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June 10, 2015 Meeting Minutes

TOWN OF WINTER

MEETING MINUTES                                                       
                                  JUNE 10, 2015

A regular meeting of the Town of Winter Board of Supervisors was
called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman David Kinsley.  Present were
board members Ronald Barnaby and Terry Patenaude, clerk-treasurer Lori
Van Winkle and 29 audience members.  The Pledge of Allegiance was
recited and Chairman Kinsley welcomed everyone.

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

Motion by Terry Patenaude, second by Ronald Barnaby to approve the
meeting minutes from May 13, 2015 regular meeting and May 19, 2015
special meeting as presented, motion carried.

License/Zoning:  Audience member Terry Krell was given the floor, she
stated she and family members were here to discuss property line
discrepancies on their property on Connors Lake.  Terry stated that
Larry and Jason Nelson from Heart of the North Surveying would speak
on their behalf along with Dan Pleoger from Sawyer County.  In an
effort to sell their property a survey was required and it was
discovered there is quite a problem with the lines extending over
other peoples properties.
Maps were provided to the board illustrating this and Jason explained
that 4 or 5 cabins in that area have been determined on the wrong
property and in review of aerial photos it appears there are several
other lots affected.  Chairman Kinsley asked Jason what is the process
for these owners to get this corrected?  Jason replied they could try
to do property line agreements or the court system or the Town could
order an assessors plat.  An assessor’s plat would involve a surveyor
to come in and locate the property lines of the land the owners are
currently using as their own and create new property lines for the
owners to eliminate encroachments.  Chairman Kinsley stated from what
he understood, for the Town to order an assessors plat the property
owners involved would need to petition the town for this?  Chairman
Kinsley also asked if the Town is required to bid this out to
surveyors and could this still end up in court even after this is all
done.    Larry Nelson stated he has done 4 or 5 of these in Ashland,
Bayfield and Iron County, the petition is one way but it can also be
done because the Town assessor cannot accurately assess the property
correctly due to the encroaching properties.  Larry added that since
this is a professional service, it does not need to be bid out. 
Sawyer County Surveyor Dan Pleoger stated he agreed with everything
Larry said and he would like to see and assessors plat be done because
these people have already spent a lot of money to find out they still
have problems and because the county has been dealing with it for 3 to
5 years too.  There was lengthy discussion on the process and it was
determined we will take one step at a time beginning with a petition
from the property owners.   It make take 6 months to a year to get the
project completed, costs cannot be determined until they get further
into it.  The Town will talk more to our Town assessor about this and
the property owners will work on the petition.

Liquor and Operator License approval:   A list of 27 Operator License
applications was reviewed by the Board.  Of the 27, 5 are new
applications the others are renewal applications.  Background checks
have been done, all have paid their fees and all have met their
license requirements.  Motion by Ronald Barnaby, second by Terry
Patenaude to approve all 27 operator licenses, motion carried.   A
list of 14 Liquor License applications was reviewed by the Board.  All
14 are renewal applications, some have balances due but technically
have until June 30th to pay their fees.  Motion by Terry Patenaude,
second by Ronald Barnaby to approve all 14 liquor license renewal
applications contingent upon fees being paid by June 30th, motion
carried.

Highway/Road Report:  Regarding price adjustments for snow plowing
services, Chairman Kinsley gave a breakdown of calculations from last
year’s snowplowing lists of all 3 plow operators and then averaged it.
 Average plowing last year was 5 plows, average time per driveway was
5 minutes, x $2.50 per minute equals $12.50 per driveway.  Including
deadhead time etc. plow operators average about 6 driveways per hour,
this equates to $75.00 an hour.   The cost for man hour is $38.00 to
$40.00 per hour and the State equipment rate for the loader is $91.70
per hour which equals approximately $130.00 an hour for costs verses
the $75.00 an hour in receipts.  With that information, Chairman
Kinsley proposed raising the minute charge to $3.00 per minute and the
minimum charge to $25.00.   Terry Patenaude abstained from commenting
due to his personal snow plow business.   Ronald Barnaby had no
comments to add.  One audience member suggested using an overtime rate
for the man hours because the Town still cannot be breaking even. 
Chairman Kinsley stated he used a conservative figure at this time and
stated it all is determined upon the snowfalls etc. and it was his
thoughts to revisit this next year and make adjustments as needed. 
Chairman Kinsley motioned to increase the cost per minute to $3.00 and
the minimum snow plow charge to $25.00, second by Ronald Barnaby,
motion carried.  Terry Patenaude abstained.

Crack sealing of Roads:   Terry Patenaude stated he had been out and
inspected the roads and had a pretty good list put together.  He
described what he found and what he felt was needed and stated we can
see how far the funds will go and then eliminate those that can wait. 
Ronald Barnaby agreed stating there are limited funds in the budget so
we would need to see where it should go. Chairman Kinsley stated if it
was ok with Terry and Ron, he would contact a couple of the companies
we have worked with in the past and get some pricing.  A comment from
the audience was that due to the severity of the Winter months, in
reality there probably isn’t a single road that doesn’t need to be
revisited on this and the Town will never have enough money to correct
all of them so the more you can get out of them the better.

Unfinished Business:  Regarding Bank Card signatures for approval: at
last month’s meeting we approved Chippewa Valley Bank as the public
depository, but did not approve the signatures for the signature card.
 A motion was made by Ronald Barnaby, second by Terry Patenaude to
approve Chairman David Kinsley and Supervisor II Ronald Barnaby as
authorized to sign checks for the town, motion carried.  
  
New Business:   Regarding approval to sell the service truck, Chairman
Kinsley stated Greg Parker from North Central Power Company had been
in touch and had also stopped at the Town shop and spoke with David
Martin about purchasing the Towns service truck.  David Martin
commented to Chairman Kinsley that he doesn’t think we’ve put more
than 200 miles on it in the past couple years, with our newer
equipment, we really haven’t had the need to use it.  North Central
Power would like to have their mechanic look it over and go from there
with a possible offer to purchase it. In review of the statutes, we
only need board approval to sell this equipment.  Supervisor Patenaude
asked if it would be better to put it on bids to make it?  Chairman
Kinsley stated that is up to you, although it is not required. 
Chairman Kinsley stated that since we have an interested party and if
they offer us a fair price we could go with it and if they don’t offer
a fair price we could then advertise it.   Ronald Barnaby motioned
based upon a fair price to sell the service truck to North Central
Power Company, second by Chairman Kinsley, Terry Patenaude was
opposed, stating he would rather see it go out on bids, motion
carried.  

Correspondence and Contacts:   TerryPatenaude stated mowing along Lake
Winter should be done before the kids fishing fest, Chairman Kinsley
stated he had already talked with the crew regarding this and mowing
will begin Monday at the latest.  Terry Patenaude also stated the road
closed signs should be put at the ends of the road so the Fire
Department can put them up Saturday am.   Chairman Kinsley stated he
had met with Shawn from the DNR about widening the shoulder on
Fishtrap Lake Road, the shoulder drops off into a wet area, she gave
approval as long as we silt fence it and mulch it when completed. 

The ATV club has inquired about a list of all roads in the Town that
are open to ATVs as they are putting together a laminated map and will
provide one to display at the Town Hall, Lori is working on this for
them.  A couple building permits and driveway permits were taken care
of.
Terry Patenaude stated that on May 20th while the fire department were
doing hose testing the ambulance service group did come down and tour
the Fire Department again, it was unexpected and he just wanted to
inform the board of this.  Lori also responded to Terry Patenaudes
question last month about the porta potty that burned.  She spoke with
the owner of Jiffy Biffy and was told that they would be responsible
for this under their insurance, not the town, unless there would be
excessive issues, it may be possible we could be assessed something,
but as it is the Town would not be responsible.

Approval of Disbursements:   There were no questions related to the
disbursements, motion by Terry Patenaude, second by Ronald Barnaby to
approve the disbursements as presented, motion carried. Check # 17203
through 17227 was approved in the amount of $44,906.85.  Account
balances 5-31-15 General Account $8,948.35, MMA account balance
$234,410.79, LGIP account balance $219,653.11.

Board Concerns:  Chairman Kinsley stated he would like to say some
things related to last month’s meeting which concerns the entire
board.  At the May board meeting audience member Mr. Kurt Swedberg
asked questions about the budget of 2014, basically about wages of the
board.  Mr. Swedberg was asked to put his questions in writing which
he did and it was obvious Mr. Swedberg was referring to the audit, and
not the budget.  Chairman Kinsley explained the differences between
the budget and the audit.  Chairman Kinsley stated addressing Mr.
Swedberg that there are no checks that leave this hall without 2
signatures, one from the clerk-treasurer and in 2014 one from himself
or Helen Dennis and with those checks are always the corresponding
bills for full review.  He went on to say that the comments Mr.
Swedberg stated gave an indication to the audience that the town board
members are paying themselves more than what they are entitled to and
that is not true.  All payments to the town board members have been
set several years ago not in 2014.  Chairman Kinsley addressed Mr.
Swedberg again stating, back a few years ago you asked the previous
chairman Jim Genrich all these same questions and you were given the
answers.  Chairman Kinsley added that Mr. Swedberg came into the
office one day a couple years ago while he was here and began asking
questions again and David Kinsley asked Mr. Swedberg specifically
“what it is you are looking for” and Mr. Swedberg replied, “I don’t
know”.  David Kinsley responded when you do know we will be more than
happy to help you but if you don’t know, then we don’t know.   
Chairman Kinsley stated he just wanted to clear this up from the last
meeting.  The board has a salary and it hasn’t changed in over 10
years he believes and they are still getting paid the same, nothing
more or nothing less.  All payments have been accounted for. 

Supervisor Ronald Barnaby added that in Mr. Swedbergs letter sent to
the board he requested at the June meeting, information should be
available and understood so we don’t have ANYMORE raises given out to
elected officials without the tax payers’ knowledge.  Supervisor
Barnaby stated that if that isn’t an accusation of theft or criminal
activity, I don’t know what is and that was UNCALLED FOR.  Supervisor
Barnaby also stated to Mr. Swedberg either you can’t understand the
information that you’ve been given or you refuse to believe any
information you get that doesn’t support your illusion of wrong doing
by the board and also while the past Chairman and all the other board
members except Terry have been the target of your accusations, it is
totally appalling and disgusting the way you have confronted our
clerk-treasurer Lori, I have known all the clerk treasurers that have
been in this office and Lori is second to none;  every day in this
office she brings with her professionalism, honesty and integrity. 
That is the end of my statement.

Since Mr. Swedberg addressed the 2014 Board, former Supervisor of 6
years, Helen Dennis asked to respond as well to Mr. Swedbergs
comments.  Helen stated that she wanted to inform the people that this
is not the first time Mr. Swedberg has challenged the Town Board on
the subjects of compensation of the elected officials.    Helen stated
that she and the other board members have responded numerous times in
the past 4 years to Mr. Swedbergs repeated inquiries, comments and
insinuations and  it is time to settle this.  Helen then provided the
facts related to the elected officials compensation by giving an
outline of the meeting dates and approvals from April 1990 through
April 2012 and stated that these are the facts and that all
compensation of the board members and the clerk-treasurer have been
tax payer and or board approved.  She also stated that the 2015 board
members will continue to receive the same compensation as the previous
board members and have already received per diems for special meetings
and educational trainings attended.  Helen stated that we all believe
in everyone expressing an opinion, including Mr. Swedberg, but since
2011 she and all the other board members and Lori have taken the time
to answer all of Mr. Swedbergs questions over and over again, we’ve
supplied him all the information he has ever requested, he’s been
given the chance to speak at the annual meeting of the people but has
no comments then.  He has continually taunted the town board and has
now publically accused the town board of an illegal activity and that
accusation has crossed the line and has gone far enough.  Due to Mr.
Swedbergs public accusation, Helen has taken it  upon herself and at
her own expense to consult with an attorney and advised Mr. Swedberg
that instead of wasting his time searching for illegal activity of the
town board, he should spend some time with his dictionary reviewing
the definitions of malice, defamation, slander, libel and harassment.

Clerk-Treasurer Lori Van Winkle stated at the May meeting Mr. Swedberg
questioned the board regarding the 2014 BUDGET, and since this budget
had been prepared in November of 2013, (1 ½ years prior), it
would be unfair to expect any of the board members or herself to be
able to provide ACCURATE figures from that long ago off the top of
their heads.  She expressed that his questions did not correlate with
a budget and that is why he was asked to put them in writing.  After
reviewing his comments further, it was apparent he was mistaken and it
was he 2014 Audit figures he was referring to not the 2014 budget as
he stated.  She stated it was Mr. Swedbergs misunderstanding of the
audit report and his manipulation of the figures that was wrong and as
a result of this, he inflated the compensation of the board members
and the clerk treasurer to appear excessive beyond what has been
approved and she feels it is important for the people to know the
facts related to Mr. Swedbergs comments and she provided the audience
a lengthy response with all the facts to correct all of Mr. Swedbergs
inaccurate comments made at the May 2015 Board meeting.  She gave the
facts related to compensation of the board members and clerk –
treasurer, and provided the accurate figures of their compensations
and added that the Town was under budget in these categories.  She
explained the differences between the budget and audit figures and
explained the audit categories correspond with the chart of accounts
for the Department of Revenue and represent all expenses relative to
the category.  She gave the facts surrounding the Fire Board and Solid
Waste, that they are NOT part of the Town of Winter; they are
completely separate legal entities from the Town and are governed by
their own agreements and rules of operation. Town funds do not pay the
salaries of the Fire Board and Solid Waste as are illustrated in the
audit as a reimbursement to the town not an expense.  She gave the
facts surrounding agenda postings and the towns’ website information
and that the town exceeds the statutory requirements in these areas. 
She expressed that everything has been done according to what’s been
approved and everything has been completely legal.   She ended that it
was unfortunate it had come to this and she was hopeful for the
future, by working together with good communications we can avoid
these situations and we can all focus on improving the services for
the residents of the Town of Winter and thanked the public for their
confidence in the board and her.  
Supervisor Barnaby stated he would like to have Supervisor Patenaudes
opinion of this ongoing situation with Mr. Swedberg and if he is
believing in his suspicions and accusations of the board?  Supervisor
Patenaude stated no, not believing in them, but he was open to his
opinion of what we make and that is where he stands on it.  Supervisor
Barnaby asked Supervisor Patenaude if he understood what Lori has just
explained about it, Supervisor Patenaude replied yes and it was very
good and it probably answered Mr. Swedbergs questions which was good
and Lori added that it now needs to end, Supervisor Patenaude stated
yes and added that he is a county worker and his wages and fringe
benefits are public knowledge and everyone knows what he makes and he
is just used to that.   


Audience Recognition:   Kris Rankin expressed her thanks to the town
for continuing to provide snowplow services and stated the Town has
always done a Great Job and we certainly appreciate it.  Brad Wildes
stated he would just like to say Thanks to the Board.  He said Terry
is new and he has some big shoes to fill , that Helen was a hell of a
person and she was here daily doing stuff for the town and he goes by
now and sees the other board members here too and he feels we all do a
great job and we are not paid enough for what we do in his opinion
because you put in the hours here and at home etc. which Chairman
Kinsley replied it is part of the job and Brad stated yes I know and
you take it on yourselves, you asked for it and my hat is off to each
of you.   Mary Beth Varchmin stated she would like to take this
opportunity to thank Helen Dennis for her time stating Helen really
put everything she had into it and she felt it was a great loss to the
town, that was her personal opinion and she congratulated Terry and
said you have big shoes to fill.  Supervisor Patenaude stated he knew
she had done a good job and in 2 years if you guys don’t like what I
have done, she can run again, that’s part of it and I accept that. 
Kurt Swedberg stated the information the was given was what he had
questions about, and that it all comes back to transparency and that
the audit report is given out at the annual meeting which doesn’t
allow a person time to analyze it and have questions at that time. 
Chairman Kinsley stated we would see if we could have those available
sooner in the future.  Kurt Swedberg then referenced a statute again
referring to compensation of a town officer acting in more than one
office of the town and was again corrected and told that the Fire
Board is a separate legal entity and that the Town does not compensate
those offices, the organization does.  Chairman Kinsley ended this
discussion.  
  
Chairman Kinsley reminded everyone if you plan to use fireworks to
please consult with the Town regarding a fireworks permit.  Terry
Patenaude added or if you know someone that plans to use fireworks,
please pass this on to them.

Next meeting date was set for July 8, 2015.  Motion by Ronald Barnaby,
second by David Kinsley to adjourn, motion carried.   
      											
Lori Van Winkle, Clerk
June 17, 2015
 

                                                                      
                                                             

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