Trustees for the Village of Star Prairie approved procedures underway by the Clerk's Office to collect on more than $20,000 in past due utility bills.

Courtesy letters were sent to customers who owe past due sums informing them they have until the next due date, July 22, to make a minimum payment, pay up or make alternative arrangements through the Clerk's Office.

"This is starting the process to get compensation from these late accounts for remedying the balance before we start with shutoff procedures," Board President Rita Keating said.

"If people don't pay their accounts then we'll take steps to disconnect the water according to the PSC guidelines. Shutting off the water is the last thing we want to do," Clerk Engesether said.

The Clerk's Office adheres to the collection guidelines prescribed by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Customers should be aware that additional fees may be incurred including interest on unpaid balances and disconnect and reconnection fees.

Village dump

Village Maintenance Operator Nate Licht reported that parties other than Village residents continue to abuse the village dump.

One solution proposed is to alert illegal dumpers of the fine they risk.

"I think we should put a sign up there giving the amount and I think we should fine them," Trustee Greg Gibson said.

Trustees approved the addition of signage warning offenders that the appropriate Village ordinance prohibiting such dumping will be enforced with citations and fines. Trustees also approved the installation of cameras to assist in the enforcement.

Police Chief Josh Hecht informed trustees the department is in the process of hiring Cory VanEffan as a part-time officer. VanEffan is currently employed by the Ellsworth Police Department. Hecht expects VanEffan to be on patrol no later than the end of July. VanEffan's hiring will return the department to full strength consisting of the chief as the department's full-time officer assisted by two part-time officers.

Other business

• Emergency Communication Systems completed the installation of the new emergency siren which was tested successfully July 3. With the new siren, the Village also has its own independent code within the countywide emergency system. The village previously shared its code with New Richmond, which prevented independent testing.

• Trustees approved Lisa Meyer's proposal to conduct assessor duties for the village for 2020 for an annual fee of $4,300.

• Trustee Dan Scheeringa reported that the village has secured a grant worth $1,835 from Star Prairie Fish and Game to be applied toward the purchase of materials to replace the decking on the overlook at River Island Park.