By Lea Kopke
ALLOUEZ – The Allouez village board congratulated Monica Hoff on her retirement as village humane officer before being introduced to her replacement at its Tuesday, June 15, meeting, the first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic.
Hoff worked as the village’s humane officer for nine years but said she worked 31 years in the field.
She retired this month but will continue some work as a volunteer on the Citizens Animal Response Team (CART), which picks up stray/injured animals as directed by the humane officer or police.
“She’s done a lot for a lot of the community around here,” Village President Jim Rafter said. “She’s always been responsive, it didn’t matter what time of day or what day of the week it was, Monica was always there to help.”
The village approved hiring Shane Lestrud as her replacement.
“I’ve got a huge love for animals,” Lestrud said. “I’ve got very big shoes to fill, with what Monica’s done and what she’s put together, and to continue on with her passion for animals and the program she put together for the communities that we serve.”
Lestrud said he will begin certified humane officer classes in September.
The village contracts with Howard for its animal control services, so he will work as both villages’ humane officer.
Hoff said she hopes to eventually get more CART workers certified as humane officers so if one goes on vacation someone will be available.
Hoff left the microphone to applause from the board and audience.
New 24/7 squad car
Directed Enforcement Officer Jason Vogel asked the board for permission to place an order for a new 24/7 police squad car.
Vogel said because many auto lots are empty due to a global shortage of the microchips necessary for new cars, it was important to get on the list for ordering a 2021 Dodge Charger.
“We’re gonna need one eventually anyway,” he said. “If we order one now it probably won’t even be built this year, but we want to get on this list so we can get it as soon as possible.”
The order would guarantee a fixed price of $29,339 for either a 2021 Dodge Charger or the 2022 model from Gandrud, depending on which model the dealer receives.
To guarantee the fixed price, Vogel said he needed to place the order by June 17, so he needed board approval of the order, and permission to bypass the bidding process.
The board approved both requests unanimously.
Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Chris Clark asked the board for permission to use existing department funds to contract the removal of some of the village’s ash trees.
Clark said this would quicken the process of tree removal, which village staff has found themselves getting behind on.
He said several trees infested with emerald ash borer are deteriorating faster than expected.
Clark said with existing department funds, roughly one-third of the trees could be contracted out while the remaining trees will be removed by the village.
He based his funding formula on what the Village of Ashwaubenon paid during its recent tree removal project.
Trustee Matthew Harris asked if there would be a process to replace the trees.
“This would just be for removal at this time,” Clark said. “It’s more important to get the hazard out of the way and we’ll follow up in the future with replacement.”
The board approved Clark’s request unanimously, and asked him to return for approval of the final contract.