MINUTES OF THE REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
OF OCTOBER 21, 2003
Chairman Gene Ratzel called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.
The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Chairman Ratzel read the October Agenda as follows:
Call the Meeting to Order
Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
Approve the October Agenda
Approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting
Clerk / Correspondence
License Application-1 Year Operator’s License for Mardy Zentner
West Sweet Lake Road-Name change to Sweet Lake Road
Community Clean Up Centennial Project-John Kudlas
Assessor Contract-Board Decision
Potawatomi Land Issues-18 parcel transfer
Employee Handbook for Town of Barnes-Update and first draft
Employer Drug and Alcohol Policy-Document update and board approval.
Overrun on Roadwork-Explanations
Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates
Department Head Reports
Board Member Reports
Anyone Not on Agenda-5 Minutes
All Department Heads are required to be at the Regular Board Meetings.
The Town Board reserves the right to solicit information from department heads only, without opening the floor to discussion.
Motion (Webb / Meinke) to approve the October Agenda. Motion carried.
Motion (Meinke / Webb) to approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report- Debbie Sesko gave the Treasurer’s Report as follows:
Checking Balance from last meeting $ 354,774.10
Receipts #15881-#15917 $ 93,056.97
Check # 17087-#17198 $ (181,060.42)
September EFTPS $ (4,379.50)
October EFTPS $ (3,544.74)
September Interest $ 168.67
September Service Charge $ (16.00)
Automatic Withdrawal-September Insurance Payment $ (2,163.57)
Transfer From Park Fund (Playground Equipment) $ 2,981.48
Checking Balance $ 259,816.99
Ambulance Department Investment Fund-Receipt #15901 $3.41 $ 1,808.75
Highway Department Sinking Fund-Receipt #15903 $132.40 $ 70,163.19
BES Sinking Fund-Receipt #15902 $12.04 $ 5,434.42
Park Savings-Receipt #15888 $375.12, #15899 $18.18 $ 7,943.05
Ski Trail Savings-Receipt #15897 #10.00, #15898 $4.18 $ 2,749.31
Parade-Calendar of Events Fund-Receipt #15900 $4.30 $ 1,849.32
Balance All Accounts $ 349,765.03
Motion (Meinke / Ratzel) to approve the Treasurer’s Report as given. Motion carried.
Motion (Webb / Meinke) to approve the Vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Clerk / Correspondence- There was a notice from Bayfield County Zoning on the meeting that was held on October 9, 2003; Two notices from the County Board of Supervisors on the meetings of September 30, 2003 and October 28, 2003 6:00PM at the Courthouse; Notice from the Wisconsin Department of Administration on the census figure. The population of Barnes as of January 1, 2003 was 636; Letter from WITC for the Tax Levy for the Town of Barnes-amount for this year is $256,934.68; Letter from the DNR on the Forest Crop and Managed Forest Land payment of $3,297.04. The town pays 20% of this amount to the County-$659.40.
License Application-1 Year Operator’s License for Mardy Zentner. She has been checked out and she has held a license in another community.
Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to approve the application for the license. Motion carried.
(At this time the clerk said that Tom Renz asked to be able to give his Fire Department Report early as he has to go to another meeting. He has also requested that Gene Ratzel sign the Mutual Aid Agreement with the DNR so that he can take that with him. This issue has already been approved by the board. Renz was not here at this time, but Chairman Ratzel said he would hold the spot open for him when he came.)
West Sweet Lake Road-Name change to Sweet Lake Road. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to approve the name change for West Sweet Lake Road to Sweet Lake Road. Webb asked a question on the reason for the name change. This was due to the closing of Sweet Lake Road from the junction of West Sweet Lake Road to Pease Road. Sweet Lake Road actually goes straight into West Sweet Lake Road. Since Sweet Lake Road has been discontinued from that juncture, it made sense to just keep the name Sweet Lake for the whole road. Motion carried.
Community Clean Up Centennial Project- John Kudlas said he would do both the Centennial Committee Report and this request at the same time. Kudlas spoke on the activities that are going to revolve around the Centennial Celebration in 2005. The dates set are June 24, 25, 26 of 2005. The committee discussed some of the things that might be done for the Centennial and a Town Cleanup Amnesty period was one of them. The committee would like to work with the board to set something up for this. Kudlas said he knew that there would be extra expense connected with the cleanup for the collection. The time frame for the cleanup would be May 12, 2005 until the Centennial itself, or about a month and a half. Kudlas would like the board to commit to this project. The board will take this under consideration. Once the board OK’s the project then the committee will put people to work on it. Kudlas said that he would personally help pick up and assist anyone who needed help, with his own vehicle. There will be costs to the town for this he said. Meinke said he had attended the last meeting of the committee and that Quentin Ruprecht was working on getting some figures ready for the Centennial Celebration for our next budget meeting on Thursday October 23, 2003 as they will need funding. Meinke was asked to attend the next meeting in November if he could make it.
Assessor Contract-Board Decision. Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to approve the assessor’s contract with Mike Hoffman for 2004. Discussion was held on the contract. Meinke questioned if there was anything in the
contract that states what the town will get back from the assessor-our property cards with the information, etc. It could be a copy of the disk with information and if a disk, is there software to handle the information and at what cost. The information belongs to the town. The clerk indicated that the assessor had told her that the information is on a disk as well as inserted physically into the property cards, but for the information to be of use to another assessor or the town, his software would be needed. Ratzel indicated that the software is normally quite expensive. The board would have to know more about the software and would not want to move on this issue until it knows more about it. Ratzel said another issue was that most of the public did not know that it was a maintenance only contract with Hoffman. After the state mandated revaluation in 2000 the town hired Hoffman to conduct maintenance only which means only transfers and completions of building permits and then it went 3 years and then a reval was done. That’s why the people were startled by the big increases this year as it hadn’t been changed for 3 years in the assessment. The clerk noted that Hoffman had not been hired until 2001. Webb said that the information that was given at that time was to recommend maintenance only for the first year since the state had just done the reval in the past year. This would give Hoffman a chance to get the records up to date. Then there would be a reval of everyone. After that it would be maintenance only for 2 to 3 years, but it would be looked each year to see if a reval was needed, depending on the market. So this would be maintenance only this next year and then for the next year we would look to see how the market is doing to decide if we need a reval. To have the money invested in a reval each year-you can’t do it. Ratzel said that at $12,500.00 a year for two years, plus expenses and then pay $59,900.00 the third year for the reval, that averages out to $34,000.00 a year and that gives the jerk effect where there’s no change and then you do a reval and everything gets pulled up. As opposed to a full time assessor, which would keep you in compliance-we go out of compliance immediately. Webb said that even with a full time assessor, you’ll never be able to stay in compliance because with the process, by the time somebody’s building permit is obtained and when the building gets done, the property is more valuable in the state eyes than it is assessed at. So we’re going to be out of compliance even with a full time assessor. Ratzel said that we’re not out of compliance with the building improvements, as they are just a small amount. Webb said that the assessor had written a letter to the state about our equalized value to see if it could be reviewed by the state. If that can be lowered, that will help that ratio too. Ratzel said that historically it had not been lowered after the fact. Webb said that she has heard differently -that it has happened in a couple of towns and different states. Ratzel said it would change our levy. It won’t be for this year, but for next year. Ratzel said that earlier Webb had said that we couldn’t be in compliance-we were in compliance for eleven straight years in the major categories. There was a question on why the state mandated the reval then in 2000. Webb said that the people were not happy with the fact that it was not an equalized process and what we are trying to get is an equalized process where everybody is being assessed on the same type of calculations. When you’re talking maintenance, Webb said that in 2001 there were 170 building permits, just in one year. That’s 170 places that the assessor has to visit, plus the land sales. She thought that for $12,500.00 we were getting our money’s worth. Ratzel said he would like to know how many transfers were processed this year- how many building permits were completed / processed and how many building permits were being carried over. Webb said that was part of his original contract. Ratzel said he did not see it in the contract we have now. Webb said we should ask him for some numbers. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to rescind her motion to approve the assessor’s contract. Motion carried. There was discussion that the contract had to be signed by the end of October. In a non revaluation year, the contract is normally done between July 1st and July 25th. In a reval year, the contract isn’t due until the end of the month after the reval is completed and the Board of Review has been done, which was October 10th of this year. This gives us 10 days. Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to table the assessor’s contract for tonight and put it on the agenda for the budget meeting on Thursday night October 23, 2003. Motion carried. The clerk will e-mail the assessor to get some sort of chart or figures to us for that meeting.
Fire Chief’s Report-(Tom Renz came in and Gene gave him the floor.) There was one fire run with power lines down. Renz asked Ratzel if he had signed the Mutual Aid Agreement with the DNR. Ratzel had and the clerk gave Renz the document. Renz said that he had a new recruit for the board to approve. Renz said that
the recruit was only 17, but that he would not be an active fireman until he was 18- in June. His name is Thomas Kman. He is taking the Entry Level and Level I training now and for insurance purposes he needs to be on the roster. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to accept the applicant. Motion carried. The clerk reminded Renz that all firefighters must have a W-4 on file with the town. She will leave some in his mailbox. Renz spoke on an ordinance that would allow the town to charge for active fire incidents. Webb said that we would have to draft an ordinance to that effect. She said that in talking to other townships, that they have done this in the past. Renz said that you have to charge everyone, not just those with insurance, to be legal. Ratzel said we would bring this to the attorney and start the procedure. Renz recommended that the town should also enact some sort of driveway ordinance. There are many roads in town where the emergency vehicles have a hard time getting down because they are too narrow. Webb asked if the County had a driveway ordinance. This will be looked into. Then we can ask for enforcement. Schiller also mentioned height requirements. The snow plow agreement gives those dimensions, but we can refuse to do the snow plowing. Meinke said that last year we had sent out notices to all of the taxpayers about their driveways. The clerk said that the notices would be sent again this year. Renz also wanted the town to know that in the very near future, 911 will be implemented. He wanted to advise every one of the changes that will occur when this goes into effect.
911- Important Information For All Residents
The major problem in all 911 calls will be the 7 SECOND DELAY in hearing anything. For a person with an emergency, this can seem like an eternity. This delay is due to the routing of the call. Once the call is answered however, the dispatch will know exactly where you are at. STAY ON THE LINE.
Potawatomi Land Issues-18 parcel transfer. Ratzel reported that progress is being made. Ruth Kressel, the town’s new attorney, has gotten back to the board on the ownership issues. She had done some research on the recorded plats for these lands and found that the land had been transferred to the town. The town, by resolution, had accepted them. This was done on various dates back in November of 1973. There is a process that has to be followed to give them back to Potawatomi. This will involve going to court to transfer them over to the Potawatomi Property Owners Association. This process could take 2 to 4 months. Dawn Pittman asked where this information was found. Ratzel said it was from the County Register of Deeds records. This issue will be tabled until more information has been received. (A copy of the report from the attorney was given to Ms. Pittman.) Webb said that the actual conveyance of the land would probably have to been done at a Special Town Meeting or Annual Meeting, just as a land sale would have to be done.
Employee Handbook-Updates and first draft. Ratzel said that the copy that the board had received to look at was a first draft. There were sections that still needed to be completed and revised. A copy will be given to the Fire and Ambulance Departments for their input also. It will be in place by the first of the year.
Employer Drug and Alcohol Policy-Document- update and Board approval. The booklet is made from the disk that was purchased through Bellin Health who does our testing, along with the DOT. Our information is plugged in and some minor changes such as numbering instead of bulleting. The pages with our information can easily be removed and updated as necessary. Schiller said that this was basically Bellin’s bible. Webb had some questions on various areas. Ratzel explained the different issues. Motion (Meinke / Webb) to approve the Town of Barnes Employer Substance Abuse Policy. Motion carried.
Overrun on Roadwork-Explanations. Meinke met with Thompson and they discussed the condition of the roads and the overruns. The only road with the overrun was Clearwater Road. Meinke read the reports from Thompson. He felt that Thompson had cheated us a little on the gravel and he had let them know that. The report stated that the roads done were in excellent condition. For Lower Lake Road: it is in excellent condition. The representative said that the grader operator should blade the road to the center and level. This
will keep the ditches from filling up with gravel and maintain a crown for proper drainage. There were no changes. This was bid out at $24,436.00. Wallman Road: It is in excellent condition. There were concerns that several of the small hills weren’t cut down enough. This was because some of the residents on that road were against cutting the trees necessary to widen and do the work properly. They had to work around these areas. The finished product is very good and the visibility at Lake Road is good from both directions. There was no change in this project. It was billed out at the bid price of $12,333.50. Schiller had dealt with the people as far as the tree issues were concerned. Clearwater Road and Clearwater Court are in excellent condition per the advertised specs and discussions between Schiller and Jim Miller from Thompson. Some drainage changes were made. The advertised spec read “place culvert if needed or whatever, to provide proper drainage where needed. The decision was made to eliminate the culverts and create a riprap flume and design ditches. This would contain and channel the water better and minimize the possibility of erosion. These changes are as follows: Base bid was $15,205.00. They added rock, fabric, equipment and labor for a cost of $4,026.00, for a total of $19,231.00. Then they deducted 2 culverts 30’x15” for $450 and 2 culverts 40’x18” at $712.00, with a loading credit of $588.00-bringing the total of those three deductions to $1,750.00. The Clearwater total was $17,481.That was a difference of $2,276.00. We have paid them $51,975.50. The new total for all of the projects is $54,250.50 and that’s where the new balance of $2,276.00 comes in. Ratzel said that basically the overrun came in when they decided to change from the culvert system to the riprap and flume. They will not give us any concessions on the pricing. There are some issues as to thickness of gravel (Not being 4” thick in all places.) Schiller said that the way they wrote their bid was just grading, hauling at such an amount. This will not be acceptable in the future. All bids must be clearly and explicitly spelled out. We are now better educated as to this process. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to pay Thompson the overrun of $2,276.00. Roll call vote taken: Webb, Yes; Meinke, Yes; and Ratzel, Yes. Motion carried.
Anyone not on the Agenda-5 Minutes- (Motion (Meinke) to move this up to just before Department Heads “as this just makes sense”. Ratzel said it should go just before Committee Reports. Motion (Meinke / Webb) to rescind his motion. Motion carried. Motion (Meinke / Webb) to have the 5 minutes of Public Comment just before the Committee Reports as this “just makes sense”. Motion carried.
Colin Nowaczyk spoke on the fire on Connors Road over the Labor Day weekend. His DNR vehicle was struck by another vehicle due to the narrowness of the road. No damage was done, fortunately, but this did bring up the issue of the condition of some of the town roads. They need to be wide enough for two vehicles of size to pass one another safely. Priority needs to be placed on these roads. He would feel very bad if something tragic should happen because of this problem. The taxpayers deserve better roads. Jon Harkness spoke on the road issue also. He said the Cranberry Lake Road repairs were going good. His problem was that he felt the grader operators needed to be trained in the correct manner in which to grade the roads-lack of skills. He said he was not a heavy equipment operator, but he could see that the banks just keep getting higher and the ditches are being filled in-no drainage. He said that Pease did keep the crown and kept the ditches. Now the grader goes down the road at 30 miles an hour just moving rocks and leaves off the road surface. It’s not moving dirt. It is not crowning the road for proper drainage and not ditching amply at all. He thought somebody needs to get trained to grade a road. This must be learned. The board should consider getting some one to train those that operate the grader. It’s not working the way it is. He said that this was not dispersions on Len or his crew. Nowaczyk said that roads in the north are very narrow. There were almost head-on collisions this summer. Webb asked if Len had the dimensions of what are roads are now. He said he has the reports. Ratzel said he could see the same issues. A road consultant should be used, but money is an issue. People have to come to the budget meetings to let us know where you want the money
spent. Nowaczyk said this must be noted as a priority. Webb said maybe the state or county could give us some help in this area. Meinke said that this issue has been brought up and there has been some improvement on at least one of the operators. We have a letter on file complimenting the improvement of the individual and the job that he has done. The town crew has been moving the gravel on the roads we have been improving and Meinke said he had driven the roads himself last week and on two of the roads that we are
considering for upgrading, the operator on that end has not been doing the grading properly. He has a habit of going right back and doing them the wrong way and then Lenny has to, in turn, send the other grader to fix it up. We know about it and it is an issue. Meinke said that widening the roads is not just sending a grader down and moving the dirt. It is a project that requires a dozer and other equipment to remove tree stumps, etc. Webb said we should look at the roads and see where to start. We have spent more on black topping in the past years and we have to do more grading, etc. on the other roads. We have to keep our five-year plan. Meinke said that not much maintenance was done on the roads in the past. We have some major projects such as the Pease Road and others.
Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease. Mr. Pease was out of town so the clerk read his report as follows: We had one burial on October 7-David Pfieffer-in George Stone’s lot. There was no other activity.
Walter G. Pease- Cemetery Sexton
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates. Dave Pease gave the report. He said that at their October meeting that they were working on the survey that will be sent out to all property owners. This should be ready to go out in November. Webb asked when their next meeting would be held. This will be November 12, 2003. Webb said that people that had any issues should get them to the committee.
BADC-Updates. Meinke said that the Neiders, new members of the BADC, are working at putting in for grants for the infrastructure. It is usually easier to obtain money for this kind of infrastructure project. The county is even taking interest in our project and is offering to put in a turning lane into the park. The clerk said she had received a call from C and S Design, but did not know what it was about. There was no one available that knew what the call was about. She will call in the morning. C and S Design is the firm doing the park layout design.
Department Head Reports-
Fire Department- (Tom Renz, Fire Chief, had given his report earlier.)
Ambulance Department-Due to Viola Friermood- Ambulance Director’s absence (She did not feel well), the clerk read the report as follows:
There were 4 calls since the last meeting-1 intercept with Ashland, 2 to Hayward and 1 no transport.
There were 3 EMT’s that went to the Refresher Course in Mason. There are 2 going to the Refresher Course in Iron River. We will be taking our CPR Course on Wednesday the 5th of November. Also 4 people went to ICS (Incident Command) Training.
Viola S. Friermood-Ambulance Director
Webb asked about the contract that the town had received from Medtronics for $6,426.00. Donna Porter said this was for the serviced agreement for the 9 defibs that the Ambulance Department has. This is a 3-year agreement. They ship us a loaner and we ship ours in. They repair, check, etc. and then return them to us. This included the batteries which are very costly. That is why there is $5,500.00 in the budget for this expense.
Constable Report- Constable Mike O’Keefe reported that he had a total of 15 calls since the last meeting. 9-10 of these calls were ATV related. Ratzel asked what nature they were. O’Keefe said most were people in the wrong place, riding after hours with no headlights, nothing serious. He had 2 deer hits and 1 call to assist at the fire and electric lines down on Lake Road and the subsequent power outage that affected a good part of the town. There was 1 damage to property on South Shore Road. O’Keefe said that Dahlberg just let the ball drop this time, but they were usually pretty good about coming out. The tree was on fire. Nowaczyk said
it was pretty impressive. O’Keefe said he found it amazing that one tree and four lines could take out most of the town.
Garage Report-Len Schiller. Schiller reported that all mowing along the main roads in town had been completed. The Sweet Lake Road closure has been done and that portion of the road has been blocked off.
All repairs have been completed on the town’s highway radio equipment. The new park equipment has been installed at Tomahawk Lake Park. The last ¼ mile of Cranberry Lake Road has been graveled. There are still narrow areas, but it is much better. All of the fire extinguishers have been check or replaced. This is done on an annual basis. Schiller said he was not real happy with the new firm that did the checks this year. The old firm had sold out. The firm took our extinguishers to their shop to do the checks and left us replacements, but then they added the shop costs to our bill. The old company did work on our site. Many of our extinguishers had to be replaced with new ones to come up to code. Schiller will look into some alternatives for next year. The crew has taken out the Y at the Mulligan Creek Road and the Pease Road. It is now perpendicular. The outdoor toilets have all been winterized. The dumpster at the Peninsula Road boat landing has been removed for the year and the satellite will be taken out shortly. The docks and piers will be taken out around the first of November. Anyone that still has to take out their boats or pontoons should be aware of this. The town hall steps and ramp have been scrapped and painted. Sesko asked if the crew took out the buoys in the channel, etc. Len said he has volunteers who do this. Schiller said that he had contacted Roger Osegard from Kraemer Company about crushed gravel. There are 2 piles at their yard that belong to them. The town can buy one or both piles at $4.50 a yard. There are a total of both piles of 7,500 yards. They just need a letter of commitment to buy, from the town. Schiller asked that the crew be able to work on Eight Mile Lake Road. It needs about 6 to 8 loads of gravel to keep the road from being so bad in spring. The town trucks do not have a large capacity, so Schiller is asking the board to OK the use of Del Jerome’s trucks to haul the gravel. This will be about $500.00. This will require some prep work on the town’s part. The crew will do the rest of the work. Ratzel said this was one of those high priority roads for the spring thaw problems. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to have Del Jerome do the hauling for $500.00. A roll call vote was taken-Meinke, Yes; Webb, Yes; and Ratzel, Yes. Motion carried.
Board Member Reports-
Jack Meinke- Meinke said he nothing else to add except to thank everyone for coming out to the meeting tonight.
Chris Webb- Webb had nothing to add.
Gene Ratzel-Ratzel wanted to let everyone know of the Budget Meeting that will be held on Thursday October 23, 2003 at 5:00Pm at the hall. He also reminded the people of the Budget Hearing and Special Town Meeting to be held on Thursday November 13, 2003. The Budget Hearing will start at 6:30PM, with the Special Town Meeting to follow at 7:00PM. This is where the people have a chance to voice their opinions and to have their resolutions brought to the town for a vote.
Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:15PM.
Members of the Board present: Chairman Gene Ratzel, Supervisors Jack Meinke and Chris Webb. Also present were the Treasurer Debbie Sesko and Clerk Lu Peet.
Members of the Board absent: Dixie Chermack-Funeral – and Dave Scharlau-Out of Town.
Members of the community present: David Pease, Jon Harkness, Buzzy Harkness, Colin Nowaczyk, Florence Prickett, Jim Prickett, Rosanne Ratzel-LeVoir, Pat LeVoir, Brett Harper, George Martin, Joan Griffin, Del Griffin, Leigh Jordahl, Dawn Pittman, John Kudlas, Donna Porter, Janine Watts, Mitch McGee, Gladys Aukee, Henry Aukee, Mike O’Keefe and Len Schiller. There may have been others not noted or signed in.
Lucille J. Peet
Barnes Town Clerk
Dated this 22nd day of October 2003