Meeting Minutes, Town Board, August 12, 2019


August 12, 2019

Chairman Terry Theis called the monthly meeting of the Town of Liberty to order at 6:30 pm. on Monday, August 12, 2019 at the Liberty Town Hall and proceeded with the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present were Terry Theis, Nicole Rakobitsch, Adrian Amelse, Treasurer Karen Peterson and Clerk Lori Polhamus.

2. Clerk Lori Polhamus read the minutes of the July 15, 2019 regular town meeting. Motion by Amelse/second by Rakobitsch to approve the minutes of the previous meeting as read. All in favor. Motion carried.

3. Treasurer’s report. (report attached) Peterson read the Treasurer’s report. Beginning cash balance as of 7/1/19 was $29,532.05 and an ending cash balance as of 7/31/19 of $24,807.13 was reported. Interest year to date on the General Fund was $14.59 and interest earned year to date on the Tax Account was $63.56. There is $75,305.72 available in the tax account. Receipts included transportation aid, bartenders license, shared revenue and building permits.

4. Patrolman's Report– The equipment is working except the truck dash, the tires on the backhoe are ok for winter yet. Waiting on apron price from Monroe Truck equipment and gravel will be going on roads in next two weeks. Culverts will be done next week along with work on Chadwick Hollow for sloping the bank and ditch wash out. The shining signs are in but waiting on posts for decision on ATV signs. We have four loads of gravel to do for FEMA work and Elk Run had about $30,000 of damages sent in for FEMA.

5.First Period for public comment – Barb Ramsden questioned the town truck usage by our employees and Ann Orso thanked Orlin for the gravel for her mailbox.

6.Town Announcements- Theis attended the Towns Association picnic and they discussed a County wide fire ordinance that is going before the County Board and there was a lot of opposition to the ordinance from the Towns. Amelse stated that he was going to vote against it in its current form.

7.Discussion/update on Town Insurance coverage – Kevin Bluske, Rural Insurance– Bluske reviewed the current policy with the Board and suggested possible upgrades to the policy such as the advantage plus endorsement. This will be added to the next agenda for discussion.

8. Reconsideration of ATV ordinance for Town RoadsOur Town and County roads are currently closed to ATVs. Our patrolman have had incidents of atvs almost hitting the grader on Chadwick Hollow and UTV's are tearing up the roads. Gabe Williams stated he would like to see it open for his campground and bar businesses. He feels that it would be used mainly during daytime traffic and on weekends. Even if just County Road S was opened up and if there becomes a problem it could be closed down. Amelse stated he will talk with other Towns and the Highway Commissioner to see if there have been issues and further discussion will be held at the next meeting.

9.Discussion on road rating– Theis stated that PASER rating is done every year and WISLR every two years. It is recommended that three people do the rating, the patrolman, the person doing the report and one other board member. We have 18.74 miles of road and the report is due 12/15/2019. All board members stated they would participate and these would be noticed meetings as there would be a quorum of the board. Theis will get maps to the Clerk to send out and the rating will be done in September. The board should get possible dates to the Clerk.

10.Discussion with possible action on Elk Run road work– we had about $30,000 in damages to Elk Run and Willow. FEMA may not cover this area because they only cover the road right of way and we have asked for mitigation through the DNR. For about $10,000 we could pull about a dozen trees, slope the road (70 ft of bank) and seed it to maintain the road. Gabe Williams stated he would help with the pulling of the trees if we provided the product. Motion by Rakobitsch/second by Amelse to remove the trees, shape the bank, seed it and continue to pursue FEMA funding. All in favor. Motion carried.

11.Discussion on Gore Hollow Hill and general road maintenance issues– Theis stated we have had requests to close the hill, seal coat the hill, gate it and keep it open. Seal coating would cost $11,855 and would have to be done twice plus the prep work would be another $12,000 with the possibility of only lasting a year because of the steep grade. We could explore changing the road to a Class B road which only controls the weight and speed for closing the hill seasonally and install gates but we would still need to put in a turnaround at a cost of about $4000 and this would need to be bid out. We are still waiting on underlayment costs to rebuild the top of the road if we want to come up with a plan to fix the existing road. Amelse and Rakobitsch both stated they are not in favor of closing the hill but are still open to seasonably closing it and not for seal coating due to the cost factor. A capital budget allocation may be necessary and come up with a plan for all the roads with Orlin making a list of needs for each road. This item was tabled until the next meeting with Orlin to bring options on gravel and turnaround.

12.Approval of Vernon County flood recovery assistance grant agreement– The County Board approved up to $10,000 in funding for flood assistance to each Town. We currently have $8743.17 in FEMA local match funds and the remaining would be from the fixing of Chadwick Hollow to come to the $10,000. Motion by Amelse/second by Rakobitsch to approve the grant agreement with Vernon County. All in favor. Motion carried.

13.Emergency plan for Town Officials/employees– the Sheriff's department needs to know who to contact during an emergency and the Clerk was called after the last storm because both patrolmen were on vacation and the Board was unavailable. If we are going to be gone for an extended time frame the Clerk should be notified so if an emergency call comes in she is aware of who to contact if dispatch cannot get a hold of anyone on their list.

14.Discussion on capital equipment replacement plan– the grader will need a new drive chain and sprockets and a new truck will be needed in the next couple of years that is dependable. The order of importance is the truck and then the grader for future planning.

15.Discussion with possible action on local control options for cell towers– there are seventeen Bug Tussel towers going up in Vernon County. They are 300 foot towers that are 4-6 miles apart. There are sample ordinances that the Town has regarding these but we cannot adopt them without zoning in place.

16.Update from Zoning Committee– they are meeting monthly with the last meeting on July 30th. They reviewed the Town of Stark zoning ordinance but that was more complicated and Whitestown has one that is more like us. They have invited one of their supervisors to come to their next meeting.

17.Action & Approval on monthly billsMotion by Amelse/second by Rakobitsch to approve total bills of $6482.65 as presented. All in favor. Motion carried.

18.Review of building permits (if any) - There were two permits for Heidi Stendel for a building enlargement and onsite barn and one for Zara Escobar for a manufactured cabin.

19.Second period for public comment – Paul Linskens stated that October 12th will be the fall cleanup day and there are some changes regarding plastic recycling. Joe Orso stated his concerns about the cell tower issue and he has information that he could share with the board on community rights.

20.Future agenda items– Most of the items from this agenda will be brought back again with road maintenance issues being discussed together.

Motion by Amelse/second by Rakobitsch to adjourn the meeting at 8:53 pm. All in favor. Motion carried.

Minutes submitted by: Lori Polhamus, Town Clerk