Extensive search lasted more than five months

By Dave Fidlin


Union Grove officials this month filled a five-month vacancy within the village’s public works department.

After an extensive search, the Village Board on July 9 issued Richard Piette a $75,000 contract. His first day with the village is set for Monday, Aug. 6.

In a statement, Village President Mike Aimone said he believes Union Grove will be well served by Piette’s expertise.

“We are very fortunate to have found someone with Rick’s knowledge, experience and attitude,” Aimone said in the statement. “The Village Board was impressed with both his background in the public works area, and his experience with utilities. We look forward to Rick joining the village.”

Piette comes to Union Grove from Port Edwards, a village in Wood County in Central Wisconsin. His role in Port Edwards included dual duties as village administrator and engineer.

Piette’s resume includes 30 years experience as an engineer for various companies, meaning he has experience in the public and private sector. Piette also holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

In Union Grove, Piette’s responsibilities will include supervising the village’s public works crew, in addition to overseeing the municipality’s water, wastewater and stormwater utilities.

According to terms of Piette’s contract, he will be privy to a $2,500 yearly salary increase – upping the figure to $77,500 annually – after six months of what the village has deemed “satisfactory performance.”

Piette, who currently resides in the Appleton area, also is being offered up to $1,000 reimbursement for expenses associated with relocating to the Union Grove area.

He will receive five vacation days through the remainder of this year and will be receive three weeks of paid vacation next year.

The village’s public works director post was vacated in February when veteran staffer Mark Osmundsen retired after 25 years of service with the municipality.

In a related matter, the Village Board this week also adopted a resolution in support of hiring seasonal help for the duration of the summer.

The vote of support for bringing on board temporary workers is in response to the DPW department being short handed amid the current warm-weathered months.

The village-adopted resolution states seasonal help can begin as soon as this coming week and sunsets no later than Oct. 15. Seasonal staffers could work up to 40 hours per week throughout the duration of the three-month period.

The village is offering an hourly rate of $14 for the seasonal help, and no benefits are included in the compensation plan.

According to a draft job listing included with the board packet, seasonal workers’ job duties will include mowing lawns, pulling weeds, cleaning and maintaining recreation facilities and painting parking zones. Other duties also could be added into the mix.

Village Administrator Mark Janiuk will oversee the seasonal hiring effort.

The village is allocating unused dollars earmarked for the public works director position to fund the seasonal help in the coming months.