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Thursday, May 26, 2016

New trustee joins Freistatt Village Board

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Freistatt Village Board of Trustees got one new member and returned an incumbent in the April 6 election. Shown from left, are: Ryan Buchmueller, new board member; returning incumbent James Michael Ortwein; and Clerk Deborah Schoen, administering the oath of office. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Ryan Buchmueller joined the Freistatt Village Board of Trustees at the board's April meeting. Buchmueller, the pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, was elected by write-in vote.

Results from the April 6 election were approved. Returning to office is James M. Ortwein, the only candidate who filed. Ortwein has served since 2005 and was re-elected by the board to serve as its chairman, which holds the title of mayor.

Clerk Deborah Schoen administered the oath of office to Buchmueller and Ortwein. Schoen returned to her duties as the board's secretary/treasurer.

Elmer Conway agreed to serve on the Freistatt Community Development Authority which had been done by outgoing trustee Delpha Bowling.

Bowling received thanks from the board for her service and her extra duties in taking care of the community building.

Financial matters

Trustees approved a revised budget for the United State Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program. The originally submitted budget reflected more spending than income, which did not meet guidelines.

Schoen said small changes were made to reach a balance. She also informed Rural Development the trustees may add a fee in the future to cover the cost of meter reading and trash.

Looking at money matters, board members decided not to advertise for mowing bids after learning Eric and Rachel Maylee were available to mow again this year. Schoen reported the Maylees had not submitted a multi-year bid in 2009 due to apprehension about gas prices.

With prices stabilized, the Maylees would accept a contract through 2011 to do work at the same price. Trustees agreed and awarded the contract.

Department reports

Water operator Charles Stearns provided an update on his efforts to change water meters. Stearns has started on the second group scheduled for replacement. Work on specific meters would be delayed until Kevin Davis was available to dig them out.

Schoen reported work to install vents in the attic of the community building continues. Terry Tennill would not be able to line the vents up, because the kitchen exhaust system had been installed along the rear wall to the roof.

Schoen was still working on setting up the new computer billing program. She planned to seek technical assistance and switch from the wireless connection, which has not worked well.

Six boxes of old documents were presented to trustees for disposal. Schoen said she had cleaned out boxes, drawers and cabinets, removing items that were due for disposal under state statutes.

While going through records, Schoen reported finding a number of surprising items, such as Louis Knaust's personal file from his term as mayor in the 1970s. An old book of ordinances was retained for future reference. A letter, dated 1988, was found from the Lawrence County Health Department stating the Community Building had no asbestos.

Any documents of historic value were retained. A ledger book, dating from 1936 to 1948, contained a list of names but its function could not be identified. Plaques found in the collection were ordered to be hung on the Community Center's walls.

Property issues

Alejandro Macias came to trustees to discus the number of vehicles he has on his property. Macias said he has only purchased vehicles for repair. He did not have junk cars and wanted to work with village officials to address concerns.

Trustees directed Macias to keep vehicle parts picked up in his yard and to secure his vehicles to keep children from playing in them.

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