STAR PRAIRIE, Wis. — Trustees for the Village of Star Prairie unanimously approved a $386,465 budget for 2020 which represents an increase of $38,465 (7.37%) from the previous year. The new budget includes a tax levy of $260,366. The new mill rate will be .0728.

Trustees increased the allowable 2019 municipal tax levy by $25,136 to account for the annual principal and interest to purchase a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD maintenance truck.

“The suggested levy adjustment is roughly $.66 more per $1,000 in value. So if you have a property valued at $100,000, the property owner would pay an additional $66 more due to the levy adjustment,” said Village President Rita Keating.

Trustees also approved a general obligation debt from Bremer Bank in the amount of $52,910.73 to pay for the new truck. The term of the loan is three years at an interest rate of 2.840%.

Trustees also approved a wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2020, of 3% for the village’s maintenance operator, clerk/treasurer and part-time maintenance operator.

Officer in charge Craig Lau informed trustees that his last day serving the village will be Dec. 7, 2019.

So far two applications have been received in response to an ad placed for part-time officers by the village on WILENET. Only one of the applicants had the requisite training. Lau’s departure will leave the village with only one part-time deputy.

Trustees plan to inform the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department of the village’s circumstances in hopes of scheduling additional patrols by the county.

Trustees also planned to contact Police Chief Joshua Hecht, currently on a year-long leave of absence with the Hudson Police Department to clear the possibility of advertising for a new chief. Lau suggested it might be more productive to advertise and fill a chief’s position than a part-time deputy position.

Star Prairie Fish and Game members (from left to right): Diz Madsen, Chuck Magoon, John Peterson and Erv Ericksen helped restore the deck at River Island Park. Submitted photo
Star Prairie Fish and Game members (from left to right): Diz Madsen, Chuck Magoon, John Peterson and Erv Ericksen helped restore the deck at River Island Park. Submitted photo

Trustees Dan Scheeringa, Craig Matthys and Park Committee member Tom Johnson were part of the crew of volunteers responsible for restoring the River Island Park deck. The project was completed using a grant from Star Prairie Fish and Game to purchase materials. SPF&G members involved in the project included Erv Ericksen, Diz Madsen, John Peterson, Chuck Magoon, Bill Jasperson and Chuck Frawley. There was enough lumber left over to replace decking on a couple of the fishing docks next spring.

Other business

Trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with the Wisconsin Elections Commission to apply for an election security subgrant worth up to $1,200 to upgrade the village’s computer and address other IT needs.

Trustees approved an agreement designating Darel Hall to be the village’s animal control/animal humane officer to be compensated on a per call basis at the rate of $20 per hour.

Trustees approved a new five-year contract for fire protection and rescue services with the City of New Richmond (New Richmond Fire & Rescue Service) effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Trustees approved the preparation and submission of a municipal local supplement grant application for Fifth Street reconstruction worth up to $407,000 by Angela Popenhagen, Stevens Engineering, on behalf of the village. Trustees also approved a reduced match rate of 70/30 with the understanding that it might improve the village’s chances of receiving the grant.

Patsy Johnson has been selected to light the community Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 at River Island Park.