The Cottage Grove Village Board on Sept. 8 approved a change in the Deer Grove Emergency Medical Service (EMS) medical director contract that will roughly double the monthly charge and contract with a new provider.

Deer Grove EMS Chief Eric Lang said during his report that the service sought a more involved director. The existing medical service provider declined, so he reached out to both UW Health and Madison Emergency Physicians and learned that Madison Emergency Physicians could not only accommodate the service, but be more involved. The service will continue to pay $500 per month to MEP, then increase the rate on Jan. 1 to $1,000 per month, according to the contract.

Lang said he wants MEP to be more involved after 9 years. The service received the contract from MEP, had its attorney and insurance provider satisfactorily review the contract and forward it to the village board for approval.

Marshall, DeForest, McFarland, and Oregon EMS all use MEP in Dane County; Lodi and Dells-Delton use MEP outside of Dane County, according to Lang.

“An additional piece that will make this transition smoother for us — we were already using a set of protocols developed by MEP since February,” Lang told the village board. Deer Grove developed and helped to fine tune them with MEP so its paramedics will not need to learn anything new with a new physician group, Lang said.

During discussion of the budget, the opinion surfaced again that the village may need to look at purchasing its own ambulance in the future.

Lang has recommended hiring two new full-time paramedics halfway through the next two years — 2021 and 2022 — as well as including a new ambulance and $1,000 to replace an intravenous (IV) pump.

The budget proposal allows one ambulance to be staffed in each village — Deerfield and Cottage Grove.

Village Administrator Matt Giese questioned the logic of locating an ambulance in Deerfield based on population. Lang said the population of the town and village of Deerfield remains about 5,000, while the town and village of Cottage Grove are around 10,000 residents.

That led Village President John Williams to raise the issue of the village leaving the service at some point in the future.

“We’re stuck in an agreement where we’re paying the majority,” Williams said, “but only get a third of the say.”

The board will continue to discuss the budget during upcoming meetings.

Library survey coming soon

Acting on a recommendation from the Library Planning Committee, the board approved posting a survey to the village website from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, with links to the survey being sent to the village’s e-mail list and the Cottage Grove Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department’s e-mail list. Survey links will also be posted on the village’s Facebook page as well as the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department’s Facebook page.

Village Board member Melissa Ratcliff said the survey will be Survey Monkey style and not ask any questions about the cost of the library or what the community would be willing to spend.

The planning committee is expected to share the survey results with the village and discuss the survey results at a future meeting.

Letter supports SRO

At the request of Cottage Grove Police Chief Dan Layber, the village board sent a letter of support to the Monona Grove School Board for the school resource officer (SRO) position at the Cottage Grove Police Department. The current CGPD SRO is Jessica Helgeland.

“Apparently at the last [Monona Grove School] board meeting, there were negative comments,” Layber said, referring to the continuation of the SRO positions in Monona and Cottage Grove. The MGSD pays for roughly 75 percent of the SRO position, with the other 25 percent being paid by Monona or Cottage Grove police departments depending on where the SRO is based.

Helgeland works mostly at Taylor Prairie or Cottage Grove Elementary schools.

“She knows the kids, she knows the parents, she knows the home situations,” Layber said.

Village board members each said they supported the position, with some board members having personal experiences with the SRO as references.

They also said they support the SRO position in Monona at Monona Grove High School.

After some discussion, the village’s attorney advised Williams that the village president should take a straw poll about the SRO position and the board’s support for it. Williams agreed to send a letter expressing the board’s support on the village’s letterhead with his signature via email to the school board.

Task Force members appointed

Acting on a recommendation from Williams, the board appointed two Monona Grove School District representatives — Loreen Gage and Andrew McKinney — to the Cottage Grove Housing Task Force. McKinney recently lost his bid to challenge Melissa Sargent for the Democratic Party nomination for the 16th District State Senate seat.

Williams said other task force members will be appointed soon, but they are in the process of completing their forms for appointment.

Village development reviewed

Giese and Cottage Grove Director of Planning & Development Erin Ruth reviewed the village’s development for the year so far, including the construction of two new hotels — the Comfort Suites, an 82-room hotel constructed adjacent to the existing shopping center between Highway N, Interstate 94 and Landmark Drive set for occupancy in Fall of 2021, and the 97-room Atwell Suites under construction north of I-94.

Also part of the review:

• Glen Grove Apartments, the 100-unit complex being proposed on N north of the Stop’n Go that includes 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units proposed by Movin’ Out with amenities including a fitness center, underground parking, playground, and garden beds for tenant use.

The project, which uses WHEDA tax credits to ensure affordable rents, is currently in the approval process with a developer agreement pending project approval.

• Madison Window Cleaning, the 12,000 sq. ft. office & vehicle storage facility in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District 5 with a guaranteed minimum value of $1.5 million that opened in spring.

• Dolphin Swim Academy, a proposed facility located in TIF District 5 that includes a 2,000 sq. ft. pool with two 8’ wide, 25 yard long lanes with lockers and viewing area.

The project is currently in the approval process with a developer agreement pending approval.

• Granite Ridge Elementary School, the 121,000 sq. ft. Monona Grove School District facility currently under construction for grades 3-5 set to open in fall of 2021.

• Cottage Grove Commons, with 106 luxury apartment units in a mixed-use building under development on the southwest corner of Highway N and Gaston Rd. that includes 8,000 sq. ft. of retail, an interior parking garage surrounded by units on all sides and 32 condo units in four 8-unit buildings with a guaranteed minimum value of $23 million.

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