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 March Amended Agenda as follows:
Approve the March Amended Agenda
Approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting
Clerk / Correspondence
License Applications-2 Year Operator Licenses for Connie Richards and Wayne Boelk
Town Hall Use Agreements-All groups using the Town Hall are reminded to fill out an agreement for 2004
Department Head Reports:
Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease
Ambulance Department-Viola Friermood-Approval of new First Responders
Fire Department-Tom Renz-Disposal of old fire truck, 4th of July Celebration
Zoning-1. Herb Engler-Pease Road-Build a residence in F1 (Forestry) Zoning District
Insurance for 2004- Ok amount of deductible / other insurance issues
Road Conditions- Addressing issues
New Hire-Also advertise for summer help
Presentation of Picture to Town-Jack Meinke
Public Comment Session-5-minute limit for those not on the agenda
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates
Motion (Scharlau / Webb) to approve the March Amended Agenda. Motion carried.
Motion (Chermack / Meinke) to approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting as presented. Motion carried.
Treasure’s Report-Clerk Peet gave the report as Treasurer Sesko was out of town.
Checking Balance from the last meeting $ 212,220.29
Receipts # 16000-# 16015 $ 7,414.08
Checks # 17586- # 17693 $ (51,998.20)
February Federal Tax Payments $ (4,078.20)
February Interest $ 77.47
February Service Charge $ (17.40)
Check #17509 Returned-Voided $ 15.00
Transfer in from Calendar of Events $ 298.00
Checking Balance $ 163,931.04
Ambulance Investment Fund-From General Fund $1,010.00 $ 2,822.17
Highway Department Sinking Fund-2003 Tax Levy $15,000.00 for 2004 $ 85,295.83
BES Sinking Fund-2003 Tax Levy $15,000.00 for 2004 (Divided) $ 22,715.09
Park Savings-Receipt # 16005 $379.00 $ 8,593.65
Ski Trail Savings $ 181.18
Parade-Event Calendar Fund-Receipt # 16004 $100.00 $ 2,204.97
Balance All Accounts $ 285,743.93
Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. Motion carried. The Treasurer’s report also included information on Uncollected Personal Property Tax.
Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Clerk / Correspondence-
License Application-2-year Operator Licenses for Connie Richards and Wayne Boelk. Both have had the background checks done and are OK. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to approve the 2-year Operator Licenses for Connie Richards and Wayne Boelk. Motion carried.
Town Hall Use Agreements- All groups that use the Town Hall are reminded to fill out a new agreement form for 2004. These are available at the clerk’s office. Also any groups that contracts for the year for copies are asked to see the clerk.
Bayfield County Criminal Justice Informational Meeting- Members from the Bayfield County Criminal Justice Council spoke on what the group is trying to accomplish. Chief Deputy of the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department Paul Susienka spoke on the need for the new jail and the added beds and why it is important for the Town of Barnes to be involved in the decisions. The town pays a lot for the criminal justice system through its tax base. Judge John Anderson spoke on the AODA Services and the problems that drug and alcohol abuse and repeat offenders add to the criminal justice system and the over-crowding situation at the jail. More services are needed to help these people after release, to help prevent them from re-offending. District Attorney Craig Haukaas spoke on looking at alternative sentencing besides jail time, such as community service or home monitoring. The town can contact the county to see if there are any uses for this community service program. County Administrator Mark Abeles-Allison spoke on the literacy and education program at the jail and the career counseling and basic living skills programs available to the inmates. Family Services Manager Jan Karlen spoke on how this department helps the inmates and offenders with similar types of help. UW-Extension Agent Tim Kane spoke on the need for strong
community support and what the future directions of the council will be. County Supervisor Neil Paulson spoke on his contributions to this group and how the group came to be.
Department Head Reports:
Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease reported that there had been no activity since the last meeting. Pease said that they were looking into the veteran’s graves issues. The costs will be determined and will be brought back to the board to present to the county for Perpetual Care for these graves.
Ambulance Department-Viola Friermood reported that the department had 4 runs since the last meeting- 3 were to Duluth and 1 was to Ashland. The new cot has arrived. The salesman met with Peg Kman and Robin Friermood and demonstrated the correct use of the cot to them. They in turn will show the rest of the department the correct usage. V. Friermood asked the board to approve the two new First Responders, John Prohaska and Sheri Craft. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve John Prohaska and Sheri Craft as First Responders. Motion carried. Webb asked how many First Responders were on the force. V. Friemood said that there are now six. There was discussion if these two people will need new kits. V. Friermood said that she would check to see if they have them. If not, the kits would have to be ordered. Chermack asked if the radio inventory had been checked for accuracy. V. Friermood said that she had checked all of the radios that were theirs and all were accounted for except one, but there is no information on what happened to that one.
Fire Department-Tom Renz said that there were no calls since the last meeting. Renz asked for direction from the Town Board as to how they want him to dispose of the old fire truck. There was discussion that it should be put out on bids and advertised in the WTA magazine or other publications. Renz felt the value was about $1,200.00 to $5,000.00. There was also discussion that if the bids were not high enough, they should be able to donate it to an organization such as the Lion’s Club to be given to a poorer nation. Len Schiller said that if the truck was sold to a private party, all decals and town items should be taken off. The Fire Chief would make out the paper for the specs for the ad. If the bids are too low, then the department can donate it. Motion (Webb/ Chermack) to allow the Fire Chief to proceed with the letting of bids for the old pumper / tanker. Motion carried. Renz said that the new truck should be ready by the end of March or the beginning of April. They are waiting for the pump to come. Renz did not have all the information yet. Renz then spoke on the Fourth of July Celebration. The fireworks have been ordered and paid for-$5,000.00. Bob Walters from Cable will do the fireworks. All money will be going to the fireworks, as Bob will not charge us for putting on the display. The show is guaranteed to be 45 minutes to an hour long of all fireworks. The Fire Department also plans to have a dedication ceremony for the new fire truck on the Fourth. Renz will be working with the VFW to get the dedication planned along with the parade plans. The truck will be dedicated to all veterans of foreign wars from the Town of Barnes. Renz is also working with Walters on a display to honor the veterans with a special fireworks display. The Fire Department plans to sponsor some kid’s games and events before the fireworks. Renz said that on March 1st the FEMA grants would be coming out. There are several types of grants. Renz said he would be submitting a grant for a new tanker/ rescue vehicle. Grants are more likely to be given out if the request is for combined Fire Department and EMS related issues.
Constable Report- Constable O’Keefe said that there were 15 calls since the last meeting. Three were alarms, two were to assist for traffic control, three nuisance calls (dogs), three to assist motorists, two at the request of the sheriff’s department, one assist on an accident and one horse in the road call.
Garage-Len Schiller reported that JayEn of Duluth had installed the new radio setup in the garage. Schiller attended a class on roads on the 18th of February. The old thermostats have been replaced and were under budget. The weight limits are in effect on all town roads. Schiller said that he has spoken with Roger Osegard of Kraemer Company on getting gravel crushed. If our program is as aggressive as last year, we will need a lot more gravel. Mr. Osegard said that the town could defer payment until 2005. The gravel could be crushed in May or June of this year. Schiller said that it was time to start thinking about possibly getting some part-
time summer help for the cemetery and recreation. Schiller had a request for a new pressure washer. Schiller has looked around and the one that meets the needs of the department, a five and one half HP model, is about $629.00 from Northern Tool and Equipment in Duluth. Fire Chief Renz and Schiller said that the two departments would be willing to share the cost as the Fire Department also has a need for this more powerful pressure washer. There was discussion if there was enough money in the budget for this item. Schiller said that some of the other items had come in under budget so there should be enough money. This will be checked out. Motion (Scharlau / Webb) to approve the purchase of the pressure washer for $629.00 plus any shipping costs, with the cost to be divided between the Fire Department and the Highway Department. Motion voted on by roll call vote: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried.
Zoning- Herb Engler on Pease Road is requesting a permit to put a residence in an F1 (Forestry) Zoning
District. There was discussion on what lot acreage was needed. It is 5 acres and the parcel is 10 acres. Mr. Engler was not present at the meeting. Chermack had several questions on the application:
Motion (Webb / Chermack) to open the floor to discussion. Motion carried. Jon Harkness said that this was the same type of situation as the Oberholtzer issue in the last months. The board should demand that the people requesting these items should be at the meeting to answer the board’s questions. Harkness said that this kind of structure is not what we would want in the Town of Barnes. The board should not just be a rubber stamp for the zoning committee. Harkness requested that the board table the issue until the next meeting and have the person appear or answer our questions. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to close the floor to discussion. Motion carried. Meinke asked if the structure would be assessed as a garage or a home. Meinke said we should do the same as for the request for Oberholtzer and table the issue until the April meeting. The board should send the person a letter asking that he be at the next meeting or at least answer our questions. (The party is from Faribault Minnesota and it could be possible that he is not able to come to our meeting.) Scharlau asked what the zoning’s opinion was. There are no regulations against this now. The town has no zoning and the Comprehensive Plan is not completed yet. The town’s hands are tied. Webb said that they people should come to the meeting if they can. Schiller spoke about a pole building that is in the area of Golden Eagle and Blue Spruce-East Island Drive. This building does not look like it belongs there. Chermack said the issue should be tabled. Someone should contact the people either by phone or by letter on what we are doing. Scharlau said our guidelines are set by the County Zoning. There was discussion if the building would be occupied full time or is it seasonal. It was noted that it was listed as being a residence. Motion (Chermack / Webb) to table the discussion until the next meeting after the Englers could be contacted for their answers to our questions. Motion carried. Some of the questions to be answered are:
There was discussion that the County Zoning could over ride the board’s decision anyway.
Bid for new Fan Exhaust System for the Garage- The request for bids was put in The County Journal a couple of weeks ago. The only bid that has been received is from Arch Heating for $1,295.00. The budget had $2,500.00 put in for this system. This is almost half of the amount. Schiller said he was very pleased with all of the work Arch has done so far. They are very easy to work with he said. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve the bid from Arch Heating for $1,295.00 for the Fan Exhaust System for the
Garage. Motion was voted by roll call vote: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Webb, yes; Meinke, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. The clerk will sign the proposal and it to Arch Heating.
Insurance for 2004- Wausau representative Doug Ecklund handed out an insurance summary for the board. There were three different options for the deductible. One was to keep the deductible as is, varying from $250.00 on some items to $1,000.00 on the emergency vehicles. The second would have the deductible raised to $500.00 on the highway vehicles and keep $1,000.00 on the other larger equipment. The third would be to have $1,000.00 deductible on all items. This would be a savings of only $207.00. There was discussion on this and the board decided that it was not worth it to change the deductible to a higher amount. Ecklund said that because the town’s Experience Modification factor went down, the policy estimate would be much lower this year. This is the due to the Workman’s Compensation cost going down. There was discussion on Employment Practices Insurance that covers civil issues. Ecklund felt the town did not have enough employees to warrant the substantial cost. Ratzel said that the town’s exposure is supposed to be limited to $25,000.00 - $50,000.00. There was discussion if the town should go with Wausau for the Property Insurance or stay with the Local Government Insurance Fund. Wausau would be there to help do paper work and it would then all be under one policy. It also increases the limits for losses. There is an additional cost of $184.00. There was discussion on the VFIS (Volunteer Fire Insurance) that is due in late May. Wausau has a similar type of policy available. Ecklund will bring his quotes for that policy in closer to the time it is due, as it is too soon now to get quotes. Motion (Webb / Chermack) to keep the deductibles at 250.00 and $500.00 as they are now. There was discussion if there should be a separate motion made to go with Wausau on the property insurance before making the motion to accept the total package. Motion (Webb) to accept the proposal with the automobile deductible staying as is, for a total of $20,639.00 including the terrorism policy of $49.00. There was discussion on the terrorism policy and it was decided to have this option. There was discussion on the cost as this figure is the amount when going with the Local Government Insurance Plan. Webb said that she would have to rescind her first motion. Chermack rescinded her second of that motion. Webb then rescinded her second motion. That motion had not been seconded. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to go with Wausau for the property insurance for $3,708.00 instead of the Local Government Property Fund. Roll call vote was taken: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. The next motion was then brought forward. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to accept the proposal from Wausau for the approximate total of $20,823.00. Roll call vote was taken: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. Ecklund will get together with the clerk to go over the necessary paperwork. The VFIS insurance issue will be done at a later date.
Road Conditions- Ratzel spoke on the road conditions in town. He said that some of them are very bad- Moore Road, Witch’s Bay Road, Little Island Road and the Hans Road to name the worst ones. Ratzel asked all of the board members to travel these roads to see what the conditions are like. Generally speaking, the roads that were upgraded last year are doing OK. There are some small issues, but for the most part they are good. There was discussion if the town crew could do the work to make those other roads better or the work have to be hired out. There was some discussion on what has to be done on these roads. Ratzel said that our crew could do this work.
New Hire - Also advertising for summer help. Ratzel said that this was not to hire someone, but to have approval for someone who could potentially help us out with snow plowing, someone with a CDL license, but that the need was no longer there. Ratzel said he just wanted the application approved so that if there were a need in the future the applicant would already be approved. There was discussion that this issue of extra help should be tabled. Webb said that this should be a board decision. Also under new hire is the issue of summer help. Webb said that she thought the town should get its name into the Community Service Program. Ratzel said he had a problem with that because you can’t schedule anything with help like that. Meinke said that he felt we should check into it however. Webb said we wouldn’t know until we try it. Webb
said that she has an issue with hiring anyone. There were several issues that were discussed. 1. Was there money budgeted for this extra help? 2. What does each position do for work? 3. Can the town look at getting into the Community Service project or can they use the prisoners as they have done in the past? These services can be used for things such as painting, etc. not necessarily for using our expensive equipment to cut the grass. Webb said that before the board advertises for summer help, the board has to look at the position to see what it will do. There’s no sense in hiring more help if we have the help now. The board also has to look at the costs to see if we can afford it. The board has to prioritize the jobs that will have to be done this year. This issue will be on the April agenda. There was discussion that last year we had more help available than we have now. There was discussion on cleaning the intersections. Webb suggested the fire department, but Ratzel said that had been tried and it didn’t work. The regular crew will be working on roads. The board will get up a list of what needs to be done and who will be responsible for it for the next meeting. This will be for all workers, full time and part time. Tom Pieters can work 40 hours during the summer when needed and still not be a full time employee. According to the regulations a person may work up to a set amount of 40- hour weeks before becoming full time. There are two fewer transfer site hours each week now than last year. This would help with the number of hours needed for the cemetery and recreation.
Ordinance Updates- Webb said that she has not gotten through all of the ordinances yet. She would like to meet with the attorney to go over some of the issues. She said that the WTA was going to have a session in April or May on the 10 ordinances a town should have. This will be a whole session just on that issue. Chermack had suggested to the chairman that the board have the attorney come to a meeting expressly for the ordinances. That way we can ask questions as we go along. The attorney can also alert the board if they are going in the wrong direction on something. Ratzel said that the constable had some concerns about this ordinance enforcement issue also. There was discussion on when the board would meet. Webb will contact the attorney to see when would be a good time for her to come. The next few weeks are fairly busy for the town.
Presentation of Picture to Town- Jack Meinke presented a picture of a Sharp tail grouse to the Town. He read the historical background as follows: This sharp tail grouse picture was presented to Kenneth and Sylvia Ellison by President Calvin Coolidge’s aides in appreciation for their hospitality while visiting the Ellison Lake Resort during the summer of 1928 when President Coolidge stayed at the Cedar Island Lodge on the Brule River, given to the Town of Barnes by the daughters in memory of their parents. Meinke said he would like the board to formally accept the picture. He had prepared a statement to be signed by all board members. The statement is as follows:
Subject: Sharptail Grouse Picture (with historical background)
It was the always the wish of Sylvia Ellison that this picture be given to the Town of Barnes, to be hung in the Town Hall or Barnes Historical Museum (not private) and remain there for all to enjoy. If at any time in the future it would not remain on public display, it must be returned to the family.
The daughters of Kenneth and Sylvia Ellison do hereby give this picture to the Town of Barnes for all to enjoy.
Frankie (Ellison) Meinke
Binnie (Ellison) Mundle
Grace (Ellison) Bedard- [Deceased]
Dated February 26, 2004
Motion (Chermack / Scharlau) to accept the wonderful gift from the Ellison family of the Sharptail Grouse to be kept on public display at the Town Hall or Barnes Historical Museum. Motion carried. The board then signed the letter and the clerk attested the signing on this date March 16, 2004. Meinke said there might be another picture, if it is not in too bad of condition, available later this summer when they go through more items, that accompanied this picture.
Public Comment Session- 5- minutes for those not on the agenda. Neil Paulson asked to speak. He said that there is will be a small group of county board members and town board members to be on an action plan committee. Dixie Chermack has agreed to be on the action plan committee. If it were agreeable with the
town board he would like the approval for Dixie to be on the committee. (There was no objection to this). Paulson said that the County Highway Department had repaired the locks last year and was wondering if it was OK. The board said it would have to be looked at in spring when it warmed up. He also said that there are funds of about $12,000.00 to do the locks if more work is necessary. There are three dams in the county that have to be maintained by the county. These are in Drummond, Delta and Barnes. There was discussion on what approaches could be taken to fix the locks. They are very heavy and some people have a hard time opening them. Aluminum construction was an option. The bridge was the town’s responsibility. He said we should get our application in early for money. The county has to work on creating a good trail system for ATV and snowmobile use. There was discussion on this issue. The county has been working on survey monuments and again Barnes will be the focus as it was last year. Jon Harkness agreed that we need a plan for the trails. Harkness said he has talked to the law about the lack of enforcement in our part of town about the flagrant violations. There is a lot of inconsistency in giving tickets. He felt that Larry Loch was not doing his job. Mr. Loch says he is interested in educating people. Ratzel said that the town couldn’t do a lot about this, but thank you for directing this to the county. Tom Renz said that his daughter was in the Miss Wisconsin Pre Teen pageant in Wisconsin Dells this July. He was asking any organizations to help support her in this effort. Chris Webb said that they had done the same thing when their daughter Nichole was in the pageant in the past. She said he should contact all of the organizations in town.
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee -Updates. Chermack reported that the Citizens Committee had met with Cedar Corporation for a brain storming session on February 18th to review the survey results. They then worked to see what the strengths and weaknesses of the Town of Barnes are. She said it was a real working session and about 48 people attended the meeting. The main group broke up into separate groups to talk about the issues. The groups then came back and the total group worked on what were the most important issues to Barnes. Webb said that there was great diversity among the people who attended the meeting. The quality of the lakes and keeping the small town atmosphere were the most important issues. The next meeting will be held on April 14, 2004. It is always an open meeting and all are welcome to come.
Centennial Committee-Updates. The committee meets every third Thursday morning at Downtown Barnes at 9:00AM.
BADC (Barnes Area Development Corporation)-Updates. Lanny Neider reported that the group had been working on creating a home page for the BADC. Lanny and Judy Neider met with Art Smith to discuss the information for these pages and the layout for them.
Board Member Reports:
Jack Meinke-Meinke said he had talked to Mark Abeles-Allison and that the county has some funds available to help us with our “economic” park. Meinke wanted to stay away from the word “industrial” as this seemed to be a sore spot with the people who answered the survey. Meinke said that the word is getting around that we would be watchdogs and want to do the best for the community. Meinke was impressed with what Mark had to say.
Chris Webb-Webb asked if the audit was done or if we had heard from the auditor. The clerk said that she would contact the auditor in the morning as to the progress of our audit and also to request that the auditor come to the Annual Meeting on April 13, 2004. The audit has to be done by March 31, 2004. The board will want a copy of the report before the Annual Meeting to go over it.
Dave Scharlau –Scharlau reported that he has tried to contact Four Star Construction on the River Road Bridge project. They don’t return his calls. There was a recommendation for him to just drop in on the company when he was in Superior to see what is up. If nothing happens, perhaps the board has to put out another bid notice for this project. We should let them know first. This has been going on since June of 2002. The bridge is really deteriorating. Gravel has been put in there, but it just erodes.
Dixie Chermack-Chermack had nothing more to add.
Gene Ratzel-Ratzel had nothing else to add.
Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40PM.
Members of the board in attendance: Chairman Gene Ratzel, Supervisors Jack Meinke, Chris Webb, Dave Scharlau and Dixie Chermack. Also present was the Clerk Lu Peet.
Absent: Treasurer Debbie Sesko (Out of Town)
Members of the County and Judicial System in attendance: Craig Haukaas, John Anderson, Paul Susienka, Neil Paulson, Mark Abeles-Allison, Jan Karlen and Tim Kane.
Members of the community present: LannyNeider, Judy Neider, Viola Friermood, Donna Porter, Bob Stack, Marcia Wellnitz, Tom Renz, Mike O’Keefe, Dawn Pittman, Greta Pittman, Doug Ecklund, Gale Chermack, Jon Harkness, Buzzy Harkness, Len Schiller and Mitch McGee.
Lucille J. Peet
Barnes Town Clerk
Dated this 20th day of March 2004