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Mobile home courts could finally be off village’s hands

Mobile home courts could finally be off village’s hands Mobile home courts could finally be off village’s hands

The Gilman mobile home courts could see a new owner, as Keaton Schultz has expressed interest in obtaining the courts. During a regular Gilman Village Board meeting Oct. 14, the matter was discussed, with updates brought to members of the board. Schultz approached the village in September, and the ball has continued to roll since then.

The Palmer Court was developed in the 1950s, while the Kapsy Drive Court was done in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Schultz has offered $90,000 to the village for the properties, and after a question and answer session, the village attorney is drafting a conditional offer.

Schultz wanted to know if the village would be willing to take back the roads leading into the courts, but the village responded with a firm no, as the roadways had been vacated some time ago. The village also requested that Schultz assume responsibility for the water and sewer bills for the parks, so Gilman would not be on the hook for any delinquent bills.

“I don’t know when the actual transfer’s going to be,” said village president Jane DeStaercke. “Everything seems to be moving along.”

Also brought before the board, is the alleyway between First and Second avenues.

“What we’re proposing, is to run approximately 160 feet of 6-inch storm sewer down to the west of Second Avenue, to gather the water in the springtime,” said Steve Bornheimer, owner of Grand Central Station. “We’re trying to alleviate that water running…and freezing across that sidewalk… It is a problem every spring/winter.”

Bornheimer said he would provide all the equipment to install pipe and make the storm sewer up to grade over the winter, allowing it to go through a freeze/ thaw cycle, before paving in summer. He asked for assistance with materials for the project, as it is a village alley.

“We don’t have a set dollar amount as to what that would be,” said Bornheimer. “Right now, it’s definitely a major liability in the winter for ice slippage.”

The business owner said he believes the cost would be around $7,500 and that he may have several neighboring property owners willing to chip in.

“We got any money in the restricted account?” asked trustee Greg Steinbach.

Village clerk Candice Grunseth said there is money in the restricted fund to pay for the sewer. She also checked to make sure that Gilman is responsible, at least in part, for expenses, as another alley in the village was upgraded and the homeowner was required to pay for it. Rick Johnson, director of public works, says that person paid the cost, because it is a private roadway.

Johnson also said he did not have a problem with Bornheimer doing the work and was glad the sewer alley may help solve the ice problem.

“It is a problem,” said Johnson.

Members were all for the project and gave their blessing.

Bornheimer also requested that the village take a look at fixing sidewalks that are heaving from trees growing near them. The board agreed to look into the matter and sent the issue to the Improvements Committee.

“That’s a much bigger issue,” said DeStaercke, “and I think we need some study and insight into that.”

The board also discussed what snow removal will look like this year, as Joe Schmitt informed the village that he cannot commit to shoveling snow for the 2020-21 season, as he has taken on additional clients.

“He did, however, agree to have his status changed to an on-call, part-time public employee, rather than just strictly snow plowing,” said DeStaercke.

DeStaercke says she also spoke to Josh Dalsky, who helped with snow removal in the past, and found that he has taken another job, but said he would be minimally available.

“So, we’re going to have to deal with the snow removal issue,” said DeStaercke.

With that in mind, she recommended the village purchase a snowblower, with two full-time village employees who could run it. The only issue DeSatercke could see, would be where to store the machine when not in use.

“It’s going to be $400 or $500, easy,” said Johnson.

Steinbach says he would like a higher quality machine, if they are going to purchase one, which will be more expensive.

Trustee Eileen Grunseth agreed that storage is a concern, so the board sent the matter to the Improvements Committee for pricing and options.

“Sometime’s it’s almost easier just to shovel it,” said Johnson.

In the business portion of the meeting, members approved raising employee wages.

For assistant public works director Jamie Larson, who came on board this year, his wages increased 50 cents per hour for the remainder of the year, in lieu of the fact he has done an “outstanding job.” The village did budget the possible increase at the beginning of January, and Larson did not come on board until June.

Election worker wages also saw an increase, with multiple elections that took place and COVID-19 regulations to follow.

“It’s been one busy year,” said E. Grunseth.

After comparing wages to a neighboring town, the board approved an increase in poll workers’ wages to $11 per hour, while the chief inspector increased to $13 per hour.

Gilman also has hazard pay left over that was received for April and May, as part of a Wisconsin Election Committee (WEC) Grant. The workers were given their hazardous pay in Gilman Bucks, which are like gift certificates to local businesses. Since there was some of the funding left, the Finance Committee approved giving the remainder to the clerk (C. Grunseth) in the form of Gilman Bucks, pending board support.

“She did not receive hazard pay, because she’s a clerk,” said E. Grunseth. “If we do not do that, my understanding is it goes back to the original beginning (WEC).”

Members approved the hazard pay for the clerk, in recognition of the extra duties she has taken on from the pandemic.

The board also was informed that Monte Ahlers has agreed to take on the role of the village’s uniformed dwelling code (UDC) inspector.

“Just to be clear, Jim Flood is still doing the other inspections for us,” said C. Grunseth.

As a notice to the public, there is a ballot box stationed at the village hall underneath the notice board, which could be used as a payment drop-off location and to leave absentee ballots, if the office needs to close for some reason.

The public should also be aware, that a budget hearing will take place at 6:45 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, prior to the regular meeting.

Steve Bornheimer (standing) asked the Gilman Village Board Oct. 14, if they would allow him to install a storm sewer in an alley between First and Second avenues, as water builds up and freezes each winter. Bornheimer says he will do the labor and estimated the work could be completed for under $7,500.GINNA YOUNG/THE STAR NEWS