City Council Meeting

January 4, 2024

City of Gillett

Mayor Josh McCarthy was absent from the meeting because his father passed away. Condolences to him and his family for the loss. Alderperson Jon Gildemeister resigned from the City Council on the morning of January 4, so the Council consists of Ashley Van Straten, Jerry Luther, Irene Drake, and Nanette Mohr. Alderperson Mohr presided over the proceedings of the meeting.

It was reported that there were only two of the four positions that had anyone submit paperwork for the upcoming City Elections. One is for the mayor, and Nanette Mohr is for her seat. We still have two open board positions with no candidates.

Highlights for the reports offered were the purchase of a new Skidsteer for Public Works. The cost was $37,000, of which $19,000 will be reimbursed by a grant from Rural Development. The police have only received one application for the vacant police officer position, and with the tight labor market, particularly for police, a request was made to take that into consideration for next year's budget cycle for greater wages. Chief Breitenbach has been flexing his schedule to allow for greater coverage over different times, which is a difficulty considering the current staffing situation. There were 1359 calls which Gillett Police responded to over the past year, and the Sheriff's department assisted in calls 471 times, some in cooperation with the Police and others when there was no police officer on duty. Response time is significantly longer for the Sheriff's office, about 15 to 20 minutes. Both police and fire departments participated in active shooter training in December to be able to work together in case of a mass casualty incident. For both departments, there have been a lot of firsts in the community, beginning with dealing with a bomb threat at the school, police have been needed to respond to more incidents in school, and the stabbing death that occurred earlier in the year. Gillett Fire has been working a lot with Underhill and the Ambulance squad to assist in accidents and in lift assists.

Parks and Cemetery received a significant donation of concrete from Gillett Concrete to help with some of the work they have been doing. Water use at Seneca has gone down, but prices for necessary materials for the water treatment plant have significantly increased in recent years. A multi-team meeting will be held following the Health, Protection, and License Committee meeting (4:30 PM) on January 18 at 5:30 PM.

There are also many of the Committees and Commissions that are seeking volunteers to serve for the benefit of the city. If you are interested, please contact City Hall and give them your information.