MINUTES OF THE REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
Chairman Gene Ratzel called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.
The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Ratzel read the November Amended Agenda as follows:
Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
Approve the November Amended Agenda
Approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting
Clerk / Correspondence
License Application-2-year Operator’s License Susan Pearson
West Sweet Lake Road –Ordinance-Name Change for West Sweet Lake Road to Sweet Lake Road
Potawatomi Land Issues-18 Parcel Transfer Update
Transfer Site- Fees and Hours of Operation
Health Insurance Provider-Renew Contract for 2004 with Atrium with any Changes
Appointed Clerk and Appointed Treasurer - Create Ordinance to Change These Positions
Employee Handbook for Town of Barnes – Updates
Ordinances-Set Date for All-Board Review of Ordinances
Sale of Town Timber-Discussion and Possible Action
Public Comment Session- 5-Minute Limit for Those not on Agenda
Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates
Department Head Reports
Motion (Webb / Chermack) to approve the November Agenda. Motion carried.
Motion (Chermack / Scharlau) to approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting as presented. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report- Treasurer Debbie Sesko gave the Treasurer’s Report as follows:
Checking balance from Last Meeting $ 259,816.99
Receipts # 15918-# 15941 $ 30,950.13
Checks # 17199 to #17297 $ (49,339.05)
October Interest $ 108.49
October Service Charge $ (20.60)
Transfer from Ski Trail Fund (Partial Payment of New Groomer) $ 2,635.00
Checking Balance $ 244,150.96
Ambulance Department Investment Fund $ 1,808.75
Highway Department Sinking Fund $ 70,163.19
BES Sinking Fund $ 5,434.42
Park Savings $ 7,943.05
Ski Trail Savings $ 114.31
Parade-Event Calendar Fund $ 1,849.32
Balance All Accounts $ 331,464.00
Motion (Meinke / Chermack) to approve the Treasurer’s Report as given. Motion carried.
Voucher’s Approval -Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve the Vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Clerk / Correspondence- Notice from the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors of their meeting of November 12, 2003; Notices from Bayfield County Zoning of the approval of the zoning change for Robert Stack (Robinson Lake) and the disapproval of the zoning change for North Limited LLP (Kelly Lake); Notice from the State of our final State Shared Revenue Payment of $17,310.51. The Shared Revenues have also paid an additional $2,320.00 to Medical Care Transportation Services-a total of $23,109.56 in State Shared Revenues in 2003; The Drum Beat Newsletter from the Potawatomi Property Owners Association; Notice from the County of the Spring Elections to be held in 2004. This will be the Presidential Primary in February and local races if needed and the Regular Spring Election in April. This will include the County Supervisors Race and Local races. The County gave notice that the first day to file nomination papers is December 1, 2003; The Tax Levy for the Town of Barnes has been set. It will be $11.595804 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. The State is up $7,000.00, the County is up $130,000.00, the Drummond School District is up $112,000.00 and the Vocational School is up $28,000.00. The Town of Barnes is down $967.00. The total net levy for the town is $2,830,349.04.
License Application-2-Year Operator’s License for Susan Pearson. Ms. Pearson has completed her Responsible Beverage Server Class and has been checked out. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to approve the 2-Year Operator’s License for Susan Pearson. Motion carried.
Use of Town Garage-Barnstormers- Russ Carter spoke for Earl Orner on behalf of the Barnstormers Snowmobile Club. The club wants to continue to use the Town Garage to do the snowmobile maintenance work in, as it has in past years. He said the cost of the groomer was between $110,000.00 and $120,000.00. and that it is owned by the Bayfield County Snowmobile Alliance. We need to keep the machine here to be used locally so that our trails are kept in good condition. The snowmobiles bring in a lot of revenue to the local businesses. Supervisor Webb asked how old the groomer was. Carter said it was the oldest one in the system. It has had a quite a bit of maintenance done to it in recent years. John Peterson is in charge of the maintenance. Gene Magierus will be leaving the area soon and will no longer be involved in the club. There was a question asked on if the groomer had been readied for the new snow season? It has not as yet, but there is no major work to be done. A question was asked on how long the groomer needed to be in the garage. It would go in late night and would have the ice melted off by the morning and then maintained and repaired. This is usually done once a week during the snow season-November to March (April possible)-16 to 18 days. It was asked if the club had an alternative to this plan. Carter said he was not aware of another place that could accommodate this work. Right now the groomer is still at Skoglund’s. It will be moved over to Northwood’s Tap. Carter said they were willing to go along with an alternative. Supervisor Meinke said that the whole board realizes the importance of snowmobiles to the community. Supervisor Webb said that the board members have had a chance to go the garage and look at the situation. There isn’t much room since the new office was put in. The new heating units also seem to pose a problem in that the heat coming off of them is very intense and the heating contractor recommended keeping equipment at least 4 feet away from the units. The board wants to work with the snowmobile club. It would work out the best if the club could limit the time to one day per week. Carter said the club was looking to find a new building. They are looking to get a grant or other financing to build a new building. Carter has spoken to the County Administrator Mark Abelis-Allison also. Ratzel said he had several questions on this arrangement. One question was if it would
fit in the garage with the new set up there. The groomer is usually driven in with the drag attached. Another issue is the security. The town has just installed new keyless locks and the combination would have to be given out. This would require reprogramming the system after the season is over. Carter said the club would be glad to work with the garage crew to work something out. Webb said the question if enough room was a
valid one. Carter said to let them know if there was an alternative place for them. Supervisor Scharlau said that the Conservation Club building was a possibility. Supervisor Chermack asked that the board try to work out something for this season until the club has an alternative. Carter said that their money is short. It was decided to have the club get together with the garage crew and the chairman to see what can be done. In six months this will be looked at again to see how the club is doing. No other action was taken. The clerk will inform each board member of the outcome of the issue.
West Sweet Lake Road-The Ordinance to Change the Name of West Sweet Lake Road to Sweet Lake Road was read. A copy of the ordinance is on file in the clerk’s office for anyone to look at. It will also be posted in the three places in town that normally are used for posting. Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to approve the Name Change by Ordinance of West Sweet Lake Road to Sweet Lake Road. Roll call vote was taken as follows: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. The board members all signed the ordinance and the clerk attested it.
Potawatomi Land Issues- Chairman Ratzel read the list of 18 land parcels to be transferred to the Potawatomi Property Owners Association as follows:
No. Tax ID # Description Location Recorded in Plat
1. 004.1293.04 Lot 10 in the Plat of Osage Pine Chip Drive Vol.5, Page 51
2. 004.1336.07 Outlot 1 in the Plat of Sioux N of Golf Course Vol. 5, Page 57
3. 004.1254.07 Lot 45 in the Plat of Cheyenne Red Oak Drive Vol. 5, Page 41
4. 004.1254.05 Lot 43 in the Plat of Cheyenne Badger Trail Vol. 5, Page 41
5. 004.1253.06 Lot 34 in the Plat of Cheyenne Beaver Trail Vol. 5, Page 41
6. 004.1252.09 Lot 27 in the Plat of Cheyenne Beaver Trail Vol. 5, Page 41
7. 004.1252.08 Lot 26 in the Plat of Cheyenne Beaver Trail Vol. 5, Page 41
8. 004.1300.09 Lot 38 in the Plat of Pawnee Silverwolf Drive Vol. 5, Page 53
9. 004.1300.08 Lot 37 in the Plat of Pawnee Silverwolf Drive Vol. 5, Page 53
10. 004.1299.09 Lot 28 in the Plat of Pawnee Corner of Silverwolf Vol. 5, Page 53
Dr./ Broken Arrow Tr.
11. 004.1298.05 Lot 14 in the Plat of Pawnee Silverwolf Drive Vol. 5, Page 53
12. 004.1298.04 Lot 13 in the Plat of Pawnee Silverwolf Drive Vol. 5, Page 53
13. 004.1298.07 Outlot 1 in the Plat of Mohawk W of George Lake Vol. 5, Page 48
14. 004.1284.05 Lot 1 in the Plat of Mohawk SW of Campground Vol. 5, Page 48
15. 004.1328.02 Lot 17 in the Plat of Shawnee Wilderness Court W. Vol. 5, Page 55
16. 004.1262.08 Outlot 1 in the Plat of Cree Wampum Road Vol. 5, Page 45
17. 004.1262.07 Lot 31 in the Plat of Cree George Lake Road Vol. 5, Page 45
18. 004.1332.05 Outlot 1 in the Plat of Shawnee Buckhorn Road Vol. 5, Page 55
Motion (Ratzel / Chermack) to authorize the Town of Barnes, through its attorney, to initiate and complete the procedure, provide notice and apply to the Circuit Court of Bayfield County to vacate the above named parcels, as said parcels have been designated and dedicated “to the public” by virtue of the approval of the respective plats by the Town of Barnes Town Board on November 8, 1973 and November 20, 1973 and said parcels have never been developed or used by the Town of Barnes as a public park or playground. Roll call vote taken as follows: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. This issue will be given to the attorney to proceed to start the process of re-designating these parcels to the PPOA Common Properties. This could take several months to accomplish.
Transfer Site- Fees and Hours of Operation were discussed. The new proposed hours were to change the Sunday hours from 10:00AM to 4:00PM to Noon to 4:00PM. There were proposed Friday hours from Noon to 4:00PM. It was noted that Sunday mornings seemed busier than Sunday afternoons. Len Schiller said he did not see any reason to have Friday hours. He said he didn’t think it was fair to the attendant to have to work every day of every weekend. He could see having the hours set earlier in the day so that in the hot
weather the attendant would not have to be subjected to the smells as much and also the heat. Motion (Meinke / Ratzel) to open the floor to discussion. Motion carried. Jim Prickett, former transfer site attendant, indicated that there were several requests for Friday hours. Webb asked if there was a need to change the existing hours. There was discussion on the hours. The board decided not to change the hours as presented above. The only changes would be the Saturday and Sunday hours. Those hours would be from 8:00AM to 2:00PM on both days. This would be a reduction in Transfer Site hours by 2 hours total each week. Motion (Ratzel / Scharlau) to close the floor to discussion. Motion carried. Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to have the following hours at the Transfer Site: Monday 8:00AM to Noon, Wednesday 8:00AM to Noon, Saturday 8:00AM to 2:00PM and Sunday 8:00AM to 2:00PM. Motion carried. This change will take effect January 1, 2004.
There was discussion on the proposed increase of $.25 per bag [$1.50 for the smaller bags and $2.25 for the large bags]. There was also discussion on the proposed increase of fees for disposal of refrigerators and freezers from $10.00 to $12.00 and assessing a fee for large scrap metal items such as BBQ grills and mattress frames, etc. The board decided that it should be up to the attendant to charge a fee for the scrap item in question and that a set price would not work well. Scharlau said that he had contacted Bob Walter of Grandview about costs of taking our scrap metal. There would be a charge of $400.00 a year. The town would have to purchase the containers and then there would be a fee of $100.00 to $150.00 for each container to be hauled away. Walter recommended that the town should go to a 40-yard container. This issue will be looked into further. Motion (Scharlau / Meinke) to charge $1.50 for the smaller bags and $2.25 for the large bags and let the fees for the large scrap metal items be up to the discretion of the Transfer Site attendant. There was discussion on these issues at this time. Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to open the floor to discussion) Motion carried. Jim Prickett said that it would tie the hands of the attendant if there were to be a set fee. He felt it should be left up to the attendant to assess the item and then set the fee. Some items as large as a pontoon boat have been brought in. Motion (Scharlau / Chermack) to close the floor to discussion. Motion carried. The clerk reread the original motion. Roll call vote taken as follows: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. The new rates and times will take effect on January 1, 2004. The Notice of Transfer Site Hours and Charges will be sent along to all taxpayers with the tax bills.
Part Time Employment- Opening for Transfer Site, Recreation, etc. There was discussion on getting the part time position of Transfer Site Attendant filled. Jim Prickett has given his notice. It was decided not to fill the part time position until next spring. Tom Pieters will work the Transfer Site until then and fill in will be done by the garage crew if it is during the week. Gene Ratzel said he would help out if necessary for short term. If the site has to be closed, it will have to be. When the recreation work starts up in spring the board will take a look at hiring another part time person.
Health Insurance Provider- Renew the contract with Atrium for 2004. The board agreed to renew with Atrium for the 2004 year. The clerk will notify the company to remove Henry Norton from the list of covered employees as of the end of December, as he is no longer employed by the Town of Barnes due to disability. The clerk reviewed the proposed increases with the board. The increases would be approximately 12% this next year depending on the individual. Webb said that the board will look into the health insurance issue starting in the summer of 2004 and get some quotes. Chermack had a question on the increases. She said it was only 7% this last year. Webb reminded the board that it had changed some of the policy requirements and that it would have been an increase of 19% had the board not made the changes. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve Atrium as the health care provider for 2004. Roll call vote taken: Scharlau,
yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. The clerk will sign the agreement and send it back to Atrium.
Appointed Clerk and Appointed Treasurer Positions- Ordinance to make the change to these two positions. Supervisor Chermack spoke on why this issue was being presented. She then read an article from the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram that addressed this issue. Chermack said that with the increase in responsibilities and the amount of money being handled by the town and the legal issues that are involved,
the people should consider appointing (hiring) a person(s) to fill the positions instead of leaving it up to the voters to decide. This would be a set term of not more than three years. The board would set the job descriptions and qualifications necessary for the position. There would be an ad placed for this position. The board would review the applicants and hire the most qualified person. This would be a full time position compared to the 30 hours allowed now for elected clerks. The job now requires more than 30 hours a week. An appointed position would allow the board to appoint (hire) someone who would be competent and capable to do the work. The person would not have to be a resident of the town as elected officials have to be. The Wisconsin Towns Association’s attorney, Carol Nawrocki said that it may be easier to get someone for the job if they “didn’t have to run for it”. The clerk discussed some of the reasons why the people should consider changing to the appointed position. The person elected may or may not be capable of doing the job, even though they may have won the election for the position. Many towns are going to this system. The town would then most likely combine the two positions of clerk and treasurer to create one position with a viable wage that would attract a qualified person. Most of the time the treasurer’s job is not too bad. There would most likely be a deputy clerk who would assist at the very busy times such as tax time. The board has to create an ordinance for the separate positions of appointed clerk and appointed treasurer. Then the ordinance is posted 45 days before the Regular Election in April .A referendum vote by the electors would decide whether or not to have the position as an appointed one rather than an elected one. Clerk Peet said that she highly recommended this move from personal experience and would be for the change. The treasurer is also for this change. Chermack said that this would give more permanence to the position, as elected officials come and go. The heart of any government or business is usually the secretary who is there day in and day out. It is important to have stability in this position. The clerk would be under the control of the board and would be more of a secretary to the town. Ratzel said that the ordinance was just the first step in doing this. Webb said that the ordinance as presented by the attorney does need some clarification before the board goes ahead with this. This issue will be postponed until the board has a chance to review this ordinance with the attorney and will be held off until the next regular board meeting in December.
Employee Handbook for the Town of Barnes-Updates. Gene Ratzel said the handbook was almost completed. The board members have received the latest draft from Ratzel. He has one more page that has the benefits, etc. that needs to be done. Then it will be sent to the attorney for review. Chermack said she had some questions on the August draft, but would have to compare the current draft with that one before she could make further comments. Ratzel said that all issues have to comply with state and federal laws. This book should be completed by the first of the year so that it can be discussed with all employees.
Ordinances-Set date for all-board review of ordinances. Chermack said that she and Webb have gone over and reviewed all of the ordinances to see which ones were good and which one needed to be repealed or amended. A date was discussed. Because of the busy holiday schedule during the next few weeks, it was decided to hold off with a meeting until after the first of the year, sometime in January.
Sale of Town Timber-Supervisor Meinke spoke on harvesting some of the mature timber that is on town owned lands. He and Webb have been in contact with Bayfield County to see if they would help us in this matter. Neither could not get a hold of the main person, but talked to another person instead. It was not clear whether it was the same person or not, but two different answers were given. When Meinke spoke with the person, it was indicated that the county might work with us if the lands abutted the county lands being cut-they could get a percentage. Webb’s conversation indicated that the town should go with the DNR as they set
up the timber sales. Meinke said that in speaking with Dick Smith, in the past the town just put it out for bids for what it wanted cut. Ratzel said that he and Meinke have looked at the plat for all of the land that the town owns that has timber on it. Chermack asked how many acres this was and where were they located. Ratzel said the parcels were spread out all over the town. Some were on Denver Road, some were on Lake Road-these are scattered all over. Chermack asked how the town had acquired all of this land. Ratzel said it came from several different sources such as gifts or tax defaults. The town is looking at ways to raise revenues as the revenues continue to go down. The mature trees should be harvested. Some of the lands look like they have been cut in the past. Meinke and Ratzel will continue to work on this issue.
Public Comment Session- 5- Minute limit for those not on the agenda. Rosanne LeVoir questioned why all of the department heads were not in attendance when it states on the agenda that they are to be in attendance. According to past minutes, the board required the heads to be at the meetings. Ratzel said the board will be working on this. Marcia Wellnitz asked if the town allowed residents to use the heat blanket that the town has for grave openings in winter, to thaw out frozen pipes, etc. It is something that the town would not do. Len Schiller said that the town does not even like to loan it out to other communities as it sometimes doesn’t come back when it should. There are liability and cost issues involved as well.
Cemetery Committee Report-Bud Pease. Sexton Pease was not in attendance and had left no report with the board or the clerk.
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates. Dave Pease reported that the committee will meet on Wednesday November 20 to do the final review on the survey that will be sent to the residents. The meeting was postponed from last week until this week Wednesday, due to the absence [health reasons] of the planning firm’s representative. Chermack said the committee would be formulating a cover letter that will go along with that survey. She said that there was a resolution that had been brought to the town board for its signature to adopt the state’s comprehensive land use planning law. She said that our planning committee will look at it first and give the board its recommendations on whether to approve it or not.
Centennial Committee –Updates. There was no one in attendance from the committee. The clerk said that the committee has been meeting and is getting a lot accomplished. Anyone interested in attending these meeting is welcomed to come. They are held at Downtown Barnes on the third Thursday morning of the month. Contact Judi Scholz for more information at 715-795-3209.
BADC-Updates. Chairman Ratzel said that Cooper Engineering has been contacted to look at writing a grant for the park. Webb asked that the Development Corporation give the board a detailed accounting of the expenses and how much they have left in the account, for the January meeting.
Department Head Reports-
Ambulance Director- In the absence of Ambulance Director, Vi Friermood, the clerk read the report as follows:
There were six calls since last meeting- One intercept with Gold Cross, two to Hayward, two to Duluth and one no transport.
Three EMTs finished their refresher course in Mason. Two EMTs finished their refresher course in Iron River. EMTs and First Responders took their CPR / AED (Advanced Defib) course at the Ambulance / Fire Hall.
Vi attended the Bayfield / Ashland County EMS Council meeting. There was discussion on using plain text on the radios.
Viola S. Friermood, Ambulance Director.
Fire Department- In the absence of Fire Chief Tom Renz, the clerk reported that the chief said there had been no activity in the department since the last meeting. The chief had met with Elite to discuss some changes to the new fire truck. These changes will not affect the final cost.
Constable- Constable Mike O’Keefe gave the Constable Report as follows: He had 14 calls since the last meeting. Four to five were sheriff referrals for motion sensors, etc. Two of these were to assist motorists, 2 deer hits, 1 welfare check and four or five were ATV related stops. He said it had been pretty quite. O’Keefe said he would like to meet with the chairman and the attorney on the Citation Ordinance.
Garage- Len Schiller. Schiller said that work had been done on the equipment. The plows are ready to go. The crew worked on the Blue Lake Road and Island Lake Road intersection. This intersection was unsafe.
This was done with the OK from the Bayfield County Forestry Department as it is their land that was involved. The crew did the work on Eight Mile Lake Road. This was the work OK’d by the board for $500.00. There was some gravel put down in the low spots. There will be more work done on the road next year. Work was also done on Wilderness Road. This is the road that the Town of Barnes keeps up for the Town of Drummond. They pay us the amount they would get from the state for highway aids on it. Schiller said that serious damage was to the Kelsey Road by contractors working in there. The contractors have repaired the damage. The new supply of gas and diesel was delivered. This should last until spring. The new supply of salt and sand has been delivered. Residents are reminded that they are allowed to get small containers of salt / sand from the green shed to put on icy walks, etc. No large loads are to be taken however. The shed is unlocked.
Board Member Reports:
Jack Meinke- He had nothing more to report. [See Ratzel’s report]
Chris Webb-Webb suggested that the clerk send out a letter to all department heads reminding them of their obligation to be present at the meetings or have a person there to represent the department. There are assistants who could be here if the head is not able to come. If this letter doesn’t bring the desired results, then the board will look at some alternatives. The clerk will send out the letter with a copy of the past minutes where the action was noted. This should be part of the job description.
Dixie Chermack- Chermack said that the town should send a letter of thanks to Jim Prickett for his work at the Transfer Site. Webb said that a letter should be sent out to Henry Norton as well for his many years of service. The clerk will send out a letter of thanks to both men for their past service to the town.
Dave Scharlau-Scharlau said the town has not heard from the state yet on the waterways.
Gene Ratzel-Ratzel said that he and Meinke had attended a session in Rice Lake on Monday dealing with town issues. He said that the board members will be going to various training seminars to help them make the best decisions for the town. Meinke said that at the session he heard of some of the measures that town’s can take to reduce costs. He said that Barnes was already doing many of the things suggested.
Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:15PM.
Members of the board in attendance: Chairman Gene Ratzel, Supervisors Dave Scharlau, Dixie Chermack, Chris Webb and Jack Meinke. Also present were the Treasurer Debbie Sesko and Clerk Lu Peet.
Members of the community present: Russ Carter, LeRoy Kuehling, Alice Kuehling, John Peterson, Ronald Vergin, Marlys Vergin, Barb Vergin, Denny Vergin, Rosanne Ratzel-LeVoir, Pat LeVoir, Carole DeWitt, Carol Horstman, Fred Horstman, Norb Kearns, Caroline Kearns, Marcia L. Wellnitz, Peg Harsvick, Marv Harsvick, Donna Porter, Dick Collyard, George Martin, Leigh Jordahl, Dave Skinner, Gale Chermack, Butch Kofal, Linda Kofal, Janine Watts, David Pease, Don Larson, Janet Messer, Jim Prickett, Dawn Pittman, Lori McCaske, Kevin Murphy, Jim Freeze, Scott Fredricks, Ted Hubert, Ingemar Eckstrom, Mike O’Keefe and Len Schiller. There may have others not noted or signed in.
Lucille J. Peet
Barnes Town Clerk
Dated this 24th day of November 2003