Village looking for ways to save money

The Shiocton Village Board met on Monday, July 9 at 6 p.m.
Dick Wickesberg presented the board with ideas on how the village can save money. The first idea brought to the board was that they currently have three DPW employees working as for the village and one will be retiring before the first of next year. Wickesberg suggested instead of hiring a new employee, which is hard to find, to just keep the two village employees with the following revisions:
1. Get rid of the garbage pick-up, get bids for and farm out the garbage pick-up.
2. Farm out the grass cutting in the village. Wickesberg suggested getting bids and contracting this service.
3. Cutting all the budgets by 10 percent in 2019 and take the cash flow from the cell towers and shooting range.
Wickesberg mentioned that if things get bad, they may have to consider cutting the Library in the future. In the past it was more of a daycare for people to drop their kids off. Bob Joe Brownson stated that the library is an important part of the village and is a need. Trustee Jamie Dontje mentioned that he remembered years ago voting for a referendum to expand the school library so it could merge with the village library. Tammy Free explained that it would not work because of the difference in hours. There was also talk about security issues making the school library public.
The board discussed and said they are already working on some of these suggestions. One citizen was very opposed to closing the Shiocton Library and stated his opinion. No final decisions were made at this meeting.
Free explained that in the early 90’s the Village Board changed the street names from River St. and Van Straten Rd. to Highway 76. West Ave. and Rexford Ave. and Van Straten to Highway 54 but the county was still using the old street names. The county has a new system now and needed the board to approve the change again so they can use the highway names in the new system. The board accepted the change.
The board approved the operator license for Melissa Thomack and Jeremy Van Dyke.
In reports Director of Public Works Dick Kominowski reported that they are grinding sidewalks. All that he has left is Highway 54 and Park Ave. Kominowski is also marking sidewalks that need to be replaced.
He reported the lawn mower is acting up and he is taking the mower to Service Motor to be repaired.
Trustee Dontje found a mower/blower in Oconto for sale and suggested it as a back up for the DPW. Dick said he would not be in favor of purchasing used because of the number of hours they put on their equipment. Dontje also suggested hiring some retired people to help with lawn mowing.
Trustee Dontje talked about chipseal streets and potholes. Earl Conradt was present and talked about alternatives. Conradt said that he can’t see chipsealing over chipseal because come winter it’s going to get damaged again. They have to do some more research before they proceed and bring the cost back to the board.
Committee Reports
Tammy Free reported for the library since the director could not attend the meeting. She said they are looking at signs to be placed in the village that would show where to turn for the library and also a visible sign in front of the library because people have complained that they could not find the location of the Shiocton Public Library.
She said the children’s library reading programing has really evolved for them since the new director was hired. There is a lot more participation in the library this year.
Gary Tauchen donated a Wisconsin flag and U.S. flag.
The library has purchased more children’s books. The children’s program is up in attendance and five teens and six adults are signed up in the Summer Reading Program. They are looking at incentives to keep them all participating.
Village President Terri James asked the board to approve new board members to the library board. The board approved Joette Wheeler and Karen Kroncke as trustees to the library board.
The board approved the Class B Picnic Licenses for Softball for a Cause.
Trustee Butch Bunnell stated that the Police Committee received five applications for the Chief of Police position and they interviewed three. The committee has chosen one applicant that they feel best fits the needs of the village and are asking if the board would approve their choice and allow them to negotiate the terms. The board went into closed session to present and negotiate a conditional offer to an applicant for the Chief of Police position.
The next meeting is scheduled for August 13 at 6 p.m.