The Dresser Village Board gathered for their monthly meeting Monday, August 2. The highlights included discussion about an ambulance service contract for 2022-2025, how to use the remaining Dresser Area Community Fund Grant, using express employment for help finding a clerk or deputy treasurer and the cancellation of fall cleanup.
Ambulance Service Contract
The board discussed an ambulance service contract for the village for 2022-2025. Presently, half of the populace in Dresser is served by the Osceola Ambulance Service and the other half by Lakes Region EMS (Lakes). Historically the geographic divider for each service is County Road F/State Street, with the exception of Trollhaugen, and there has been no contract to determine service areas. If one ambulance service is tied up, Polk County will automatically call the other one, and residents can also choose for themselves which ambulance to call during an emergency.
The Lakes Representative, Ben Wasmund, told the board that they had been servicing the village since 2011 in good faith with no contract. Village President Bryan Raddatz said that he didn’t think that statement was fair because during that time period, the village had not once received a contract from them.
“There has been horrible communication with this service,” Raddatz said. Wasmund said Lakes normally goes to annual town meetings to make presentations, but Raddatz said Dresser was a village and didn’t have annual meetings. The Board stressed they wanted Lakes to have better communication with them moving forward and suggested putting that into the contract in the form of quarterly updates.
Wasmund pitched again for the Lakes contract by describing ways they had given back to the community. He said they had given money to help many first responder teams in the area and had donated $6000 to help with the St. Croix Falls K9 program, and paid $8000 for the IAM responding system in Polk County. He added that Lakes helped develop response time guidelines for the medical director at the Milltown Fire Department, and wanted to see a county-wide response time created.
After more deliberation, the Board decided to hold off on their Lakes contract decision until wording could be added that would provide for quarterly update reports and a response time goal during the four-year period.
Use of remaining Dresser Area Community Fund Grant
Board member Grace Bjorklund proposed spending the remaining community fund grant money of $363.36 on installation of a baby-changing table for the Dresser Town Hall and a backup pump for the fish pond. The motion passed unanimously.
Using Express Employment for hiring a Clerk/Deputy Treasurer
Bjorklund, explained about using Express Employment to help find a village clerk/deputy treasurer. Raddatz said direct hire has not worked, and he was happy to hear Express would do the screening, background check and testing of candidates. Bjorklund also mentioned Express had recommended changing the probationary period for this job from six months down to three. A motion made to use Express easily passed.
Fall Clean Up cancelled for September 28 and 30
The fall clean up scheduled for September has been cancelled. The Board discussed in the last two cleanup events, only 57 out of 360 households participated. Raddatz said he thought not enough residents were using this program to make taxpayers pay for the cleanup expenses.
Raddatz said some people were hoarding garbage until these events, and then were bringing huge amounts of it to the dumpsters. Board member Joe Peterson agreed some community people abused the program. Bjorklund made a motion to have the Fall Clean Up, but it was not seconded and failed.
Purchase of a Second Pump for the State Street Sewer Lift Station
Matt Koch from public works gave the board an update on buying a second pump for the State Street sewer lift station from WW Goetsch. He said there is a cost savings incurred when two pumps are purchased instead of one and that the prices would be going up in the near future. The original pumps are now between 30 and 40 years old. There was some thought about refurbishing them, but the seals would not last until they would be needed again. The Board voted to purchase both pumps for a total of $50,138.00.