MINUTES OF THE REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
OF AUGUST 17, 2004
Chairman Gene Ratzel called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.
The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Chairman Ratzel read the August Amended Agenda as follows:
Call the Meeting to Order
Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
Approve the August Amended Agenda
Approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Town Board Meeting
Clerk / Correspondence
Liquor Licenses-1-year and 2-year operator licenses
Public Comment Session
Department Head Reports
Ambulance Department Issues
Road Issues for Cranberry Lake Road
Zoning Issues-1. Ingemar Ekstrom 2. Lee Wiesner
Zoning-1. Roger Keske R2 to R1 Request 2. Annette Pavey-R2 to R3 Request
Jackpine Lane-Request to make it a town road
Determination of DOT Road 122-1
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee
BADC-Barnes Area Development Corporation
Board Member Reports
The board will adjourn the regular session to go into closed session pursuant to State Statute 19.83 (b) and (c) for the purposes of discipline, considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility. The board will then reconvene immediately to the regular session.
Motion (Scharlau / Meinke) to approve the August Amended Agenda. Motion carried.
Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Town Board Meeting. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report-Treasurer Debbie Sesko gave the Treasurer’s Report as follows:
Checking Balance from last meeting $ 404,648.55
Receipts # 16147 to # 16168 $ 194,037.38
Checks # 18155 to # 18273 $ (217,061.57)
July 2004 Service Charge $ (18.60)
July 2004 Interest $ 98.28
July 2004 Federal Payment $ (3,692.13)
July Wausau Insurance Payment $ (4,211.10)
NSF Check-From Transfer Site $ (9.00)
To Correct Check # 18163 / Original P/U $70.60-S/B $70.00 $ .60
Checking Balance $ 373,792.41
Ambulance Department Investment Fund $ 2,831.44
Highway Department Sinking Fund $ 85,599.86
BES Sinking Fund $ 17,784.96
Park Savings-Receipt # 16155 $222.00 $ 9,469.95
Ski Trail Savings $ 302.98
Parade-Event Calendar Fund $ 2,213.38
Balance All Accounts $ 491,994.98
Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. Motion carried.
Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Liquor License Applications-1-Year Operator License to Ronald Lighthart and a 2-Year Operator License to Jill Setzer. Both have been checked out. Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to approve the two licenses as presented. Motion carried.
Public Comment Session-5 Minutes for those not on the agenda- Bill Patza spoke on the Cranberry Lake Road issues. He said that the residents on the road have come together in agreement as to what they would like to see happen on the road and that there has been a new petition brought to the board. The Rustic Road issue is not dead he said, but that there was an issue with a turn around. The Nafzgar’s are no longer interested in having a turn around on their property and this would be a big problem in having the road designated as a Rustic Road. The current petition that was presented to the board would still allow for the scenic beauty and historical value of the road to be kept as intended. Marv Harsvick spoke on the road coming into the Ebel and Hiltunen properties coming from the southwest off of Lake Road. He asked if he was correct in that is a private road? Webb said that she would be explaining more about this issue a little later in the agenda. (DOT Road 122-1) and
the board would make that determination. Mr. Harsvick also asked about the road coming in from the northwest
off the Lake Road, if this is or was the town road? Webb said that this would all be discussed under the DOT 122-1 road issue. Dawn Pittman asked how the board was coming on the ordinances. Ratzel reported that there have been scheduling conflicts with both the board and the attorney, but that the issue will be addressed shortly.
Cemetery Committee-Sexton Bud Pease reported that there was a cremation burial for Cerney on
July 31, 2004. The town sold some lots in Block 5. Webb asked if the Cemetery Record plats are (or
would be) computerized. Pease said that new books had been made and the records updated in the
book, but it was not computerized as of now. Ratzel said that it would be easy enough to do since
there are computerized programs for this type of thing. The Clerk said that Pease had gotten all of the
names and lot numbers for the veterans’ graves. She has contacted the Veterans Affairs Agent in
Washburn and will get all of the information to the agent on the Perpetual Care Plan for these graves.
Ambulance Department-Ambulance Director Del Jerome reported that the department had 6 calls-3
intercepts with Gold Cross, 1 for the helicopter, 1 to Hayward and 1 no transport- since the last
meeting. Jerome reported that the ambulance was out of service due to some mechanical
failure. The Great Divide and the Iron River ambulances are covering the town. The ambulance should
be back in service in a day. They need to start it cold to see what the problem is.
Fire Department-Fire Chief Tom Renz reported that have been no fires since the last meeting and
one LZ set up. Renz met with the representative of the Insurance Services Office for the inspection on
the fire trucks. etc. to be in compliance with the ISO to try to get our fire rates down. Renz said that he
had gotten word today that the FEMA grant request had been denied. Renz asked the board for
permission to sell our old fire truck to the Town of Highland for $1.00 to use until their situation is
remedied. Then they would donate it to the Lion’s Club for their mission project to get emergency
vehicles to 3r World countries. Renz said that this would be allowed since no bids had been accepted.
There have been no bids received as of tonight, he said. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to sell the old fire
truck to the Town of Highland for $1.00, with the stipulation that they then donate the truck to the
Lion’s Club mission work project. Motion carried. Renz said that he has 2 cold water rescue suits
coming and he is ordering an ice rescue sled. The department also has no equipment for extrication. It
can take quite a while (last time it was an hour and one half he said) to get this equipment with mutual
aid from neighboring departments in an emergency. Renz would like to start a fund for this equipment
with the board’s approval. The cost of this equipment would be about$21,000.00. Renz would like to
send a letter to all of the taxpayers to get donations, as it would benefit all of us. Webb thought that
this was a good idea. Meinke said that the board would support this and it should be done.
Constable Report-Constable O’Keefe reported that he had 15-16 calls since the last meeting. Most
involved ATV and fireworks complaints. O’Keefe reported that he has been putting his boat in to
patrol the jet ski and other watercraft issues. He thanked Dawn Pittman for bring up the ordinance
issue as he has had a lot of questions from the public on this issue. Ratzel asked the constable if he had
been involved in the ATV incident at the Stockpile Road. O’Keefe said he was not there.
Highway Garage-Len Schiller reported that the crew has been mowing the shoulders of the paved
roads and grading the unpaved roads. Moore Road and Little Island Road are almost completed.
Ashland Construction is finishing up on the James Road and the work on the Smith Lake Road will be
done. Pease Road will be done soon. Schiller said that he has looked into the specs and prices on the
new truck. He is waiting for several more proposals to come in. He will have more information at the
September board meeting. The damage repairs and maintenance to the Denver Road have been
completed. Schiller said that the town has an issue on the Cranberry Lake Road with the turn around
issue also. Mr. Nafzger is allowing the town to turn around at his property this year, but the town will
have to repair any damage to his lawn come spring. The town may have to explore an alternative
solution to this problem. The equipment is getting larger and they can’t turn around and are getting
Ambulance Department Issues-Fritz Barnes brought up several issues involving the ambulance. Mr. Barnes said that a few weeks ago he was called to go to a fact finding meeting for the Ambulance Department. Two town board members came to the Ambulance Service for this issue. Mr. Barnes asked if the Medical Director for our service was contacted on this matter. Ratzel said this was not necessary or required. Scharlau said the director was not contacted. Don’t we have any policy and procedure to go to go through the Ambulance Department first, before an issue goes before the Town Board, Mr. Barnes asked? Ratzel said that this would be an internal issue, but nothing came from internal. Mr. Barnes asked if the town’s insurance would cover an EMT with an expired license, if that person is practicing. Ratzel said that the town’s insurance covers all employees and paid volunteers. Barnes asked, as a taxpayer, that this issue be presented to the town’s insurance agent to see if a person with an expired license would be covered. Ratzel said that the issue has not been brought to the board’s attention by the department head and until we hear from him, there is no issue. Barnes also asked for an explanation on the issues that were presented at the last Ambulance Department meeting on the issue that the ambulance does not have to be the first one out of the building on a fire call and other related concerns. Ratzel said that was taken from the Ambulance Department minutes. Mr. Barnes asked Ratzel to explain the board’s stance on this and Ratzel said it was their meeting. Webb said that on fires, the ambulance does not have to be the first to leave the building. Webb also said that the board is asking the Ambulance and Fire Departments to set down procedures for these incident responses. The Fire and Ambulance Departments will review this. Mr. Barnes reiterated that, as a taxpayer, the town should check to see if people who are unlicensed or have expired licenses are covered under the insurance if they are practicing. He felt that the board was in for a big surprise, as Mr. Barnes did not think they would be covered. Ratzel and Webb agreed that the board should check on this. Ratzel asked Del Jerome that in checking for the licenses, are these public records? Jerome said no, they weren’t. Ratzel asked Mr. Barnes how he uncovered this information without invading someone’s privacy. Mr. Barnes said that he was asking the board if they check these licenses every two years. He was asking if this was true [about the unlicensed personnel], as he heard that this was the rumor around town. Ratzel said that the board is not aware of any persons at this time. The board would check on this with the insurance company. Mr. Barnes said as town chairman, Ratzel should check on the licensing every two years. Ratzel said he would depend on the department head to get him the information.
Cranberry Lake Road-Dave Thorson gave a statement on the Cranberry Lake Road issues. The summary is as follows:
1. Intro-There has been discussion about improvements and maintenance of Cranberry Lake Road. There have been many different opinions as to what should be done. The people on the road have gotten together and have come to some common ground. As a result, 29 people have brought a petition on this issue to the Town Board. (All board members have received a copy of this petition.)
2. Facts-Cranberry Lake Road is an old road. It is a native surface road that has been widened and changed over the years. Today it is a 24’ wide, low standard native surface road, with most of the gravel gone. There are 17 properties on the road. It is a dead end with no lake access and no turn around. There are 4 year round residents at this time. The traffic is usually limited to the people who reside on the road and their family, etc. There is very limited potential for growth on the road and zero potential on the lake (according to Mr. Thorson). The average traffic count is less than 100 in peak seasons and usually less than 25 from November to April.
3. DOT Facts-Design Class-TR1, which is the lowest on the table of ADT. Such a design class calls for an 18’ travel way with 2’ shoulders. At present the road exceeds 24’.
4. Speed-At present there is no posted speed limit- (assume 55MPH). The road has a washboard surface and is curvy. Excessive speed causes a dust problem and erosion to the road. The safety issue is highest on the curves as a vehicle will slide and bounce. Thorson felt 30MPH would be fast enough.
5. Erosion-Erosion from surface runoff occurs on areas with a slope and the worst is in front of Mr. Thorson’s mailbox. The issue he felt, could be resolved with a gravel surface with a 2 or 3 outlet berm on the west edge of the road. The greatest threat of erosion is from the dust as the surface just blows away.
6. Mud Season-All unpaved roads in the Northland experience problems during the spring thaw. Some gravel in strategic locations would help to minimize the worst problem areas. The first 100 yards were graveled last year and this did an amazing job of keeping the road firm, Mr. Thorson said. The road should be monitored to see if problems occur and then action taken.
7. Aesthetics-Many people use the road for exercise and to enjoy the beauty of the area. A wider road would not protect the visual quality of the area.
8. Recommendations by the residents-Place gravel (according to specifications of TR1), post speed limit signs at 30MPH, retain the natural vegetation along the roadway, cut only as needed for vehicle safety, plan regular maintenance such as allowing a good crown for drainage and fill the south end of the road in a manner that eliminates the wet area near the junction of the Denver Road. The part of the road beyond the Art Smith property is in a condition that the residents are happy with. If the gravel surface will take care of the problem, and if a regular maintenance plan is in effect, let the rest be-Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
Presented by the property owners of Cranberry Lake Road.
Zoning Issues-Lee Wiesner-Mr. Wiesner had given the board a letter on Town Involvement in Zoning Issues. He was here representing the Land Use Planning Committee. On August 11, 2004 at their meeting, several issues came up. One of these issues was the rezoning of the Keske property from R2 to R1. The committee would like to express its desire for the town board to not rezone this property, but keep them at 5 acre lots. One of the big concerns of the Land Use Planning Committee is the fragmentation of land. The survey supported their position. This would help keep the Northwoods character of our area. He encouraged the town board to listen to the people. Mr. Wiesner said that Neil Paulson, our County Board representative, was also encouraging the board to take a stand on the zoning laws and felt fragmentation should not be encouraged. Mr. Paulson said that approximately 70% of the time the zoning board listened to the recommendations of the town. If they don’t hear from the town, it indicates to them that we don’t care. We heard strongly on the survey that the people do not want the land fragmented. The county indicated that the town did not respond to a request asking them for more money for personnel to do zoning enforcement-perhaps it did not receive the letter. The town board needs to let the county know that this is a needed thing.
Zoning Issues- Ingemar Ekstrom spoke on the Keske application for rezoning from R2 to R1. He said that he has adjoining property to this land and the land has been in his family for a long time. Mr. Ekstrom said that the Potawatomi land was divided up before the new zoning was in effect. Now that land could not be divide as it is now. The zoning would not allow such small lots. He doesn’t want to see more density in the area as this could pose a problem for water and septic in the future. The town would eventually have to put in a sanitary or utility district for this area because of the high density. If the Comprehensive Plan were in effect, this issue would not
come before the board, as all of these lots would have had to be larger. Mr. Ekstrom noted that most of the lakes in that area were shallow lakes and were more susceptible to the higher density problem. Mr. Ekstrom showed on a map that the lands involved were within 1,000’ of a lake and according to the DNR, it should be subject to the regulations even though it is not on water. The sandy soil and high water table are creating ground water issues. The greater density would also add to the already bad safety issues on George Lake Road. Harry Jacobson, a resident who lives on George Lake Road, says that there should be more law enforcement in this area. There are blind hills and the speeding drivers make it very dangerous. The consensus of opinion from the residents in that area was to recommend that the town board reject the rezoning petition.
Zoning- 1. Roger Keske-54985 George Lake Road-Rezone from R2 to R1. Mr. Keske, or his representative, was not present at the meeting. There was discussion on this issue. There are 13 R1 lots adjacent to the property now. There was a question on how many of these lots were rezoned in the past 10 years. Dawn Pittman said that they were always R1 lots. Meinke said that now the lots would be considered substandard, non-conforming and not build-able, but are they are grandfathered in. Ratzel said he was disappointed that the applicant was not here
to defend his request. Motion (Scharlau / Meinke) to reject the application for rezoning this land from R2 to R1. The reasons for rejection are that the land owner was not present and that many objectors were present. Motion carried. 2. Annette and Robert Pavey-2715 South Shore Road-Rezone from R2 to R3. There was discussion on the issue. The reason for the rezoning is to accommodate the family members who own the property. It was inherited. The individuals were not here tonight, but there were no objectors to the rezoning present and the board felt it would serve the needs of the family. Motion (Scharlau / Webb) to grant the rezoning request from R2 to R3 for the Pavey’s. Even though the Pavey’s were not present, there was no opposition present at the meeting. The rezoning would meet the needs of the family. Motion carried. The board members signed the petitions and the clerk will get them to the zoning office.
Jackpine Lane- Request to make it a town road. Joyce Nelson had requested this action. She has the property near the storage facility off CO HWY N. Ratzel said that the statutes say how this must be done (80.02). Six resident freeholders must petition the town to make it a town road. Ratzel said that after January 1, 2005 all this will be changing however, and there isn’t anything the board can do at this time. Webb said we would have to have a good reason to do it.
Determine Status of DOT Road 122-1-Chris Webb had asked for this issue to be put on the agenda. It has continued to cause problems and keeps involving the town. The town needs to make a determination and get it in writing. Webb spoke on the letter that one of the property owners had received from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The board members have gotten a copy of the letter. This is what those residents are basing their claim on, on that portion that runs north of Dan and Pam Ebel’s property, coming off Lake Road
–they’re claiming that it is a town road according to this letter. Webb’s point is that the letter says the road is identified on the plat map as Road 122-1 and measures .06 miles in length. When looking at the map that Webb attached to the letter, that 122-1 is the road that goes straight in off of Lake Road, not the piece that goes on the Ebel property. Scharlau said that that road in front of the property was used as a shortcut into the rest of the places there. Webb said that the Ebel’s do not have a problem with people using that road. The road started out as a driveway way back when, as an access. There appears to be no recorded easement for either of these properties to the town to have a town road there. This road 122-1 is the one that, up until 1981, the town was receiving gas tax on it. Then all of a sudden the town dropped it from its gas tax list of roads. Webb felt that this was because they found out that this was not a town road to begin with, but she does not have any proof. The town board needs to send a letter to all of the property owners in that section, including the Hiltunen’s and the Ebel’s and everyone else in there, that states that the access in question coming off Lake Road and in front of Ebel’s, is not a town road and leave it at that. Webb said that in regard to Town Road 122-1, we have to start the process of vacating this road. We have not done any repair work on it and we have not been collecting gas tax on it. The town no longer, since 1981, has said it is a town road. Ratzel asked about the letter from the attorney. There was discussion on what the attorney’s opinion was. The attorney did state what the town has to do to vacate a town road and this is according to State Statutes. It appears, by the letter from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation dated September 2003, that the road (122-1), was at one point a highway, otherwise it would not have met the eligibility requirements for Transportation Aids. According to this letter, the town road has not formally been vacated by the town board. That is not the piece we are talking about, but the sand road that comes in off of Lake Road behind Ebel’s is. That is not a town road. Webb said the attorney will work with us getting the letter out to all of these people saying that this road has been determined not to be a town road. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) that we have determined that the road behind the Ebel’s is not a town road and send a letter to this effect to all of the land owners. There was discussion on road issue. This road was an easement on private property. It is not a town road, but a private road. The deeds should show easements. The board will take up the other part, Road 122-1 at another time. A letter should be sent to the sheriff’s department also, as they have been called several times for the property disputes and need to know that the town does not consider this a town road. Ratzel said he was apprehensive about the description on the map. Webb said she would sit down with the attorney about it. Ratzel said the motion should include that information. Webb rescinded her motion and Scharlau rescinded his second of that motion. A new motion was put to the board. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) that we contact the attorney to have a letter drafted that will notify the land owners
in that section that the town board does not consider that access, the one piece coming off of the southwest of Lake Road, a town road. Motion carried. Webb will contact Ruth Kressel. All papers should come to the town office.
Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-CLUP Committee Chairman Dave Pease reported that the committee was working on the third element of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The next meeting will be held on September 8, 2004 at 6.30PM at the town hall. The meetings are always open to the public.
Centennial Committee Updates-Dave Thorson, a member of the committee, said that the committee has been developing smaller committees. Some of these include historical issues, fund raising and celebrations. The committee meets every 3rd Thursday of the month at Downtown Barnes at 9:00AM. The next meeting would be August 19th. The committee will be having an open house to gather information and to get artifacts, etc. Thorson said he was working on the history end of this.
Barnes Area Development Corporation- Art Smith, Chairman of the BADC, reported that he has had two new contacts interested in coming into the development. There will be a meeting with Mark Abeles-Allison, the County Administrator, on Thursday September 2, at 3:30PM.
Board Member Reports
Jack Meinke-Jack wanted to thank everyone for coming tonight.
Chris Webb- Webb said that at a recent fire meeting, a question came up about the Ambulance Department Investment Fund. Webb felt that there should be some sort of a draft for a form to fill out if a person resigns or quits the service- a release form of sorts. There is nothing available at this time that spells out how the money would be dispersed if a person retires or quits. The Ambulance Department may want to make up this form themselves and get back to the clerk with it. Webb also asked what the additional amount of income of approximately $19,000.00 was for on the budget printout This was from the DNR. The clerk reported that this was the grant money received so far for the Comprehensive Land Use Planning Lake Grant.
Dave Scharlau- Dave had nothing more to add.
Gene Ratzel-Ratzel had several issues. Ratzel has been monitoring the roads. There has been some destruction on the Moore Road –the new area. Ratzel also spoke on the 4 wheel accident at the asphalt pile a few days ago. The crew will put up barricades to mark the area again, since the old markers were removed or set down. It will take several weeks to get the barricades. These will not be permanent as the pile has to be available to the crew. Ratzel had hoped that the Constable would have been present at this time to see what he has been monitoring on this issue.
Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to adjourn the regular session to go into closed session pursuant to the stated State Satutes 19.83 (b) and (c). Roll call vote was taken: Meinke, Yes; Webb, Yes; Scharlau, Yes and Ratzel, Yes. Motion carried. The regular session was adjourned at 8:15PM.
MINUTES OF THE CLOSED SESSION OF AUGUST 17, 2004
Chairman Ratzel called the closed session to order at 8:20PM.
Present at the closed session were Chairman Gene Ratzel, Supervisors Dave Scharlau, Chris Webb and Jack Meinke. Also present was the Clerk Lu Peet.
There was only discussion on the issues pursuant to 19.83 (b) and (c). No decisions were made in the closed session.
Motion (Webb / Ratzel) to adjourn the closed session to go back to the regular session. Motion carried. The closed session was adjourned at 8:43PM.
MINUTES OF THE RECONVENED REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING OF AUGUST 17, 2004
Present at the reconvened session besides the board members and the clerk: Tom Renz and Fritz Barnes.
Chairman Ratzel called the reconvened regular town board meeting to order at 8:45PM.
Motion (Ratzel / Scharlau) to issue a letter of reinstatement to the person. The letter would also include a letter of reprimand to go into the person’s file. Motion carried. The clerk will get the letter, to be prepared by Chris Webb, Lu Peet and Gene Ratzel, and have the attorney look it over and then send it out by certified, return receipt requested mail.
Motion (Webb / Meinke) to adjourn the reconvened regular session. Motion carried. The reconvened session was adjourned at 8:47PM.
Members of the board present: Chairman Gene Ratzel, Supervisors Dave Scharlau, Jack Meinke and Chris Webb. Also present were the Treasurer Debbie Sesko and Clerk Lu Peet. Absent: Supervisor Dixie Chermack (out of town).
Department heads present: Fire Chief Tom Renz, Ambulance Director Del Jerome, Garage Supervisor Len Schiller, Cemetery Sexton Bud Pease, Constable Mike O’Keefe, BADC Chairman Art Smith and Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee Chairman David Pease.
Members of the community present: Ingemar Ekstrom, Ted Caiazza, Bob Ambrose, Ron Lighthart, Marcia Wellnitz, Bob Hammond, Judy Hammond, David Thorson, Jon Harkness, Bud Pick, Peg Harsvick, Marv Harsvick, Bill Patza, Cindy Patza, Lois Storlie, Dawn Pittman, Patti Joswick, Leigh Jordahl, Lee Wiesner and Donna Porter. There may have been other not noted or signed in.
Lucille J. Peet
Barnes Town Clerk
Dated this 26th day of August 2004
ALL VOTERS ARE REMINDED OF THE PARTISAN PRIMARY ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2004.
THIS ELECTION WILL DECIDE WHO OUR NEW BAYFIELD COUNTY CLERK WILL BE. THERE ARE FOUR CANDIDATES AND ALL ARE ON THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET, SO THERE WILL NOT BE ANOTHER ELECTION IN NOVEMEBER FOR THIS POSITION. THIS WILL DECIDE IT.
YOU MUST VOTE FOR ONLY ONE PARTY AT THIS ELECTION, SO YOU MUST THINK ABOUT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN YOUR VOTING.