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New Lisbon Common Council members review documents before the meeting begins.

JAKE EKDAHL/Star-Times

The New Lisbon Common Council will be short one member for the beginning of 2018. Mark Toelle’s resigned from his position as the Ward Three Council Member. Toelle has recently moved to a residence outside the ward.

Though the home he moved to is nearby, Toelle is no longer eligible to represent ward three. Council member Marv Newlun made a motion to “regretfully” accept Toelle’s resignation, which was seconded by council member Karren Elsing.

Toelle’s position will have to be filled by appointment. “We can’t just leave it open until the election,” New Lisbon Mayor Lloyd Chase said. The council plans to publicize the opening by posting notices in banks, the post office, city hall, and media. The council will be accepting applications until Jan. 15. Toelle’s position will be up for election in spring 2018.

Mayor’s veto not overridden

At the previous council meeting, Mayor Chase vetoed a proposal to move the New Lisbon Chamber of Commerce from its current building, which it shares with the New Lisbon Police Department. “(The) council took action to direct the chamber of commerce to move out of the building that they have been occupying,” Chase said. “I decided to veto that to give the council an opportunity to reconsider.”

The chamber of commerce had been reported to have an employee who was using the proximity and access to the police department to inform individuals on ongoing investigations. The chamber also holds meetings in a room with police equipment and evidence.

Chase said he believed there was not enough due process in the decision to move the chamber to a new location. Chase also said people are capable of informing one another on police matters from other locations.

“They’ve finally gotten a chance to grow and be a service to the city,” Chase said of the chamber. He believes the convenient location has played a key role in making the chamber more prominent.

Newlun said moving the chamber would be an opportunity to expand police department. “In my opinion, I feel if we gave the chamber six months to find a new location, we could reorganize the police department and solve that security issue all at the same time,” Newlun said.

When the city hall and fire department moved to a new building in New Lisbon, a space was made for the police department, but the police department stayed. The space that was planned for the police department is currently mostly being used for storage Chase says.

The new building did not have indoor parking for the squad cars, but the space created by the fire department vacating the building allowed the police department to park their squad cars in the garage.

Ultimately, no motion to override the mayor’s veto made. The council’s proposal to move the chamber remained vetoed, but the council will be able to make another proposal in the future.

Formerly denied operator license approved

The council approved a formerly denied operator’s license for Erin Schultz. The license was initially denied because the application was not complete. Schultz also had a number of past citations involving alcohol. “It’s up for the council to reconsider it,” Chase said.

“I apologize for my mistake,” Schultz said. “I will pay more attention.”

Elsing described the Schultz as having “more citations than what we normally see on an application.”

Shultz said she did have one citation as a server of alcohol, and several past OWIs, but it had “been eight years since (the) last one.”

Schutlz currently does fill-in work as a bartender in Sparta.

“I’ve been a bartender for thirteen years,” Schultz said. “It’s been eight since the last OWI.”

The operator’s license would be used by Schultz for selling alcohol over the counter, not as a bartender.

After deliberation, the council unanimously approved the operator’s license for Schultz.

Public Works Director retires

The council met jointly with the utility commission to discuss the replacement of Public Works Director Bob Anderson. Anderson is retiring later this year, saying it was time for a change of pace. “As the city moves along here, it becomes more and more demanding,” Anderson said. “I’m just ready.”

The council hopes to find a replacement soon. “Usually pay is based on experience,” Chase said. “So I would think it would be that way.”

Feb 9 is deadline to accept applications.

Mayor’s Report

Chase chose to give the best overall award for Christmas decorations to the tree displayed by 4-H at Riverside Park. “I think that’s a great addition to the city,” Chase said. “I hope they do that again.”

The award for best lights to Tammy and Jason Clark on the corner of Washington and Bridge Street. “Since there were so many, I also sent out Christmas cards with a note in them thanking people for taking out the time to put out decorations,” Chase said. “I thought that might encourage people to do it again next year.” Chase said he sent out a total of 62 cards.

The council will meet again on Jan. 15.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl