Rushford Annual Town Board Minutes

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The 2010 Annual Town of Rushford Board meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm on April 14th, 2010 by Chairman Tom Egan followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Fire Chief Jay Treleven from the Rushford-Omro Fire Department was the first guest speaker.  He presented general facts and figures from the previous year.  There were 28 fire runs to the Town of Rushford in their last fiscal year, which ends on July 31.  He stressed that the fire fighters do not receive any compensation for their efforts.  They have offered in the past years, but they have declined.  They do ask in return to have top equipment.  Their 47th annual street dance will be June 12th of this year.  The funds from this will be going towards equipment and money for a training facility they are building.  They have received a DNR grant for $7660.  This went towards fire fighting gear for grass fires, etc.  The county is looking at a new communications network, for the federal government is making everyone go to a “narrow band network” by 2012.  Two years ago they applied for a grant from FEMA and this year they have found they are in the final stages of the grant.  It looks positive it will be approved and this will be for $62,000.  This is a 95% funded grant, which will be used for firefighting gear.  


Out of the fifty three volunteers, nine are from the Town of Rushford.  To be a firefighter, you need 60 hours of training.  To be state certified, you will need 96 hours.  It is a huge time commitment for the volunteers.  Most of the time, there is not a charge for a fire run.  Charges to municipalities are a $90 charge, which goes to the firemen so they have food money.  It is commonly called “lunch money”.   This is figured into the budget.  The service that is provided is almost unheard of in the State of Wisconsin.


Larry Timm, the Towns assessor, was the next guest speaker.  He explained the trespassing law as it applies to assessors.  There were 16 arms length residential sales in the town last year.  The average of the selling and assessment price ratio was 99.4%.  He mentioned that the tax roll from the county is not done, so the open book and Board of Review will be late this year.  The Town of Rushford will be the last tax roll that is done from the county because of the Eureka plat.  It should be held within 30 days from the 2nd Monday in May.  We will have to meet and adjourn to a later date until the tax roll is completed. 


Dave Tellock, General Manager from Veolia in Omro reviewed some figures on recycling in the township.  The state would like us to do 83# of recycling per person and we are doing around 88-89#/person.  He spoke in reference on the totes.  The ones they have are 95 gal and the cost is $100-$103 for both.  The tote has increased recycling and decreased garbage amounts. 


Peggy Hendricks went though the Annual Report 2009 Booklet that was available for the residents. 


Chairman Egan opened the meeting to open forum. He recognized Jim Schoonover, 7510 Archery Drive, Omro.  He has concerns with the junk in Jim Moore’s yard.  He feels he should not have to look at this and wants something done.  One of the Board members will stop and talk to Mr. Moore. 


Sean Edinger, 3080 Union St, Eureka, asked about Township Ordinance #4 which concerns no wake areas on the Fox River.  This ordinance was placed into effect in 1977.  He would like this ordinance bought up to date.  The Town has permission to have 5 no wake areas.  He would like Section 3 updated which refers to the fines in the no wake areas.  As it reads, the fine is set at $10.00. 


Edinger has seen boaters ignore the no wake areas and as constable, would like to be able to fine the violators with an updated fine cost along with the appropriate paperwork.  According to Township Ordinance #4, the constable has this authority. 


Pat Kafer questioned why the Township has Delhi under no wake with all the rif-raf and seawalls.  Kafer suggested that this should be bought up to the zoning committee for discussion and action.


Fred Kasten, 3034 Delhi Road, Omro, came up to speak on Farmland Preservation.  He explained for landowners in the Town of Rushford to participate at full level, the Town would have to rewrite their zoning ordinance and map the districts.  This would cost the taxpayer’s $5000-$6000.  He mentioned that it has always been important to the Town of Rushford to preserve farmland.  For farmers to do this there is an incentive though tax break programs, such as the Farmland Preservation program. 


Patsy Pomplun asked how many people in our township would sign up.  Fred stated that anyone in exclusive agriculture would be able to sign up.  It is a 15 year program and if a farmer got out, there are large penalties.  Pete Knigge, 8097 State Rd 21 asked what changes would have to be done.  It was stated that exclusive agriculture districts would have to be changed to farmland preservation districts.  Once the zoning ordinance up to date, it would have to be certified by the state. 


Fred Kasten stated that Winnebago County has to have a Farmland Preservation program in by December 2011. 


Pat Kafer stated that some townships do not have town zoning and they would be under the County Zoning.  It might be smart to wait to see what happens there.  It was mentioned at the meetings that if there was not enough interest, the program would be dropped. 


Ellen Newman suggested that maybe the farmers who are benefiting from this, should pay for it instead of the town, much like the Eureka Assessors Plat. 


Clive Edinger, 9470 Eureka Lock Road, made a motion to hold off on doing anything on any zoning changes for the Farmland Preservation for awhile.  Patsy Pomplun 2nd the motion.

Discussion:  Pete Knigge stated that they were in the original farmland preservation program.  At the time, they wanted the town to create exclusive agriculture districts.  It did not happen.  He was wondering if all the cost we have invested in rezoning in the past years has been done in vain.

Mr. Edinger amended the motion to change “awhile” to August 1st, 2010.  Motion carried with one nay.


Patsy Pomplun, 7505 Cty Rd E, made a motion to limit the amount of time that people speak during the monthly meeting to 5 minutes.  Motion 2nd by Ellen Newman.  Discussion:  Tom Egan stated that if they speak, they should have the right to speak a second time.  Pete Knigge suggested that 5 minutes might not be enough time to address a topic.  Patsy Pomplun said that this would not apply to supervisors.  It would be for public forum.  Ellen Newman asked if 10 minutes would be alright.  This motion would be for non agenda items.  Motion carried.


Fred Kasten made a motion that the no wake ordinance be sent to the zoning committee for review and amendments.  Pat Kafer 2nd the motion.  Motion carried.


Patsy Pomplun made a motion to sell the Rushford Walking Trail, which is the Old Dump.  Motion 2nd by Ellen Newman.  Discussion:  This is a 20 acre parcel that is owned by the town of Rushford and it was the Dump.  Pat Kafer mentioned that the town did have a committee to look into this and it seemed like there was a lot of stipulations on selling the property & question of right of way.  Earlier the Board had decided not to sell, for the economy was bad and it would be best to wait.  Mr Egan mentioned that a lot of the stipulations for sale were put on by the town.  Pat Kafer asked how much it cost to own it.  Last year it cost $512 for the gravel and the culvert.  Some work should be done on the gate this year.  It was asked if this was a public area, why we have a gate.  Patsy stated it was to keep cars parties and cars out.  Fred Kasten said he would put a cable and post up so the gate can be taken out.  The gate is open when the weather is warm.  Tom Jackson inquired if we would be responsible for contamination. 


In favor of selling:  6, Opposed:  more than six.  It stays Rushford Trails.


Pat Kafer made a motion not to allow plastic culverts in the Town of Rushford from this day forward.  2nd by Fred Kasten.  Discussion:  Any new driveway permits would not be allowed to have plastic culverts.  It was asked if a damaged plastic culvert could be replaced with a plastic culvert.  The motion is made for any new culverts.  The Town would hope damaged ones would be replaced with steel.  Motion carried with on nay.


Peggy Hendricks made a motion to purchase a new outdoor posting cabinet for the Eureka Post Office for the Townships public notices.  Motion 2nd by Ellen Newman.  Discussion:  It was mentioned that the cabinet was donated years ago by Sandy Craig and it was intended for indoor use.  Motion carried. 


Ellen Newman inquired if another annual meeting had to be called on August 1st for the discussion on the Farmland Preservation program that was postponed until that time.  Tom Egan stated that a special meeting can be called before the regular meeting and it will be posted. 


Peggy Hendricks stated that Bob Eckstein will be picking up recyclables by appointment May 20-25th.  She also thanked everyone who has donated pictures for the town hall and encourages people to donate any pictures from the past of the township. 


Tom Egan gave a County Report.  There is a meeting set up for next week for information on the Hwy K bridge.  The County received a grant for $160,000 to go towards the bridge.  The County’s share $280,000.  The Town has asked for the metal signs for remembrance.  The County has approved $100,000 for the Eureka Boat Landing.


The County will be redoing Cty E to the Fond Du Lac County Line.  This is a 12 mile stretch and it will cost the County 3 million, 216 thousand dollars.  Tom Egan also thanked everyone who voted for him.


Tom mentioned that the Rew/Ross memorial fund had donated $2000 for play equipment for the Town.  It will take more than $2000.  A grant from Alliant Energy was applied for and granted for $500 to go towards this project. 


Tom Egan suggested the town consider the following:


·         Another light for the north side of the parking lot. 

·         A Town of Rushford Sign for the front of the Town hall.


Peggy Hendricks suggested we have an emblem created for the Town of Rushford. 

Tom Egan said the Town of Omro came up with theirs by having a contest.  Patsy Pomplun said that Mr. VanClarke offered to make a sign for the township if we would buy the materials and have it cut out at the lumber yard.  She also mentioned that it had been discussed to have electricity put out to the trees, so if we were going to have another light put in, the power could be ran out at the same time. 


Ellen Newman made a motion to give the Town Board permission to look into purchasing two lights for the parking lot, a sign by the road and power ran out to the sign and to the trees.  Motion 2nd by Tom Jackson.  Motion carried. 


Tom Egan bought up the Waukau assessors plat for he has been asked by some Waukau residents if they will have an assessors plat done.  There was a motion at the last annual meeting that Waukau would not have an assessors plat map done until Eureka’s was done.  There has been a lot of money tied up and things had moved rather slowly with getting the plat done and finalized.  The way it stands, Waukau assessors plat will be started after we receive the money owed from Eureka’s, which will be 3 years. 


Tom Egan questioned if the Town would be interested in the 95 gal totes for Veolia.  Patsy Pomplun made a motion to postpone using the 95 gal totes until we are forced into using them.  Motion 2nd by Marshall Piotter.  Motion carried.


Tom Egan stated that the Board did their Road Tour today and there are 7 culverts that have to be replaced.  There is a lot of brush along the side of the roads that will have to be taken care of.  Hendricks asked if the Correctional Institution would be doing any brushing.  Egan stated a meeting is set up for the 16th. 


Jerry Schoonover gave a road report.  He mentioned that a lot of culverts will have to be replaced.  The price from the County to chip & seal is $17,500 per mile up from $12,500/mile from last year.  The damage done from Zillges on Bell School road was discussed.  A meeting is scheduled with them to discuss reimbursement or payment to have the road repaired.  Kafer mentioned last year the roads looked pretty good, but it seems like a lot has deterred in the past year.  He suggested that we look at people in the township to replace the culverts instead of the County. 


Tom Egan informed the residents that live by Arlo Pit that Mr Wilke will be taking out 3-4 loads of clay from behind the house, not from the pit. 


Motion by Peggy Hendricks to increase the wage for poll workers to minimum wage.  Motion 2nd by Marshall Piotter.   Motion carried. 


Tom Egan reminded the town residents that if anyone wanted to suggest raises for the board, it should be done at this time.  The raise would go in effect after the spring election in 2011. 


Motion by Ellen Newman, 2nd by Eldon Pomplun to postpone discussion on wages until the August 2010 special meeting.  Motion carried.


Motion by Pete Knigge, 2nd by Pat Kafer to adjourn the meeting at 9:20.  Motion carried. 


Respectfully Submitted by Peggy Hendricks, Clerk