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April 18, 2017 Annual Town Meeting
TOWN OF LIBERTY
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The annual meeting for the Town of Liberty was called to order by Chairperson Bill Pitz, at 7:32 p.m., starting with the pledge of allegiance. There were 21 residence in attendance.
Bill Pitz introduced members of the board. There is one new person to the town officers, Pam Petersen, Clerk, also present were Jim Krim, Joel Aulik, David Petersen, Constable and Rick Krueger, Road Superintendent.
The 2016 annual meeting minutes were presented to the residents for approval. A motion was made by Toni Potnar and seconded by Jerry Wagner to approve the minutes. Voice vote from the floor, 21 in favor, 0 against, motion carried.
There was no Sanitary District report given or received.
Assessor Joe Denor was unable to attend, but provided a report as follows:
Assessor report for Annual meeting
The 2016 equalized value for the Town of Liberty is $138,038,700. The assessment ratio is 98.95%
Anyone receiving a new assessment for 2017 can expect a notice in the mail near the end of the month.
Open Book is scheduled for May 9th 4:00pm – 6:00pm located at the Town Hall.
Board of Review is scheduled for May 23rd 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
If someone has questions regarding their assessment please contact the assessor Joe Denor 920-468-9698.
There was no Building Inspector report given or received.
•Burning permits are available through Joel, Jim or Bill, free of charge. Firework permits are only available through the Chairperson, Bill Pitz.
•Rick Krueger presented snow & ice as well as road work reports. There were 16 weather events, 5 of those being ice events. 165 tons sand and 425 tons sand/salt mix were used over the winter.
16 test holes were done prior to last year’s 2 miles of Borgwardt Rd. repairs. This was done to be sure there was a good 12” base before laying the 3” of blacktop. 14 tons of gravel were hauled in with the Town’s equipment. Final figures for the work that was done, came in at approximately $4,000 under bid. Rick felt it was important to let the residence know that there is a thought process implementing the proper steps in the repairs. Road projects are holding up well and the board has been making good choices in road repair.
Some areas of Marken Rd., as well as two bridges, will have maintenance work done this year.
A reminder of frat tank permits and IOH permits. Those in the township are good, but if someone from outside of the area were to do work, permits are required for them as well.
•There are 7 WTA scholarships available, at $1,000 each. Applications are available through the guidance counselors at school. Bill Pitz encouraged anyone with family in high school to apply for the scholarships.
•Dave Christel, Plan Commission Chairperson presented the Plan Commission report. Additional members of the Plan Commission were recognized and thanked for their services; Dave Johnson, Lyle Roehrig, Ron Schnell and Steve Lenzner. 3 meetings were held for 5 requests. 4 Variances- 1 tabled and 3 approved, 0 Conditional Use Permits and 2 rezones. It’s been a quiet year last year in relativity to previous years, and so far in 2017 there been no formal actions.
•The Recycling Center is open on Saturdays from 8:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. Things are running well. An ad for an additional full time employee has been placed. Having the 2 workers has paid for itself in reducing the hauling costs.
Jerry Wagner stated that another full time worker is needed as there is currently only 3 and sometimes it’s difficult to schedule work times with individual’s schedules. Jerry stated, “The residence are very good, polite and understanding.” He said they are selling more stamps for bags than bags themselves. Toni Potnar commended the Recycling Center crew, stating “They are very, very helpful”.
•Additional ATV/UTV signage, better marking the start and stop locations at the county trunk locations, will be placed. Bill Pitz indicated this decision was made after an informational meeting with the DNR. No complaints have been received.
•Road work such as chip sealing, wedging, crack filling, bridge approaches and a culvert replacement at Pigeon Lake will be done. The culvert replacement will be done with a 48” culvert with plastic liner. The County will be assisting with this work and road closure is expected to be 2 days.
No machinery purchases are slated for 2017. In a few years we will need to look into another plow truck. A new motor with warranty, rather than a rebuilt one, was put into the 2000 International truck, wires and hoses were also replaced. The problem was not due to maintenance issues, but due to cylinders that were slipping.
•Open Book is set for Tuesday, May 9th from 4-6 P.M. and Board of Review is set for Tuesday, May 23th from 7-9 P.M.
•The next annual meeting will be Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 7:30 pm, at the Liberty Town Hall.
•No County Board report was given or received.
•No Valders School District report was given or received.
•Christopher Dallas, Chief, gave the following Valders Fire & EMS Department Report. The ambulance has a 43 member roster. Last year they went out on 568 calls. They are currently working on a new state program called “Mobile Integrated Healthcare”, providing home healthcare for people who need it, people who have been discharged from the hospital. Last year they grossed $606,000 from transports, this is where they make the most money. Call volume is increasing. The fire department consists of 25 members. They provided mutual aid 18 times and received mutual aid 3 times. There were 116 calls last year. 20 fire related, 74 EMS and 22 non fire or EMS.
•Eric Keller, Chief from St. Nazianz Fire Rescue Department gave the following report. The fire department consists of 26 firefighters and has a new Assistant Chief, Mike Kaufmann. They responded to 52 calls with 12 of those calls giving mutual aid in 2016; 12 of the calls were in the Town of Liberty. They are looking for additional members to join the department, as they would like to have 32 firefighters. They have a Jr. Cadet Program, for ages 14-18; hoping to spur interested kids. The EMS had 97 calls with 95 patients; 15 calls were Liberty. There are 8 EMT’s with various skills.
Town Officers Remarks
•Jim Krim said, “ I appreciate everyone for their vote and the opportunity to serve the Town of Liberty. My first term on the board has been a big learning experience and I am enjoying the position. It’s nice to see a township working together on issues and I am hopeful that as time goes on, more people become involved with the town. I’d like to encourage individuals to come to the meetings and share their insight on various things.”
•Bill Pitz said, “ Thank you to everyone for re-election. I will refer back to a comment that Earl Glaeser made years ago when I first started on the board and Earl was clerk; “Everybody can have a disagreement during the meeting, you have your opinion, but as a board you need to get along or else it isn’t going to work.” It’s true, there are issues when one person comes this way and another from a different way, but no one gets out of hand with it, and those are words to live by. It has been working very well and it’s a very good board to work with. Thank you Earl.”
•Joel Aulik said, “I think when the board sits down we don’t say well I’m a democrat or I’m a republican, it’s what do we need to do to get the job done tonight? I want to sidestep, because a lot of our money is on roads, and this isn’t a right or wrong statement, it’s how farming changed. If you think back 25 years ago, we had a 100 acre farm and 40 – 50 cattle on it, pretty much the manure stayed close to that home farm and the crops were grown on that home farm. Now if you look at how the Town of Liberty has changed in that 25 years, the amount of land that’s large farm owned or the small farmer retired and is renting the land to a large farmer, or in the case like I grow crops and I sell it to a large farmer. And to make this quick, some food for thought, if you have one semi load of corn silage going off per acre, and you have 2 semi loads of manure coming on per acre and it’s all being trucked. What’s 3 loads per acre? If it’s a 100 acre farm it’s 300 loads. So if you think about the Town of Liberty, we probably have 2,500 acres that are owned by large farms or controlled rented, or sold to large to large farms. So if you are saying 2,500 acres, that’s 7,500 semi loads going through the town. Something 25 years ago you didn’t have. So when you see the cost of roads, and why we’re trying to make them strong to hold for a while, it’s just a change in farming. Not a right or not a wrong, just a different way in farming, but for the road perspective, it’s a major change. A legal load, if you’re hauling gravel is 80,000 pounds, farming operations can go 92,000 legal pounds. Proven fact it’s double the damage when you go from 80,000 to 92,000, when you go to 96,000 you’ve doubled the road again in damage. So now the 7,500 loads is actually 15,000 loads, if you’re running 92,000 pound loads. I think you can see now why we are having trouble with the roads, and the lack of funding. There’s no easy fix, it’s just a different way of doing business and you have to work with what’s out there. Hopefully this adds a different perspective on what you think about.”
•Bill offered an opportunity for citizens to address questions, concerns or offer comments. Dale Meyer asked, If the board has witnessed any change in opinion on the Town’s Association level or the states level in regard to funding the on roads? He remembers there was a discussion last year at the annual meeting on that, and it seems like the Towns Association were anti-changing the status quo on funding of roads in municipalities. He’s been seeing a lot of information lately that has been published over the last year, and hopefully our town board has created some of that disturbance at the Town’s Association level. Bill Pitz stated a survey was filled out regarding various aspects of road repairs. Bill and Joel also shared some information about the “Just Fix It” program.
A thank you to Pine River Pre-pack and Bank First National for their donations to tonight’s meal.
A motion was made by Jerry Wagner and seconded by Dave Christel to adjourn the meeting at 8:52 P.M. Motion carried.
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