The regular monthly meeting of the Village Board of Colfax was called to order on Monday evening, June 6, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Ricardo Onken.
Trustees present were:
Rick Vance - Aye
Jason Pierce - Aye
Carol Stephenson - Aye
Lonnie Meiner - Aye
Trustees David Rathke and Kelly Gradert were absent.
Also present were Village Treasurer Linda Hanson; Police Chief Michael Scott; Public works Brian Hereford; Zoning Board President Brian Blair.
Trustee Carol Stephenson made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes and approve as presented. Trustee Lonnie Meiner seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Absent; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Aye; Kelly Gradert – Absent; Motion carried.
Village Treasurer Linda Hanson gave the Treasurer’s Report for the month of May, 2016.
Beginning Balance as of 5/01/16 $241,826.45
Ending Balance as of 5/31/2016 $256,215.89
Increase for month of May, 2016 $ 14,389.44
Rick Vance asked about the bill for Becker Tree Service – that is from last fiscal year – Brian is not done cutting the trees down so holding the check until he gets done.
Trustee Rick Vance made a motion to pay the bills as presented. Trustee Lonnie Meiner seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Absent; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Aye; Kelly Gradert – Absent; Motion carried.
Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee and Trustee Jason Pierce, had nothing to report at this time. Jason will report in closed session.
Trustee David Rathke, Chairman of the Police and Liquor Committee, was absent. Police Chief Michael Scott reported that the Activity Report for the month of May, 2016 is in your folders.
Mike reported that new Police Office Kelly Gordon has completed his training and has been released to be on his own. Kelly will be working Saturday nights.
Mike reported on the issue with the new squad car. Mike stated that it happened a couple of times it just lost power. When you turn the key off and back on it reset itself. Mike stated he took it to the Ford dealer and there are 4,000 of these parts ordered. Mike stated that the dealer put a rush on the part for the Village to get the squad car fixed.
Mike reported that he took a CIBER Investigation Certification Course online that the FBI puts out – trying to keep up with all of the new stuff coming out.
Mike stated that he met with the Zoning Board looking at zoning ordinances that need changed or updating.
Brian Blair, President of the Zoning Board, was present to report on the Zoning Board meeting held on Wednesday evening, June 1, 2016. Brian told the Village Board that the Zoning Board wants to help with some of the problem areas here in town. Brian stated that the zoning book needs some updating but need to know where to start.
Trustee Lonnie Meiner, Chairman of the Water and Sewer Committee, asked Public Works Brian Hereford if there was anything to report. Brian stated that he is still trying to get the information on the seals for the manhole covers. Brian reported that three (3) or four (4) manholes that are leaking. Brian stated that he found some information from 1985 at the sewer plant and they had this same problem back then. Brian stated whatever is wrong with this sewer it was put in that way. Lonnie said so you think that this problem has been ongoing since the sewer was put in.
Trustee Rick Vance, Chairman of the Streets and Lights Committee, talked to Brian about the Petal Pusher. Will discuss later in the agenda.
Trustee Lonnie Meiner made a motion to go into closed session to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of village employees. Trustee Rick Vance seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Absent; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Aye; Kelly Gradert – Absent; Motion carried.
Trustee Carol Stephenson made a motion to go into open session. Trustee Lonnie Meiner seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Absent; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Aye; Kelly Gradert – Absent; Motion carried.
Board went back to open session at 7:30 p.m.
The first item on the agenda under old business was regarding the demolition of the buildings on Main Street. Brian Hereford reported that Lee Farms called and it would cost an additional $3,500.00 to remove the asbestos in the building so the total cost would be $93,500.00 for the old Hardward Store and the old Fincham Building.
Village Attorney Tom Shields reported that on the Todd Clark buildings there is an issue with the sold taxes for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Tom stated that those issues are resolvable and can be worked out without the Village having to make any payments. The tax purchaser would give up all rights. Tom reported that the 2015 taxes of $1,050 have not been paid yet. Tom stated that the 2016 taxes would be prorated and the revised evaluation would be down to zero (0).
Tom reported that the deed that Harley Daniels was given was somewhat ineffective since only one person signed it. Cheryl Molck is half (½) owner and needed to sign the deed also. Cheryl has been contacted and is willing to sign it and get out. Tom made a deed for Cheryl to sign. Tom reported that the taxes on the hardware store are $495.00 and that the 1st installment has been paid. The June installment was paid. That one is more workable and current.
After all of this is over the land will be exempt property for the Village so that there will be no taxes.
Attorney Tom Shields stated that there needs to a resolution done on this issue authorizing the transfer of property to Colfax. He will draw a resolution up. There should not be any issue with the property at 116 E Main. It will take more effort for 112 & 114 E Main.
Trustee Lonnie Meiner asked what the future is regarding taxes on this property. Tom stated that in the future it would be an exempt property depending on what the Village does with it.
Mayor Ric Onken addressed the Board regarding this issue and asked the Board if they want to continue and pursue this issue. Trustee Jason Pierce stated I don’t think that we have a choice. Trustee Rick Vance asked are the water lines; sewer lines; gas lines, etc. included in that quote. Brian stated probably not but he doesn’t think they charge to pull those lines. It was the concensus of the Board that there really is no other choice due to the liability issues. Tom feels that the Village needs to get another quote for demolition.
The next item on the agenda was regarding the drainage issue behind the Petal Pusher. There was an issue with the owners about putting concrete in the whole area to keep it from washing away. Ric Onken stated that we already have about $3,000 in engineering fees. Brian stated that Rick talked about taking the rock out and just putting bigger rock in there so it can’t wash out. TABLE
Mike Scott reported that there was one Ordinance Violation that was issued and a court date was issued and Tom showed up on our behalf but the other party didn’t show up. They continued it and issued a new court date and Tom showed up on our behalf but again the other party didn’t show up. There was a judgement issued but now how do we collect them. There was discussion regarding what to do with and how to collect money owed to the Village from Ordinance Violations once there is a judgement. The Village is spending a lot of money on attorney fees for them going to court. Attorney Tom Shields feels that the fines are to low and stated the judge is reluctant to bring a judgement against them on the 1st appearance date. There is usually no judgement on the first court date. Tom explained the process.
Resident Greg Neuhaus was here to address the Board regarding the recent Boy Scout’s Soap Box Derby Race that was held on Main Street. Greg reported there were fifty three (53) boys that attended. There were around 250 people in attendance. All reports were good and all vendors did very good. Greg stated that they would like to make this an annual event if that is ok with the Board. Tentatively is scheduled for the second week of April, 2017.
Village Clerk Nancy Kiper reported having some issues with late pay water bills. Some of these bills are running $125 to $150 per month so their original deposits are not covering anything because they are running two months behind and still not wanting to pay. Not sure what the answer is – Trustee Lonnie Meiner will schedule a Water/Sewer Committee meeting.
Trustee Rick Vance made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Carol Stephenson seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Absent; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner - Aye; Kelly Gradert – Absent; Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Nancy Kiper Village Clerk