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December 9, 2015 Meeting Minutes

TOWN OF WINTER

MEETING MINUTES	                         DECEMBER 9, 2015

The regular business meeting of the Town of Winter Board of
Supervisors was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Chairman David
Kinsley.  Present were board members Ronald Barnaby and Terry
Patenaude, clerk treasurer Lori Van Winkle and 13 audience members. 
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Motion by Ronald Barnaby, second by Terry Patenaude to approve the
agenda as presented, motion carried.

Chairman Kinsley stated if anyone had questions related to agenda
items only, please raise their hands and they will be recognized.

Motion by Ronald Barnaby, second by Terry Patenaude to approve the
meeting minutes from November 11, 2015 as presented, motion carried.

License/Zoning – Notice was received from Sawyer County that R& P
Earth and Forest Works 3 year conditional use permit was approved. 
There have been several inquiries regarding locking of the gates on
forest lands, it was explained the town has no authority to open them
and referred people to the land managers.

Highway/Road Report – Chairman Kinsley stated it’s been a mild winter
not much to report.

Unfinished Business -  There was none.

New Business – Approve payment of illegal taxes, Lori explained there
had been an assessor’s error in 2014 that resulted in a double
assessment on the same property generating an illegal tax of $22.01. 
Typically a chargeback process would be done to the State, WITC,
Winter School and County, but since it is such a small amount, it
would be more cost effective to just pay the amount instead of the
chargeback process.  The board was in favor of paying it, motion was
made by Terry Patenaude, second by Ronald Barnaby, motion carried.

Approve changes to the Town Employee Union Contract - Chairman Kinsley
stated negotiations took place in October, the changes agreed upon
have been made to the contract and he and Lori signed the updated
contract.  Motion by Ronald Barnaby to approve the contract changes,
second by Terry Patenaude, motion carried.

Approval of Election Workers for new term and wage increase - The
board members were given a list of the election workers who have
recently completed their training.  Chairman Kinsley stated there were
2 new 8 returning and 2 snowbirds that are updating their training
online. Motion by Terry Patenaude, second by Ronald Barnaby to approve
the elections workers for the new term, motion carried.  Chairman
Kinsley stated they cannot remember the last time our election workers
had a wage increase and he suggested an increase for the poll workers
$1.00 per hour and the chief inspectors $1.50 per hour.  Supervisor
Patenaude asked if we knew what other Towns were paying their election
workers.  Chairman Kinsley stated he’d spoke with the clerk for
Meadowbrook; their election workers receive $11.00 an hour.  Motion
was made by Ronald Barnaby to approve the wage increase of $1.00 per
hour for poll workers and $1.50 per hour for chief inspectors, second
by Terry Patenaude, motion carried.  

Approve wage increase for part time crew worker – We have a part time
worker that is working out good, he’s been able to go out and work
whenever David Martin has called on him, he started 3 ½ - 4 years
ago and is receiving the same pay rate now as when he began. 
Supervisor Patenaude asked what we are paying him now; Chairman
Kinsley replied $11.00 an hour.  Supervisor Barnaby stated that the
part time worker is dependable, he is available on short notice and
receives no benefits of any kind, so taking those items into
consideration, he proposed a wage increase of $3.00 per hour to $14.00
per hour.  Supervisor Patenaude asked if the part time worker has a
CDL and everything.  Chairman Kinsley replied no.  Supervisor
Patenaude asked what the other part time worker receives; Chairman
Kinsley stated the Town has no control over his pay he works through
the Experience Works program.  Chairman Kinsley added that he would
abstain from this since the part time worker is a relative and asked
if there was a second to Supervisor Barnaby’s motion, there was no
second to the motion, motion failed.  Supervisor Barnaby then motioned
a wage increase to $13.00 per hour for the part time worker,
Supervisor Patenaude second that motion, motion carried.  Chairman
Kinsley abstained from that motion.

Approve/Authorize 2015 Budget Adjustments – Chairman Kinsley stated
each year in December we review our budget and make necessary
adjustments to budget categories that have gone over budget.  This
year’s overages range from $31.00 to $2,000.00.  This is not unusual
and happens every year.  The largest budget surplus category is Fuel,
Oil, and Grease of approximately $15,000.00 which would more than
cover the budget over runs around $14,000.00.  Chairman Kinsley asked
for a motion to allow the Clerk Treasurer to make the necessary budget
category adjustments, Lori added there are still outstanding bills
that could change these amounts but there should still be surplus to
cover those.  Motion was made by Terry Patenaude, second by Ronald
Barnaby, to approve and authorize the clerk-treasurer to make the
necessary budget adjustments, motion carried.

Loretta Trail Blazers request to open Lake of the Pines Road, Johnson
Road and Old Lodge Land Road as ATV routes – Chairman Kinsley asked
the audience if anyone would like to speak on this.  Audience member
Dale Lehman was given the floor.  Dale stated there are 56 property
owners on Johnson Road who generate $150,000.00 + in property tax
revenues.  He stated they pay a premium tax because they want to be on
Johnson Road because it is a dead end road and has water access.  He
stated Johnson Road is 2 miles in length and is heavily used by people
walking, riding bikes, children biking etc.  He is in favor of all
property owners and families on Johnson Road having ATV, UTV and
snowmobile access and feels we all need to support our local
businesses.  His concern is that if we push this decision through
without input from all the property owners on Johnson road it will
create unrest and negative feelings and animosity will occur.

Dan Shauder representing the Loretta Trailblazers Club stated their
Club has received several requests to pursue opening of these roads
and the club is certainly considerate of the concerns and are willing
to do whatever it takes to work with everyone to make this work,
whether it be a specific ordinance, signs or whatever.  He added that
in other areas where they expected the same type of issues it has
proven not to be a problem and the roads don’t get the ATV traffic
that was expected.  The reason for opening Johnson Road (a dead end
road) is so property owners and families living on Johnson Road have
access, it eliminates having to trailer their ATVs to a trail.  Darwin
Hintz added that several months ago he also proposed this quoting the
same guidelines as snowmobile access laws and was denied because the
State of WI has not passed any ATV access laws which prohibit the
Towns from enacting ordinances for this.  Darwin feels ATV access laws
are what are needed to cure this problem.  Another seasonal property
owner spoke of their ATV club in Southern WI with 136 miles of trails.
 He stated that signage was the most important thing here, they found
with stray traffic, No Outlet, Dead End, Private Property are the
signs they have used and they have never had any problems.  Their club
has been existence for 4 years now with no problems.

Another property owner on Johnson Road stated he agreed with Dale
Lehman that the property owners and families who live on Johnson Road
should have access to trails. He stated for him to trailer his ATV 1
½ miles to get to a trail doesn’t make sense.  He also agreed
with the other person that property signage would eliminate stray
traffic.  

Dan Schauder added the Club would be responsible for signing and they
are more than willing to do whatever they need to do, so it works.  It
was asked why it is a problem for the Town to just give access? 
Chairman Kinsley stated we looked into this previously and the Town
has no authority to allow ATV access, the authority lies with the
State.

Jim Halvorson, Flambeau River State Forest Superintendent was given
the floor.  Jim explained the differences between Routes and Trails
and their emphasis was to create trails.  Trails are woods roads that
wind through forest areas for people to enjoy a trip.  Routes are
essentially to get folks through a metropolitan area where they can
get gas, food, etc.  Jim explained he has been a proponent of creating
trails with the intent of making the Flambeau and Winter areas a
destination for ATV ers from down south.  He cautioned establishing
too many routes, especially when they begin to parallel with their
trails which has happened before and then the  State looks at it and
questions the trail system. It is very difficult to promote getting
trails in these areas where routes have been established.   Jim stated
he had no issues opening Johnson Road as long as that is what the
property owners want.  Jim had no issues with opening Old Log Lodge
Road.  Jim does have some issue with opening Lake of the Pines Road,
stating that the Town owns a portion of that road and then it turns
into a State Forest road.  He stated they plan to do an assessment of
all roads and at some point they may open their portion of Lake of the
Pines road and this would give access to those who want to get to the
boat landing for fishing.  Jim introduced Chris Bender the new ranger.
 Jim provided the Town Supervisors information for reference related
to guidelines of speed management.  Jim suggested we keep consistency
in mind with speed limits for ATV routes, he mentioned enforcement
could also be an issue with this.  Jim stated that he hoped we could
work collaboratively with them while they do this road assessment.  He
believes we need to make our area a tourism destination point and pull
the people in while still being sensitive to the local people too. 
Jim stated he struggles with routes because he would still like to see
a good trail system established.    Dan Schauder spoke again stating
that the Loretta Trail Blazers Club also does promote the trail system
there is no question about that.  What we are talking about here is
accessibility, he as a business owner of a resort on Lake of the Pines
receives calls from people asking if we are on the trail?  Because we
are not they will ask if there is another business in the area that
is?  We have people who DO NOT come to our area because there is no
accessibility.  Dan stated all the club is looking for is to give this
a trial period and see how it goes, he added there are several people
on Johnson Road who do want it open for ATVs and stated they will sign
it well and if there are problems then it will have to be reviewed
again.  People are riding it now anyway without signs and rules, so by
signing it well with no thru, no access and speed limits it may work
better than expected.  Chairman Kinsley asked Dale Lehman; regarding
Johnson Road in his opinion if the road was signed with no outlet, no
access and a 10mph speed limit did he think the neighbors on the road
who are against this would be willing to look at a trial period?  Dale
Lehman responded stating that he is probably one of the few on Johnson
Road who want the road open to local residents, (chairman Kinsley
stated well you understand we can’t do that), Dale said yes he did
understand, he stated maybe he has not expressed well enough that
there is a bunch of people on this road who do not want ATVs on this
road at all, which he is not in agreement with.  Dale stated there has
to be some way we can do this, perhaps signing and speed limits will
work, but he does not know.   Dan Schauder stated he has a pretty good
list of people who do want it open and he feels we should give this a
trial period for a year and see how it goes.  Dale Lehman asked Dan if
he would be willing to take a petition around on that road and see if
you can get a majority of signatures to see if they want it open.  Dan
responded they would do whatever they have to do.  Dale Lehman stated
then it would make sense to give these folks a chance to say yes or
no, because he knows there are people who do not want it open at all
which he disagrees with, he feels this local access is very important.
 Jim Halvorson stated he is not quite sure what the rush is to get
these roads open now, especially Johnson Road and added that the trail
systems are closed now for the Winter months, State land trails will
not open up until Spring.  He stated the Flambeau is ready and willing
to open their trails to ATV’s in the Winter months and he encouraged
the club to put some effort into working with the private land owners
for agreements on this that would help in these years where we have
little snow.  Helen Dennis stated regarding Johnson Road, there have
been very good points addressed here, Johnson Road has several
permanent residents who have lived here for many years and these
circumstances involve people who are seasonal and spend only a couple
weeks a year here so she agrees with the petition process.  She also
added that when the Town opens a road for ATVs it is always on a trial
basis and the town has the authority to close it at any time, Chairman
Kinsley stated yes that is correct.  Another audience member stated
where he lives in southern WI they found the ATV signage was a win win
because it also helped the locals, truckers, farmers  etc. because
they were all now aware it was an ATV route  they too were more
cautious in their use.

Supervisor Barnaby stated he agreed with Chairman Kinsley that we
should review the information we received and revisit this and added
that for Johnson Road he would like to see a State Access law for
these situations.   Chairman Kinsley motioned to table any decisions
on this until next month to allow more time to review the information,
second by Ronald Barnaby, Supervisor Patenaude was opposed, motion
carried.

Correspondence and Contacts – there were none.

Approval of Disbursements - Chairman Kinsley asked if everyone had a
chance to review them and asked if there were any questions.  There
were none.  Motion by Ronald Barnaby, second by Terry Patenaude to
approve the disbursements as presented, motion carried.

Board Concerns – Duane Zenke from Zenke Auction came to inspect
surplus equipment we were looking to get rid of, this included a
Service Truck, Red 4 door pickup, brush chipper and a Champion grader,
selling all in as is condition.   Zenke offered a price of $39,000.00
for everything, he and Dave Martin discussed the offer and Chairman
Kinsley accepted the offer and the equipment will be picked up next
week. This was surplus equipment that hadn’t been used in a while.

Next meeting date was set for January 13, 2016.   There was no other
business to discuss, meeting was adjourned.

                                                                      
                                                Lori Van Winkle,
Clerk
                                                                      
                                                December 17, 2015


   

  





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