American Fireworks, which was located on Highway 50 in the town of Wheatland, was one of several businesses and homes affected by July’s flooding event. The owners of the business hope to relocate to property in the village of Salem Lakes (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Village decides on municipal court status

By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Heather Siegel, American Fireworks, updated the Salem Lakes Village Board on the progress of a building that she and her husband, Vincent, propose to buy in Salem Lakes where the hope to move their year-round business at the Nov. 13 regular board meeting.

“We are in the process of seeking state approval of our building plans,” she said. “The soil testing is done and we have hired an architect who is drawing up plans.”

Heather said that they wish to move their business out of Wheatland.

“Our business flooded last July and the water was waist high. We are looking forward to being part of the Salem Lakes community,” she added.

The Siegels intend to operate year-round, which drew questions from the village board.

“We have down time from January to March, but need to be year-round to keep good employees even if we have shorter hours for part of the year,” Vincent said.

“Our home base is in Big Bend. We started out with year-round and have built up a customer base and we do have year-around customers,” Heather said.

There is some demand for fireworks around the New Years holiday, for weddings, along with July 4 festivities.

Later in the meeting, village president Diann Tesar asked board members if they wished to decide how many fireworks businesses they wanted to see in the village.

“If it were up to me, I’d have none,” she said. “We don’t allow fireworks to be shot off in the village limits.”

Resident Mike Ullstrup commented that while it might not be allowed, it was done, and Tesar acknowledged that her neighbor did shoot off fireworks.

Trustee Mike Culat said he wasn’t in favor of limiting the number of firework businesses.

“I think we should let the free market decide,” said Culat, who had agreement from trustee Dan Campion.

The agenda item was only for discussion and no decisions were made.

One municipal court
The board approved a resolution to combine two court operations, with one held in the former Silver Lake village hall, and the other at the Salem Lakes Village Hall, into one.

Tesar explained that the two judges, Merlene Engstrom and Mike Langel, would have to coordinate sharing of duties until the next election in 2019, when Langel’s term expires.

“The court will be held here, in the Salem Lakes village hall,” Tesar said.


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