The Windsor Village Board voted to apply for a $2 million loan to redevelop the downtown area.

The unanimous vote occurred during the board’s regular Aug. 1 meeting. According to village documents, if approved, the State Trust Fund loan would be repaid in annual installments over 10 years. The interest rate would be set at 3.75 percent.

According to village staff, the application will be processed by the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, likely within 30 days. The money would be used exclusively for the purchase of property for downtown redevelopment, including parking locations, park expansions and municipal buildings.

In other news, the Windsor Village Board passed an ordinance to allow its members to attend meetings electronically.

The vote passed 4-1 with Village President Bob Wipperfurth voting no, saying he disliked the ordinance because it allows for quorum to be achieved without anyone being physically present inside the same meeting room.

The policy specifically allows “electronic devices” to be utilized. Other board members were enthusiastic about the option to call in when necessary.

Trustee Monica Smith said she works from home and often utilizes remote meetings with a high degree of satisfaction.

“The technology is out there and is being used a lot,” Smith said.

Trustees Bruce Stravinski and Don Madelung also voiced support, with Stravinski saying a regional committee he sits on also permits remote attendance. But some staff had comments of concern.

Village Recording Secretary Ellen Teed asked whether the callers’ audio would be played in a smaller, quieter room or inside the larger village board room. She was concerned that a larger, louder room would create issues while writing down meeting notes for the official minutes.

Windsor Attorney William Cole brought up another point, saying the review of documents is hampered when board members call in and aren’t able to physically see papers. However, he said, that problem can be mitigated by the use of video functions.

Wipperfurth warned that the board would revisit the issue should board members “abuse” the policy.

Remote attendance has made news in statewide legislature. State Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, has recently been arguing for the right to call in to legislative sessions due to health complications caused by his paralysis.

The board also approved the purchase of the Badger Books system. The polling technology provides secure, streamlined services on voting day, according to village staff. Staffers said they anticipate high turnout during the 2020 presidential contest and hoped to have the updated machines in place by then.

“There is great efficiency and cost savings for us, especially in a big election year,” said Village Clerk Christine Capstran.

Nine Badger Book stations, two routers, thermal receipt paper and USB devices were approved for no more than $18,000 in total.

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