Town of Oregon
April 10, 2012
The Town Board Chair Darryl Weber called the 2012 Town of Oregon Annual Meeting to order at 7:00 pm with 20 residents and Clerk Denise Arnold in attendance.
Rachel Brickner Case Manager at the Oregon Senior Center distributed the Center’s 2011Annual Report. Brickner wanted to thank the Town Board and citizens of the Town of Oregon for their continued financial support of the Oregon Senior Center. The number of outreach users in the surrounding area is up by 50% increase all ready in 2012. The outreach program is continually trying to assist residents over the age of 60 with staying in their home by providing them with contacts for necessary services. The Center experienced an additional challenge 2011 due to the Town of Dunn withdrawing financial support. The Center does not turn away people from the Town of Dunn. In return the Town of Dunn is trying to financially contribute in some way to the Senior Center the amount is still undetermined.
Motion made by Phil Van Kampen and seconded by Bob Johnson to approve the Annual Meeting Minutes from April 12, 2011. Motion carried.
Motion made by Jerry Jensen and seconded by Bob Johnson to accept the Year End Financial Report as submitted by Treasurer Rhonda Christensen LaFlash prior to the meeting. Motion carried.
The 2011 Budget Comparison Report was presented by the Town Clerk Denise Arnold. Clerk Arnold covered notable items in the revenue category. The Town received more than anticipated in shared revenue however in 2012 that may be reduced and there have been reports that it may be taken away all together. The recycling grant was reduced and the 2012 budget reflects the anticipation of a further decrease. The TORC Punch cards have been increased from $30.00 to $40.00 starting in 2012. There was a spike in the number of tickets sold in December due to the upcoming increase that is why the funds are higher than budgeted. Recycling revenue was up slightly because the value of aluminum cans and metal has gone up in value. Managed Forest Land was increased because a landowner withdrew their property out of the program. Two plots were sold in the cemetery in 2011. The Clerk applied for FEMA Disaster Funds for the snow storm of February 2011 and was awarded $11,898. In 2011 the Town paid for a full financial audit and the cost was $9,500. The Town Board, Treasurer and Clerk have all agreed a full audit will not be necessary each year a compilation audit will be conducted annually at a reduced amount. In the future a full audit shall be done in the event the Treasurer or Clerk should step down from their position. The Town has taken on additional expense for a computer backup system. Election expenses were slightly higher in 2011 and will exceed that in 2012 due to the unique recall situation anticipated. Legal fees were reduced. A new furnace and air conditioning unit were installed for $5,250. There was an unexpected special assessment requested the Oregon Area Fire/EMS District. Next year the Town will be responsible for loan repayment of the OAFED. The Public Works Department was over budget due to having three employees the first half of the year and a retirement payout for an employee. In addition to that there was unemployment to pay for two employees. The road salt expense was high however that was offset by the FEMA Grant received. A new truck was purchased and paid in full for $131,263. Each year the Town sets aside funds toward future equipment purchases to avoid the need for a loan. Motion made by Rick Andersen and seconded by Ruth Klahn to accept the 2011 Budget Comparison as presented by the Clerk. Motion carried.
Chair Weber reported a quiet year for Plan Commission activity. Not many rezones, just some mapping changes in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Changes were required for exclusive ag. and some resulting from the blanket rezone. The forms for a submittal are being redesigned in the 2012.
Park Chair Steve Root reported there were three Eagle Scout Projects and three more planned for spring 2012. There will be a work day and Eagle Scout Project on Saturday May 12th. Due to some ownership confusion by residents the Ravenoaks Park required a new survey be done and property lines marked it was also a benefit for the Eagle Scout trail improvement project. An Arborist was hired for work done in Ravenoaks, the Town Park and Bi-Centennial Park.
Town of Oregon Annual Meeting Minutes
April 10, 2012
In the absence of Mark O’Brien, Supervisor Phil Van Kampen provided the Fire/EMS Report.
The Oregon Area Fire/EMS District experienced a difficult financial year in 2011. A special assessment was charged to achieve a more comfortable fund balance. The full time staff was cut 1/3 from 6 to 4 fire fighters and from 3 EMTs to 2. Providing there are no large unexpected expenses they should be in good shape. There is talk of charging fees this is only in the planning stages and all municipalities will have an opportunity to weigh in on any decisions to be made. Phil Petersen inquired why there had been a shortfall. Van Kampen explained that in 2006 the District returned one half million in excess fund balance. Then for a few years they reset the budget request to a lower number to avoid a surplus and maybe should not have done these two things. In 2010 there were considerable expenses purchasing a new ambulance for $160,000. At this time the fund balance should not have been used it may have been a better decision to take out a loan at that point. At the same time the revenue calculation was optimistically inflated. A new Finance Committee has been formed and is concentrating on the budget and looking at future capitol expenses. The Village of Oregon is maintaining the bookkeeping functions. The Belleville Fire/EMS is in good shape. They are looking to increase funding and the exploring the possibility of increasing fees.
Bob Johnson shared that the Emergency Management Plan for the Town of Oregon has been updated. There is still a need to create some new standard forms.
The Town of Oregon Assessor Andy Blomstrom reported that the assessment roll has been submitted to the County. We are on schedule for Open Book and Board of Review. There were over 830 changes and the assessment notices have all been mailed. In the sales to assessment ratio the roll is at 112% which is quite high with real estate continuing to decrease in value. When all the walk thrus are complete next summer perhaps an adjustment would be in order.
The Clerk called for the Oath of Office for Supervisor Phil Van Kampen and Steve Root. Van Kampen has been serving since 2005 and Root was elected at the 2012 Spring Election April 3rd. This will be a two year term for both Town Board Supervisors.
Motion made by Rick Andersen and seconded by Ruth Klahn to set the 2013 Town of Oregon Annual Meeting to Tuesday April 9that 7:00 pm. Motion carried.
Chair Weber inquired if there were any items to be addressed that are not on the agenda. Jerry Jensen wanted to extend congratulations to the newly elected board supervisors Phil Van Kampen and Steve Root. He hopes they enjoy serving the Town of Oregon as much as he has for the last 30 years. Chair Weber then confirmed Jensen’s retirement from serving on the board and thanked him for his dedication.
Motion made by Jerry Jensen and seconded by Phil Peterson to move that the electors direct the Town Board Members reconsider and review and vote on resolution number 04-2011 to prohibit weapons in town buildings and at town events by posting signs. This is in response to the concealed carry issue.
Jensen said that at the time it was passed in December he did not the information that he has found now and he did vote yes in favor of the gun prohibiting signage. He waited until now because he did not want it to become a campaign issue in the recent local election. The Town should have voted against this because it has become a liability issue and cannot be enforced. This was based on information collected from the Wisconsin Towns Association and the Dane County Towns Association. In order to enforce this resolution someone would need to be at the door checking individuals or have a metal detector; this leaves the Town in a liability issue according to Jensen’s research. There is a clause in the concealed carry law protecting municipalities that if the Town Hall is not posted, the Town then has statutory immunity from that liability. If the Town has posted they have general liability. The public would have a feeling of safety that is just not possible to enforce.
People that spoke in favor of removing the weapon prohibiting signage were as follows:
Jerry Jensen 869 Glenway Rd, Oregon, WI 53575
Rick Andersen 4814 Oregon Trial, Oregon, WI 53575
Brad Smith 5597 Netherwood Rd Oregon, WI 53575
Ruth Klahn 157 County Highway MM, Brooklyn, WI 53521
Town of Oregon Annual Meeting Minutes
April 10, 2012
Roger Weber 1333 S. Fish Hatchery Rd, Oregon, WI 53575
Andy Blomstrom 5829 Madsen Circle, Oregon, WI 53575
Jon Borgen 5459 Netherwood Rd, Oregon, WI 53575
Maria Milsted 5900 County Highway A, Brooklyn, WI 53521
Darryl Weber 1024 Tipperary Rd, Oregon, WI 53575
Residents speaking in favor of retaining the signs were as follows:
Chris Johnson 54 Union Rd, Brooklyn, WI 53521
Bob Johnson 54 Union Rd, Brooklyn, WI 53521
Chair Weber called for a show of hands in support of a request to have the Town of Oregon Board to consider removing resolution number 04-2011 supporting the motion made by Jensen and seconded by Peterson. There were 15 residents that in favor and 3 that were not. Motion carried.
Motion made by Phil Peterson and seconded by Rick Andersen to adjourn the 2012 Town of Oregon Annual Meeting. Motion carried.
Denise R. Arnold