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Wykoff strives to maintain role as "The Gateway to Forestville"

Fri, Jan 22nd, 2010
Posted in Progress Edition

Wykoff is a small community nestled between Spring Valley and Fountain and just a short drive on County Road 5 to Forestville State Park. The main street is dotted with merchants who have chosen to invest in the community and its' future.

Mike Holzer is the Mayor of Wykoff, a position he has held for 6 years. Prior to that he was on the City Council for 14 years. "I'm just starting my 20th year in serving the people of Wykoff," said Holzer with a pleasant smile and nod of the head.

He leans back in the chair and responds to many questions about Wykoff, where its' been and where he would like to see it go in the years ahead.

"Our biggest challenge," said Holzer, "is to balance the city budget." The small population of Wykoff could be a positive thing as communities under 1,000 residents will be immune from some reductions from the State.

"In four years we will need a new Sewage Treatment Plant," he continued; "that will be a one million dollar expense." Holzer is optimistic that the city might be able to pay for part of that cost through a grant from the USDA. That could be as much as $600,000.00 with the remaining $400,000.00 coming from low interest loans. By the time the sewage treatment plant is ready to go the 2004 street project will be paid for so that will "ease the impact and we won't need to raise taxes to finance it."

New street projects are in the Long Range Plan for the city according to Mayor Holzer. The City Council's plan includes doing 6-7 blocks of streets at a time and replacing the old water lines in the streets at that time. Curb and gutter will also be an item for upgrading in those projects.

"I can see a possibility of some sharing of services with other communities." Holzer said that there might be some areas where sharing could reduce the cost of services to the taxpayers. "I don't have specific proposals but as issues come up I would like to look at them."

Currently the City of Wykoff has two full time employees; Cheryl Davis is City Clerk and Al Williams is Street Department and Sewage Treatment Plant Operator. The Mayor spoke highly of the accomplishments of the limited staff.

Holzer said; "One of the big projects this last year was to remove many old trees in the downtown area because they were rubbing against the buildings, and this year they complimented the City on the beauty of the Christmas lights!!" The downtown area continues to be in a periodic change. New businesses move into old buildings and other businesses move on to other areas. Holzer said; "Wykoff is a city of friendly people...things are clean and neat and these are things people passing through town notice."

"We are so proud to be the home of many businesses that have chosen Wykoff to live and work in," he said.

Wykoff is known as "The Gateway to Forestville" and many of the visitors to the park spend time and money in Wykoff. "The road construction of 5 has slowed down the visitors," said Holzer, "but when it's finished it will be better than ever!" Positive thoughts from a positive Mayor.

Wykoff, like many communities can't afford to have their own police department so they contract with the Fillmore County Sheriff's Office. The Fire Department is active as a volunteer department and just recently they purchased a new fire truck for $300,000.00. Emergency medical services are initially provided by First Responders and then transported by the Spring Valley Ambulance. "Many of our First Responders are certified EMT's so we feel well provided for," said Holzer.

Agreeing that the State is in a real bind financially, Wykoff will continue to serve the citizens by anticipating the needs of the community in the future and planning for it today.

Monthly City Council meetings happen on the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

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