Village of Newburg
Meeting of the Committee of the Whole
and Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees
February 27, 2020 at 7pm
Village Hall, 620 W. Main St. Newburg, Wisconsin
OPENING OF MEETING / CALL TO ORDER
President Rena Chesak – Present
Trustee Bill Sackett – Present
Trustee Amy Marquardt – Present
Trustee Lynn Burkard – Present
Trustee David DeLuka – Present
Trustee Sandy Stockhausen – Present
Trustee Sarah Beimborn – Absent
TOTAL: 6 present, 1 absent. A quorum was present.
Deanna Alexander serving as Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer
Mike Foeger serving as Police Chief
Nate Wendelborn serving as DPW Superintendent
Courtney Steger serving as Sanitary Sewer Assistant Superintendent
Walt Grotelueschen as Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator/Emergency Management
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
CORRECTION AND APPROVAL OF PAST MINUTES
Board of Trustees Meeting – February 13, 2020.
Motion by Sackett to approve the minutes as presented; seconded by DeLuka.
Motion prevailed by a voice vote of 6-0-1 (Absent: Beimborn).
No persons requested to speak.
- A proposal to contract with Stantec Consulting Services for a needs assessment and coordinating plan for building options.
This item was laid over at the January 23, 2020 COW meeting and again at the February 13, 2020 BOT meeting where the board requested a second, lower priced quote for fewer services and a legal opinion from the village attorney identifying any problematic clauses in the proposed contractual agreements between the village and Stantec.
Kevin Kimmes addressed the board on behalf of Stantec. He shared that he lives in the Town of Saukville and serves other municipalities in an advising capacity. He showed how responsive to the board’s request, the firm separated its previous quote into four separate portions, in order to allow the village to select none, any, or many of the service options available. Trustee DeLuka expressed the importance of having an impartial 3rd party involved in major projects and Trustee Sackett expressed a desire to have persons with a professional consulting or engineering background be involved with plans for buildings.
Motion by DeLuka to approve hiring Stantec Consulting Services by entering into a master service agreement, and entering into a task agreement for the purposes of planning a new village building as described in presented documents, at a cost of $3,250 plus expenses billed at 8%, totaling $3,510; and directing the Administrator to sign such contracts and pay related invoices; seconded by Sackett.
Motion prevailed by a roll call vote of 6-0-1 (Absent: Beimborn).
COMMITTEE REPORTS AND ACTIONS
1. Building Inspection / Zoning. (Mr. Walt Grotelueschen, Building Inspector/Zoning Admin.)
General oral report providing updates on issues related to building inspections, permitting, and constructive repairs or developments within the village.
Mr. Grotelueschen updated that he has been receiving questions about open lots in the village; that Mr. Kraft’s occupancy permit has been issued; that the Casey’s gas station re-build project is moving along – the final in-wall review is done, but that they may be opening later than previously thought in the year due to issues with pouring concrete.
2. Emergency Management. (Mr. Walt Grotelueschen, Emergency Management Dir.)
A request by Trustee Burkard to revisit and discuss long-term emergency planning as a topic that has not been completely resolved since the 2019 winter thaw flood incidents in Newburg; seeking to identify the process for revising formal emergency response plans.
President Chesak stated that the Emergency Management Committee, rather than the Board of Trustees, was the proper body for reviewing such issues and had the responsibility of addressing emergency management concerns. Mr. Grotelueschen stated that he has notes at home regarding things that need to be updated in the master emergency response guides. Trustee Burkard stated that the village was not prepared for the 2019 flood, that staff needed name badge ID cards because it was difficult to knock on residents’ doors with no way to prove affiliation with the village, that there was no pre-established phone tree, that volunteers had a difficult time, that there were questions about radios, and that she would like to see the Community Center used as a place for respite during an emergency. President Chesak asked for confirmation about who had volunteered and Trustee Burkard responded that the Strohmeyer and DeLuka families had volunteered. Trustee Sackett stated that he was Village President when the Emergency Management Committee was formed and confirmed that original intent of the village at that time was to have churches and the community center and other similar places offer respite during an emergency. Mr. Grotelueschen stated that not much in the plan needs updating. President Chesak stated that she will ensure that an Emergency Management Committee meeting is scheduled.
Trustee DeLuka cited that the village struggles with the best way to contact residents. Trustees discussed how the school systems use phone tree and automatic emails or text messages to communicate in an emergency. Mr. Grotelueschen stated concern that he has been requesting radios for years and his request has never been filled. The board briefly discussed how radios were added to the 2020 budget, but how the police department would get first priority and would share radios with emergency management in time, and how the police department itself does not yet have enough radios; and that the cost of radios has greatly increased. President Chesak asked if more simple two-way radios could be used. Mr. Grotelueschen confirmed that they can be, but they would not do the best job. Chief Foeger confirmed that the village was supposed to get two radios from Ozaukee County but that there had been no movement on that transfer. Trustee Burkard recommended contacting a village resident she knows who has extra radios available for emergencies.
3. Law Enforcement. (Trustee Marquardt, Chair; with Police Chief Mike Foeger)
Oversee operation of the Police Department, except for disciplinary matters’ review state legislation’; review all license applications; recommend ordinance amendments; as prescribed in ordinance §31.04(3).
Quarterly report on police operations and general oral report.
Chief Foeger reported that there was one open burglary investigation and provided a written report with NPD service call statistics for the last quarter. Ms. Kathy Buth from Mid Moraine Municipal Court appeared to explain how the courts’ billing and payment methods have changed, and that the new billing methods are slightly in the village’s favor.
4. Public Works. (President Chesak, Chair; with DPW Superintendent Nate Wendelborn)
Responsible for overseeing all public works projects, street maintenance, storm sewers, and maintenance of village parks; works with consultants regarding proposed capital improvements to this system; as prescribed in ordinance §31.04(2).
General oral report on DPW operations.
Mr. Wendelborn reported that there had been several small snow events this season and that DPW has navigated any challenges encountered. DPW is working down a list of general maintenance required on its equipment. He has been working with Trustee Burkard and the Administrator on handing over cleaning duties of the community center. DPW has secured a location at a farm to dispose of wood chipping from year to year.
DPW request for board guidance on safety measures to prevent physical injury at the retention pond located at Grotelueschen (Presidents’) Park.
Mr. Wendelborn informed the board that there was a concern brought to the village’s attention that kids have been sledding down the hill at the park and some sled tracks have veered toward the retention pond. Bales of straw were placed as a temporary barrier for safety measures this season, and DPW awaits board direction on future actions such as seasonal fencing, permanent fencing, signage, or otherwise. President Chesak asked if legal counsel would require the village to take action to stop sledding at the park. Trustee Marquardt stated that she believes it is when the village puts up a barrier that risk occurs, and that a sign is all that can be placed. Trustee DeLuka stated he did not prefer a permanent fence because then DPW would be obligated to check daily what happened within the fence.
Board members asked the Administrator to report back at a future date with a legal opinion on the matter. The board took no further action.
5. Sanitary Sewer. (Trustee DeLuka, Chair; with Sanitary Superintendent Courtney Steger)
Operation and maintenance of the sewer collection and treatment system; works will village consultants in regard to proposed capital improvements to the system; makes periodic reviews of user regulations and service charges; reviews proposed extensions to the system; as prescribed in ordinance §31.04(4).
General oral report on Sanitary Sewer operations.
Ms. Steger stated that the relining project is complete and collapse is no longer an issue; the life expectancy of the CIPP liner is now 50 years, rather than the 20 years previously thought; there have been no problems with DMR report submissions to the DNR; all necessary parties have been contacted regarding sanitary sewer operator license conversions due to recent personnel changes; repairs on pump #2 have been completed and the department was able to save about $1,000 by working with DPW to complete it in-house and it appears that the pump had never previously been taken apart; the previously buried manholes have now been raised; all water tests are complete to show that Village Hall and Community Center water is safe for drinking consumption; DNR reports for the CMAR / Phosphorus compliance are going very well as the average reduction in phosphorus resulting from the village’s efforts are 84% to 94% removal; she is working on a formal staffing plan for the department and noted having used help from Nate and Bernie in DPW, and that Nate provides the addition of having confined space training.
Ms. Alexander added notice that one of the part-time members of the department’s staff has given notice and that will be taken into consideration as the staffing plan is formulated; and that the village will need to consider how to respond to a written request from the State Bank of Newburg to disconnect their sewer lines for a residential home the bank owns adjacent to the bank’s business property.
File 2020-4: A resolution on special assessments to village property owners as related to sanitary sewer repair expenses involving lateral piping and connections.
The file for this item was withdrawn from consideration and only the topic was verbally presented for informational purposes. Trustee DeLuka asked for clarification if the relining costs will be included in the future request for special assessments for the three apartment complex buildings; Ms. Steger confirmed that the special assessment is likely to be only for the grinding portion of the project.
6. Personnel and Finance. (Trustee Stockhausen, Chair; with Admin. Deanna Alexander)
Personnel matters involving full-time employees and part-time management staff, such as hiring, discipline, and firing as well as wages for all employees; shall assist in the development of the annual budget; as prescribed in ordinance §31.04(1).
Presentation of financial reports, bills, and claims.
Ms. Alexander provide the board with and discussed a YTD listing of all expenses by vendor for each fund; a listing of all bank accounts owned by the village and their current balance levels for each fund; a YTD balance sheet for each fund; and a YTD income statement for each fund. She offered to walk the board through any of the reports or to return to them later in the meeting if the board wanted to take time to examine them.
Trustee DeLuka expressed discontent in receiving the reports at the meeting and stated that he would rather receive reports by at least the Monday before a Thursday meeting, understanding that they would not be entirely up to date and would likely show month-prior information, but would at least be received in time for Trustees to examine them and come to meetings prepared with questions. Ms. Alexander agreed to change practice going forward so that to-date listings are no longer provided and instead focus is shifted back to providing financial reports no later than the Monday before a Thursday meeting, with an ideal goal being the Friday before a Thursday meeting, when possible.
Motion by Sackett to approve the invoices that have been paid YTD; seconded by Chesak.
Motion failed by a voice vote of 2-4-1. (No: Marquardt, Burkard, DeLuka, Stockhausen; Absent: Beimborn.)
Motion by DeLuka to layover approval of the invoices paid YTD; no second.
Ms. Alexander reported a financial request from the Newburg Fire Department for the village to waive permit fees associated with the NFD water pump project and informed the board that Mr. Grotelueschen had also made the request while disclosing his association with the NFD. Trustee DeLuka asked questions about whether the project was to benefit the residents of Newburg or the residents of other municipalities. Mr. Grotelueschen stated that the majority of the use would be for the residents of Newburg. Trustee Sackett stated that if the cost was not much, then compared to the total cost of the project being done, the permit cost should not be an issue. Board members asked Ms. Alexander and Mr. Grotelueschen about the expected level of fees. Mr. Grotelueschen responded with an estimate of up to $2,000. Ms. Alexander expected $1,000 or less, but noted attorney fees already incurred. She also noted that if the village waived fees for NFD, it would need to be prepared for potential future requests from other non-profit organizations that provide a similar community benefit. Trustee Burkard asked if Mr. Grotelueschen would be willing to waive his portion of income from the fees if the village waived them for the NFD. Mr. Grotelueschen responded that he did not think there would be any fees on his invoices because of the classification as a commercial project, so fees would be invoiced by a different contractor. Trustee Marquardt suggested bringing the issue back for further discussion but Ms. Alexander reminded the board that the NFD was looking to move quickly and the board’s delay could impede their project. Trustee Sackett stated that if the village waived the fees for the NFD, it may have an issue with other future applicants also seeking fee waiver. The board took no further action.
Ms. Alexander reported a request from the State Bank of Newburg to waive sanitary sewer billing from 2019 Q4 (retroactively) and onward due to an “abandoned” residential property having no tenant.
Motion by DeLuka to advise the State Bank of Newburg that the village will terminate Sanitary Sewer service billing once receiving notification and verification from an inspector that the lateral line has been filled or capped and the main line has been capped off; seconded by Marquardt.
Motion prevailed on a voice vote of 6-0-1. (Absent: Beimborn).
Ms. Alexander noted that Trustee Burkard has been collecting cash from events held at the community center and the cash has then been submitted to the village bank accounts and a check requested as a donation to area charities such as the food pantry. She requested clarification if this was the board’s intent or if the funds should be held to offset the costs of operating the community center. Board members discussed that there is no need to change current practice and that if there ever is, donors at the community center would be advised of that change up front before the change is made. The board took no action on this item.
A report from the Administrator regarding the employee / contractor status of Mr. Grotelueschen as building inspector, zoning administrator, and emergency management director.
Ms. Alexander provided a verbal overview of a written report given to board members citing IRS guidance on the differences between contractors and W-2 employees and explaining some of the reasons that Mr. Grotelueschen’s status as an employee or contractor may be questionable. The report included acknowledgment that the village currently classifies him as an employee, and that absent future board inquiry or direction, would continue to do so.
Mr. Grotelueschen provided historical context that when he was hired as building inspector, it was done as a “handshake deal” with then-President Sackett that he be an employee, and Trustee Sackett confirmed that was accurate. The board took no action on this item.
Discussion of proposed future policy changes to the employee handbook.
Ms. Alexander explained the differences between vacation time, sick time, and Paid-time-off (PTO) time, and asked if the board would be supportive of the next employee handbook abandoning separate vacation and sick time and establishing PTO. Trustees discussed in general and showed support for the concept of PTO time, and encouraged the written policy to be presented in the draft handbook at a later time.
Ms. Alexander asked the board to consider changing future handbook policy to allow part-time staff, especially those working more than 20-hours per week, to receive partial holiday pay; she cited an example that at least two staff in that category were off of work for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and had to accept lower pay due to the holidays, while the village has asked for consistent commitments from them. Trustees discussed whether potentially offering a half-day of holiday pay or instead offering a pro-rated holiday pay would be appropriate if considered.
Trustees asked the administrator to gather information about what other municipal employers do and to examine whether allowing such a benefit would cause too many categories of employees, and to conference with legal counsel before submitting the draft handbook policy for consideration. The board took no further action on this item.
OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS AND ACTIONS
7. A request by President Chesak to discuss the village’s cost of delivering the Bridges quarterly newsletter.
President Chesak provided background information that the village used to pay $60 per quarter to have the village newsletter delivered to residents’ paper boxes, and that the cost has more than doubled to $125 per quarter because the administrator had requested delivery to all residents (rather than only those with paper boxes) and to doorsteps (rather than to the boxes). She felt the cost had been increased too much and that the board should only authorize the original $60 fee. Ms. Alexander explained that prior to the item being put on the meeting agenda, it had already been determined that the next delivery would be to boxes, unless there wasn’t a box, in which case delivery would be to doorsteps. Trustees Stockhausen and Burkard spoke about the difficulty of walking to every home in the village. President Chesak stated that the deliverer uses a motorized scooter. Trustees spoke generally about the level of cost appropriate for the service and several stated that while the newsletter will be available at the gas station and village hall, at least the next two deliveries should be to every home and to doorsteps when a box is not present, and that the delivery person, Mr. Strohmeyer, should be paid fairly for his time and efforts. Trustees requested that the next bridges include a survey asking residents how they want to receive their edition in the future and how they wish to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
Motion by Burkard to continue delivering to doorsteps, unless there is a paper box present, and to ask residents in the next survey how they prefer delivery and how they wish to be contacted in the event of an emergency; seconded by Marquardt.
The motion prevailed on a voice vote of 6-0-1. (Absent: Beimborn.)
COMMISSION REPORTS AND ACTIONS
Trustee Burkard announced that there will be a community rummage sale on May 7th-9th and that she and other volunteers plan to use the community center to organize the event.
Trustees asked that in the future staff consider putting out No Parking signs so the village parking lot is available for meeting attendees rather than bar/restaurant patrons during business meetings.
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Motion by Marquardt to adjourn; seconded by Chesak.
Motion prevailed by a voice vote of 6-0-1. (Absent: Beimborn).