ELMWOOD, WI - The Elmwood Village Board met on March 11, 2013 at 7 pm in the Village Auditorium. There was no Public Input for this meeting, as no citizens attended this month. The board has been looking into a "Fall Claim" by a citizen that took a fall on snow/ice in front of the Library.

The village decided to deny this claim. A letter (Notice of Disallowance) will be sent from the clerk to the citizen's attorney. Village Attorney Robert Loberg provided this letter to be sent.

There was one Operator's License approved for Amy Graf of the Sandbar. Trustee Mike Sand did abstain from this vote.

The next area the board discussed was regarding the Countryside Coop. They have submitted a proposal to add another bin, dryer and legs to their property on Groot Ave. There was also a "Variance Hearing" on March 12 to inform the public and the board.

They then discussed the long range plans for the village. They have began talks about giving the Public Works Department employees a raise, because Trustee Brian Buck claims they are under paid, compared to other municipalities. Amy Wayne (Clerk), Jamie Reitz (PW Director) and Josh Kern (PW Assistant) are the only full-time employees left for the community. These plans also include working on the sidewalks and the sewer plant.

In Committee and Board Reports:
The Library Report was provided by Trustee Trisha Knops. Circulation is up, and the librarian has been invited to meet with the village board. John Thompson from IFLS has been helping the library get a long-term plan together, as well as a mission statement.

The Nursing home committee was discussed by Knops as well. There has been a 2.4% wage increase provided, as well as a 2.58% private room increase. The home is looking at hiring a new CNA. A few minor projects are also being worked on.

Trustee Buck provided the Personnel and Finance Committee report. The Public Works Committee met in a joint meeting. They discussed the possible sale and development of property on Woodman Street. Area residents Gabe Weix and Adam Carson, want to build a duplex on the property. Trustee Mike Sand reported that the Public Works Committee also met with Rural Development, to develop the plans for the sewer plant updates.
There were no meetings for the Police, Parks and Buildings or Licensing Committees this month.

They approved paying the bills and adjourned the meeting at 7:50 pm.

Due to a medical issue, I was unable to attend this month's meeting. I received the minutes from the village clerk, and I also was able to see an article written online by Sari Gordon, for the Pierce County Herald. This was more information than I received.

To have a more accurate account of the meeting information, I have included a few items from her article. In her article for the Pierce County Herald, she noted that Trustee Brian Buck was telling the board that they needed to get rid of all the part-time employees. They can't afford them anymore. She quoted Buck on his statement to the board. "The first goal is to ensure the financial stability and security, and breaking the trend of robbing Peter to pay Paul, every year." Buck went on to state that the village is "severely underpaying" the employees, and they may take jobs elsewhere. It was clear that Buck was comparing Elmwood to Spring Valley is his comparisons. Gordon reported that Buck told the board members, "The full time employees could easily get $6 an hour more in a different community."

In School News:
The March/April Newsletter was sent out with a few bits of information I would like to provide, in case you may have missed it.

Scott Brown was hired by the School District as the new Food Service Director. He has been a General Manager for Restaurants in Minnesota. He recently had his own restaurant at the Spring Valley Golf Course. He also spent time at the Science Museum in St. Paul. Brown is married with four children. One of the newer items, that has been added for the students since Brown has come to Elmwood, is the "Healthy Salad Bar" that is available Wednesday through Friday.

The Board agreed to hire Kelsey Hannack as the long term substitute teacher for 2nd grade. They also accepted the resignation of Jason Mountin as the assistant high school basketball coach. They had a second resignation to approve, and that was for English teacher Christine Carlson. They will open a limited term position to replace her. The board also had a proposal for adding another forensics coach, as the class has doubled in students this year.