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Western Taylor County Public Library nearing completion of expansion project

Western Taylor County Public Library nearing completion of expansion project Western Taylor County Public Library nearing completion of expansion project

It’s been more than a year since ground was broken on the expansion of the Western Taylor County Public Library, but the project is wrapping up, as reported at a regular Gilman Village Board meeting Aug. 12.

“We are beginning to see the close-down of the grant, which has to be closed out by Halloween…things are moving along,” said village president Jane DeStaercke.

Federal reports have been done and landscaping around the building is mostly complete.

“Once the dirt got here, it went very quickly,” said DeStaercke.

“And they planted flowers today,” said Val Kulesa, deputy clerk.

It was agreed that a grand opening will not take place until the current health crisis has settled somewhat. Although most of the work is complete, plans still surface for ways to improve the library/village services.

Village trustee/village library representative Bob Mechelke said they want to put electricity outside the library and have USB ports on decorative posts for WiFi connectivity. Sitting outside, kids and adults can plug in devices to access the hotspot. Mechelke says the gentleman he is working with on a memorial space for the library grounds, has assured him that he knows how to hook up electrical work.

“He said, ‘If the village lets me, I’ll just do the connection and get everything,’” said Mechelke. “We have a lot of ideas why we need electricity out there.”

Mike Kinas, village trustee, said he doesn’t think someone installing electricity who is not licensed, is a good idea. Mechelke asked, in that case, if his contact installs the electric, would it be acceptable to have an electrician on hand to oversee and sign off on the work?

“As long as it’s certified by an electrician,” said Kinas.

Continuing on electric work, members took a look at bids for electrical projects at the stage in the park. Nite Electric, in Gilman, submitted a bid for $4,152.71, for trenching, an amp panel, separate circuits, enclosed LED lights, wire and main breaker for the amp panel, and conduits and fittings.

Also submitting a bid, was Total Electric, out of Marshfield, for $6,354.40.

Kinas pointed out that Brent Mallo, of Nite Electric, is doing more work in his proposal, but with a lower bid.

“I think a lot of that goes with that he’s got a kid coming up and he lives in the village,” said Kinas.

“He’s always been good about the park,” said public works director Rick Johnson.

Johnson said Mallo has donated a lot of things in regard to the park.

“Does park (committee) have the money to do this?” asked trustee Eileen Grunseth.

Kinsas said he is not sure of the budget and said other members of the park committee had not seen the proposal. Johnson says Mallo said he might not get to the project this fall, anyway, as he is very busy, so the matter was tabled until the next meeting. It’s likely the electric work will be needed, as Johnson said the park has seen an influx of events.

“There are a lot of people in the park this year, it seems, which is good, I guess,” said Johnson.

He reported there have been multiple events every weekend into September, sometimes more than one event in a day.

Johnson also reported that the east village hall steps are done and can be installed.

Moving to other business, the board approved the yearly assessors contract, with a slight increase from last year, for the services of Robert J. Prokop, out of Sheldon. For the 2021 assessment year, the village will pay $3,700 for the services.

Members also agreed to pre-buy LP, sticking with CloverLeaf Farm Supply in Cadott, for 97 cents per gallon. Medford Cooperative also bid 97 cents per gallon, but it was decided to stay with CloverLeaf.

Also approved, was Ordinance 130.17, allowing the village clerk to sign off on license requests. In the past, if someone applies for a bartender license through the village, that person would have to wait for approval until the next meeting.

“Many municipalities are going to allowing the clerk to approve, after your police officer has done a background check and all the hoops are jumped through,” said DeStaercke.

“It makes sense,” said Johnson.

Grunseth asked police chief Tom Tallier how the speed radar that was purchased is coming along. Tallier says it is ready to go, except for the trailer to haul the mobile radar unit around village. Like anyone else, the availability of parts is causing a delay.

“That’s what the hold-up is with that,” said Tallier.

During the meeting, DeStaercke reported that the village’s unified dwelling code building inspector, Jim Flood, is retiring, so a replacement will have to be sought out.

“He’s done a very good job for us…we’re sorry to lose him,” said DeStaercke.

DeStaercke also mentioned that she sent out a memo to village employees, regarding wearing masks indoors in a confined space if a resident requests they do so. Per state mandate, masks are required and social distancing of six feet should also be observed. DeStaercke said if an issue arises, the Taylor County Health Department should be contacted, as Gilman police chief Tom Tallier is not responsible for policing the mandate.

“I want to reiterate,” she said, “if there’s any issue, be sure you contact the health department and not our chief of police.”