The Owen Common Council met in regular session on Tuesday, September 14, at 6 p.m. All alderpersons were present along with City Clerk Tracy Rau, Director of Public Works (DPW) Chad Smith, and Community Development Coordinator (CDC) Tim Swiggum.
Andrea Mahnke requested future Council meetings be made available on ZOOM during the pandemic.
Tracy Rau presented the treasurer’s report and received appreciation from Alderpersons Joan Jalling and Ken Martine for timely and consistent treasurer’s report, something not made available during a previous clerkship.
Mary Meyer had applied for an operator’s license for work at Meadowview Country Club. It was unanimously approved on a Ken Martine/John Mauel motion, with Joan Jalling abstaining due to employment at Meadowview.
Team Health Care Audit
Due to mandatory participation in the Wisconsin Teamsters Union, all eligible part-time city employees were required to participate in the Health Care Insurance. It was discovered in the audit that Tracy Rau and Police Officer Jake Haugstad needed an adjustment of $5,491 to be paid on their behalf from the City. A Martine/Bob Wilczek motion passed unanimously.
Owen-Withee Police Committee Report
Bob Wilczek reported on the Committee’s scheduling of interviews with three candidates for Owen-Withee Police Chief. Those interviews will be conducted on Tuesday, September 21. A hiring committee from the Police Committee will conduct the interviews.
Public Works Department
DPW Chad Smith reported on 21 credits being received for his participation in the WRWA Conference that had “lots of classes” including an Asset Management class. The DNR water system inspection was completed on August 24 which resulted in a short list of items to be remediated. Well #13 required repair and/or replacement. The UV lights in the Sanitary Sewer were cleaned. Tracy Rau and Chad Smith attended a Utility Management class in Curtiss. The shop roof needed repair and replacement.
Discussion of water availability was discussed with Smith reporting that the ground reservoir holds 100,000 gallons of water and the tower holds 250,000 gallons. The wells in Owen are producing 30 gallons per minute and could be increased but would then require iron and manganese treatment which would prove cost prohibitive.
Planning Meeting Report
The Planning Committee met on August 30 with the main topic being Jim Bohl’s development project, a topic that consumed much of the previous Council meeting. Alderperson Bob Wilczek reported that the many questions presented by the County and nearby residents were answered. An amended seller’s agreement included an initial land purchase of 15 acres with the remaining 16 sold to be sold to Bohl upon satisfactory proof of adherence to County Covenants and the development plan. Bohl now must obtain DNR approval for the project. The two-hour meeting resulted in a 3-1 vote in favor of proceeding with the sale to Bohl.
Tree Board Meeting Report
Wilczek reported that the Red Oak Memorial Tree was planted on September 11 at the Owen-Withee-Curtiss Fire Hall in Owen. A plaque for the tree has been ordered.
Growin’ Owen Report
Another workday was scheduled for September 18 at 10 a.m. The flowers to be planted were already determined. Volunteers are needed, especially for watering the hanging baskets. Since so many complaints had been lodged about CDC Tim Swiggum watering the plants, he will no longer be doing the watering.
A volunteer appreciation picnic was scheduled for Wednesday, September 22, at the Millpond Park at 5 p.m.
Other Committee Reports
Downtown Revitalization Committee (DRC) reported on the upcoming Autumnfest to be held on Saturday, October 16. The separate accounts for Growin’ Owen and the DRC will now be merged into one account. The reason for the two accounts were unclear and had been the judgment of a previous clerk.
Personnel Committee Report
It was disclosed that former City Clerk Michelle Kind had failed in her attempt to extract unemployment from the City. It was further disclosed that her appeal had been denied.
Alderperson Bob Wilczek has been hired as a full-time Firefighter/EMT and is now heading the Ambulance Service for the O-W-C Fire District.
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