The City of Black River Falls has 74 city owned residential building lots for sale for just $9,900*!

The subdivision is located north of I-94 near Exit 115.  The list price for any lot is $19,900 and the city is offering a $10,000 building incentive if the buyer builds within 24 months of closing.  That’s right!  Buy the lot for $19,900 and get $10,000 back when a certificate of occupancy is issued on a new dwelling bringing the final land cost down to just $9,900!

For more information, contact the City Administrator at 715-284-2315.

Download Map Here: MAP

Lots Sold as of 3/10/2020: 19, 20, 30, 39, 43, 44, 45, 46, 67, 73


CAREER OPPORTUNITY — FULL TIME & PART TIME PATROL OFFICER

The City of Black River Falls is now accepting applications to fill current full-time and part-time police officer vacancies. The department will also be building an eligibility list.

Responsibilities include working in partnership with the community to prevent crime, solve problems, and enhance the quality of life for the citizens.  Duties include patrol, enforcing laws, maintaining public peace, and protection of life and property.

The City of Black River Falls Police Department offers competitive wages and an excellent benefit package.

Job Requirements:  Must be a U.S. citizen; minimum age – 18; hold a valid driver’s license with a good driving record; be in good physical condition; be eligible for Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board Certification; possess a high school diploma or equivalent; possess 60 college credits in a related field; be able to possess a firearm; have no felony convictions or domestic abuse convictions; vision correctable to 20/20; possess good verbal and written communication skills; ability to react quickly and effectively to stressful situations; able to work evenings, weekends, and holidays; ability to handle several tasks simultaneously; ability to perform essential functions of this position; ability to use all standard law enforcement equipment.

Part time wage starts at $18.14 per hour.  Full time salary range is $43,200 to $54,010 and is dependent on qualifications.

To apply, please submit a cover letter specifying preference for full-time and/or part-time position, a resume and a completed copy of the DJ-LE-330 form.

Applications will be accepted until October 30th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Applications can be submitted to Chief Jeremy Isensee, Black River Falls Police Department, 101 S. 2nd Street, Black River Falls, WI 54615.

The City of Black River Falls is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


STOKER NAMED FIRE CHIEF

On June 10, 2020, the Hiring Committee for the city of Black River Falls named Jody Stoker as the new Fire Chief for the Black River Falls Fire Department.  Stoker has served with Black River Falls Fire & EMS for over 20 years holding the ranks of firefighter, Captain, and Assistant Chief, and he has been employed full-time with the Black River Falls Fire Department since June 2013 as the EMS Division Chief.  Stoker earned his Associate Degree in Police Science Technology from Western Technical College and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Viterbo University.  In addition, Jody holds a wide range of fire and emergency medical services certifications and has completed over a dozen trainings through the National Fire Academy.  The City’s Hiring Committee received 10 applications and after thoroughly screening and analyzing all the candidates, elected to forego interviews in light of Stoker’s education, experience, and stellar qualifications.  Jody Stoker’s tenure as Fire Chief for the Black River Falls Fire Department will begin June 11, 2020.


CAREER OPPORTUNITY – FIRE CHIEF

The City of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, is accepting applications to fill the position of Fire Chief.  The Fire Chief is responsible for the administration, direction and coordination of the Black River Falls Fire Department which includes an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division.  The City of Black River Falls has a population of 3,622 and has signed a Rural Fire Agreement to provide fire services to the Rural Fire District consisting of eight (8) surrounding Townships.

The Department

The Fire Department has 6 full-time employees, 30-50 part-time emergency medical services employees, and 31 volunteer firefighters. Full-time staff includes the Fire Chief, the EMS Division Chief, and 4 Emergency Medical Technicians.  The volunteer firefighter staff includes 3 Assistant Chiefs, 3 Captains, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

The city portion of the 2020 Operating Budget for the department is set at $115,693.00.  The 2020 Capital Budget for the department is set at $250,000.00 which includes $242,600 allocated for facility replacement.

The Position

The Fire Chief has administrative responsibility for effectively and efficiently planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, and managing operations, fleet maintenance, and all other activities of the Fire Department.

The Fire Chief is under the immediate supervision of the City Administrator, and subject to general direction from the Mayor, and Common Council.  A detailed position description is available at City Hall and on-line at blackriverfalls.us/forms.

The Chief is an exempt, non-represented employee. The normal work week is Monday through Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm.  The Fire Chief is also expected to attend the Committee of the Whole meeting held the third Wednesday of each month and other meetings as needed.  The position requires working varying hours as needed for fire department related business and activities.

The position’s annual salary is initially established by the City of Black River Falls Hiring Committee and then annually established by the Common Council.  The starting annual salary for the position will be $52,000 – $60,000 depending on qualifications.

An excellent benefit package including health insurance coverage and retirement benefits under the Wisconsin Retirement System accompanies this position. Additional benefits and optional insurances are available.

Required Education, Certifications, and Experience

The Fire Chief must have a high school diploma or equivalent, possess a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, hold current certification of Certified Firefighter I & II in the State of Wisconsin, be a certified fire inspector in the State of Wisconsin, be a certified Wisconsin Emergency Medical Technician or higher or be able to obtain EMT certification within one year of hire, and have extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of fire suppression, fire department administration, fire inspections and fire investigations.  Preference will be given to an individual with an Associate’s Degree or higher in fire science or related field, and/or additional training or certifications in fire services and management/supervisory skills.

The successful candidate should have at least 10 years of fire service experience with multiple years serving in a supervisory/department officer position.

The ideal candidate for this position should also have a track record focused on strong public service, human relations, leadership, managerial, and supervisory skills. This professional, supervisory position must be able to lead the department to full performance capability and achieve high morale. Qualified candidates should possess the skills for writing grant application submissions & organizing people, projects and schedules on an ongoing basis.

The Recruitment Process

Interested applicants MUST submit the following items to the address noted below:

  • A cover letter
  • A current resume, detailing qualifications for this position
  • At least 3 professional references

The application deadline is 4:30 P.M. on Friday, June 5, 2020.    The application review process will begin on June 9, 2020 and will remain open until the position is filled.

Application materials should be placed in a sealed envelope, addressed as follows, and either mailed or hand-delivered by the deadline noted above to:

City of Black River Falls
Attention: Hiring Committee
101 South Second Street
Black River Falls, WI 54615

Electronic submissions are acceptable and may be forwarded to city.admin@blackriverfalls.us.

Applicant names are subject to release pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes, unless confidentiality is requested in writing. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed for finalists.

The selected candidate will be subject to a background investigation, a physical examination, drug screen, and a psychological evaluation to determine fitness for duty.

Additional questions on this position or on application procedures may be directed to City Administrator via email at city.admin@blackriverfalls.us or by phone at (715) 284-2315.


CHANGES TO PUBLIC TRANSIT AND GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Public hours for City facilities and public transportation will be modified as follows:

Shared Ride Taxi:  Running 6am-10pm daily

City Hall:  Closed to the public beginning March 19, 2020 except for absentee voting.  Offices will be staffed so we are still available by phone or email.  We HIGHLY RECOMMEND voters request an absentee ballot. There are several ways registered voters can request absentee ballots.  If they have internet access, the easiest way is to sign up at MyVote Wisconsin, https://myvote.wi.gov.  If assistance is needed call City Hall at 715-284-2315.

Police Department Lobby Window:  Closed to the public beginning March 19, 2020.  Offices will be staffed so we are still available by phone or email.

Fire Department:  Closed to the public beginning March 19, 2020.  Offices will be staffed so we are still available by phone or email.

Public Library: Closed to the public beginning March 18, 2020

 Municipal Utilities:  Closed to the public beginning March 18, 2020.  Customers can continue to pay their bills by check using the US mail or the drop box located by our lobby door at 119 N. Water Street.  Offices will be staffed so we are still available by phone or email.

At this time, it is our intention to maintain all essential city functions with our employees continuing in their normal capacity while working remotely or within the facilities closed to the public.

We recognize that this is an unprecedented and unique situation and appreciate the public’s flexibility and support.  We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed to effectively respond to this rapidly changing environment.  Updates will be provided on our Facebook page and on our website at www.blackriverfalls.us .


Snow & Ice Removal

 

When it snows, please clear the sidewalk in front of your home or business to give students a safe walking route to school and to make it safe and enjoyable for others looking to get out there and walk. Property owners are required to keep the sidewalk in front of their property free of snow and ice throughout the winter. Snow and ice must be removed from the sidewalk within 24 hours from the time the snow stops. For those times when ice and/or snow are packed down and cannot be cleared, you need to keep the area sanded and/or salted. Let’s all pitch in and do our part to keep our city sidewalks safe for our children and other pedestrians!


JOB OPPORTUNITY – PART-TIME CUSTODIAN

The City of Black River Falls is accepting applications for a part-time custodian position for general cleaning of office areas, bathrooms, break rooms, entry ways, lobby areas, & conference rooms at City Hall.  The position requires 10-12 hours per week Monday through Friday before 8:00am with no holidays.  Starting wage of $11.00-12.50/ hour DOQ.  A list of duties is available at City Hall or on our website at www.blackriverfalls.us.

Applications may be picked up and returned to City Hall, 101 S. 2nd Street, Black River Falls, WI  54615.

Application deadline is November 8, 2019 at 4:30 PM. 

The City of Black River Falls is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Custodian – City Hall List of Duties


CITY COUNCIL PRESENTED OPTIONS ON PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING

Black River Falls (BRF) Common Council members listened as Trevor Frank from SEH, Inc. presented details on Phase I of the city’s proposed public safety building. The city began working through its Public Safety Planning Task Force on building a new structure that originally was planned to house both the BRF Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department and the BRF Police Department.

“We’ve been working on this study for over a year conducting site assessments of the police department and fire department,” explained Frank. “We reviewed four site options, identifying locations and testing response time for EMS and fire to points in the community. We had interviews with fire and police personnel. Originally, fire and police were combined. We looked at a one story versus two story building, site size and site amenities, like parking and training area.”

In SEH’s report, the assessment concluded the police department’s facility is relatively modern and up-to-date, however it lacks vehicle and large evidence storage. It’s computer server room is not secure.

Regarding the current fire/EMS building, the assessment found the facility is not handicap-accessible. There is asbestos present, office space is inadequate, the truck floor is tight and the building lacks proper report and file storage space. The assessment also noted several maintenance issues with the building.

The two final site options being considered are the TNT building along CTH A and property on Depot Street (Hoffman property) behind the BRF’s newest Kwik Trip.

“Site 1, the TNT property, has the best response time (four minutes),” explained Frank. “The land cost and environmental factors and mediation issues are concerns. The Hoffman property (Depot Street) doesn’t have as much space.”

Site 4 was the space was the location of the former Third Street School, which brought with it parking concerns and topography issues. Site 5 was near Walmart, which is farther away with up to a 16-minute response time for POC (paid on call) staff.

According to the assessment reviewed by Frank, interviews with the BRF police chief and officers resulted in a plan for 10,656 square feet, which included shared spaces with the fire department. It included garage storage for nine vehicles and cold storage for two impound vehicles, a sally port and holding facilities and an expanded evidence processing and storage area.

Interviews with the fire chief and fire/EMS staff, resulted in a plan for 22,500 square feet, which included shared spaces with the police department. It included apparatus storage for 18 vehicles and two antique fire trucks and a training area. It also allowed for future expansion for both departments.

“Neither department was going to get everything they wanted,” said Frank.

In his review of one story versus two stories, Frank explained with a one-story structure, it would be 29,000 square feet. “The apparatus bay and office space would be 292 feet long. That’s a long hike, and not all wheels will always be needed, but when they are needed it’s a long way from the office space to the apparatus bay to those vehicles at the far end.”

The two-story option would be around 23,500 square feet, roughly 4,500 feet less that a one-story building. “With the two-story building, there is more cost involved,” explained Frank. “There’s more of a structural load, more steel involved, so more engineering costs. A two-story needs two stairways and an elevator; that takes more space.”

The estimated construction cost of a one story is $7.4 million; the cost for a two-story building is $8.2 million.

The TNT site requires demolition. There are costs associated with that. Land and demo costs were noted at $1,100,000 in the assessment. The Hoffman site does not require any demolition.

In conclusion, the assessment said the existing fire station is in need of replacement due to age, condition and location in a floodplain. Sites 1 (TNT) and 2 (Hoffman) were preferred based on response time, location and road access. The fire department will go forward at this time, but land will be available for a future police department. The building would be designed to be expanded for future additions for both the fire department and the police department. “That wouldn’t be real expensive,” said Frank.

Due to the land cost and availability, Frank said the recommendation would be to go with a one-story structure.

“Are there tanks under TNT?” asked council member Pete Olson.

“We don’t believe there are,” said Frank.

“There’s a traffic issue getting out of the Hoffman site,” said council member Gary Ammann. “There’s supposed to be some work done there. The TNT site is easier to get out of farther up on A.”

“Do you know if there is any contamination at TNT?” asked BRF counsel Mark Radcliffe, “because if there is, once you open it up, the city is responsible for cleaning that up. You think the environmental mediation would catch everything?’

“It should by Phase II,” said Frank.

“There is a lot of space for future expansion at the TNT site,” said BRF fire chief Steve Schreiber. “There’s more training space; it would be more difficult at the other site.”

“This is a lot of information to take in for you to act on tonight,” city administrator Brad Chown told council members. “But, construction costs go up five to seven percent. The committee of the whole will look at it and maybe we can act on it in November. EMS has committed $1 million and the city has committed $500,000. We will apply for grants. The city will be debt-free in 2021.”

With one no vote from council member Joel Busse, the council approved authorizing Chown to negotiate a price, first on site 1 (TNT) and then site 2 (Depot Street), and bring offers back to the council for final approval.

“Sticker shock,” explained Busse, “the pricing that we are getting quoted seems extremely high in my opinion. I am doing more research to understand why a 30,000 square-foot building (where a large portion of the building would consist of basically a garage) would cost approximately $6.7 million plus whatever the real estate costs will be. I am all for the fire department getting a more adequate facility, but I am troubled about the expense.”

Council members John Ross and Mike Rave were not at the Oct. 1 meeting.

By: JoDee Brooke, Banner Journal / Wednesday, October 9, 2019


ISENSEE NAMED NEW CHIEF OF POLICE

On October 13, 2019, Jeremy Isensee will become the new Chief of Police / Criminal Investigator for the City of Black River Falls Police Department.  The Hiring Committee for the city of Black River Falls extended a conditional offer of employment to Isensee on June 18, 2019 pending a background check and pre-employment exams.  Isensee has been employed with the Black River Falls Police Department since 2012 as a part-time patrol officer (2012-2015), as a full-time patrol officer (2015-2019), and has been serving as Interim Chief of Police since April of this year.  He earned his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Western Technical College in 2007 and completed the police academy at Chippewa Valley Technical College.  The City’s Hiring Committee conducted two rounds of recruiting and received a total of 24 applications and interviewed 5 candidates for the position.  Isensee will begin his tenure as Chief of Police / Criminal Investigator for the City of Black River Falls Police Department on October 13, 2019, and one of his first tasks will be to hire a full-time patrol officer and additional part-time patrol officers for the department.