Wheatfield Council meeting

By Cheri Shelhart

Wheatfield residents are seated at least 6 ft. apart during the first in-person meeting the town council has held since its February meeting.

WHEATFIELD — Wheatfield Town Council members met in person Thursday afternoon using the large room in the municipal building with chairs spaced properly for the public in attendance. Most of the seats were filled as these meetings are generally well attended.

Diane Borg, who is in charge of the park and cemetery, announced a plan for a farmers’ market in Centennial Park as the state opens back up. She said the new “Wheatfield Days in the Park” will be held on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and local merchants and vendors are invited to come and sell their merchandise and produce. She said the plan is to invite the sellers from the Rensselaer market to come to Wheatfield as well and they will get the word out for anyone interested in setting up at the park. There will be no fee for the vendors.

“We’re trying to build community with this,” she said. Town Clerk Deborah Norberg added they want to use the park as much as possible.

The pavilion will be available for use during the market also. The tentative start date is June 18, and the spaces will be open on a first-come first-serve basis.

Borg also announced they are looking at purchasing eight security cameras for the park capable of recording to prevent vandalism, which has been an issue. The council members voted to purchase the cameras with a limit of $1,000.

Wheatfield Chamber President Andy Boersma brought an estimate to the council for drainage work in the Hohman subdivision from St. Rd. 10 north to Pine St. He said he had contacted two companies, one in Rensselaer and another in Lake County and didn’t get a response. He contacted a company in Monticello and this is the company that gave the quote for the work, which includes cleaning ditches and jetting out pipes and culverts. He said the town would have to pay someone else for tree removal and culvert repairs if needed.

Councilman Robin Gear said he would like to see the quote broken down more completely. He thought it would be cheaper to hire a company to take out the trees and clean the ditch. He said he knows there are excavators that do both. He would like the price of jetting, cameras and the rest priced individually.

One of the property owners told Boersma he wouldn’t allow anything but a small backhoe on his property and that property has had flooding issues for many years. One property owner in attendance said she and her husband have been dealing with flooding for 14 years, but she was glad the council was finally talking about doing something to end the flooding. She said they had flooding in the house in 2018, and any heavy rain is devastating to their yard.

After some discussion, the council chose to table the matter until next month while Gear looks into getting other quotes from local excavating companies.

The council approved Jim Gehring as the interim town marshal and to advertise to fill the position as a full time position for the police department. The former marshal, David Schaetzel passed away in April. Gear expressed his condolences for the Schaetzel family and had known them for many years. He and part-time officer Jeff Moolenaar discussed advertising for the position and appointing a committee to interview and bring a candidate to the council for approval. Previously, the board consisted of two council members, Boersma and DeMotte Asst. Chief Steve Musch.

The council will begin the process to find a new marshal. Currently there are four part-time officers keeping the town covered by the police department.

Norberg announced the town hall will be open on June 2 for the Primary election from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The town council will continue to meet on the third Thursday of every month with a new time of 5 p.m.