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St. Croix County Board, Oct. 21, 2008

proceedings of the


Regular Meeting October 21, 2008

Invocation given by St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead. Pledge of Allegiance recited. Meeting called to order by Chair Rebholz at 9:00 a.m.

Roll call: 28 present; 3 absent: Supr. Kolbe, Supr. Post, and Supr. Malick. Supr. Cranmer arrived at 9:10 a.m.

Administrative Coordinator Report: Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting reported budget status will be heard later in the meeting. Whiting reported on receipt of favorable health insurance renewals and meetings with the employees regarding the new Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) plans. Whiting noted there is a temporary heating unit on the north end of the building and stated this will be addressed later during the meeting. Whiting reported the county's bond rating remains at a AA3 rating.

Consent Agenda: Request by Supr. Ostness to remove the Bettendorf matter from the consent agenda. Motion by Supr. Schrank, 2nd by Supr. Ruetz to adopt the consent agenda approving the September 16, 2008 County Board proceedings; setting the next County Board meeting for November 11, 2008; approving Ordinance #775(2008) for Charles and Barbara Weyer to rezone property from Ag to Ag-II in the Town of Rush River, Ordinance #776(2008) for Donald Ziegler to rezone property from Ag to Ag-Res in the Town of Stanton, Ordinance #777(2008) for Jeremy Austrum, to rezone property from Ag-Res to Ag in the Town of Pleasant Valley, and Ordinance #778(2008) for Sharon Austrum to rezone property from Ag to Ag-Res in the Town of Pleasant Valley; and approving mileage and per diem for September 2008 in the amount of $9,302.26. Carried unanimously.

Supr. Ostness requested clarification and history on the John Bettendorf rezoning request. Supr. Ruetz provided a history. Motion by Supr. Ruetz, 2nd by Supr. Ostness to approve the denial. Carried unanimously.




Supr. Grant and John Helgeson, on behalf of the St. Croix County American Legion presented to Sheriff Hillstead a check in the amount of $1,000 for the CounterAct Program and $500 in support of the canine program in the Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Hillstead explained how the funds are used and thanked the American Legion for its ongoing support.

10:20 a.m. - 4-H Youth Development Agent Marie Witzel and 4-H Ambassadors. Marie Witzel gave details about 4-H and stated National 4-H week is recognized in October. This year's theme is "keeping it green". Witzel indicated there are 864 4-H members in St. Croix County. 4-H ambassadors, Jeremy Warwick and Valerie Wells, spoke on what 4-H ambassadors do in promoting 4-H and their involvement in community service.


1. Resolution #33(2008) Authorizing the Issuance and Awarding the Sale of $3,180,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes, Series 2008A; Providing the Form of the Notes; and Levying a Tax in Connection Therewith. Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. Wentz to approve. Supr. Standafer explained the sale of the bonds was completed yesterday. Joe Murray of Springsted Incorporated provided information regarding the bonds. Murray stated the sale was for $3.18 million with a seven-year duration. Six bids were received and Robert W. Baird & Co. was the winner at a rate of 4.024482%. Murray stated the results of the sale was a premium bid which means the buyer of the bonds will pay more than the bond with approximately $44,000 being applied to the debt service. Roll call vote: Yes: 27; No - 0; Abstained - 1. Carried. Supr. Grant explained he abstained because he was out of the meeting during the discussion.

2. Resolution #34(2008) Approving Reimbursement Due Listing Officials for Listing Dogs for 2008. Motion by Supr. Wentz, 2nd by Supr. Marzolf to approve. This resolution approves amounts due each listing official who submitted a listing of dogs owned or kept within its boundaries. County Clerk Campbell explained funds are paid out of the dog license fund. Carried unanimously.

3. Resolution #35(2008) Approving Amendment to Town of Hudson Zoning Ordinance - Industrial District Repackaging. Motion by Supr. Ruetz, 2nd by Supr. Ostness to approve. No discussion. Carried unanimously.

4. 2009 Budget Review. Supr. Standafer reviewed the preliminary budget noting expenditure and revenue adjustments. Supr. Standafer noted lack of feedback received from County Board Supervisors after the September department budget reviews. The Sheriff's Department/Jail, Health and Human Services and Highway Department were asked to reduce collectively $1,100,000. Other changes favorable include new health insurance bids, lower Wisconsin Retirement Service rates, and no prior year service charge reduced the budget over $1,000,000. Other departments were asked to reduce $33,000. Sales tax revenue adjusted down $520,000 reflecting economic concerns. Discussion regarding sales tax forecasts from UW-Extension. Review of analyzing computer replacement and reductions across departments which resulted in the need of a policy for computer replacement. Supr. Standafer also reviewed health reimbursement accounts funded at county liability of $73,000. He noted the nursing home is in the budget as fully funded and Hudson Tax Incremental District (TID) decertification yields an additional $251,000 of available levy. Review of departments not previously asked for reductions, now asked and to date total $346,000 of further reductions. The Finance Committee advises against applying additional fund balances. The gap left as of October 21 is $39,904.

Remaining issues reviewed include general reluctance to cut staffed positions; nursing home operations ambiguous pending advisory referendum (no cuts made); condition of HHS building not addressed; new concerns on the Government Center building condition to be addressed; LAW union wages in current negotiations, but not included in the budget; and no non-represented wage increase other than step increases included in the budget. Increases in energy costs reviewed and Highway Department maintenance cycle extended to nearly 50 years. Preliminary budget does not anticipate additional borrowing projected for 2009. Discussion regarding the need for a salary plan for non-represented employees. Supr. Marzolf expressed concerns regarding the deterioration of the Government Center building and asked if there is recourse to the architect with respect to this building. Whiting stated that will be looked into.

Two new positions for 2009 include an economic support specialist for HHS and a 19-hour nutritionist part of ADRC with no benefits and no pull on the levy per Supr. Wentz. There was acknowledgement of a potential staff reduction in the Register of Deeds office.

Discussion regarding estimate used for sales tax revenue reduction. Per Finance Director Pietrick the estimated sale tax revenue shortage this year is $300,000.

Supr. Cranmer expressed concerns regarding capital spending for HHS and the Government Center building repairs currently not funded in 2009 budget and asked where the funding would come from. Supr. Standafer responded approximately $100,000 is necessary for repairs at the HHS building that are safety issues and need to be settled. At this time nothing can be done until the County Board decides what needs to be done. Supr Norton-Bauman indicated the Finance Committee will have preliminary numbers at the November meeting to repair water leaks in the walls of the Government Center to make adjustments to the 2009 budget.

Chair Rebholz called for a break at 10:20 a.m. Ice cream was served by the 4-H ambassadors. Supr. Tommerdahl left the meeting at 10:20 a.m. Reconvened at 10:40 a.m.

Supr. Hermsen noted Highway Department reductions of $400,000 removed from budget. He expressed concerns regarding 50-year road maintenance for the Highway Department and asked what the budget impact would be to put it back to the previous cycle. Highway Commissioner Tim Ramberg explained in 2004 sixteen miles of paving has a 22-year life with chipseal on top. There is more labor costs involved to keep roads sealed and work increases as the maintenance extends.

Supr. Peterson responded the county tax levy the Highway Department gets from general taxes is not enough to cover the labor agreement negotiated. Ramberg stated the total budget is $3.8 without bridge maintenance -- county levy portion is under 17%. Total operation costs are $23,000,000.

Supr. Hermsen expressed concerns regarding the Registration Fee passed by the County Board which are fees to fund sources used by the St. Croix County Highway Department. His concern relates to letting the State off the hook and what power as a County do we have to put pressure on the State. Supr. Peterson explained the monies for the Highway Department come from the Highway Transportation Fund which comes from gas tax, registration fees and sales tax.

Supr. Standafer noted the request of $1.1 from various departments and the impact on the levy to operate the nursing home. Supr. Wentz stated until the year 2000, the county nursing home operation was self-sufficient. She recommended waiting for results of the advisory referendum and suggested looking at other county offices for adjustments including better cross-training in the Clerk of Court office.

Committee and Department Reports: None.

County Clerk's Report of Correspondence and Rezoning Requests: County Clerk Campbell indicated there were no rezoning requests or correspondence.

Announcements: Supr. Mortensen announced on October 24 and 25 veterans are welcome to the New Richmond Armory for a one-stop shop for veterans.

There was a brief discussion regarding referendum to reduce the size of the County Board.

Meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

Roger Rebholz, Chair, St. Croix County Board of Supervisors

Cindy Campbell, County Clerk

Copies of resolutions, ordinances and Department Head reports may be obtained at the St. Croix County Clerk's office.