Poynette Village Hall

The Poynette village board agreed to improve the front counter area of Village Hall after staff voiced safety concerns regarding the current configuration.

During its committee of the whole meeting on June 22, the Poynette Village Board agreed to make improvements to Village Hall regarding the safety and security of the staff.

The decision is not just for added safety during the pandemic, but for physical safety throughout the entire year.

Currently the front desk area of Village Hall is unsecured. Village Administrator Martin Shanks noted in a memo to the board that anybody with malicious intent could cause harm to property and staff.

“Given the small staff and between vacations, sickness or meetings, it’s not uncommon for only one employee to be alone in the front desk area,” Shanks said.

“Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon for the staff to deal with upset and sometimes irate individuals,” he added. “There have been incidents of significant concern when police officers have been called to watch the office area to ensure the safety and security of staff.”

Shanks said that employees have expressed their concerns to him regarding their safety after certain incidents.

Last year, the village did place a camera at the front counter, but Shanks said its a “marginal deterrent” and “only creates a record of an incident.”

Shanks talked with Director of Public Works Scott Gorman, who has been working with General Engineering for options to construct a “store front window system” for the front counter area. The project would include framing, a lockable door and different walk-up window options — a sliding window or window opening.

General Engineering provided the village with two quoted options. The first option, for a sliding window, would cost around $12,253. The option with a window opening would be slightly cheaper at around $10,953.

Shanks said that there are sufficient funds in the Capital Fund to complete the project in whatever manner is chosen. The staff will now seek a contractor for the project.

Also, some initial figures for the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan were presented to the board at the committee of the whole meeting.

The spending of $1,058,755 is already budgeted for 2021, with $1,605,775 in the budget for 2022, $305,000 for 2023, $475,000 for 2024 (all in the Capital Fund) and $1,573,670 for 2025.

According to Shanks, beginning in June, the board reviews the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan. The plan sketches out major projects and equipment replacement priorities in the coming years. The items are referred to as capital assets, are required to be over $10,000 and have a useful life of more than a year.

For the June 22 meeting, Shanks advised the board “to not focus on the financial costs of the projects, but rather ask yourselves if this project a priority. Does it need to be done now? Can or should it be done sooner or later?”

The Capital Improvement Plan will continue to be reviewed throughout the summer months.

The board chose not to change anything regarding the policies for yard waste pick up, brush collection or the burn site.

Curbside pickup is done in the village eight times a year, on the first Monday of the month from April to November. Collection usually lasts the full week as staff can collect all items — tree limbs, branches, brush, along with bagged grass, leaves and garden waste.

Curbside leaf pickup up is on the first three Mondays of November, and usually takes up most of the weeks. Christmas tree pickup is the first and second Monday of January.

The village’s burn site, licensed by the DNR, is a self-service site and is limited to woody vegetation (limbs, branches, twigs and garden debris).

The board also decided to not go forward with possible changes to the Seward Street and Main Street intersection, which is currently a three-way stop.

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