The Lake Mills City Council met Tuesday, with everyone keeping their distance from one another amid the COVID-19 outbreak, approving several important agreements and projects to keep city services functioning as best as possible over the coming weeks.

The council approved an intergovernmental agreement between the Lake Mills Fire Department and Watertown Fire and EMS and Johnson Creek Fire and EMS.

“Johnson Creek Fire, EMS has a staffing problem and needs help,” said Fire Chief Todd Yandre. “The agreement goes much further than that. We all need help during certain times of the day and week.”

The goal of Lake Mills Fire Department, Watertown Fire and EMS and Johnson Creek Fire and EMS was to address staffing shortfalls during the day.

“We are all shorthanded for fire calls. This agreement talks about auto-aid which is different from mutual-aid. If there is a fire in Lake Mills, Johnson Creek and Watertown are being dispatched at the same time as Lake Mills,” Yandre said. “We will get resources here faster than what we would if we were to call mutual-aid.”

“We can’t bring the EMS portion in because it’s not ours,” stated Mike Foster, council member. “Looking at risks, what is our risk profile if we go to aid and we have something happen here at the same time?”

Yandre said if Lake Mills Fire goes anyplace, even under mutual-aid, they only send 20% of their resources.

“You keep 80% of your resources and only send 20%, so you always have coverage.”

Council member Steve Fields asked why the agreement was important now, instead of waiting for an agreement with the Lake Mills EMS to be included.

“I don’t manage or supervise Lake Mills EMS. I’m doing what I feel is needed to provide the best protection to our citizens when it comes to fire,” Yandre said. “The other two agencies Johnson Creek and Watertown, in the agreement there is talk of EMS and paramedics and that’s between them. Lake Mills is not a player in that.”

He said there was a need to help the communities out.

“We started this before Jefferson County contracted the Wisconsin Policy Forum to do a study countywide for shared services including fire and EMS. There has since been separate studies looking at shared services. If something else bigger develops we will most likely be involved in that and this will dissolve,” he said.

“This saves time and gets the resources and personnel there right away,” commented Vickie Schmidt, council member.

“The two (Watertown and Johnson Creek) need to sit down with Lake Mills EMS, because they are a separate entity from us,” Wilke said. “From a fire perspective this benefits us.”

The agreement won’t be finalized until all three departments pass the resolution.

“This is only the beginning. We as fire chiefs have to think outside the box,” Yandre said.

The council approved the Mud Lake Road project. The fill from the South Main Street project will likely be used to fill the dip in Mud Lake Road, city officials said.

“The bid documents have been prepared and we are trying to stay on a timeline consistent with what the developer wanted to see for his construction,” Wilke said.

If the city is able to fill the road in a lift station won’t have to be built.

“Where do you think we are getting the fill from? South Main Street,” Wilke said. “While they are digging South Main Street, we are trying to get that dirt and move it to Mud Lake Road.”

The city hopes the contractor doing that project will give the city a good bid on the Mud Lake Road project.

The road will be raised at most eight feet and on average about four feet.

“The road is being raised primarily for sanitary sewer,” said Brandon Herbert, city engineer. “We are tying into the sanitary sewer on South Main.”

The South Main Street project will be moving along at a brisk pace, so city officials hope to get bids in by early April for Mud Lake Road.

During his report Wilke told the council the city received a $485,000 federal Sport Fish Restoration grant for work at Sandy Beach.

“We have to sign a contract that says we are going to take care of a certain number of things,” Wilke said. “We received a $465,000 firm commitment from the Recreational Boating grant from the DNR, with the possibility of in April going up to $485,000 depending on how many additional grants come in on another project.”

At this point it looks like the city will get those funds.

“The last phase of the archeological is $283,000. It just happens to be the additional money we got will cover the project from the feds that we didn’t anticipate.”

That project will be on the council’s next agenda.

“I don’t ever remember seeing a $283,000 phase III report. It shocked me,” he said. “It’s a pretty elaborate project and they do cover a lot of areas.”

In other business the council:

— Awarded the contract for demolition of the Sandy Beach restaurant and trailer No. 1 to HM Brandt LLC of Sussex for $26,516.

“The bid winner has a relationship with LaLonde (South Main Street contractor) so they knew they could get in and out of Sandy Beach Road quickly,” Wilke said.

— Approved a class B beer and class B liquor license for Elias Wedel at Pyramid Event Venue, LLC.

— Approved the 2020 street and sidewalk maintenance program.

— Approved the Jefferson Street reconstruction. The purpose of this project is to restore and upgrade Jefferson St. between Grove St. and CP Avenue. The pavement condition of the street was in poor condition last year and deteriorated more because of heavy traffic using the route during last year’s Main Street reconstruction project.

“The water main will be replaced with no sanitary sewer replacement as there is very little sanitary sewer on the street and what is there has recently been replaced as part of another TID project,” Wilke said in his report.

The project may not start until 2021

— Approved the full-time neighborhood service officer position to be used for citations and enforcement.

— Approved the zoning amendment for Gremar LLC., on behalf of property owner C&S Untz trust for rezoning 19.91 acres from rural redevelopment to 15.36 acres single-family residential and 4.55 acres single-family residential for the Tyranena Point subdivision.

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