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December 14, 2011 Meeting Minutes


Monthly Meeting  						         December 14, 2011

A regular monthly meeting of the Town of Winter Board of Supervisors
was called to order on December 14, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. by Chairman
James Genrich.  Present were Supervisors David Kinsley and Helen
Dennis, Clerk Lori Van Winkle and 9 citizens.
Chairman Genrich welcomed everyone; the pledge of allegiance was
recited.  A motion was made by Helen Dennis, seconded by David Kinsley
to approve the agenda, motion carried.

Dale Biessel representing Sawyer County Farm Bureau was given the
floor.   Dale reported he attended the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and
was asked to inform Town- ships regarding Resolutions that were passed
at their annual meeting related to  Townships with Non Metallic Mining
and Weight Limits on Roads and Bridges.  The main emphasis related to
loggers and farmers and weight limits on roads and bridges.  He
expressed that currently for Farmers, extra weight limits are allowed
from September 1 to December 31st. They wanted to increase that time
period from September 1st to May 1st, and there was strong opposition
on this, Farm Bureau was not in favor of this and the resolution was
not passed.  He requested that since Farm Bureau stood strong in favor
of Townships on these weight limits that we be fair for both
industries and not show any favoritism to loggers over farmers. 
Chairman Genrich responded the Town would be fair with everyone and
because of the damage our Town roads sustained last year the Town will
be enforcing weight limit restrictions the same for everyone including
loggers and farmers.  Dale thanked the board.

Helen Dennis made a motion, seconded by David Kinsley to approve the
meeting minutes from November 9, 2011 and November 17, 2011, motion

A conditional use permit for Dan Johnsons Gravel Pit on Tepaske Lane
is up for renewal, a motion was made by David Kinsley, seconded by
Helen Dennis to approve the permit, motion carried.

Chairman Genrich explained a possible grant that is available through
the DNR for road improvements in their jurisdiction for 2012.  The
board has done an inspection of the first 6 1/2 miles of West Lane and
submitted a request for $35,000.00 in grant funds for improvements on
West Lane.  The project can be done over a 2 year period with payment
when the work is completed.  It looks favorable that we will be
eligible for this grant.

The Flood Damage Aid applications for 2011 have been completed and
submitted to Department of Transportation on 12-6-11 for approval, the
amount is approximately $22,000.00.

Regarding the status on Flood Damage applications from 2010, on 
November 29, 2011 a Department of Transportation Inspector/Engineer
met with us at the Town Hall and returned all 18 site applications to
The DOT Supervisor had numerous comments and concerns why the
applications are being returned and how the figures were derived.  
Wage rates were incorrect, the crew benefits breakdown rates were
incorrect, the crew time sheet hours did not calculate with what was
reported, culvert sizes were not properly reported, hours for the crew
were inflated, justification of product used for road repairs were
incorrect and there were applications submitted for roads that were
not part of the flood damage but were reported as flood damage.   The
comment that concerns this board the most is will the towns
documentation related to these flood damage applications be able to
sustain a potential audit as it is likely we will now be audited. Also
very concerning to the board is in review of the applications and the
corrections that we’ve done we are estimating the anticipated aid
amount to be 35 to 40% less than what was originally reported and
budgeted for which will require us to make adjustments in our 2012
budget as well. We are working on getting these applications corrected
and returned to the DOT as soon as possible.

A question was asked from the audience; “Who approved these reports
when first submitted?”  Response was the previous chairman and
clerk/treasurer.  Another question from the audience was asked “Has
anyone been in contact with the previous chairman and clerk/treasurer
about this?” Response was, no not from this board.  Another comment
from the audience was that the prior chairman and clerk/treasurer were
responsible for preparing and submitting these applications and they
should be held accountable for why they falsified the information.  
Chairman Genrich stated that our main focus now is reviewing and
correcting and resubmitting the applications as soon as possible so
the town can receive their reimbursement.  Further discussion followed
related to the crew time sheets and it was clarified by the board that
the hours the crew submitted on their time sheets were accurate and
done correctly; it was the wages paid that had been inflated and
reported on the application for flood damage.  It’s been a very timely
process to review and correct and involved bringing in the town crew
for a day also to review their timesheets, photos etc. to get these as
accurate as possible.  For better review by the DOT we’ve been asked
to prepare a spread sheet with all the information related.  Another
comment from the audience was that we are most likely still going to
be subject to an audit, chairman Genrich agreed that it is very

Pursuant to WI Statute 146.709(9) municipalities shall annually enter
into a Joint Powers Agreement, which agreement shall be applicable on
a daily basis and which shall provide that if an emergency services
vehicle is dispatched in response to a request through the Sawyer
County 911 system, such vehicle shall render it services to the
persons needing the services, regardless of whether the vehicle is
operating outside the vehicles’ normal jurisdictional boundaries.  The
renewal agreement has been sent to the Town for signature.  This
agreement is from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.  Chairman
Genrich will sign and return the agreement.

Election officials being appointed to the election board were read by
the clerk, Debi Steiner, currently chief inspector, Laurie Martin,
currently chief inspector, Steve Schultz and Donna Stotesbury will be
training for chief inspector other election officials are Darlene
Borst, Lynn Passow, Heather Harris, Pat Gehrke and Linda Wildes. A
motion was made by David Kinsley, seconded by Helen Dennis to approve
these people to work on the election board, motion carried.

State Statute is specific related to the number of election workers
for each election.  A motion was made by Helen Dennis, seconded by
David Kinsley to approve a resolution that the minimum number of
election workers for Non Partisan elections be 5 (five) and Partisan
elections be 7 (seven), motion carried.

The town received a request from Senator Herb Kohl’s office to use the
Town Hall as a meeting place on Dec. 20, 2011 for 1 hour; a Kohl
representative will be available to meet with constituents.   A motion
was made by David Kinsley, seconded by Helen Dennis to approve the use
of the town hall meeting room on this date, motion carried.

The Town Board has discussed that we would like to take our town crew
workers and their spouses out for an appreciation dinner on December
17, 2011.  Our town crew workers are a very dedicated and always go
above and beyond and their efforts have also generated an additional
$72,000.00 income to the Town of Winter this past year.  The town will
pay for the crew/spouses dinners and the board members/spouses will
pay for their own dinners.  There were numerous comments from the
audience that the board does not have to justify anything for this
appreciation dinner,  that it is evident there is a team effort
working in the township with the crew workers and board members by
what has been accomplished and the town should also be paying for the
board members/spouses dinners as well.  Chairman Genrich thanked the

The town needs a replacement vehicle (semi truck) for the unit sold
earlier this year, we are looking in the 2004 to 2007 years and
$20,000.00 to $25,000.00 range.  It may be a few months until we find
one, but we’d like to be able to act on the opportunity should it
present itself.  A motion was made by Helen Dennis, seconded by David
Kinsley that should we find a vehicle with the correct specs and price
range we are able to purchase it, motion carried.

County Supervisor Warren Johnson gave a report; he asked that a
correction be made in the minutes from last month related to the
question asked of him on surplus funds available.  He states the
auditor requests they have 3 months funds on hand for normal expenses.
 The clerk noted the correction.  Warren stated there isn’t much to
report related to the Town, they received the Town of Winters letter
regarding the road name changes and they are re visiting this issue,
Dale Streater is the committee chairman for this issue.  Chairman
Genrich also mentioned that Laurie Martin of Winter had written a
letter regarding the road name changes, her letter was also published
in the Gazette.      

The NR 115 ordinance dealing with waterfront properties has been
completely revised; it is a completely new ordinance.  The most
controversial part was related to non conforming buildings near water
front, the changes now allow them to build up.

A motion was made by David Kinsley to approve the disbursements except
for Ck#  14719 Payment to the Winter Fire Dept in the amount of
$33,506.81, seconded by Helen Dennis, motion carried.  Chairman
Genrich added that the payment to the Fire Dept is due on or before
January 15, 2012 and will be paid during that time.

A question was asked related to the Fire Department, “Will there be
enough funds in their treasury to make their payment due on January 1,
2012?”  Chairman Genrich replied yes as Ojibwas payment is due on
January 1, 2012.  David Kinsley also added that we would not do
anything to jeopardize the fire department and that they (the board)
were always under the impression that the Towns payment was due on
January 1st each year but upon further review of the contract, it is
not due until the 15th of January each year.  .  Helen Dennis and
David Kinsley also stated that they have been told time and again that
the agreement must be complied with and no changes made to the
agreement.  Chairman Genrich also mentioned that we’ve been told by
the fire department treasurer that they have the fire fighters fund
available to transfer dollars if needed until the payments from the
Ojibwa and Winter are received.

Another question was asked “If the Town Board at some point will take
a look at the Fire Board agreement and make changes?  Helen Dennis
responded that is a good question to bring up at the next Fire Board
meeting and chairman Genrich stated there is some fine tuning that
could be done with that agreement.  Helen Dennis also stated that for
those who are not aware, Kurt Swedburg, who is in the audience tonight
has recently joined the Fire Department and thanked him.  Another
question was asked if there has been any more discussion or decision
made regarding a rescue boat for the fire department.  Helen Dennis
responded that the Search and Rescue boat is available at Mel’s and
can be available within about 15 minutes or so and that also there are
certifications needed.  Kurt Swedburg also responded that they have
been discussing ideas for fire department member recruitment but not
sure what it will take to get people to join.  Chairman Genrich again
encouraged people that have questions or concerns to attend the fire
board meetings.

Next meeting date was set for January 11, 2012.

There being no further business, a motion was made by David Kinsley,
seconded by Helen Dennis to adjourn, motion carried, meeting

                                                 Lori Van Winkle,
                      December 20, 2011




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