MINUTES OF THE REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
Chairman Gene Ratzel called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.
The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Chairman Ratzel read the April Amended Agenda as follows:
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Approve the April Amended Agenda
Clerk / Correspondence
Anyone not on the agenda-5 minutes
Welcome to the new board-Election Results
Chairman-Motion for Chairman to continue to be responsible for the operations of the Garage and
of the Highway Personnel-Gene Ratzel to speak to the people
Property Insurance Resolution-Insurance Policy
Zoning-Patti Boelk-Household Occupation-52710 Robinson Lake Road. Permit to operate a greenhouse,
grow plants and then sell on the premises. (Held over from last meeting) Robert Stack-
Rezone property to R-1 to build a new residence
Fire and Ambulance ordinances-Board to vote on a resolution to dissolve the BES and to vote on ordinances to create the Town of Barnes Fire Department and Ambulance Department. Review meeting wages for the Ambulance Department. Attorney John Anderson will be here for advice
Fire Department-Permission to dispose of extra portable pumps and a generator that haven’t been used in years. How does the board want to do this? Board needs to set a meeting date of May 1, 2003 (if convenient) to go over bids for fire vehicle.
Bridge, Locks and Dam on South Shore Road-Dixie Chermack-Updates
Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates-Board approval for firm that will do the Comprehensive Plan for town and ask approval for the committee to negotiate a contract with that firm.-Lee Wiesner presenter
Department Head Reports
Board Member Reports
Motion (Chermack / Webb) to approve the Amended April Agenda as read. Motion carried.
Clerk Peet wanted to add the following change to the March Minutes before approval. The Fire Chief said that the section under the fire department-purchase of new vehicle-should read, “With the addition of the new vehicle we would be able to protect 2-3 structure” instead of “The new vehicle would be able to protect 2-3 structures”. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting, with the corrections. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report-Debbie Sesko gave the Treasurer’s Report as follows:
Checking Balance from last meeting $ 134,316.60
Receipts # 15739-# 15743 $ 1,582.05
Checks # 16531- #16543 $ (21,252.14)
Checking Balance $ 114,646.51
Ambulance Department Investment Fund $ 1,800.89
Highway Department Sinking Fund $ 69,858.04
Highway Department Operational Fund $ 1,008.45
EMS Sinking Fund $ 48,851.58
EMS Operational Fund $ 1,006.94
Park Savings $ 9,433.49
Ski Trail Savings $ 1,585.16
Parade-Event Calendar Fund $ 2,616.51
Balance all Accounts $ 250,807.57
Motion (Meinke / Chermack) to approve the Treasurer’s Report as read. Motion carried.
Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Clerk / Correspondence- There were three Intent to Cut permits-Irmgard Bergman, Deer Grove Road, by Robert Campbell, Deer Grove Road and two for Plum Creek Lands by Plum Creek Timberlands. Notices were received from Bayfield County Board on the meeting held April 7, 2003. Clerk Peet noted the memo about Tornado Awareness Week. The deadline for Hazardous Elimination Safety Program is extended to May 23, 2003- WISDOT. There was a notice from the County of the lands that will be up for public auction in the town. The town has the first right to purchase these for public use. The letter from the Property Owners Association, commending Dick Smith for his years of public service, which was inadvertently missed at the Annual Meeting, was read. The letter from the State Department of Justice was read. This stated that Michael O’Keefe, Town Constable, was now a qualified law enforcement officer in this state.
Clerk Peet made an announcement on behalf Judi Scholz of the Centennial Celebration Committee, that there will not be a meeting in April as previously planned. The meeting will hopefully be announced for the early part of May.
Anyone not on Agenda-5 minutes-Dawn Pittman read a letter prepared by the Potowatami Property Owners Association. This letter stated that the Association had looked into the issue of the land in question in Potowatami and is formally requesting that the 18 parcels designated by the developer as public parks in Potowatami be re-designated as Potowatami common property. In the early 1970’s the developer deeded the property to Potowatami. They erroneously designated them as public parks. At that time Potowatami was a gated community. According to State Statutes, once public parks are designated on the plat, they become property of the public and under the control and maintenance responsibility of the local government, if the properties have been accepted by the local governing body. After careful research by Potowatami Property Owners Association, some of the town board members and Mike Hoffman, our assessor, it was learned that the property was never deeded to the Town of Barnes, nor has the Town of Barnes accepted ownership and responsibilities of the property as required by law. PPOA has paid the taxes and maintained the property for more than 30 years. The parcels for the most part are un-build able wetlands. Their primary value is in the wildlife repository and sound buffer. They have little monetary value. Therefore, the Potowatami Property Owners Association would be requesting the Barnes Town Board take the necessary steps to fully transfer the control and responsibilities of the parcels to the Potowatami Property Owners Association. Potowatami has no desire to sell or profit from the transfer and agrees to continue paying the taxes and maintain the said properties. The clerk received a copy of the letter. This issue will be put on the May agenda. Dave Thorson of the Property Owners Association spoke on organization and on the upcoming meeting of the 2003 Northwest Lake Leadership Seminar in Minong to be held on June 27, 2003. He said that the POA would like to pay for two board members to go to the conference, but Supervisor Webb reminded everyone that the board members couldn’t accept gifts from special interest groups. Thorson noted the newsletter that the organization puts out. John Kudlas spoke on
the ATV survey that was done recently. He has the data and would like to put this issue on the May agenda. Kudlas also mentioned the fire safety issues important to all of the town that they have put on the web site.
Welcome to the new board-Election results-Clerk Peet presented the new board members, Chairman Gene Ratzel and Supervisor David Scharlau, to the audience. The election results are as follows:
Dick Collyard 179
Larry Peterson Write-in 7
Gene F. Ratzel is the new chairman.
Walter (Bud) Pease 155
Viola S. Friermood 90
Christine M. Webb, incumbent, and David Scharlau will be the two board members for this term.
Bonnie Buck Write-in 11
Henry Norton Write-in 1
Mike O’Keefe will retain the Constable position.
Chairman-Motion for Chairman to continue to be responsible for the Garage and of the Highway Department Personnel-Chairman Gene Ratzel asked for the motion for the chairman to continue to be responsible for the garage and highway personnel. Motion (Meinke / Chermack) to have the chairman continue to be responsible for the operations of the garage and highway personnel. Motion carried. Ratzel said that he questions the documentation that supports this decision in the past and we haven’t been able to pin point it down and that’s why we are reaffirming that decision tonight. Chermack wanted to know how this worked out with the committees already established for the board. How will the new board integrate with the old board committees? Will they be redefined? She felt that all of the other committees should be discussed before accepting that motion. Ratzel said this was only for the highway department. Chermack then questioned the presence of Jack Meinke at the meeting Raztel had with garage people the other day. Ratzel said Meinke was only there to discuss the upcoming road issues. The attorney and Webb thought that the statutes pretty well set the responsibilities and that the chairman has the responsibility of overseeing all of the town operations. Ratzel said he would like to see that the responsibility would step down in the future as things get under control. Meinke said he was only working on the road situations and not on the day-to-day operations of the garage. Chermack asked if the other committee designations would be gone over. Clerk Peet said it was not an agenda item tonight and would have to put on the agenda for future discussion. The attorney gave the opinion that unless there was another resolution or ordinance to the contrary in effect, the statutes say what need to happen. Motion (Meinke / Chermack) to withdraw the above motion and the second by Chermack. Motion carried. Ratzel will oversee the operations as stated by statutes. Ratzel then spoke on the WTA magazine article that had been printed out for the people regarding proper meeting conduct and order. There are statutes that govern the meetings. If items are not on the agenda, we cannot discuss them. That is what the 5 minutes of public comment are for. There are issues that he will be working on. A lot of things have not gotten attended to. Ratzel asked Meinke to discuss the
road issues at this time, but it was noted that this was not an agenda item. Meinke could reference this when he gives his board member report however. Meinke said he would do this. Ratzel said he had a lot to learn and that there was a lot of work to be done in the town. He will have to set priorities.
The Town of Barnes, that from the first day of April 2003, the public buildings and other property belonging to the Town of Barnes be insured with the Local Government Property Insurance Fund under Chapter 605 Wisconsin Statutes and amendments thereto, including buildings, personal property, property in the open and contractor’s equipment, excluded motor vehicles.
The Clerk of the Town of Barnes is hereby directed to carry out the provisions of this resolution dated this 15th day of April 2003.
Signed and adopted this 15th day of April by the Chairman and the Clerk.
Fire and Ambulance Ordinances-Resolution to dissolve BES. There was discussion with the attorney that the BES should not be dissolved until the new ordinances for the two separate departments were in place.
Ordinances to Create the Fire and Ambulance Departments-A copy of the proposed ordinances was given to each board member previous to the meeting. Chermack asked about several issues in the ordinances. One concern was in the area of discipline for the Ambulance Department, like the Fire Department had in its ordinance. It was said that this could be in the policy part of the plan, not just in the ordinance. [The attorney indicated that it was legal to discuss the ordinances, but not make a final decision.] Meinke said that the Ambulance Department was under the direction of a medical director. Chermack also had a question with #4- Elections and Officers. She felt that the Ambulance Ordinance was worded less clearly than the Fire Department Ordinance on this issue. The next issue Chermack had was with #8-New members and is there a minimum age requirement? Webb indicated that it was 18 years of age according to Health and Family Services. Another question Chermack had was on #13-This was in the old ordinance, but not in the new version. This had a provision for fines to be imposed for interference with the service. Meinke said it was not included because this was handled by law enforcement officials and not enforceable according to the attorney. Webb will get the latest version of the Ambulance Ordinance to the clerk. Webb said that there still was work to be done on the Fire Department Ordinance, but that the Ambulance Department Ordinance was pretty well set. There were items that the Fire Department may want to look at their next meeting. Gene Miller has gotten a copy of the newest version by e-mail to most
of the members and the others have been mailed copies of the latest version of the Fire Department Ordinance. Chermack had a question on #4-the disciplinary action. The attorney noted that this issue was of some concern to the board and needed to be clarified. Something needs to be in there to handle something should it come up in the future. Meinke said the organizations should be responsible for the documentation of the incidents and if someone isn’t doing their job, the department heads can make some of those disciplinary decisions. If it becomes necessary for the board to become involved, there would be documentation, if needed, for a hearing. The attorney stated that the Town Board has the ultimate authority over the actions of the departments. There needs to be some fine-tuning of the ordinance. There was a question on #7 of the Fire Department Ordinance. Webb said that according to statutes, the fire chief has the authority to handle the disciplinary action. The attorney said there has to be some policies put down for them to follow. Webb asked that if it would be all right with the rest of the board, the ordinance would go back to the department for final approval. Motion (Webb / Chermack) to postpone the issue until the next board meeting. Motion carried.
Meeting Wages for the Ambulance Department-Webb said that there should be a review of the wages paid for the meetings. Last fall when the LOSA plan was discussed, the Ambulance Department said it did not want to go with that plan. To make it more equal between the two departments, the board agreed to give the members $10.00 for each in-house meeting that they attended to try to encourage attendance and have that money put in a separate savings account for the members. This would be paid out to the person when he/ she retired, quit, resigned, etc. Now the Ambulance Department wants to have this paid to their people right away as part of their wages. We had $1,800.00 set aside for the Ambulance Department for last year into the savings account. If the board would prefer to pay it out in wages each month, they should make a decision on what they want to do. The clerk indicated that she had spoken with Carol Doran of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue on this issue. Ms. Doran said the board was in the position to offer what ever they wanted. It was not up to the departments to decide what kind of plan they would have. Webb asked the board to think about this. The money is there if the board wants to go with LOSA in the future. Chermack said she didn't feel there was any incentive for staying with the department-they want their money and they want it now. No action needed to be taken at this time, as there was a motion at a previous meeting to go with the original plan. Perhaps when the minutes go out there will be more input from the members.
Set a Meeting Date to go over bids for Fire Truck-Motion (Webb / Meinke) to open the floor for discussion on when to hold the meeting to look over the bids for the new fire truck. Motion carried. Chief Renz was asked what would be a convenient time to hold the meeting. It was decided that the board would meet on Thursday May 1, 2003 at 6:30PM to open and go over the bids for the new fire truck. There won't be a decision made, just discussion on the bids. Chermack said she would not be able to be in attendance on that date, if it was all right with the board. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to close the floor to discussion. Motion carried. The clerk will post the appropriate notice.
Fire Department-Permission to dispose of extra portable pump and a generator. The Fire Chief Tom Renz asked the board for permission to dispose of a couple of extra pumps and a generator that have not been used in years. Motion (Webb /Scharlau) to put the discussion on the disposal of these items down to Department Head Reports, Fire Chief's Report. Motion carried.
Bridge, Locks and Dam-Chermack reported that she had contacted Mark Abeles Allison about the dam and locks because she had heard that we were the only town that paid half of the costs of repairing these structures. How did this happen? She did not know. Because the ice is not out yet, the inspector has not been able to go down and look at the structures. The bridge is not that bad, so we are not eligible for any grant money to repair it at this time.
Economic Development Corporation-Gene Ratzel reported that Wally Schlafke and Art Smith were unable to attend the meeting tonight to report. There has not been a list of the funds spent to date as requested by Webb.
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates on the committee’s activities were reported by Vice Chairman Lee Wiesner in the absence of Chairman Dave Pease. Wiesner said that there have been five regular meetings so far since they formed back on September 7, 2002. They have made some major decisions. 1. Should they be a Land Use Committee or a Comprehensive Land Use Committee? It was decided that they would be a Comprehensive Land Use Committee. This is a much more detailed approach he explained. Local decisions are made from the Comprehensive Plan. 2. The committee looked at the nine elements of a Comprehensive Plan that include housing; population; transportation; utilities and community facilities; agricultural, natural and cultural resources; economic development; intergovernmental cooperation; land use; and implementation. 3. Twenty-seven issues that will affect the Town of Barnes in the next twenty years were put forth. Wiesner did not go into those issues at this meeting. 4. The committee asked for proposals for the Comprehensive Land Use Plan from eight firms. Five firms came back to the committee with proposals. The committee sat down and looked at each one and finally decided on MSA Planning as the firm that will do the Town of Barnes Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The cost will be about $35,000.00. They were chosen for several reasons. One reason was their public participation plan that suited our town better. They would have five focus groups. Another reason was that they seemed to have the best understanding of the topics of the Town of Barnes. They had the most detail on the scope of their work and had extensive experience in the planning field. Wiesner asked the Town Board to make a decision on MSA. Webb had several questions on MSA. 1. Did they have good recommendations? Wiesner said he had spoken with the Town of Hayward, who had MSA do their plan, and they had very good comments on MSA. 2. Did the committee look at other land plans that have already been done, such as the Town of Drummond, Town of Cable, Town of Grand View to see how they were done? Wiesner said the committee did get some examples from Tim Kane of the UW-Extension Services. 3. Does MSA do all of the mapping, etc.? Wiesner said that yes they do. Chermack indicated that the copy of the proposal was available for inspection. Webb asked what we had put in the budget this year for planning. It is $6,000.00. Webb asked if there was a "payment plan". There could also be grants available to the town. Motion (Webb / Chermack) to make take the recommendation of the land use committee and hire MSA as our planning consultant. Motion carried. The attorney indicated at this time that it is not normally the committee that negotiates the contract, but the board. He would look it over for us. Wiesner asked the board to meet jointly with them at the meeting on May 7, 2003 at 7:00PM at the town hall to do the contract, providing that a representative from MSA can be there also.
Department Head Reports
The Constable had copies of his report given to all board members. He had ten calls that he had responded to since the last meeting. He will be attending a meeting in Bayfield on Wednesday with other law enforcement officials. He said that there have been several break-ins recently and that people should be aware of this. Ratzel asked about the mailbox incident on Lake Road this past weekend. O'Keefe had no further information on this incident. People should contact either the sheriff's department or the constable if they have problems. The Sheriff's Department non-emergency number is 715-373-6120. The Constable's number is 715-795-3111. Tom Renz speaking as a deputy said O’Keefe should report the incidents he handles to the sheriff’s department so that the incidents can be tracked.
Ambulance Department Report-Tom Renz gave the report as written by Ambulance Director Viola Friermood, who was not in attendance, as follows:
We had five calls since the last board meeting.
Two no transport, one transport to Hayward, and two fire assists.
All EMT’s and First Responders had their Mantoux Tests (TB)
All EMT’s and First Responders have had their HIPAA training (Health Insurers Privacy Act)
Viola S. Friermood, Ambulance Director
Garage Report-Len Schiller reported that he had attended a road seminar in March with Jack Meinke. He described the session as good. The garage workers are in the process of dismantling the plows and repairing them. They will grade the road when the conditions permit it. There is welding being done. Schiller said he would be meeting with Jan Victorson on the issues about the discontinued section of Circle Road, as they are not in agreement with one another on this. He will meet with her in person to go to the road area. The road name may have to change again. The sign was replaced on River Road and Lake Road.
Jack Meinke reported that the board has been trying to develop a plan for working up a road report on what work will be done. There is a five-year plan for the town roads that Meinke has proposed. Every year will bring updates and changes as road conditions change. The roads, when discussing the budget, had $290,000.00 budgeted for roadwork. Out of this amount, $42,500.00 of this has already been spent for gravel for this year and next year, etc. $100,000.00 of the rest is for blacktop and the $140,000.00 or so left will be for graveling, ditching, widening, etc. There will be less blacktopping done because we are so far behind on our other roads that need to be repaired and maintained. The Paser program has its downfalls. The town can’t neglect its major roads and some of them need major work to get back in good shape. We need to get the drainage problems under control, at least for the first year of the five-year plan. We don't need every road in town black topped. That's not why we live here. We cannot neglect the major roads in our town and it will take a lot of work to get some of them back in shape. Many of the roads in the Potowatami area need work as they are still sand and dirt roads and there are a lot of hills, etc. that are full of sand at the bottom. The mail routes and the bus routes will be priorities. This year we are planning on doing some blacktop or blacktop /overlay, and we are going to have consultants come in and look at the situations, as we are not experts on this issue. We're going to try it this year and see how it goes and as soon as we see how much we need to spend, our wish list may go one way or the other. We may work on other roads. There is some work that the town crew will do on our roads as they always do, which is a big job in itself. They are trying to fix the drainage problems out there. At least we have a goal of where we need to
be. Webb asked if Lower Lake Road was on the list. Yes, said Meinke. Most other roads are in Potowatami. Ratzel said that this was true. He had been with John Kudlas on the roads out there and they are bad. Clearwater Court is on the list and also James Road. Webb also said that she had a list of roads that have been promised in the past. Would there be anything done with them? Would other roads be considered? Yes, if time permits and there is enough money.
Chris Webb-Nothing at this time.
Dixie Chermack-Chermack encouraged all board members to attend the WTA Conference to be held on May 14, 2003 at Lakewoods in Cable. Len Schiller asked if she had heard from 4 Star Construction? Chermack said she wasn't really the bridge person. We need to revisit 4 Star. They need DNR approval. Gravel has been put in on the River Road, but it keeps washing away.
Webb did have a concern at this time. At the WTA meeting last week, it was noted that there are Mitigation Grants available. Money is available to take care of problems before they happen. Jan Victorson in charge of town needs. This could help avert a tragedy such as wildfires. We need to have something in place.
Dave Scharlau-Scharlau wanted to thank all of those who turned out and voted for him.
Gene Ratzel-Ratzel said that he has had a hard time determining what the town easements are. The attorney said that the town has to determine if these are town right-of-ways or town easements. Town roads should be 4-rod roads. Schiller said some are 34’ and some are 33’. It could cost $125.00 per search for a title search to determine what is the actual right-of-way according to Attorney Anderson. Existing ditches, etc. are not usually a problem, but if you are creating new ditches, you better make sure of where the right-of-way is. The other issue is that the center of the road is not always the point of measurement. Schiller thought there would not be a big problem on the issue of ditches on most of the road. We would not be imposing too much on either side of the road, just pushing some of the banks back a little. Ratzel said that because of the expense in doing the searches, it would be better if we took our chances and do what we have to do. Schiller said we might not even have to ditch some roads if we crown them right.
Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:50PM.
Members of the board in attendance-Chairman Gene F. Ratzel and Supervisors Jack Meinke, Dixie Chermack, Chris Webb and Dave Scharlau. Also present were Clerk Lu Peet and Treasurer Debbie Sesko.
Members of the public present-John Kudlas, Robert Stack, Mary Jo Scharlau, Sharon Moen, Ron Moen, Bob Campbell, Marlys Vergin, Ronnie Vergin, Al Halvorsen, Kitty Smith, Dick Smith, Joan Brierly, Carol Horstman, Fred Horstman, Ed Erickson, Brett Harper, Dave Thorson, Roseanne Ratzel-LeVois, Pat LeVoir, Patrick Foat, Dawn Pittman, Greta Pittman, Lee Wiesner, Norb Kearns, Wayne Boelk, Denny Vergin, Barb Vergin, Bill Cirhan, Eleanore Desrosiers, Janine Watts, Beverly Kehoss, Tom Renz, Donna Porter, George Martin, Judy Neider, Lanny Neider, Marie Hughes, Gene Miller, Paul Mueller, Dorothy Mueller, Mike Alston, Marianne Mueller, Mary Kay Peterson, Grover E. Peterson, Jon Harkness, Buzzy Harkness, Carol Tierney, Patti Boelk, Gladys Aukee, Henry Aukee, Leslie Hall, Len Schiller, Bud Pease and Attorney John Anderson. There may have been others in attendance that were note signed in or noted.
Lucille J. Peet
Barnes Town Clerk
Dated this 21st day of April 2003