Door-to-door solicitors looking to do business in the Village of DeForest will now have one less hour to make sales.

At its brief meeting Tuesday, Aug. 20, the village board voted unanimously to prevent direct sellers, solicitors and canvassers to make in-person calls to personal residences after 8 p.m., except by appointment.

Village ordinances had previously allowed such calls between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The issue was discussed at the board’s meeting earlier this month in response to a complaint from a resident about representatives of a solar panel company knocking on his door and ringing a doorbell repeatedly after 9 p.m., forcing his wife to answer the door even though there wasn’t a light on in the house. He also said they were bothering his neighbors, as well.

Speaking at the last regular board meeting on Aug. 6, Village President Judd Blau said, “I was always taught 9 a.m.-9 p.m., right? You never call somebody before 9 a.m., you don’t call anybody after 9 p.m. If somebody is that inconsiderate that they are going to continue to ring a doorbell and whatever else, I’d answer the door and say, ‘Do you really think I’m going to buy anything from you at this point?’”

During the Aug. 6 meeting, village officials directed staff to work on revising the ordinance to change the times. The resident who spoke up proposed a 7 p.m. deadline, but admitted he was “shooting for the moon.”

Back on Aug. 6, Trustee Jeff Miller asked how many direct seller permits were given out by the village per year. Village Administrator Steve Fahlgren said around a dozen.

In comments made at that Aug. 6 meeting, Miller said, “I cannot recall the last time someone knocked on my door. Regardless of things like dinner, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. is a long time for whoever wants to solicit to solicit. Again, we’re talking maybe a dozen a year we’re getting. I could go either way on changing it.”

Miller and Blau were absent at the Aug. 20 meeting. Trustee Abigail Lowery thought a stoppage time of 7 p.m. would be too early and “ … door-to-door salespeople or solicitors will be forced to go between 5-7 p.m. when people are eating dinner.”

Noting that TDS, the company he works for, has door-to-door sellers, who have permits and knock on doors, Blau said at the Aug. 6 meeting that they don’t want to disturb residents when its dark, because people get nervous. Come wintertime, Blau said they’re not out much past 4:30 or 5 p.m.

Fire vehicles and equipment purchase

Days after the Village of Windsor approved the purchase of a new rescue engine and ambulance for the DeForest Windsor Fire & EMS District, the Village of DeForest followed suit at its Tuesday, Aug. 20 meeting.

There is an Intergovernmental Agreement for Fire and EMS Services between the two municipalities that stipulates both parties are responsible for funding such purchases. A funding mechanism based on equalized values of DeForest and Windsor calculates how much each is responsible for in such situations.

Of the estimated $975,000 needed to buy the two vehicles, DeForest’s portion is 57.19 percent and the resolution passed Aug. 20 by village trustees notes DeForest’s contribution is not to exceed $560,000.

Appointment of zoning administrator

A resolution was passed Aug. 20 that provides for the appointment of a new zoning administrator.

The measure, which takes effect immediately, separates the duties of village director of public services and those of the village zoning administrator, which were previously combined together under the auspices of the director of public services.

The village administrator is authorized to appoint a village employee as zoning administrator, who will be responsible for administration of DeForest’s zoning, floodplain zoning and shoreland-wetland zoning codes.

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