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Town of Somerset Oct. 2, 2013 Minutes

Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:20pm

Town of Somerset
Town Board Meeting
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Chairman Schachtner called the meeting to order at 8:00 pm at the Town Hall. Present were Demulling, Plourde, Rauch, Germain and Schachtner. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. No public input. Motion by Germain, seconded by Plourde to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Clerk’s/Treasurer’s Report: Motion by Plourde, seconded by Rauch to approve the September 4th meeting minutes. Motion carried. Motion by Demulling, seconded by Rauch to approve the September Financial Report. Motion carried.
Parks & Rec Committee Report:-Consideration of Purchase of Invasive Species Signs: Motion by Plourde, seconded by Demulling to approve the purchase of two invasive species signs at a total cost of $200.00 to come out of the park fund savings account. Motion carried. Germain stated Parks & Rec is requesting $2,800.00 for park maintenance and an additional $5,000 to be set aside for possible grant writing in the 2014 budget.
Building Inspector’s Report: Motion by Plourde, seconded by Germain to approve the September Building Inspector’s Report. Motion carried.
Animal Control Report: Motion by Demulling, seconded by Germain to approve the September Animal Control Report. Motion carried.
Fire/Rescue Commission Report - Financing New Engine & Approval of 2014 Fire/Rescue Contract Payments: Plourde read Belisle’s report consisting of 32 calls for October. 304 calls so far for 2013, compared with 290 calls the same time last year. Fire Dept. Open House scheduled for October 12th 10 am–2 pm. Fire Prevention week activities planned for October 6th–12th. Fire Dept. is working with Somerset Lions and Chamber of Commerce to host and plan the upcoming Pea Soup Days. 2014 Budget for Fire/Rescue was presented and approved at joint meeting on September 25th. Town’s portion of the contract to Fire/Rescue was set at $77,630.00. This figure does not include the 2% dues estimated at $10,625.00. Town financing of fire truck-three options received from 1st National Community Bank in New Richmond. Option #2 - 5 year loan appears to be most workable. Motion by Rauch, seconded by Demulling to approve Fire/Rescue Commission Report and the Town’s portion of the 2014 Fire/Rescue Contract payment of $77,630.00. Motion carried.
St. Croix Bike & Pedestrian Coalition Update from David Mandel: Dave Mandel and Tim Witzmann were in attendance to update everyone on the St. Croix Bike & Pedestrian Coalition representing cities, townships and villages around western St. Croix County. The group has been meeting monthly at the Somerset Town Hall, usually the second Wednesday/month at 6 pm. Mandel reported the meetings have been well attended by residents, county employees and other bike enthusiast groups. The Coalition is working on one joint trail plan for St. Croix County and developed maps to identify priorities to connect the loop trail. Grant options and federal funding are being researched. Coalition is looking at a system of trails throughout western Wisconsin so the loop trail can be utilized by Wisconsin residents as well as Minnesota residents. Mandel presented a map with two priority bike trail areas and connectivity. Discussion on the request of $5,000 to be budgeted in 2014, as previously discussed by Germain under the Parks & Rec Committee Report, to assist with grant writing and support. Mandel stated all municipal entities would be requested to budget $5,000 each to support and assist the coalition.
Old Business - St. Croix National Southern Estates Zoning as Commercial: Schachtner contacted St. Croix Community Development and they said they were aware of the issue and are researching it.
Recycling Contract with Olson Sanitation: Demulling requested Olson to provide proof of liability insurance/worker’s comp. insurance and contract to be reviewed after a one year period. Changes will be made to proposed contract for Olson to review. Postponed until November.
New Business - Josh Hansen, 300-221st Avenue - Concerns/Questions with Rezoning Property from Ag./Residential to Commercial: Brad Hansen & Joshua Hansen, 300-221st Avenue, were present to discuss the possibility of having a wedding venue. Dan Sitz and Pam Quinn from County have inspected and will clarify bluff line issues on maps; whether there is a secondary bluff line or not. County personnel advised the Hansens to approach the Town Board to see what their recommendation would be for operating a wedding venue. Discussion on Riverway district, rezoning to commercial and/or operating with a special exception permit. Schachtner stated the Riverway District has to be established. Rauch stated a wedding venue would be inconsistent with Town’s Comprehensive Plan and he’d have to research the County’s Comprehensive Plan, however, if the Hansens come into the Town’s Planning Commission with a concrete business plan on what they want to do, their plan would be reviewed for consideration.
Consideration of 2014 Membership and Level for St. Croix Economic Development Corporation: Motion by Germain, seconded by Rauch to deny membership in St. Croix Economic Development Corporation. Motion carried.
Consideration of Tax Collection Agreement with St. Croix County: Motion by Germain, seconded by Demulling to approve the 2013/14 Tax Collection Agreement with St. Croix County. Motion carried.
Planning Commission Report - S & N Surveying/Rick Jonk 2 Lot CSM – 180th Avenue: Doug Zahler presented an Affidavit of WI DNR well variance which has already been filed at the Register of Deeds Document #986648. Planning Commission has recommended the approval of the 2 Lot CSM off of 180th Avenue and the driveway permits for the lots have been issued by the Town. Much discussion. Rauch stated the WI DNR controls the location of wells and they have granted Jonk the variance. In Rauch’s opinion, the Town has no authority to deny the CSM based on well location and that is why the Planning Commission approved the 2 Lot CSM. Rauch further stated the Town may disagree with the DNR’s variance but is not in the position to overrule it.
Motion by Rauch, seconded by Schachtner to approve the 2 Lot CSM as presented with the affidavit on file concerning the DNR Variance on well setback of 1200’ from landfill. Much discussion. Plourde stated he’d like to see the well location designated on the lots in the far back corners of Lot 2 & Lot 3 to keep the wells as far away from the landfill and railroad tracks as possible. Germain stated other property owners had to keep their wells back 1200’-1250’ feet from the landfill and he would like it to be fair to all adjacent landowners. Demulling repeatedly requested Jonk to test his own well to see if there were any contaminants since it hasn’t been tested in 20 years and also to have Westmoreland’s well tested for a baseline. Germain stated he’d like the Village of Somerset included in the language of the filed Affidavit #986648 WI DNR Variance as the abandoned landfill site was operated by the Town & the Village, not just the Town. The Town should not assume sole liability as the landfill site was and still is under joint ownership by the Town and Village. Roll call vote: Rauch - yes, Demulling - no, Plourde - no, Schachtner - yes, Germain - no. Motion failed on a 3-2 vote.
Stormwater/Wastewater Coalition-Authorization for Representative (Rauch) to Make Decisions for Projects & Business on Behalf of the Town: Rauch has been attending these meetings as the Town’s representative. An economic impact study has been started by UW Madison. Additional information to follow; no cost to the Town. As the coalition is being created properly, the intent is to keep the coalition operating long-term, with a representative from each of the five municipalities in attendance. Rauch explained the need for authorization when voting on projects and business for this coalition. Any expenditure requests would be presented to the Town Board prior to the approval. Motion by Plourde, seconded by to Demulling to authorize Rauch to make decisions on projects and business on behalf of the Town at the Stormwater / Wastewater Coalition meetings; no expenditure authority. Motion carried. Rauch abstained.
Rauch updated the Board on the GMAT meeting (Growth Management Advisory Team). Deadline for submitting property to county for purchase was September 28, 2013. At November 19th meeting submittals will be reviewed. Survey/mapping of shoreland on river expected to be completed by December. Shoreland ordinance update meeting Oct. 29 at Town of Star Prairie Hall, 6 pm. Loop bike trail maintenance-county is drafting agreements for loop trail maintenance or management. County will be radar mapping entire county.
Transportation & Facilities Committee Report - Roads & Equipment, Consideration of Updated Road Plan, Pricing on Quick Hitch Plate for Loader, Part Time Snow Plow Drivers, Annual Employee Performance Reviews: Schachtner reported all road projects have been completed, as well as PACER and WI DOT Annual Certification Report. Equipment is operating well and new loader will be delivered in October. Pricing on quick hitch plate/hooks for loader has come in high. Discussion on purchasing used plate/hooks or other options. Part time snow plow driver list was discussed. Annual employee performance reviews were done. Updated Road Plan was presented for years 2014-2021 (major reconstruction and mill/paving). Some discussion. Motion by Germain, seconded by Demulling to approve the updated Town of Somerset Road Works Plan for 2014-2021 as presented. Motion by Plourde, seconded by Rauch to approve the Transportation & Facilities Committee Report. Motion carried.
Announcements: Workday with auditor, October 7th, 9-noon at Town Hall. WTA mtg., Oct. 24th, 7 pm.
Meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.
Jeri Koester,