A motion to add an additional full-time police officer to the Mauston Police Department was tabled last night during the Finance and Purchasing Committee meeting. Police Chief Mark Messer told the committee members that the proposal was the same: hire a part-time officer to help with overtime for the rest of the year, and then starting in January 2015, have a full-time officer addition. He did say that there were other factors to consider. Several current officers have received offers of employment, including one full-time officer and Messer said that puts a damper on the summer hours. The item itself was brought up several meetings ago, and it was referred to the committee to see if there was money to recommend going forward with the motion. The committee decided that it was best to wait until August because then, they would have better knowledge of the city’s budget and have the adequate revenue information.

At the Common Council meeting, the council approved a Direct Seller’s Permit to Luis Rucobo of Fireworks Unlimited, LLC and a temporary Picnic Beer/Wine License for the Mud & Suds event at Veteran’s Memorial Park on June 7th, 2014. It also voted in favor of a resolution adopting a citizen participate plan, which will provide citizens reasonable and timely access to local meetings and information, provide for technical assistance, provide for public hearings, provide for a complaint procedure and accommodate non-English speaking residents. And although the vote was 4-3, the council approved the MSA Proposal for the Riverwalk Final Design Proposal.

The proposal would be the completion of the Riverwalk will “Bridge the Gap” between the STH 82 corridor and the downtown area/Riverside Park. According to MSA, “this improvement will provide continuity and connectivity across the City of Mauston and serve as a great asset to the community in regards to active and passive recreation.”

Another thing the council members discussed was the Public Service Commission hearings about the Badger Coulee Transmission Line. Mayor Brian McGuire asked the council for its blessing to send a letter to the PSC, which Jane Powers from SOUL of Wisconsin said that the letter is asking the PSC for a socio-economic study in conjunction with the environmental impact study on cities that have already had transmission lines going through them and what has happen to them since then. McGuire said that the line offers the city nothing, like the power it will be transmitting, but that the city would have to pay for it. “Personally, I don’t want to pay for it,” said McGuire. The PSC does have several meetings coming up: in Cashton on June 3, Black River Falls on June 9; Holland on June 2; Wisconsin Dells on June 5; and Tomah on June 10. McGuire asked the council to look over the letter before he sent it.

The council then adjourned to closed session which is “pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 19.85(1) (e) Deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session.” On the agenda, the council was to discuss potential land transactions and potential development.