Osceola Fire Department members elected Paul Elfstrom as its new Fire Chief, replacing Don Stark, who stepped down after 14 years last month.
Last week, the Osceola Village Board made it official, confirming Elfstrom. In his monthly report, Elfstrom said the Fire Department had eight runs in March already. Five runs were in the Village, two in the town of Farmington and one in Chisago County. He further stated the Firefighters Virtual Ball was a big success, raising nearly $19,000, which will go towards equipment.
In other department updates:
-- Todd Waters, Public Works Coordinator, stated windblown road closures, freezing and thawing, and multiple snow occasions on Village roadways, parking lots and sidewalks kept Public Works busy.
-- Shelby Friendshuh, Library Director, explained the Library will be having visits by appointment, likely starting March 15.
-- Osceola Police made seven arrests in February along with 21 traffic citations being issued. Ron Pedrys, Police Chief, further announced Jessica Daeffler, was hired a part-time officer and she started her field training March 10.
-- Ruth Sattler from the Chamber and Main Street stated they were awarded a grant through the Wisconsin Department of Tourism with the Minnesota Transportation Museum. It’s a three-year grant, specifically for TV advertising as Osceola as a destination stop. Sattler believes it will increase train ridership and visitors to Osceola area businesses.
Jill Greenhalgh, Managing Director of the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation, was on hand to announce the Foundation is donating $15,000 to the Village. $5,000 will go towards the Police, $5,000 towards Fire and $5,000 to the Village. “We are pleased to be part of a close-knit community,” Greenhalgh said.
Trudy Lorenz and Denise Everson thanked the Village and the Police Department for their recent help regarding the speeding concerns on Oak Ridge Drive.
Approval was granted for the sale of Village-owned property in the Osceola Heights Development (by Kwik Trip and Eagle Ridge) to Kimberly and Jason Judkins, who plan on building a day care.
Approval was granted to purchase two new zero turn mowers from Boyd’s Outdoor Power in Dresser for a cost of $7,700. In addition, purchase of a new police squad vehicle for $36,436 was approved. It will replace the oldest fleet vehicle.
Approval was also granted with AT&T and T-Mobile for Bluff Tower antenna lease.
Board member Van Burch, who previously announced he was not seeking reelection, announced there was a change in his plans and he would be submitting papers as a write-in candidate.