Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Board hears of ball field usage

The Baldwin Village Board held an extensive discussion regarding use of the village's ball field at Mill Pond Park. There are, sometimes, conflicting claims for use of the four fields with the various groups that use them, including summer recreation, traveling leagues, adult leagues and B-W High School baseball and softball teams. This is the first year of spring baseball for B-W HS.

The uses are still being sorted out but eventually scheduling of the fields will be the responsibility of Summer Recreation Director Jarod Dachel after priorities have been established, said Village Administrator Cindy Deringer.

In other action at the meeting:

-The board approved a modification to the village's subdivision ordinance raising the fee to developers to $150 from $50 in lieu of each tree a developer is required to plant in a subdivision. A brief hearing was held prior to the amendment to the ordinance and no one was present to comment. Village engineer Mike Stoffel explained that the increase is merely a reflection of the cost of trees.

-Don Somsen presented the annual report of Baldwin Hospital (Baldwin Area Medical Center) and following that the village board approved a resolution calling for the prepayment and redemption of the outstanding $1,770,000 taxable hospital mortgage revenue bond that was issued in 1998. The funds are available to the Hospital, Somsen said, and prepayment will
save the hospital over $19,000 a month in payments.

Hospital Administrator Greg Burns said "by paying it off earlier we'll save significant interest and improve our overall financial position."

On a roll call vote, all trustees and President McGee voted yes.

-The board approved installation of two flashing pedestrian cross walk beacons in the village. They will both be on USH 63 (Tenth Avenue), one at Oak Street and the other at Curtis Street. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will do the work as part of the upcoming 63 upgrade work and the village will reimburse the approximate $15,000 cost to the DOT.

-The board was informed that Stephanie Zacharias has withdrawn her
request for a Class A Beer and Class A Liquor License.

SnoDays royalty crowned

Mary Hovde was crowned Queen and Dan Barnes was crowned King at the conclusion of SnoDays Friday evening at B-W High School.

President's Day supper held

None other than the founder of our country himself, George Washington, and "Honest Abe" Abraham Lincoln were present at the Presidents' Day Patriotic Supper and Party held Saturday at the Baldwin American Legion hall.

Zac Weyer qualifies for State

Zac Weyer used an arm bar to gain back points on Jeremy Stenulson of Neillsville in the opening round of the Somerset Sectional. Weyer won an 8-4 decision and finished in third place at 130 pounds.

Freshman Zac Weyer was the only wrestler from Baldwin-Woodville to qualify for the WIAA state individual tournament this year. Weyer finished in third place at 130 pounds last Saturday in the Somerset Sectional.

"Zac wrestled very well at times," Coach Jason Cimino commented. "I think he could have had a better showing in his two losses. He did beat two seniors."

Weyer opened the day with an 8-4 decision over Jeremy Stenulson of Neillsville, but was pinned by Derek Marten of Mondovi in the semifinal. In the consolation bracket Weyer pinned Bob Tahtinen of Northwestern and decisioned Mathew Hartmann of Durand 6-5 in the third place match.

Weyer had a chance to improve his finish to second when Marten won the 130 pound championship, but lost by pin to Zach Zehner of Tomahawk.

Spencer Corey, a junior, also won his first match with a pin over Jared Vroman of Barron at 189 pounds. But he lost an 8-2 decision to John Schoen (Neillsville) and a 4-1 decision to Frank Dobbs (Melrose-Mindoro/G.E.T.) to finish fourth. The top three finishers at sectional advance to the state tournament.

Junior Tyler Klund lost to Kaleb Stephens of Barron 3-0 and Chace Kinneman of Ellsworth 9-0 to be eliminated at 119 pounds.

Junior Hunter Campbell (160) and sophomore T.J. Lund (215) both lost in the opening round and did not get a chance for a wrestle back.

"If Hunter was healthy, I think he would have had a good shot at making it through," Cimino commented. "He beat one of the kids (that advanced) during the regular season before his injury.

"I look for all our sectional qualifiers to only get better. Spencer wrestled two of his best matches in his two losses."

Among the most improved wrestlers this season, Cimino named Lund, Dan Peterson and Matt Bonte.

Jason LaFavor, who had qualified for the sectional at 130 pounds, was unable to compete because of a virus.

"It was unfortunate, especially with Jason being a senior, but the rules are strict," Cimino said.

Weyer will face Ryan Baugnet, a senior from Denmark with a record of 37-8 in the preliminaries on Thursday night at the Kohl Center in Madison. Weyer brings a record of 33-7 to the state tournament.

"I don't know about the kid, but looking at his record, I would think Zac can compete with him," Cimino concluded. "The important thing is to get by that first match."

School board sets referendum date Swimming pool question to be posed

The Baldwin-Woodville Board of Education voted to schedule a building referendum for June 3, 2008 at the regular monthly meeting Monday evening. The referendum will have two questions, one for building a new intermediate school costing approximately $16.5 million, and the other for building an indoor swimming pool costing approximately $3.5 million.

The timing of the referendum was the subject of much discussion during the meeting. Board member John Hinz favored waiting until the general election in November for high voter turnout, but others expressed concern that waiting until that time would delay the project another construction season, causing inflation to increase the cost of the projects.

John Huenink of Kraus-Anderson Construction Company said construction costs increase an average of five percent a year, depending upon fuel costs, wage increases and materials. "Once a referendum is passed, the design team needs at least ten months to do the drawings," Huenink said. The bidding follows the design stage and Huenink said winter bidding is typically the most favorable time. "If the referendum is in June the bidding could be next February which is a good time," he said. Then construction could start during warmer weather, which saves on fuel
for heating, he added.

"Given the current space needs of the district, I think we need to have the referendum in June before school lets out," commented board member Deb Rasmussen.

Board member Tom Schumacher expressed concern that if the vote is scheduled for November and passes, construction wouldn't get started until 2010.

"If we do our job and get the information out to the public, people will get out and vote," added board member Todd Graf.

Superintendent Rusty Helland said the district needs facilities right now for present students. "It will be important to get the information out so the public would understand how inflation would affect the project," he said.

Hinz asked the district's financial advisor Steve Apfelbacher how the state's financial condition would affect B-W. Apfelbacher said the district is independent from the state as a far as acquiring debt.

Baldwin-Woodville has an excellent bond rating, Apfelbacher said, which is beneficial when negotiating interest rates.

"In terms of interest rates, rates are very competitive right now," Apfelbacher added.

Supt. Helland informed the board that the last special election held in December, 2000 cost $11,000. A regular election costs between $2,000 and $3,000 he said.

The board voted five to one to set the referendum date for June 3, 2008. Voting yes: Graf, Klanderman, Rasmussen, Schumacher, and Campbell. Voting no: Hinz. Board member Mike Bondarenko was absent.

A committee was established to get the information out to voters. Board members Graf, Rasmussen and Dustin Klanderman volunteered to serve on the committee. Supt. Helland said he has the names of several other volunteers from the public. The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for March 10 at 7:00 p.m.

During the open forum, district resident Larry Spoo asked the board if the purpose of the committee is to promote the referendum or to look at the pros and cons of the project.

"I think the purpose is to promote the project by getting the information out," answered board president Jeff Campbell.

"What is the plan if the enrollment goes down?" asked Spoo. "The committee needs to look at both sides," he said.

"Our job is to gather the information as it exists," said Schumacher, "and present it to the public for them to decide."

"The people's questions will be answered," added Campbell.

A motion to rescind a letter of intent to retire from Sandee Blakeley failed on a tie vote. Prior to the motion, Graf asked if her position had been advertised yet. Supt. Helland said no, the deadline for retirement notices is the end of February and the positions are then posted
in March.

After the motion there was no discussion. Voting yes: Graf, Rasmussen, and Campbell. Voting no: Hinz, Klanderman, and Schumacher. Absent: Bondarenko.

During the administrative reports, Supt. Helland thanked Baldwin Telecom for their assistance in setting up the B-W television station, channel 18. Baldwin Telecom Manager Larry Knegendorf will be presenting the district with another donation for the station this Friday at the High School, said Helland.

Director of Pupil Services Patti Phillipps commended Elementary School Counselor Carol Lebo for her work with the Department of Public Instruction on the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model. The publication is a new resource and planning guide for school counselors.

Supt. Helland thanked Phillipps and district special education staff for their work completing exit surveys of all graduating students with IEPs (Individual Educational Plans). The surveys found that 100 percent of the students were involved in post-secondary education and/or employment one year out of school.

Viking Middle School Principal Hank Dupuis informed the board the First Bank of Baldwin recently donated $1,000 for the middle school after school study hall program.

Helland reported the second Friday enrollment figures from January 11, 2008 total 1515 students, up 26 over last year's figure of 1489.