Arena Village Board tackles home talent baseball, Fire/EMS contract

Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

Home talent baseball could be returning to Arena in the near future, starting with the Muscoda Mudcats this summer.

The village of Arena gave support to allow the Muscoda home talent team to play three to four home games in the Arena ball field, 239 Sharon St., this summer as a way to honor team members from the area and gauge interest in re-starting a home talent team in Arena.

“So he [the Muscoda Mudcats manager] called me up, and he said ‘We’d be willing to even come up there to play some games and see the interest from the communities there,” said Nick Jennings, the former manager of the Arena home talent baseball team.

Due to COVID-19, the home talent organization did not hold a season in 2020, and will start their season later, with an abbreviated schedule this year. Jennings said last year was the first in 92 years that the Wisconsin home talent organization didn’t have a game.

The organization’s season will start in June and go to September, with approximately 16 games, normally the season would start in April and end in August. Jennings said he does not currently have dates for the games that would be played in Arena.

Clerk DaNean Naeger said previous rates for visiting teams to utilize the park have been $25 per game, but the board discussed those possibly changing once an agreement was more concrete.

Jennings also discussed with the board bringing a home talent baseball team back to Arena.

“I don’t think a lot of people are aware of it, but this village was one of the six original town teams or franchises that started back then,” said Jennings. “But since 2007, we’ve been inactive. But now this younger generation is coming up, mainly my sons and a few of their friends, they are looking to get this thing going again.”

According to Jennings, Arena left the home talent league in the 40s, and rejoined in 1969, and Jennings took over management of the team in 1983.

Jennings said they are aiming for a 2022 season, as the COVID-19 situation allows. More information is expected to become available in the next few months.

Fire and EMS contract

The village revisited and voted again to provide $35,000 for its portion of joint Fire and EMT services, because the town board, who the village shares funding responsibility for the services with, did not approve the agreement made last month.

The village approved an agreement at its last meeting, amending the original agreement between both municipalities after the village failed to fund its 48% of the joint services. According to Village President Kate Reimann, the town board did not agree with the use of the word “amendment”, and wanted that removed.

“They did not consider that a legal amendment to the fire agreement,” said Reimann. ‘We did not put that language in of the amendments to the fire protection service agreement,’ nor did we put the language in ‘the town and village no desire to amend the agreement as follows.’ That was the fire board.”

The town board also asked the village remove wording regarding the funding of EMTs, “village share represents 27% of the cost of three full time employees, plus benefits,” because there was discrepancy between the budget numbers for the township and the village.

The village had budgeted $35,000 for fire and EMS services, but the township had budgeted $30,263 in the agreement.

Trustee Paul Pustina spoke in support of giving the township the full $35,000.

“I would not recommend changing it back to 30, I would recommend giving 35, Because there’s enough bad blood now,” said Pustina.

Trustee Chuck Burch agreed.

“The EMTs were concerned because if there’s no contractual agreement, they’re afraid the money won’t be available,” said Reimann.

Other actions the board took include:

  • Appointed William Hanson to the Plan Commission.
  • Approved a contract with MSA to do a well site study and test well for the second water well the village approved last month.
  • Acted on two plan commission recommendations to rezone 802 and 804 Sharon St from Agriculture to R-3 2-family residential district and R-4 multi-family residential district, respectively.