Town of Oregon
Town Board Meeting Minutes
October 4, 2011
The Town of Oregon Board Chairperson Darryl Weber called the October 4, 2011 Town Board Meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The following Town Board Supervisors were present Jerry Jensen, Chris Johnson, Park Chair Steve Root, Assessor Andy Blomstrom and Clerk Denise Arnold. Absent: Supervisors Phil Van Kampen, Wayne Ace, Constable Gary Wackett and Treasurer Rhonda Christensen LaFlash.
Motion made by Johnson and seconded by Jensen to approve the September 6, 2011 Town Board Meeting Minutes as presented with the following amendment on page 2, paragraph 5 should read 35 mph rather than 45 mph. Motion carried.
Motion made by Johnson and seconded by Jensen to approve the Joint Municipality Meeting Minutes from September 14, 2011 as presented. Motion carried.
Motion made by Jensen and seconded by Weber to accept the financial report as prepared and submitted for the meeting by Treasurer Rhonda Christensen LaFlash. Motion carried.
Board Chair Weber inquired if there were any public comments regarding anything that was not listed on the agenda there being none the next item on the agenda was addressed.
Town Resident Christopher Brent of 6160 Sun Valley Parkway, Oregon, WI has made the Clerk’s office aware there was an assessment error on tax parcels 0509-064-8671-0 and 0509-064-9015-0. Clerk Arnold shared after checking with Dane County the error could be corrected for 2011 according to Wisconsin State Statute 70.52. The Town could legally go back and refund the tax error for the year of 2009, error amount of $4,669.17 and 2010 error amount of $4,851.98. The total refund of property taxes would be $9,521.15. It is unclear if the funds could be paid directly to Dane County to reduce the delinquent taxes on the property or only be refunded to the property owner in such case the taxes would have to be paid in full. Assessor Blomstrom had the parcels valued at residential lot cost rather than fallow agricultural for valuation classification. The value on parcel #0509-064-8671-0 was $251,700. and should be $76,900. Parcel#0509-064-9015-0 was $138,000. and should be $23,000. The Clerk shared that Mr. Brent has been told that it is his responsibility to request in writing to change the assessments and request for a refund of overpayment of taxes. Supervisor Jensen inquired if the penalties and interest could be waived at Dane County due to the error being on the part of the Municipality. The Clerk will explore that possibility.
Mr. Brent addressed the board sharing that he established that he wanted the land to be prairie. The Assessor had informed him that changing from agricultural crop ground to fallow agriculture land or recreational as Brent referred to the property was going to cause an increase in the taxes. Brent came before the Plan Commission on a couple of occasions and stating that his taxes had gone up considerably. It was brought to the attention of the Board by Brent that no where on the tax bill he receives each year does it inform you of how your property is valued. Brent knew from earlier inquiries that he did not have any available land splits so the property should not be valued as residential. Brent felt after addressing the Plan Commission in March 21, 2011 and May 16, 2011 which Assessor Blomstrom serves on, and mentioning the tax was usually high that it must be valued correctly. He never received documentation noting that the use value was residential; if that would have occurred he would have known to take action. Plan Commission member Sharon Christensen suggested that Brent sell the parcels to be used as agriculture crop land. Taking this suggestion Brent researched at the County level how to sell the farm ground only to learn that the land was valued incorrectly all these years as residential. He is currently in the process of being forced to sell his home because he cannot afford to pay the back taxes when he is short funds because he overpaid on incorrect taxes for years. The Clerk suggested that the board open the option to meet with Mr. Brent the evening of Tuesday October 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm before starting the Budget Work Session.
Park Chair Steve Root reported that the Eagle Scout Projects are progressing. September 25th Root met with Cub Scout Pack 351 to clear downed trees on the park trails. Nikolas Tree Service will be contacted to submit a bid to take trees that are down in two parks. Root will have the bid available for the November Town Board Meeting. Some park signage needs to be replaced there are ten signs at a cost of $93.00 each. Motion made by Weber and seconded by Johnson to approve the $930.00 expense for new signs. Motion carried.
Root shared that he would like to update the park portion of the website and will be arranging a meeting with the Clerk and Deputy Clerk soon. The $250,000 grant money that the Village could obtain for the purpose of bike trails would require matching funds. Root is going to explore options for the Town to obtain bike trail grant funds.
Assessor Andy Blomstrom will complete the last week of walk thrus October 15th. After completing that project he reported that he would be working on changes generated by new construction. Blomstrom will be attending the Wisconsin Towns Association Assessor’s training.
The Clerk shared the building permit report; there were five new building permits for September 2011.
Constable Wackett submitted a report that was shared with Board. There were two animal issues, two noise complaints, both with verbal warnings. Six park checks, three warned of the park hours. Wackett also provided a report with the listing of all the completed park checks.
Motion made by Jensen and seconded by Johnson to approve resolution number 04-2011 authorizing the issuance of a $37,445.29 general obligation promissory note to the Town of Dunn to Pay the Town of Oregon’s share of debt undertaken by Dunn on behalf of the Oregon Area Fire-EMS District. Motion carried.
Weber reported that the Plan Commission discussed the TORC status. There is a building being constructed for the employees comfort while staying out there for hours.
There was continued discussion regarding regulations on reducing speed limits on the following Town Roads: Hillcrest, Union, Glenway and Tipperary. Town resident Patricia Brummel of 471 Hillcrest Lane spoke in opposition of the reduced speed limit. The Board Supervisors explained the process of using the speed wagon to conduct a speed study to determine if the change was necessary. The speed wagon is currently down for repairs and when it is available the speed study will begin. Chair Weber appreciated the participation from the public expressing how they felt and explained that the process will take some time.
The Road and Traffic Safety Committee did not meet in September.
It was decided to instruct the Public Works Department to remove the eave trough located on the front of the garage and also on the back of the building. A tree that is down on Highway A and Glenway Road should be hauled away.
The Clerk explained that the Shared Revenue from the State of Wisconsin for 2012 will be reduced from $49,775 to $44,818. The State Transportation Aid for 2012 will stay the same at $111,460.05.
Supervisor Jensen reported that the County Board is working on the 2012 Budget.
Future agenda items include appearance from Dane County Sheriff’s Department and the Nikolas Tree bid for the parks. The Clerk was instructed to remove the Road & Traffic Safety Committee and the discussion regarding the speed limit changes for the future agendas until needed again.
Motion made by Weber and seconded by Johnson to approve the September 2011 vouchers in the amount of $52,591.58. Motion carried.
The Clerk inquired if the Board would prefer a full audit with Baker Tilly or a compilation audit. Clerk Arnold suggested that a full audit be done when there was a change in personnel and proceed with a compilation audit annually. The Board agreed with this suggestion and instructed the Clerk to proceed with Baker Tilly.
Clerk Arnold reminded the Board of the following meetings:
Beginning in January 2012 the Wisconsin Infants and Children (WIC) Program representatives will meet at the Town of Oregon Hall on the third Friday of each month. The WIC representatives will be distributing checks and information to families on that program.
The Clerk and Deputy Clerk will be attending trainings for elections in late October. The information will be regarding the new election laws that require identification to vote.
Motion made by Jensen and seconded by Weber to adopt the Grievance Procedure prepared by the Wisconsin Towns Association. Motion carried. This was a required action due to the 2011 Budget Repair Bill that was passed.
Supervisor Johnson reported that the Employee Evaluation forms have been distributed. The Board will meet following the 2012 Budget Work Session on Tuesday October 18th at 6:00 pm. This will be a closed session to discuss personnel. Jensen will abstain from the Employee Evaluation forms.
Motion made by Johnson and seconded by Jensen to adjourn into closed session for the purpose of discussing personnel. Motion carried.
Role Call in closed session: Weber-here, Johnson-here, Jensen-here. The Clerk was dismissed for the closed session.
Motion made by Jensen and seconded Johnson to return into open session. Motion carried.
Motion made by Jensen and seconded by Weber to adjourn the October 4, 2011 Town Board Meeting. Motion carried.
Denise R. Arnold