The Poynette Village Board was in favor of the village increasing the payments by the Town of Dekorra in its rental agreement for use of village hall.
The subject was reviewed during a meeting on June 22 to increase the rent from $200 to $500 per month. The board approved the increase at its July 13 meeting.
The initial agreement began in late 2017 for $200 per month to be paid by the Town of Dekorra because “village board expressed a desire to be neighborly and help the town during this transition by keeping the monthly rent low.”
The transition in question was that the town was scheduled to improve its own town hall and needed a place to conduct its business. The initial rental agreement was to be for no more than one year. Those initial fees have stayed the same for almost three years now.
It has come to the understanding of Poynette Village Administrator Martin Shanks that the town never went through with its plans and currently has no other plans moving forward. Shanks said once the town agrees on a plan, completion of the project is anywhere from one to two years away.
Shanks sent a letter to the town, informing them of the village’s intent to raise the monthly rent.
He indicated that the village’s expenses for village hall were $54,919.52 in 2019, which included custodial services, utilities such as water, sewer, gas, electric, solid waster and stormwater, and maintenance and building supplies.
“However, the longer the town remains in village hall, the more it should contribute towards the operational costs of maintaining the building,” Shanks wrote in his letter to Dekorra Town Board Chairman Kyle Knuteson and other members of the board.
The village’s staff has absolutely no issue with town staff in the building and Shanks said his staff enjoys having Town Clerk Holly Priske and others in the building. But with the $6,000 per year now coming in from the town of Dekorra, it will pay for a little more than 10 percent of the annual costs of the building.
“We understand that local government budgets are always tight, and an increase will have an impact on your budget for 2021,” Shanks said in conclusion of the letter. “The town’s presence in village hall does have an impact on building costs for the Village. We believe the town contributing 10 percent of the annual costs is a fair offer.”
Village to start accessing late fees on utilities again
The board agreed to waive late fee charges for the second quarter in regards to three utilities — sewer, stormwater and solid waste. The board also did so for the first quarter.
However, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is rescinding the waivers of late fees order on all water utilities for the third quarter, with municipalities to follow suit.
According to Shanks, unless the PSC decides to reimplement orders — given the changing dynamics of COVID-19 in Wisconsin — the village does not expect there to be waivers for late fees in the third quarter.
The village does not see a lot of revenue from late fees on the three utilities it operates, but going back to charging late fees on those three keeps things consistent with all utilities.
“Any individuals with outstanding balances from previous quarters will be expected to pay them off or set up deferred payment agreements,” Shanks said.