Edgar trustees vote to continue Department of Justice program
The Village of Edgar agreed on a 5-2 split vote to continue with a Department of Justice task force grant which requires the local police department take a “zero tolerance” stance when it comes to drivers not wearing seatbelts.
Board members approved participation in the grant after the village’s License, Building, Safety and zoning Committee voted not to do so.
The grant program involves the Department of Justice paying local police departments for enforcing laws that, according to citations and accident reports, are not being followed in local areas.
A Marathon County task force grant identified seatbelt use as a primary concern plus distracted driving, speed and Operating While Intoxicated as secondary enforcement priorities.
A requirement for the grant is that departments agree to work with one another, a vehicle should be contacted every 45 minutes and officers should try to work a minimum of four hours on enforcement, which must include half of the time after 6 p.m. Edgar Police Chief Jeanette Stankowski told trustees her departments earned “a couple of grand” in last year’s grant. In the past, the grant money has gone to pay for officer training plus equipment, such as a police squad light bar and a department camera. She noted that police departments in Stratford, Spencer, Mosinee, DC Everest, and Colby-Abby participate in the grant program.
Board members had several questions about the program.
Stankowski said the grant allowed officers to issue warnings for distracted driving and speeding, but that it required tickets be issued for not wearing a seatbelt.
Trustee Cathy Schueller said she supported a zero tolerance policy for not wearing seatbelts.
“There should not be warnings any more,” she said.
In other village board business:
_ Board members approved a $900 bid for use of village land for agricultural purposes.
_ Trustees voted to purchase a Fabick caterpillar wheel loader for $145,200.
_ The board agreed to sell a Ventrac snow blower attachment. The board received two bids for $300. The trustees agreed to sell the used equipment to one of the bidders who is a village resident.
_ Board members approved employee compensation amounts. Changes include raises for the village administrator, $58,710 to $61,646 per year; deputy clerk, $17 to $17.35 per hour; increasing all public works employees to $25 per hour. Board members agreed to give employees $40 seasonal gift cards to either the RStore, Edgar, or the Edgar IGA.
_ The board approved a $35,610 insurance policy from Boehm Insurance, Edgar. The new policy is $1,169 more expensive than last year.
_ Board members agreed to continue in the Community Development Block Grant Housing RLF program.