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Dorchester park board says no to proposed ice racing event

No snowmobile races planned either

Dorchester’s village lake will be quiet this winter, as the local park board has turned down a request from an outside group that wanted to host an ice racing event at the end of February.

At a special village board meeting on Dec. 16, village president Kurt Schwoch told trustees that the park board had decided not to grant permission for the event, which would have involved dirt bikes and four-wheelers racing on the frozen surface of the lake.

The village board gave its blessing for the races — contingent on the park board’s approval — after hearing from Scott Strassburger of the Central Wisconsin Ice Racing Association (CWIRA) at a Nov. 25 meeting.

Strassburger said the group’s races usually draw about 220 entries.

Park board members Wayne Rau and Gene Peissig attended the Nov. 27 meeting and asked several questions and concerns about the proposed event. Peissig said park board members were worried about ruts in the grass left behind by trucks and trailers used to haul the racing vehicles. He said it creates a lot of extra work for them in the spring.

Strassburger said his group would be willing to “throw some dirt down” in the spring to help repair any damage to the grass at the park.

When reached for comment about the park board’s decision, Rau said there were a lot of logistical issues that got in the way. For instance, he said the CWIRA wanted local people to get the park and lake ready for the races.

“These guys are expecting us to take care of the track and prep it,” he said.

Also, the CWIRA normally collects admission from spectators at its events, but because of how Dorchester’s park is laid out, that’s nearly impossible to do, Rau said.

Since 2015, Pro Vintage Racing has held snowmobile races on the village lake in January or February, but those are not planned for this year, either. With those events, PVR would take care of setting up the track and putting in safety fencing and hay bales.

Raises approved

After meeting in closed session, the board voted to approve the following raises for village employees, as recommended by the employee and police committees:

_ Police chief Gary Leichtman will receive a 3 percent raise, bringing his annual salary up to $53,024. Part-time officer Consuelo Maldanado got a $1.75 raise, up to $16.50 per hour.

_ Public works supervisor Clint Penney and water and sewer manager Rick Golz will see their hourly wages raised to $23.25 in 2020, an increase of $1.50. The same amount was applied to public works employee Randy Geiger, who will now be making $21 per hour.

_ Raises of $1.50 were also granted to clerk-treasurer Brooke Bruesewitz, bringing her up to $20 per hour, and deputy clerk-treasurer Christie Erikson, putting her at $15.75 per hour.

_ Wages for all part-time and seasonal staff, along with cleaning staff, were kept the same for 2020.

Other business

_ The board approved the purchase of a 2004 Sterling dump struck from the River Country Co-op for $6,500, with the money coming out of the village’s future expenditures account.

_ The board approved a motion to pay Central Wisconsin Plumbing and Heating $2,775 for inspecting and repairing the sprinkler system at the new clerk’s office building at 250 Parkside Drive.

_ The board accepted a $6,000 cost estimate from Dave’s Showcase to replace the flooring in the upstairs bar area at Memorial Hall with commercial grade adhesive tile.

_ The board approved a motion to send a letter to Terry Recore, the owner of the building at 119 S. Front St., informing him of alleged violations of a village ordinance that allows the board to order the razing of an abandoned building if it presents a health or safety hazard.

If the property owner does not take actions to make the building “safe and sanitary,” the village will send a second notice before it proceeds with razing and removing the structure by either hiring a contractor or having village employees do the work. All of these costs will be passed on to the property owner, and could be included as a special tax assessment if not paid in a timely manner.