Hiring of part-time summer employee approved
With Village Clerk Shellie Brainard's work load increasing because of flood-related issues, the board approved the hiring of part-time summer help for the clerk's office.
Emily Kraemer will work as needed, up to 20 hours a week. Kraemer is the daughter of board member Travis Kraemer and, as is standard procedure under village ordinance, a conflict of interest form will be signed. Travis Kraemer abstained on the motion to hire Emily.
Though he eventually voted in favor of the hiring, Vice Chairman Mark Sundberg voiced concerns about adding the position.
"My biggest concern is starting to spend money that we haven't budgeted," he said.
Board member Jeff Lindley agreed, but he indicated the situation village is facing because of the recent flooding warrants the extra help.
"This is going to be a crazy summer," he said. "It has been a crazy spring and it's not going to get any better for a couple years, probably, with all the stuff that is ongoing and we will have to think about that when the budget comes up."
Chairman Paul Krause said a lot of extra work has been put in by village officials the last three weeks. Krause has taken time off from his job and Brainard has worked extra hours, coming in on the occasional weekend.
"Most days in the last three weeks, she has just about not got the village work done that needs to be done because of all the flood assessments and phone calls," he said.
Krause's mother, Barb, has worked at the village office on a volunteer basis, but he said she's not able to be there all the time.
"We are in an extreme time, there's going to be things we can't plan for and budget for, things we didn't have an idea we should budget for," Krause said.
Washington County Emergency Management Director Dan Douglas said the cost of the part-time person is a reimbursement expense through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Sundberg, however, said that was not what he was concerned about.
"That's a different issue than just randomly generating a new position," he said.
Krause, however, disagreed.
"I don't think, if you guys aren't down here or talking to Shellie every day of the week, I don't think you have a grasp of what is going on," Krause said.
"I don't," Sundberg said, adding that he was concerned, without anything going on, that they'd get halfway through the year and add a position. He didn't want a precedent set.
"So, what do we do when we hit that point where we can't spend any more money?" Krause asked Sundberg. "Do we stop answering the phones, do we not get the water bills out?"
"That's not the issue," Sundberg said. "We are going to have some budget issues that we are doing to have to face if we keep funding all of these things and maybe that needs to happen, but, there are other issues that may not be things that have to be done right now, that we can put down the road until we have the money," he said.
"There is a need and I don't know that everybody understands the need," Krause said.
The motion to hire Emily Kraemer passed on a 3-0 vote, with Travis Kraemer abstaining and Jason Wiese absent.
Work begins on new municipal hall
Crews from Fauss Construction have begun work on the new Arlington Municipal Hall building at the corner of Second and Eagle streets, Village Clerk Shellie Brainard reported Monday.
A pre-construction meeting was held March 28 and the next progress update will be May 16.
The new building will be a single-story office structure with about 4,200 to 4,400 square feet. Program spaces will include an entry/lobby, a clerk's office with space for a deputy clerk if one is hired in the future, a small meeting room, a large meeting room, break room, men's and women's restrooms, storage areas and a file room that can double as a safe room or shelter. There will also be a garage and office space for the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Parking restrictions approved for Walnut Circle
The board approved the third and final reading of an ordinance prohibiting parking on the west side of Walnut Court.
Sundberg requested the ordinance be drafted because he was concerned fire trucks couldn't access the area because of cars parked on the street. Sundberg lives on Walnut Court.
Under the ordinance, cars, trucks or other motor vehicles will not be allowed to park on the west side of Walnut Court, from Walnut Drive to the point where the cul-de-sac begins.
New date for auction set
Because of a missed advertising deadline, the board approved new dates for auction of the former water treatment plant property and the former maintenance shop.
The auction will be held at 10 a.m. May 9 at the Arlington Village Clerk's office, 410 W. Elm St. Those interested in looking at the properties should call the village clerk's office, 402-478-4212.