Owen City Council Meets

Nicole Rogers

Owen City Council Meets

5 mins
August 3, 2020

The Owen Common Council met on July 28, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Owen Community Building. Council members in attendance were Allen Wagner, Pam Jaffke, Ken Martine, Bob Wilczek, John Mauel, Joan Jalling and Mayor Charlie Milliren. Other city officials in attendance were CDC Tim Swiggum, Brian Chapman of Cedar Corp and Owen Clerk/Treasurer Michelle Kind.

Temporary Street Closures

A temporary street closure on August 8, 2020 requested by L.A.S.T. Ace and Skunky’s Bar for a customer appreciation celebration was approved. It was also approved to close part of Central Avenue for the Owen Car Show on August 15, 2020. 

Class B Beer License and Beverage Server Application Approved

A Class B Beer License was approved for the Red Daisy Girl located at 130 N. Central Ave., Owen. The establishment owned by Carey Hargot will be open soon and will be hosting painting and craft classes and will sell craft items, print design work and other such items.

Chief Ibarra recommended approving the Beverage Server application for Tony Wallace of L.A.S.T. Ace. A Jaffke/Mauel motion was made to also approve the application and the council made it so.

Street Construction

Brian Chapman of Cedar Corp reported on the 5th and Coleman St. project. He said the first week of August the curb and gutter will be staked out and the following week it will go in. Once the curb and gutter are installed, the driveways and aprons will be done. 

A final pay request to Haas for the Mill Pond Trail connection project was approved by the council. A final pay request for by Haas for the 2019 Street Project was also brought before the council. It was reported that there were some areas that were not fully restored after the road work. Brian said he would talk to Haas and assured the council there would be no problem with them coming back to complete the restoration. The council approved that final payment less $5,000 until the punch list is complete and DPW Chad will check to make sure the last tasks are complete. 

Plans for New City Hall Building

The new Community Building plans were discussed. Chief Ibarra described how the cameras and servers would be set up in the building. Michelle Kind added how the conference room would be ideally set up with two TVs for presenters to use and a camera to live feed the council meetings. Bob Wilczek will contact Ratsch regarding the bid process. He guessed the soonest the building would be move-in ready would be February or March of 2021.

Personnel Committee Report

Pam Jaffke gave the Personnel Committee report. The committee recommended giving one more week of vacation to all the recent hires since the new DPW employee CJ Kreuscher was offered two weeks right away. Tracy Rau will be prorated as she is a part-timer. It was also recommended that this offer be added to the handbook. The council approved the recommendations. 

New Ordinances Proposed

Chief Ibarra gave a report on the proposed new ordinances: leaving an animal unattended in a hot vehicle, adopting state statute regarding fire inspections and giving fines for non-compliance, updating liquor license to be open at least 24 days of the year, nuisance ordinances- if call two times within 120 days can be sited as well as owner of property, and updating the distance certain full-time employees are allowed to live from 2 to 25 miles away. 

Closed Session

The council went into closed session at 7 p.m. to confer with legal counsel regarding CountrySide Estates and Review of Restrictive covenants. No action was reported.

Liquor License Discussion

Pam Jaffke gave the Licensing Committee report. She said that Red Daisy Girl and El Pinal were interested in liquor licenses. Pam Jaffke mentioned that Carey from Red Daisy did not want to take the license from anyone. There are six Class A liquor licenses issued in Owen. There are two that are not actively being used at this time, the Woodland Hotel which has had one since 2018 and the American Legion which has had one for many years. It was brought up that since the American Legion does not sell liquor or beer to the public, they could perhaps offer it to another business. It was also mentioned that picnic licenses could be used for special events. Questions to when the Woodland Hotel would be open were brought up. Tim Swiggum explained since they have been doing all the remodeling themselves, the restaurant and bar may not be open for a while yet. The plan is to have a supper club with small bar area upstairs and another tavern in the basement. It was reported that it is not likely that a city Owen’s size would be granted another liquor license. A meeting of all the liquor licenses holders will be planned.

Crowley Park and Millpond Park Updates

Parks and Recreation head Bob Wilczek said the bathrooms at Crowley Park Campground came in under budget, the final price was $48,119.50. A new open-air pavilion will be built on the old slab site at Crowley. Since the estimated cost will be $11,333.49, it is not required to be put out on bids. New playground equipment has arrived but has yet to be installed. 

After the pavilion is constructed and paid for, whatever money that is left over from the Owen Housing donation will go to putting in the new dog park. The estimated cost is between $10,000-12,000. The Will Maki Foundation is planning to landscape and install a bench on the outcropping of the Millpond near the warming hut. It was also mentioned to construct a boat landing in that area that could double a as a dry hydrant. Installing wire in the Millpond pavilion ceilings was proposed in order to keep birds from nesting in the rafters.

The council meeting concluded at 8:13 p.m. The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, at the Owen Community Building.

This article was orginally reported by
Nicole Rogers

Nicole Rogers, lives in Owen, WI, and is the co-editor for the Sentinel & Rural News.