Water rate increase to 3%

An application to increase the simplified water rate by 3% was approved by the Ellsworth Village Board July 8. The increase will be in effect starting Sept. 30, 2019.

The last increase was completed in 2017. The state requires a rate of return and there are approximately 20 valves on Main Street which need to be replaced prior to the state's repaving project on Main Street.

Two loans approved

Applications for two loan requests, one at $453,000 and another at $395,000, were approved. The larger loan's purpose is to finance 2019 capital projects with a term of 20 years and the other loan will refund the outstanding principal on Sept. 1, 2019, for 2010A bonds with a seven-year term.

These bonds were authorized to be redeemed through a resolution approved by the board at the July 8 meeting. The series of bonds include one with a principal of $155,000 to mature on March 1, 2022; another with a principal of $115,000 to mature on March 1, 2024; and the third with a principal of $125,000 to mature on March 1, 2026. All total $395,000.

ATV Association requesting route limit change

To bypass the need for hauling an ATV from a residence to the trails, the Pierce County ATV/UTV Association requested the Village Board change an ordinance outlining use in the village limits to allow riders to travel from their residence straight to the trails.

The official request submitted by Larry Johnson, president of the Pierce County ATV/UTV Association, reads that the association desires to continue a good working relationship with the board and finds that ATVs and UTVs are becoming more commonplace in cities and villages.

Village Attorney Lars Loberg said at the meeting that writing the ordinance may be tricky, as it is hard to include wording that limits riders from "stopping at Grandpa's" before heading to the trail.

Ellsworth Police Chief Eric Ladwig agreed, saying there's no way to keep track of which residence they are coming from to the trails and usually riders are not stopped unless they are in violation.

The board ultimately approved to have an ordinance written which may be in effect sometime in August with a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2019.

Water and sewer studies approved

Two studies were approved, one with the BioSolids Facility and the other for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Preliminary and Final Plan.

The study for wastewater includes having the engineering firm at the disposal plant look into the village taking a portion of the centrate that is generated. Trucks are now limited to hauling in 8,000 gallons of sludge but only 6,000 gallons of waste out of municipalities.

This study would be at no cost to the village as all costs would be picked up by the BioSolids Facility charged by the engineering firm.

The $35,000 study to have Davy Engineering services provide DNR a Preliminary and Final Plan by the end of 2020 regarding phosphorus limits to comply with the wastewater treatment plan permit.

Future of the library building

The board will not be pursuing the BMO Bank building to be used for the Ellsworth library's new home, but is pursuing options for remodeling the current building.

Library Director Tiffany Meyer reported on the minor library improvements that have already been completed, including in the bathrooms, back entry hallway, staff break room and reading room. These were done at or below estimated costs and the library has been decisive about which projects to pursue before knowing the future of the building.

The upstairs storage areas are in need of major repair as the walls are reportedly crumbling and the ceiling is cracked. One area becomes wet which limits the space's use.

Other business

• All operator's licenses were approved.

• The Century Saloon's request to amend their class B license premise description was approved to include outdoor patio area in the back of the building for April through November.

• Funsters of Ellsworth Inc. were approved for a temporary class B/ class B retailer's license for the Demo Derby rain date Augt. 17-18.