VILLAGE OF BALDWIN
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
January 13, 2021 – 6:00pm
The annual caucus, held at the Baldwin Municipal Building, was called to order by Village Board Trustee Duane Russett at 6:00pm. Village Clerk Tracy Carlson reminded those who are nominated to pick up a nomination packet prior to leaving the caucus.
Russett called for nominations for village president of which there is one position open for election. Nominations were as follows:
Matt Knegendorf nominated Lance Van Damme. Seconded by Sean Griffin
Russett called for nominees for village president an additional two times. Hearing no other nominations, Russett closed the nominations for village president.
Russett then called for nominations for village trustee of which there are three positions open for election. Nominations were as follows:
Lance Van Damme nominated Doug Newton (incumbent). Seconded by Sean Griffin
Brandon Greene nominated Amy Jurgens. Seconded by Rich Carlson
Chad Wernlund nominated Lance Van Damme (incumbent). Seconded by Sean Griffin.
Doug Newton nominated Willy Zevenbergen. Seconded by Lance Van Damme.
Russett called for nominees for village trustee an additional two times. Hearing no further nominations, Russett closed the nominations for village trustee and adjourned the caucus. Caucus adjourned at 6:04pm.
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
Following the annual caucus, President Willy Zevenbergen called the board meeting to order at 6:07pm.
Village Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Tracy Carlson took roll call. Those present: President Willy Zevenbergen, Trustees Matt Knegendorf, Doug Newton, Duane Russett, Lance Van Damme, Austin Van Someren and Chad Wernlund.
Others present: Attorney Paul Mahler, Engineer Erik Henningsgard, Public Works Director Brad Boldt, Police Chief Darren Krueger, EMS Chief Tom Boyer, Sean Griffin, Eugene Zwald, Brant Moegenburg, Amy Jurgens, Brandon Greene, Rich Carlson, Jim Helmer, Jeff Plitzner and Mike Stoffel
Newton requested the review of the bills be removed from the consent agenda for further discussion.
Van Damme requested that the impound agreement with Glenwood City Vet Clinic be discussed.
Van Damme moved to approve the remaining items on the consent agenda. Seconded by Knegendorf. Motion carried to approve the following:
• Financial reports including budget comparisons for December 2020
• Minutes from Regular Board Meeting – December 9, 2020
• Class “C” Wine license as requested by Baldwin Perk (860 Main St.)
• Fireworks licenses for Fireworks City and Fireworks & More for 2021
• Municipal court report – December 2020
Newton questioned the check for Graphic House for the I94 Industrial Park Sign. He questioned the location of the sign, which in his opinion is in the right-of-way of Energy St.
Van Damme questioned if the impound agreement with Glenwood City Vet Clinic is beneficial. Police Chief Krueger stated that it has been used successfully for stray dogs and cats.
Van Damme moved to approve the checks written and the agreement with the Glenwood City Vet Clinic. Seconded by Knegendorf. Motion carried. The checks written include those issued from 12/5/2020 – 1/8/2021 - #38364 - 38480; voided checks #38314 and 38168; payroll vouchers 24612-24751; online/manual checks for payroll taxes, HSA contributions, deferred comp/Roth IRA, payment systems network and WRS.
Zevenbergen called for public comments three times. The owner of the Baldwin Airport (County Rd. J) expressed concerns about the new sewer plant being built adjacent to his property. He requested that the plant be moved further north to avoid the flight path of his sky-diving planes. No action taken by the board.
Van Damme updated the board on the Planning Commission recommendation to approve the site plan and two sign requests for new Baldwin Travel Plaza (955 Energy St.). Van Damme moved to approve the site plan and the sign located on Hwy 63 and the canopy sign, as recommended by the Planning Commission. Seconded by Van Someren. Motion carried. A second pylon sign will be reviewed at a later date.
Jeff Plitzner, Windmill Days Committee, presented an update for the 2021 festivities. The committee has a lot of things planned that will enhance the celebration. He requested a donation of $5000 as in the past. Van Damme moved to approve the contribution from the tourism account. Seconded by Newton. Motion carried.
Brant Moegenburg, American Legion, has requested a beer garden permit for May 22, 2021 from 3-11pm and June 26, 2021 from 7pm-10pm. Van Someren moved to approve the request. Seconded by Newton. Motion carried. The American Legion will follow all the proper ordinances and regulations.
Attorney Mahler updated the board on the continued issues with the property located at 1150 7th Ave. (Owner - Gayle Lee). The renovation of this property has been incomplete for many years. Numerous contacts have been made with the owner and the owner’s son to finish the house, with little to no action being taken.
Attorney Mahler sent a letter to instruct the property owner to finish the renovation or face citations. The owner has not responded. Van Someren moved to issue $25/day citations to the owner until work commences to complete the renovations. Seconded by Newton. Motion carried. Police Chief Krueger will begin issuing citations which will be mailed to the owner.
Public Works Director Boldt asked for direction on whether or not to add sidewalks to the Franklin St. reconstruction project. The addition of sidewalks on the north side of Franklin St. are included in the 2006-2026 Comprehensive Plan. Boldt reminded the board that past street projects didn’t include new sidewalks and in fact, some sidewalks were removed. Knegendorf moved to install sidewalks on the north side of Franklin St. as stated in the comprehensive plan. Motion failed due to a lack of a second. After further discussion, Van Damme moved that sidewalks not be added to the project. Seconded by Russett. Motion carried 6-1 with Knegendorf opposed.
The board, again, reviewed Ordinance 224-6 – Regulation of skateboards, roller skates and roller skis. Attorney Mahler questioned the way the revisions were stated and suggested that he be allowed to tweak it to make the intentions clear. Newton moved to allow rollerblades, skateboard and roller skis on the street. Seconded by Van Damme. Motion failed 1-6 with Newton being the only board member in favor of the motion. After much discussion and confusion, Attorney Mahler, again, suggested that he revise the ordinance and bring it back for review. Russett moved that Mahler revise the ordinance to clarify the intent. Seconded by Zevenbergen. Motion carried.
Knegendorf moved to approve Annexation Ordinance 2021-01, which allows for the annexation of village-owned property on County Rd. J, Town of Hammond, which will be used for the new sewer plant. Seconded by Wernlund. Motion carried.
Van Damme moved to approve Annexation Ordinance 2021-02, which allows for the annexation of approx. 10 acres of land known as the Nelson property at the southwest corner of Hwy. 63/60th Ave in the Town of Rush River. Seconded by Knegendorf. Motion carried.
An ad-hoc committee was created to review proposals from engineering firms for general engineering services. Van Damme moved that Knegendorf, Wernlund and Van Someren sit on the committee to review the proposals and hold interviews, as necessary. Seconded by Zevenbergen. Motion carried.
Van Someren moved to approve Resolution 2021-01 – Supporting the creation of the Chippewa-St. Croix Rail Commission with Counties and Municipalities. Seconded by Wernlund. Motion carried by roll call vote with Newton opposed. This resolution shows the village’s support in creating a commission to review the need and possible creation of a passenger rail service from Eau Claire to the Twin Cities.
Van Someren moved to approve a wage adjustment for Graham Gausman, public works general laborer of 62 cents/hr increase for a positive 6-month review. Seconded by Wernlund. Motion carried.
Van Someren moved to approve a wage adjustment for Brad Boldt, Director of Public Works in the amount of $2.00/hr for a positive 6-month review as director. A one-year review will occur in July which may or may not include an additional wage adjustment. Seconded by Knegendorf.
Van Damme moved to table the discussion regarding increasing per gallon rate of disposal for sludge haulers to the sewer plant. Seconded by Knegendorf. Motion carried.
Administrator Carlson explained that the Families First Act policy, which allows employees to have an addition 80 hours of PTO time for to COVID related issues expired on Dec. 31, 2020. The Federal government did not extend this provision; however, they suggested that employers could extend it through March 31, 2021 if desired. Van Damme moved to extend the policy through March 31, 2021. Seconded by Russett. Motion carried. The extension does not provide for employees who have already used a portion of or all of the 80-hour allotment to acquire an additional 80 hours of COVID time off.
Knegendorf reviewed the discussions that the Streets/Building Comm and staff had at their meeting held on Jan. 6 re: the facilities assessment needs report. He explained that the EMS garage is in dire need of a new building. The committee and staff agree, that to save money in the long run, a joint building for EMS/PD/Fire should be considered. After much discussion and to keep the process moving forward, Knegendorf moved to create a request for proposals to be sent to architectural/engineering firms who specialize in emergency service buildings to determine specific needs and costs in combining emergency services buildings. Seconded by Van Damme. Motion carried.
Village Engineer – Erik Henningsgard (SEH) – Written report was submitted.
Public Works – Boldt reported that the water department van has been purchased. The public works department is exploring additional options for mapping services of hydrants, water mains, etc.
Police Department – Krueger submitted a written report. There were 113 calls for service in December 2020. The year ended with less calls than previous years. There were no major issues over the New Year holiday.
EMS – Boyer submitted a written report. There were 182 calls and 56 transfers in December 2020. The new interceptor has been purchased. Boyer publicly thanked his crew for their work during the last snowstorm in December. They handled 17 calls in a 24-hour period and all four ambulances were called out simultaneously at two different times.
Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer’s Report – Tracy Carlson
Carlson reported on the following:
There is primary election in February for state school superintendent. Turn-out is expected to be low.
Kathy Jo Brihn has submitted her letter of resignation. Brihn serves as the clerk of courts (resignation effective March 31), Planning Commission secretary and chief election inspector (resignation effective April 6).
Judge McGee has been notified of the resignation of his clerk of courts. Carlson will work with him to get a job advertisement published, so a new clerk can be hired and trained before Brihn retires.
The Baldwin Farmers Market has received a $1000 grant from Compeer Financial for the upcoming season.
CARES ACT dollars allocated to the village for COVID related expenses has been approved and received. All non-budgeted items that were submitted were reimbursed.
Deadline for proposals submitted by engineering firms is Jan. 22, 2021
Deadline for applications to be submitted for a new public works employee is Jan. 22, 2021.
Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:36pm.
Willard Zevenbergen, Village President
Tracy Carlson, Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer