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Village of Star Prairie in search of new maintenance operator

Star Prairie Police Chief Steve Lewis recently announced his retirement effective Jan. 4, 2018. File photo

As a result of the caucus held Wednesday, Jan.3. both Village of Star Prairie trustees Dustin Howe and Craig Matthys were nominated to run to retain their seats in April's election.

Following a closed session Wednesday night, Village of Star Prairie President Chad Peterson announced the Village is once again looking to fill its Maintenance Operator position. Peterson explained recently hired operator Bob Anez was unable to acquire his water certification, a requirement for the position.

"We should have the ad in the paper today," said Peterson.

In the interim, former maintenance operator Brody Larson, along with part-time maintenance employee Martin Schwan and different board members, will handle the various duties and responsibilities until the position can be filled.

Trustees also reported that the Village is in the process of locating a dump truck to replace its current truck which is no longer serviceable. That means heavier snow plowing about town will be handled by St. Croix County until a replacement truck can be secured.

"We made the call to the County after talking with Bob. Bob was pretty adamant and we know our dump truck was junk. It's become a safety hazard. We didn't want him or anyone else for that matter out driving it and getting hurt. With that, we have no truck to salt or sand and we lost our snow plowing capability. I made a call to the county and talked with the commissioner extensively. They've agreed to cover us. We don't have a contract. They've agreed to bill us at the county rate to come in anytime we have more than 2-3 inches of snow and plow our streets," said Peterson.

Trustees approved a temporary agreement with the County to plow the main streets at a rate of $400-$700 per event. The County estimated it would take roughly four hours to do the required plowing.

Other business

• Trustees accepted an engagement letter from WipFli LLP to perform the Village's 2017 audit.

• Trustees agreed to make Santa Day and the Tree Lighting Ceremony two separate events. Starting next Christmas, the Village will continue to be responsible for the Tree Lighting Ceremony but will solicit one of the community organizations to take over the responsibility for Santa Day. To avoid conflicts with other local celebration events, the Tree Lighting will be moved to the first Sunday evening in December. In 2018, that will be Dec. 2 starting at 6 p.m.