Town Of Liberty Board Meeting Minutes, June 14, 2021

Board Meeting Minutes

Monday, June 14, 2021 at 6:30pm
Viola Fire Station Conference Room

Chairman Terry Theis called the monthly meeting of the Town of Liberty to order at 6:30pm on Monday, June 14, 2021 at the Viola Fire Station.  Members present were Terry Theis, Sharon Engh, Treasurer Heidi Stendel and Clerk Kendra Reynolds.  Adrian Amelse attended via phone.  Pledge of Allegiance was conducted by Chairman Terry Theis. 

2. Read & approve minutes of 05/10/2021 meeting – Motion by Engh/second by Amelse to approve the minutes of the previous meeting as read.  All in favor.  Motion carried.

3. Treasurer’s report – (report attached) Stendel read the Treasurer's report.  Beginning cash balance as of 5/1/2021 was $28,803.90 with an ending cash balance as of 5/31/21 of $23,372.13.  Interest earned year to date on the Tax account was $34.38.  There is $110,064.81 available in the tax account. 

4. Patrolman's report – The backhoe was sent to Triton for repairs and complete service. Mower also needed repairs and will be picked up from Simpson's in Richland Center.

5. Recycling Attendant report – No updates to report at this time.

6. First period for public comment – Request made by Mr. Ray Renish to have Patrolman lift blade when in front of his house due to applying calcium chloride to road.  Patrolman Orlin Engh stated blade will be lifted when in front of that resident's house per his request.

7. Town Announcements – Amelse stated there is an ARPA session on June 23, 2021 from 0700-1130 to discuss various uses of funds.  Terry Theis has been receiving complaints regarding people using the dump after dump hours.  Community members have been instructed to contact the Sheriff if dump is being used after hours.  Amelse will be returning his key to the dump to Clerk upon his return to town.  Current board members who will continue to have keys to the town dump for town business reasons are Chairman Terry Theis and Clerk Kendra Reynolds.  Open meeting law has been discussed and all board members will follow the expectations. 

8. Discussion and possible action of EPA grant through WI Wetlands – Grant documents were submitted by 6/1/21 deadline.  Board members will continue to support the project and will provide required information however, the board will not own this project going forward.  Mike and Susan Mueller are proceeding with the project and will reach out when documents are needed.

9. Discussion and possible action regarding fences in regards to road right of way – Terry Theis confirmed that road right of way is 66 feet (33 feet from center line) and that the town is liable for any injuries or damage that occur within the road right of way.  Liability can be transferred from town to property owner by having the property owner sign a document stating they accept responsibility.  Sharon Engh will be drafting up a letter and will present it to the board at the July 12, 2021 board meeting.  This will then need to be reviewed by town attorney.

10. Discussion and possible action regarding the Constitution and Private Property Rights – board members will practice in alignment with the Constitution when making decisions as stated in the Oath of Office. Motion by Amelse/second by Engh to table this discussion.  All in favor.  Motion carried.

11. Discussion and resolution regarding Board member absentee call-in's –  Request to have current Ordinance be amended.  Motion by Theis/second by Engh to change verbiage to the ordinance that any board member who will be absent from a board meeting will contact the Clerk and not the Town Chairman.  All in favor.  Motion carried.  Clerk will update the Amendment and present to the town board at the July 12, 2021 board meeting for approval.

12. Discussion and possible approval of liquor licenses: Liberty Bar and Viola Sportsman's Club- Theis has been receiving complaints from community members regarding parking on the road and late hours of special events past 10:30p.m.  When complaints arise, the bar will receive a written letter with the concerns.   Motion by Engh/second by Theis to renew liquor licenses for the Liberty Bar and the Viola Sportsman's Club and make each venue aware that non-compliance to town ordinances can impact their liquor license renewal in the future.  Amelse opposed.  Motion carried.

13. Signing of land purchase documents with Paul and Cathy Linskens for Gore Hollow turnaround – Theis provided background to the closing of Gore Hollow Rd. Paul and Cathy Linskens provided the deed for the deconstruction of the road.  The turnaround placed is adequate for a semi to turnaround.  All roadwork has been completed and attorneys have reviewed.  Right of First Refusal document – this document states that if the road must be placed back in service, Paul and Cathy Linskens will remove the deed and have the first chance to refuse.  No money was exchanged.  Once documents are signed, Paul and Cathy will receive copies.  Documents signed. 

14. Discussion and possible action regarding Town of Liberty Ordinances (remove, add or update) – Engh reviewed the ordinances – currently there are multiple binders with town ordinances that are not fully complete.  Some ordinances are on the website and are not found in the binders.  Clerk will provide each board member a copy of the town ordinances.  Motion by Theis/second by Engh to call a Special Meeting to review the ordinances and to prioritize what ordinances we want to keep.  All in favor.  Motion carried.   Board members will send their availability to Clerk and a date will be set to review ordinances.  Once date is set, notice will be given to the community 15 days prior to the Special Meeting. 

15. Discussion with possible action on County ATV ordinance – County board recently changed ruling to allow ATV's on all county roads.  If there is no sign posted saying “No ATV” then it's considered open road.  Motion by Engh/second by Amelse to place signs up for “No ATV” on town roads and closed roads.  

16. Discussion with possible action on road abandonment ordinance – Theis read resolution for permanently closing Gore Hollow Rd (see attached).  Theis will be sending the document to the attorney to review prior to getting signatures.  Once signatures are obtained, document will be provided to Emergency Management and the State of Wisconsin.

17. Discussion with possible action on dust control – concerns raised with additional truck repairs that will be needed due to using the truck for applying calcium chloride to roads.  Vernon County has Calcium Chloride to sell.  The Towns of Franklin and Sterling are still treating their roads.  If anyone else has request for dust control we will address it on a yearly basis with calcium chloride.

18. Discussion and possible action on ARPA funds – Federal funds are available based on population.  Strict guidelines are in place for what the funds can and cannot be used for.  If funds are requested, we will have until 2024 to declare what the money is going to be used for and will need to send a report to the Federal government with the information.  Motion by Engh/second by Amelse to request ARPA funds by 6/18/21 and once money is received, place the money in an interest bearing account.  All in favor.  Motion carried.

19. Action & approval on monthly bills – Motion by Engh/second by Theis to approve the monthly bills.  Amelse abstained due to being remote.  Motion carried.

20. Review/approval of building permits – Building permits requested for Raymond Fronzak and Noah Engle.  All paperwork is accounted for.  Motion by Engh/second by Amelse to approve building permits.  All in favor.  Motion carried.

21. Second period for public comment – Request to utilize town website to post information regarding fences and property owner liability once reviewed by town attorney.  Additional requests to improve technology for board members to remote in for meetings allowing for more flexibility.  Concerns raised that when ordinances are reviewed, they need to be enforced.  Clarification provided that only when complaints are brought forward to the board they will be addressed – if complaints are not brought forward, no further action will take place.

22. Future agenda items – All future agenda items should be sent to Clerk to be added to upcoming town board meeting agendas.

Motion by Amelse/second by Engh to adjourn the meeting at 9:02pm.  All in favor. Motion carried.

Minutes submitted:  Kendra Reynolds, Town Clerk