Rushford Town Board Minutes
 Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Town of Rushford Board meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm on January 5 by Chairman Tom Egan followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  Roll call was taken with Tom Egan, Jerry Schoonover, Patrick Kafer, Kathryn Lewis and Peggy Hendricks present.  Also present for all or part of the meeting:  31 additional persons per attendance record on file. 

Statement of Public Notice   The Board Meeting and the Zoning Committee meeting was posted on the front door of the town hall, Eureka & Waukau Post office.  The Notice Caucus, Meeting of Electors and the Public Hearings for Henke and SBA was also posted in the Oshkosh Northwestern as well as the regular posting areas.  Notices were mailed to Town Board members and the Zoning Administrators.   

Discussion with Sherriff’s Department   No representative was present for this month’s meeting.

Public Input:  Fred Kasten, 3034 Delhi Rd and zoning commissioner requested to the board that Jim Erdman be put on the agenda under zoning so he could speak to the town board.  Mr Egan stated that he would come under Review of Old Business under the Zoning category.

Mike Monigal, 217 East Park Ave, Berlin spoke about the re-opening of the Eureka Locks.  He stated that dewatering was done this last fall and they have firm costs for repair.  A benefactor has underwritten the balance on a loan so the project can go forward.  They are hoping to have the locks open by Memorial Day, 2011.  The DNR has plans for improving the parking lot, the bridge over the locks and other things. 

Jon Friedrick, 3151 Liberty St, Eureka, had a petition signed by William Rew, Anna Kinslow, Jon Friedrich and Russ Pomplun, which requested as property owners adjoining the town road of Liberty St, to rezone Liberty St starting at parcel # 022 1562 through to the end of Liberty St which includes parcels 022 1115, 022 0608 and 022 0614.  They request that it be declared a private drive and assigned to the parallel property owners.  They would also like to reserve the right to put a gate up within the private drive that would be left unlocked for use of access granted and would provide posting at the beginning of private drive.  Tom Egan said basically this was closing of the road.

Mary Poehlman, Waupaca, owner of parcel # 022 0608.  She asked if this went though, would she have access.  It was stated that she would. Sara McClelland, 3110 Spring St, Eureka commented that she would not like to see Liberty Street closed.  She has lived there for 27 years and enjoys walking down the road.  Snowmobilers and emergency vehicles also use the road.  Mary Poehlman stated that her family has owned the property at the end of Liberty St for 70 years.  There have not been any conflicts until this past summer.  She does not agree with the closing of Liberty Street.  Steve McClelland, 3110 Spring St, Eureka and he feels the road should stay open.  Bird and animal watchers use the road.  Jon Friedrick said that ¾ of the reason why they wish to close it, is because it is being trashed and being used as a drag strip for 4 wheelers and snowmobilers.  There is no respect for the property.  He said one person in 3 years has stopped to take pictures of eagles and they had stopped and requested permission first.  The people who signed the petition feel the road should be closed.  John Scott, 3150 Liberty St, Eureka, stated that the road is be used as a drag strip for cars, snowmobilers and 4 wheelers. 

Sean Edinger, 3080 Union St, Eureka, constable of Town of Rushford, asked Tom Egan to explain to the residents what it takes to close a street.  Tom Egan said that decision cannot be made tonight.  The board is listening to everyone’s comments and they have the petition. 

Jon Friedrick said he feels that the only snowmobilers who use the road is McClellands.  Further comments were made such as the road is not legal access for emergency vehicles, for it is a dead end road, dogs run the road and snowmobilers use the road even during the summer.  Tom Egan said that it seems that this has turned into a neighbor thing.  As a town board, they do not get involved in neighbor arguments.  They have to resolve that amongst themselves.  The road is the towns road and they can make decisions on that. 

Clerks Report & Minutes:    Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to approve the minutes as presented for the December 1, 2010 town board meeting.  Motion carried. 

Treasurers Report was given by Kathryn Lewis.  The balance in the general account is $41,707.57. There is $70,787.96 in 3 separate Fire Truck CD’s.  The Town tax account has $800,904.35. 
Motion by Schoonover, 2nd by Kafer to accept the treasurer’s report.  Motion carried. 

Payment of invoices –Peggy Hendricks read off the invoices which she approved and submitted to the board for approval of payment for an amount of $770,131.86. 
Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to pay January’s bills that were submitted.  Motion carried.

Correspondence & Communications:   Tom Egan read a letter from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin concerning wind siting rules, a letter from Winnebago County Sheriff congratulating Eureka Landings Bar and Grill for passing the alcohol sales compliance check, and a letter from the Division of Transportation which informed the Town they would be receiving $99,350.81 in 2011 for Transportation Aid. 

Old Business:  Motion by Schoonover, 2nd by Kafer to allow $75 for up to 5 chairs for the Board table.  Motion carried.

Liberty St:  Anna Kinslow, 3150 Liberty St said that she understands that people like to come down Liberty Street, for it is a pretty street and it is nice to see nature.  But there is a lot of noise from 4 wheelers and snowmobilers. 

Tom Egan said that the board will take a look at the petition from the landowners to close Liberty Street and have the attorney look at it.  A decision will be made at a later date.  Pat Kafer said the board should consider having a surveyor come out so we know exactly where the town right away is.  Tom Egan feels that neighbors should make an effort to get along.  Kafer said that it started when Mary Poehlman had concerns of not being able to get to her property.  Kafer went down there and felt she could get to her property at the time he looked at it.  It is a dead end road and it does happen that things get piled down there.  They had that problem over 5 years ago when they could not turn around during a road tour and McClellands were sent a letter.  Tom asked if Mary was having surveyors come out and she stated she already had it surveyed.  They were advised that they did have a road right away, but items were moved in and trees were dropped.  She feels there is still a wood pile in her right away.  Tom Egan asked if they could sit down and figure things out.  The Town Board cannot do anything about this and if they cannot figure it out, they will have to go though the legal route with attorneys and a judge.

Kafer feels in his own opinion, he is not in favor of closing the road.  He feels it would create more problems than solving them.

Larry Timm stated that he has been getting lots of calls of high tax bills, especially from owners of lots on Waukau Creek and Lost Lane.  He will be looking at properties in the spring.  He has been working on last sales for 2010 and a sales analysis.  He also sent out Personal Property forms for updating for 2011.

New Business:   Hendricks asked the Town Board if they wanted to join the Urban Town Committee.  The Dues are $404.25/year.  Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to not join the Urban Town Committee Membership. Motion carried.

Discussion of Town Hall maintenance/needs:   Hendricks stated that the rope on the flag broke today.  We need some kind of boom to get the rope threaded.  Kafer explained that the pole was set in sand and it needs to be straightened.  The high winds moved it and it cannot be done until the ground unthaws.  Tom Egan stated that we do not have any outside outlets on the south side of the building and we should have one installed.  Tom Egan stated that the Christmas decorations look nice with the wreaths Pompluns put up and the Christmas ornaments on the trees with the lights shining on them.  Hendricks will contact someone to come up with some sign designs for the Town Hall. 

Upcoming meetings and workshops : 
Winnebago Co Unit Meeting at Algoma Town Hall on January 6 at 6:30.  
At the County Board, a reduction in County Board members will be on the agenda.
Caucus will be on January 8 at 9:00 am
There will be a state wide primary election on February 15, 2011

Reports on Meetings that have been attended:  There was a meeting of the Electors prior to this board meeting.  It was voted to go from 2 constables to 1 constable.  The pay will be doubled to $400/year.

Town Zoning Committee Report by Tom Jackson:  Tom Jackson reported on the Zoning Committee meeting which was held on December 29.  The first item on the agenda was the conditional use permit for  Jon Friedrich, agent Marilyn Henke, Parcel # 022 1115.  The permit would be to use the 2nd story garage for a carving & engraver workshop.  The neighbors expressed concern about parking, noise and business growth.  The zoning committee approved the CUP 5-0 with stipulation.  The stipulations would be to operate the business from 8-5, have 2 off road parking stalls available for business proposes, there would be no expansion, and it would be reviewed in one year.  Kafer clarified that business parking would be off the road right away.  His vehicles could be in the road right away if there were customers.  Tom Egan questioned the owner’s vehicles in the road right away.  Jon stated he always parks off the gravel onto the grass.  It was questioned if Ms Henke moved, would the CUP still be in effect, which it would cease to be valid at that time.  He could not use it for a different business. 
Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to approve the Conditional Use permit to Marilyn Henke on Jon Friedrich parcel # 022 1115, with the above stipulations.  Motion carried.

The next item on the agenda was a Conditional use permit for Nathan Ward/SBA Towers & Verizon Wireless, agent for property owner David & Elaine Dobberstein for parcel # 022 0191 for SBA to construct a 190’ Self Supporting Lattice Tower, expandable to 250’, to accommodate cellular communications antennas for Verizon wireless and future tenants.

Neighborhood concerns were that they would like it further off the road, that it would lower property values, would a light be added and concern about radio waves coming off the tower.  The Zoning Committee Board approved the Conditional use permit 5-0 with stipulations of having a 8’ fence instead of the 6’, plants would be planted along one side of the fence and no lights with accordance of Chapter 4 in our zoning ordinance.  Tom Egan had told Mr Becker that he could talk at this time with his concerns.

Michael Becker, for 8878 Banner Hill Road, expressed concern that he did not have enough time to research this project.  He received his notification letter on December 21 and the zoning committee meeting was the 29th.  With the holiday season, he did not have enough time.  Kafer asked if he has had ample time now and Mr Becker replied he has not.  He would like this postponed for 1 month so he could retain counsel.  He stated that they bought the property adjourning in 1997 from the Dobbersteins.  They plan on building a home there in the future.  He does not know how far away this will be from the property line.  It was stated it will be 377 ft.  He asked if they would consider taking it to 500’.  He is concerned with blocking the view of the sunset, health concerns, radiation, setbacks & lower property values.  He is concerned with the verbage in the town’s ordinance or towers concerning insurance and future development.

Nathan Ward addressed Mr Beckers concerns.  He stated that moving the tower to 500’, which would be about 127’ further north, would have to be decided by Verizon.  He does not feel that 127’ will make much of a difference.  The FCC regulates these sites and he had sent a publication on how radio waves are measured.  The typical distances they consider safe with regard to antennas mounted on top of facilities, anything above 33’ in the air is excluded because the level of power waves are so minimal.  This is govern by the FCC.  With regard to insurance, SBA will provide all that is required if they are approved to go ahead with the project.   They will provide the $20,000 performance bond and all other registrations required.  The company did look over other properties and this location was the best for Verizon.  Mr Ward asked in regard to property owners receiving adequate notice.  Beckers said that some of the neighbors did not receive their letter until December 24th.  Usually the clerk sends these out as registered letters, but after research, was told that it could be sent as 1st class mail.  Beckers thought in a situation like this, much more notice should have been given.  They felt that Dobbersteins knew they planned on building a house there and would like the tower located someplace else.  Mr Egan said that they have had the property since 1997 and a house is not built there as yet.

Tom Egan expressed concern that the letters were not sent out in time.  He asked Mr Ward if there would be a problem if this was put out for another month.  Mr Ward stated that it would not be well received by Verizon, for they have met the criteria of the Towns ordinance.  He asked what the statue is for neighbors to be notified.  Hendricks stated that there is not a state statue or a town ordinance description on notification to neighbors for a Conditional Use permit as there is for a zoning permit.

Fred Kasten said there is not a definite guideline that states exactly the number of days a letter has to be received or how it should be sent for a Conditional use permit.  Mr Kastens recommendation is to adjourn the permit process for 30 days.  Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to table this until February 2 at the next Town Board meeting.  Motion carried. 

The next item was discussion on James Erdmann, parcel # 022 0312-02, located at 8858 Edgewater Road.  He was sent a letter and a Conditional Use permit application in October.  He was sent another one in December stating that if a permit was not received in the clerk’s office by January 31, 2011, penalties would be levied according to the Town’s ordinance.  Mr Erdmann was present and had questions on the Conditional Use Permit.  The cost is $350 plus additional costs.  He was wondering what the additional cost was, which would be the sending of certified letters.  He has been in communication with a builder to get new site plans.  He was wondering if he could supply the town with site plans and apply for a building permit instead of applying for a Conditional Use Permit.  Tom Egan stated that there have been concerns on who was living there.  The neighbors were concerned that he was moving out and someone else was moving in.  A person cannot live in a basement and it is not classified as an earth home.  Mr Erdmann feels it should be classified as an earth home, for it is 1384 sq ft, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, 4x4 windows & coat room.  He has been living there since 2003. He receives his mail there and sleeps there most of the time.   His brother and his wife is staying there with him right now.  Kafer asked if a building inspector had been though when he built.  Mr Erdmann could not say for sure.  Tom Egan asked Larry Timm what the difference was between a basement and an earth home.   A basement is designed to have a story put on.   Kafer said there is not a structured approved truss system on top.  Tom Egan explained that once he started building, a building inspector will have to inspect all work done.  Jerry Schoonover explained if this did not work out for him, he will have to come back and ask for a conditional use permit.

Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover for Mr Erdmann to submit site plans within 30 days and to start building by August 1, 2011.  Motion carried.

The zoning committee discussed the rezoning of parcels #022 0603 and 022 0607.  This is owned by Schuster Trust and Tom Schuster.  These 2 parcels should be zoned A-2.  The zoning committee feels the zoning permit fee should be waived because of the oversight by the county/township. 
Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to waive the zoning permit fee and change parcel #022 0603 & 022 0607 and change to A-2.  Motion carried.

There was discussion on a need for an ordinance for wind towers and a need for GPS readings for the river buoys. 

Building permit Report:   Tom reported there were 3 building permits issued this past month.

Discussion on Town Maintenance:  Tom Egan discussed sending certified letters for all occasions.  Hendricks stated that this past case was the first time she did not send a certified letter, for she had questioned other townships and they send 1st class letters.  She thought it would be a cost saving idea.  The cost of certified letters should be charged to the property owner as additional fees. 
Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to send certified letters to property owners for any zoning
as an additional cost.  Motion carried.

There were 3 building permits issued during the month of December.

Discussion on Town Maintenance:   Tom Egan went though the 2010 Bridge Inspection reports that were received from the County.  Our ratings were very good on all our bridges.  The Town applied and received the annual 2011 erosion control general permit.  The village streets were not plowed after the last snow storm.  They thought that they did not plow if it was less than 2”.  Kafer stated that they should call to see if they should plow or not.  Since all the other roads were plowed, the village streets should have been plowed.  Mr Egan will call and tell them to plow whenever it does snow.  It was discussed if someone lived in the town for half the year and was gone for half a year, if they would have to pay for a full year of garbage.   Mr Egan said that we could ask Veolia and go from there, but if Veolia is going to charge the town for a full year of garbage, that cost will have to be passed to the property owner.  Kafer asked if the boat house on Eureka Lock road was being charged for garbage.

Tom Egan reminded everyone that caucus will be Saturday, January 8th and our next monthly board meeting will be February 2, 2011.
Motion by Kafer, 2nd by Schoonover to adjourn the meeting at 9:45.  Motion carried. 

Respectfully submitted by Peggy Hendricks, Clerk