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, before the start of the regular board meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss the issuance of a public bond in an amount of up to $10 million to finance the building of a new 100,000-square-foot hospital and clinic in Baldwin.

Baldwin Area Medical Center CFO Brian Lovdahl updated the board on the progress of the project, “The medical center has purchased 95 acres of land behind the A&W and is scheduled to break ground on the project Oct. 1.”

The total cost for the project is expected to be in the neighborhood of $34 million. Hammond, Woodville and Baldwin will also issue public bonds in the same amount. None of the municipalities are actually assuming the financial obligation for building the new hospital according to National Healthcare Capital representative Tucker Plumstead.

“The village will not be on the hook for any of the debt. The documents will express that. This is an obligation of the hospital not of the village,” Plumstead said .

By pledging their bonds, the municipalities are boosting the Medical Center’s borrowing capacity and enabling them to secure a better interest rate on the debt.

Other business

  •  The board approved $434 to purchase and install 45 feet of new rain gutters on the park building to prevent further water damage to the interior kitchen wall.
  •  The board approved a recommendation by the Plan Commission to purchase and improve John’s Auto property.
  •  Amery author Lamoine McLaughlin will be the featured speaker Aug. 17 as part of the library’s new Writer’s Workshop program.
  •  The board approved Ordinance 2014-4 Regulating Domestic Animals contingent on the crafting of a specific provision addressing ownership of chickens.
  •  The board approved Ordinance 2014-5 addressing the disposition of inoperative motor vehicles.
  •  The board denied Ashley Fouk’s application for an operator’s license.