May 2015 – Minutes

The Village of Birchwood Board Members held a meeting at the Birchwood Village Hall, May 7, 2015 to listen to the Annual Audit Report by our Certified Auditor Dan Thole at 5:30 p.m.  The meeting was called to order and the pledge of allegiance was recited.  Roll call; present; Hurckman, Seffinga, Zillmer, Small, and VanGilder, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Murley, Maintenace Beffa, and Officer Brunclik.  Also present: Dan Thole with CliftonLarsonAllen, Betsey Acrey, Gwen Hilligoss, Teresa Andersen, Nate and Missy Wittmer, Keith Hardie, and a representive from the Methodist Church.

Dan Thole from CliftonAllenLarson went through the Annual Audit report saying we have an unqualified opinion for 2014 which is the highest opinion that the Village can earn.  It means the Village maintained its financial records and reporting on its financial transaction in conformity with general accounting practices.

TID #2 is not doing well and its debt payment of $40,000.00 is due by December 31, 2015.  It will be short between $18,000 and $20,000 this year.  Dan Thole suggested the Village look at refinancing the TID #2 loan to restructure the loan and to decrease the interested rate.  He also suggested consolidating Main Street and the TID into one loan.

Water Rates are regulated by the PSC; he is working with the PSC on the recommend water rate change.  The PSC will strongly encourage a Public Hearing on the water rate change.  The PSC will also encourage the Village to set aside money for the repairs to the water tower.  The cost for future painting of the water tower will be around $100,000.

He also suggested looking at the electrical cost for heating and testing the pump at the Pump House to reduce costs.

Audit reported adjourned at 6:20 p.m and moved directly into regular board meeting.

Police Report – Officer Brunclik reported he has been working on getting junk vehicles removed from the Village and has been successful in getting 10-12 removed.  The B&B premise has had most the junk removed from the outside of the building.  Officer Brunclik has also been working on cleaning up bad checks from years past.  He was called to an OWI in the town of Edgewater, was involved with Project Ghost at the school, and provided mutual aid to Washburn County Sherriff’s Department.  The Drug Take Back program will take place at the Village Hall on May 16, 20015 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Maintenance Report – Beffa reported Doolittle has electric in the bathrooms, from the boat landing to the woods on the north side and will hopefully have the rest of the electrical done by May 15, 2015.  A company will be coming in to PIG and televise 2000 feet of sewer lines.

Public Recognition – None

New Business

  1. Motion by Seffinga, second by VanGilder to approve agenda, carried 5-0.
  2. Teresa Andersen from MSA reported the Construction contracts were sent to Dennis Tweedale for review and changes were made per his request. MSA is asking the Village Board to accept and approve the contracts to advertise for the Main Street Bids. Motion by Zillmer, second by Small to approve MSA to advertise for the Main Street Bids, carried 5-0.
  3. Teresa Andersen reported MSA will be taking over the Main Street Project as Cedar Corp has completed their portion of the Main Street Project. Dave Schofield from Cedar Corp. will still attend the pre-construction meeting as a courtesy to Village of Birchwood.  MSA and the maintenance department have been investigating the underground tank located on the south side of the Village Hall.  They have tested the tank with smoke to see if it was connected to anything and they did not fine it to be.  The Village maintenance department will work with MSA to fill and properly cap the tank.  Staab will be coming back the first week in July to finish and close out on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Project.
  4. Motion by Small, second by VanGilder to approve paying for half of the sidewalk on Balsam in front of the Methodist Church using the sidewalk budget account, carried 5-0.

Motion by Small, second by Seffinga to approve paying for half of sidewalk cost on the eastside of Main Street from Park to Balsam, using the sidewalk budget account, carried 5-0.

  1. Motion by Small, second by Seffinga to approve Block Party Permit for Parkos, carried 5-0
  2. Beffa reported on the Driveway Permit requested for Bill Gentry’s property located on Park Avenue. The Driveway Permit has been denied.  He also requested removing the broken sidewalk located in front of his property.

Motion by Hurckman, second by VanGilder to approve the removal of the sidewalk but no driveway permit will be issued, carried 5-0.

  1. Motion by Hurckman, second by Small to approve the purchase of a new Neptune Handheld Meter Reader using the Water/Sewer budget account, carried 5-0.
  2. Motion by Small, second by Zillmer to approve operator’s license for: Vance Olson, Nathan Wittmer, Jessica Mireau, Melissa Wittmer, Michelle Davies, Teresa Wescott, Susan VanGilder, Shelly O’Brien, Michele Marcinske, Casey Rurup, Heleyna Benjamin, and Francis Hayes, carried 5-0.
  3. Motion by Zillmer, second by Seffinga to approve Petty Cash Box in the amount of $100 for the police department, carried 5-0.

9.(2)  Members for the Board of Review to be held May 21, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m are as follows: Virginia Hurckman, Linda Zillmer, Nancy Seffinga, Vicki Busick, Missy Murley, and Stacey Small as an alternate.

  1. Zillmer discussed the Water Survey results and how the Village of Birchwood has made a number of investments related to protecting our water resources. The Village of Birchwood as a local unit of government should not be giving donations because government can only spend public money for public purposes.
  2. Motion by Hurckman, second by Small to approve Resolution #169-15 adopting the Washburn County All Hazards Mitigation Plan Update, carried 5-0.

Old Business – none

Committee Reports

BFCESD –Zillmer discussed the proposed Village share for a new Fire/Ambulance building.  She also updated the board on what has been going on with the district.

Future Agenda Items – as discussed during the meeting and Doolittle Park Electrical Charges for campers.

Motion by Small, second by Seffinga to approve Minutes, New Bills, Payroll and acceptance of the Treasurer’s Report, carried 5-0.

Motion by Hurckman, second by VanGilder to adjourn the meeting 7:55 p.m., carried 5-0.


Next scheduled Village Board Meeting will be June 2, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact the Village Hall with comments, questions, and/or concerns and we will be happy to help.