Farwell fires DPW chief, names Colosky to council
By Pat Maurer
Changes are happening in Farwell’s Village government.
New Council member Justin Colosky was selected and approved Monday as the board member to fill the remainder of Delores Knepper’s term. She died suddenly in March.
He was selected from five applications received last month and interviewed at the Committee of the Whole meeting June 18.
Colosky was sworn in by Village President Steve Grim and welcomed by the other board members.
At another special meeting June 25, the Council met in closed session with Department of Public Works Superintendent John Koch.
When they returned to open session the board voted 4-2 to “terminate John Koch’s employment effective immediately.” Board members Elton Marshall and Barb Roe voted against the motion.
There was no reason given for Koch’s termination. He has been with the DPW since September 2001 and was named Interim Superintendent after former Superintendent Aaron Moline retired in March, 2012.
He was named Superintendent last November.
At the meeting Monday, Village President Steve Grim said that no new interim head of the department had been named. “The department is under the supervision of the DPW Committee for now,” he said.
Zoning Administrator Rod Williams was authorized for eight additional hours each week to help out with DPW work until a new Superintendent is selected.
DPW worker Russ Hamilton was given a raise after completing training and completing two certifications for his job. He received an additional 50 cents per hour for each certification and still has one more to complete.
In another matter the board heard an audit report from Shannon Wilson of Weinlander Fitzhugh. She reported that the Village’s budget is in order, tax revenues are increasing and the fund balance is increasing, while expenditures are down.
In other business Monday, the Village Council:
*Heard an update from Al Ellard on the progress of developing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
*Approved COW motions including upgrading the zoning laptop by IT Right for $255.34 and replacing a pump in the Industrial Park by Hamilton Electric for $2,025.00.
*Held a Public Hearing and subsequently approved a resolution for an Industrial Facilities 12-year, 50 percent tax abatement for the purchase of $359,857 in equipment by Future Mold.
*Opened bids and awarded low bidder Hershberger Home Builders of Clare the replacement of the DPW roof with steel for a cost of $10,760, pending review of the specifications.
*Discussed electrical needs for the Village Park.
*Heard a report on county activities from County Commissioner Lynn Grim.
*Heard a zoning report presented by Rod Williams.
*Approved the payment of bills totaling$30,061.56.