The Poynette Village Board approved two change orders and discussed whether or not to voice their support for the fall school referendum, among other business, at their meeting Tuesday night, July 24.

The discussion surrounding the resolution recommending approval of the referendum occurred at the Committee of the Whole meeting preceding the board meeting. In a memo addressed to the board, Village Administrator Martin Shanks pointed to Village Trustee Jerry Burke lobbing the idea of passing a resolution at a board meeting this spring. Shanks recommended the board do just that in the memo, writing, “I believe the success of our current, short term and long- range initiatives are directly tied to the success of the school district.”

Board member Bill Boor said the board had never been anything but supportive of the school district. Board member Chris Polzier urged caution, telling other committee members the issue was more complicated that it first appeared. “Are we going to get into the surface of these types of resolutions?” he asked. “Sometimes I think we just need to mind our own house.”

The committee discussed the matter before ultimately deciding to table the issue until next month’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

The committee also heard an update from Poynette Police Chief Eric Fisher, who filled in the committee on some planned purchases to be made by his department. Chief Fisher said the funds will come from the department’s budget, but were originally allocated for other uses. The department will spend approximately $10,000 on the following items:

A new refrigerator for storage of biological evidence. In a memo to the board, Chief Fisher wrote that the current fridge is at least 20 years old, and it stores DNA, blood kits and other samples that have to remain frozen or at cool temperatures to keep stable. Fisher estimated the cost of a new fridge at $500, but Trustee Boor suggested looking into a commercial fridge, which would likely last longer and could come with a sensor to alert of a rapid temperature change.

Two new tasers, at a cost of about $3,000, minus a $1,000 grant from Alliant Energy. Fisher said the department’s current tasers are 10 years old and officers have experienced “failed discharges, among other issues.”

Fisher called the third item, a gun safe, a “must have.” Currently, guns are stored loosely in the evidence room, and many have sustained rust damage. Fisher estimated a gun safe that fit his needs would cost about $2,000, but Trustee Boor suggested looking into a safe with a lazy susan inside, which will provide much more storage for another $1,500.

The last item on Fisher’s list was a video surveillance system, provided by Hometown Computers and Networking, for City Hall and the Police Department. The system will provide high-quality video surveillance of the precinct, including the interrogation and interview room, as well as of City Hall offices. In the memo, Fisher wrote that a few of the high-quality cameras can surveil in night vision, and will be monitoring city parks and the department parking lot. Hometown Computers and Networking is currently providing those services for the city of Lodi as well. The cost of the system would be about $4,800.

The committee roundly approved of the suggested purchases, and Board President Diana Kaschinsky called them an “excellent use of leftover funds.”

The bulk of the board meeting was centered on discussions with city engineer Kory Anderson, Vice President at General Engineering Company. Anderson walked board members through the two change orders approved. The first was on E. Mill St. for a temporary water main, at a cost of $11,100. The other was also for a temporary water main and “geotextile fabric” at Pearl, Hudson and Tomlinson street and utility improvements, at a cost of $7,340.

Trustee Doug Avery wondered why the contractors did not include the temporary water main in the original contract, since it would likely prove necessary when replacing an old one. Anderson said these projects can usually be completed without using a temporary main. Anderson also said the root cause of the water main breaks were largely indecipherable maps that were 70 or 80 years old and of little use to excavators digging in the area. The area lacked any sensors or other indicators of where the main was located.

The board also checked with Anderson and Shanks about the notification process for neighbors next to construction projects underway in Poynette.

In other news, The DOT will be repaving HWY 22 from Wyocena to the town of Leeds starting July 30 through October. The detour will be on HWY 51 through the Village of Poynette

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