Poynette Utilities

The Village of Poynette’s wastewater treatment plant is seen recently. The decision to not assess late fees on any utilities operated by the village within the first quarter was approved by the village board at its May 11 meeting.

The Village of Poynette has decided not to assess late fees within the first quarter for four utilities. It was approved by the village board at its May 11 meeting.

The Public Service of Wisconsin oversees the public water facilities and ordered to waive late fees. The village board then approved to waive late fees for three other utilities, operated by the village — sewer, stormwater and solid waste. All four utilities operate on quarterly bills.

“In general, the utilities don’t have a strong reliance on late fee revenue,” Village Administrator Martin Shanks said in a memo to the board. “Not collecting late fees for one quarter or longer if necessary, should not pose a significant financial burden to any of the utilities.”

In 2019, the total combined revenue for the four utilities was about $1.25 million. Only $6,366 came from assessed late fees.

Also up for action May 11 was the payment of $378,380.71 — a second installment — to S&L Underground for the work being done on Park and Washington Street. It was approved by the board.

Per Kory Anderson, the Village Engineer, S&L Underground has completed all of the underground work on both streets. It has placed gravel on Park Street, but the company is letting the street dry out for a few weeks prior to placing the curb, gutters and asphalt. The curb and gutter, sidewalk and asphalt restoration on Washington Street will also wait until Park Street is completed. Substantial completion is Aug. 15 with final completion later that month. However, even with the delays, Anderson said S&L Underground expects to have both projects completed by the end of this month.

Also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the village board has been interested in reducing liquor licenses for the upcoming year (July 1-June 30, 2021). Since that licensing is regulated by the state, Village Attorney Chris Hughes did some research.

Certain licenses require a minimum fee, but amusement licenses (bar games), bartender licenses and beer licenses (on and off premises consumption) have no minimum. The minimum for cigarette licenses is $5 and the minimum liquor license is $50. Hughes said that there should be a uniform fee for each individual license and not have different fees depending on the applicant.

The above licenses brought in a total of $13,713 to the village in 2019.

“If the Board desires to move forward with this initiative then Attorney Hughes should draft changes to the Village ordinance allowing the Board to take action to temporarily reduce fees as desired, but within statutory requirements,” Shanks said.

The decision will be ready for action at the next meeting on May 26.

Also discussed was whether or not to allow golf carts on village streets. According to Hughes, everything depends on whether the highways and roadways in question are territories of the village, county or state. He said the village can adopt an ordinance to allow for golf carts with three conditions. First, golf carts can be allowed on any village street that has a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less. In addition, the village will he to define “golf cart” and determine if reflective devices are needed. Village street do not include Highway CS/Q (South Street, Main Street and East North Street) or Highway 51.

Second, the village can allow for golf carts to cross Highway 51, but only in areas where the posted speed is 35 mph or less. The village would be required to provide the Wisconsin DOT funds to put up and maintain crossing signs.

Lastly, if the village wants to allow golf carts on Highway CS/Q, they would need approval from Columbia County.

Further research was desired on the topic.

DPW getting a lot of work done as summer approaches

Director of Poynette’s Public Works Scott Gorman noted several jobs that the crew has completed in the last month. DPW has prepped Village Hall for painting and replaced the sump pump, along with repairing potholes throughout the village and completing landscaping around the foot bridge in Pauquette Park. Damaged mailboxes from winter plowing have been repaired and playground equipment is being removed from the school. Several other projects have also been completed. A park shelter has been removed and the park bathrooms are open ready, whenever the “Safer at Home” order is lifted, according to Gorman.

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