Village board wants swimming pools fenced

By Brian Roebke
It was not unanimous, but the consensus of the Wrightstown Village Board last week was a desire to require swimming pools to be fenced instead of just covered.
The board discussed the issue of creating a revised ordinance at last week’s board meeting, with Trustee Dan Segerstrom saying the safest thing to do is to require a pool cover.
“A lot of other communities, it’s kind of a mixed bag right now,” Village Administrator Travis Coenen said, noting technology has changed, with pool covers much stronger than they used to be and they are becoming commonplace.
Segerstrom said the cover also keeps the pool clean and saves energy since it traps the heat in the water. He added his perspective when it comes to safety, the first defense when there is a hole is to cover it, and last defense is putting a fence around it.
Trustee Keith Wendlandt, who wants fencing required, said he doesn’t want to wait for a tragic accident to occur. “I don’t have a problem putting a cover on in addition to a fence, but not in lieu of a fence,” he said.
Segerstrom added like hot tub covers, pool covers are worth the financial investment. An audience member said her two high-energy Boxer have romped on her cover and there was no damage or getting through it. “Probably three of us could walk across it and it’s not going to move,” she said. “It’s almost trompoline-like.”
The board will hold a public hearing prior to voting on the resolution.
The board accepted the resignation of the village’s municipal judge, Perry Kingsbury.
“At this point Perry doesn’t feel he can do his job adequately in the environment he has,” Coenen said. The board held a closed session after the meeting about the opening. Kingsbury was elected with write-in votes in the April 2020 election. No candidate names appeared on the ballot.
The board also discussed a new short-term rental ordinance. Coenen said village staff will need to manage this ordinance. “Most communities are actively searching it out,” he said.
The village approved a cost share with St. Clare School, with the school making a $1,800 payment to the village for a rectangular rapid flashing beacon in front of the school. The 33 percent cost share is similar to what the Wrightstown Community School District paid the village in 2017 for a beacon in front of the elementary school.
The total cost is $5,460, with the village taking $2,500 out of the sign budget for the $3,600 cost, with the rest coming out of the road budget.
Clerk Michelle Seidl reported the number of absentee ballots cast in the election were down, perhaps another sign of the village’s comeback from COVID-19.
Director of Public Works Andy Vickman is looking at extending the summer hours both as a benefit to the staff and add hours of service for our residents.
“Currently they go from the end of May to the middle to end of September,” he said.
They work four nine-hour days and four hours on Friday and there’s always a call-in staff member on duty from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A few of the guys requested they change hours as soon as May 1 and go to the end of September.
“It does give us extended hours of service for residents, so I see a benefit both ways,” Vickman said.