Town of Oregon
Town Board Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2013
Town Board Chair Darryl Weber called the Public Hearing to order at 6:30 pm with the following Town Board Supervisors present, Chris Johnson, Steve Root, Phil Van Kampen and Clerk Denise Arnold. Absent Supervisor Wayne Ace.
Chair Weber explained the purpose of the Public Hearing was for Alliant Energy to provide residents information regarding the utilities project located on Netherwood Road and residents may share their preference regarding the placement of the power lines needed. Residents were asked to sign in and complete a public hearing registration form if they would like to speak. Chair Weber gave the floor to the three representatives from Alliant Energy.
Joe Zelinski, WP&L Project Manager informed the residents that the underground option is not available due to the cost being doubled and the line would need to be dug up and tapped with each new dwelling. The preference of Alliant is to the north side of the road. There are eleven trees that would be involved with the project. Two to three of these burr oaks are in decline and require coming down immediately. The remaining trees would be subject heavy trimming. The trees and the existing powerlines are currently in the road right of way. The goal is to connect the substations to establish a reliable grid. The trees will need to come down eventually. Alliant provided a picture that showed a standard three phase distribution line. Alliant has met with the Gayel and Besty Larson of 5531West Netherwood Road, Oregon regarding the project as they are the residents that would be most affected. The north side options would be more agreeable with the established residents. Joe Zelinski shared that Alliant did not want to cut anymore trees than required. The system was installed some time in the 1940s. There is considerable more usage since that time making the upgrade necessary.
Daniel Green Arborist, Manager Line Clearance and Inspection with Alliant confirmed that there are 3 trees in decline and others that are stressed. Green explained that replacement trees that were lower and slower growing would be acceptable to be in that location. Alliant is willing to work with the residents.
Resident Andy Blomstrom suggested the alley arm type pole to avoid taking the trees down or severe trimming. Zelinski explained that the trees would still be trimmed and the alley arms make for a weaker line. This would result in a higher volume of polls placed to strengthen the line.
Residents that favored removing the trees were as follows:
Betsy and Gayel Larsen 5531 West Netherwood Road, Oregon
Richard Rygh 5823 Madsen Circle, Oregon
Residents that spoke in opposition of removing the trees were as follows:
Andy Blomstrom 5829 Madsen Circle, Oregon
John Brown 1611 County Highway D, Oregon
Rich Strigel 5374 Netherwood Road, Oregon
Nancy Murphy 5844 Madsen Circle, Oregon
Rand Moor 5832 Madsen Circle, Oregon
Plan Commission members Brian Duffin and Paul Morrison Alliant representatives Joe Zelinski, Dan Green, Shawn Hillestad, and Town of Oregon Public Works Employees Abel Schultz and Ryan Zurfluh all met at the site to access the situation. There were some residents present as well. Brian Duffin reported on that meeting. The trees were evaluated, two of which need to come down soon. The cherry tree is large for that variety and may blow over in a storm situation. The burr oaks are past their prime and more trimming would not help. Duffin thought the there were three potential options. 1. Take the trees down and keep the line on the north side of the road. 2. Keep the line on the north side and try to salvage some of the trees using
Town Board Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2013
the alley arms option. 3. Move the line to the south side taking it thru the Larson property. All three options have merits and disadvantages. The Town Board needs to make a decision to be practical or take a sentimental route. Duffin thought the cost would be around $25,000. for the township to take the trees down at some time in the future and it makes more sense financially to take them down at Alliant’s expense. Perhaps the replacement trees should go into Madsen Circle. As the Keller property changes ownership trees may come down at that time. Plan Commission member Paul Morrison felt that some of the trees are in rough shape and three should come down. The cherry tree is large and has peaked. He didn’t feel the trees would continue to thrive with more trimming and it may make it less predictable when/where they fall creating an additional hazard. Public works employee Abel Schultz felt it was better to remove the trees and move the line back a little farther to allow for safe snow removal and be safer for travel. The longevity of the line would be better if kept straight.
Chair Weber closed the public hearing and called the February 5, 2013 Town Board Meeting to order at 7:25 pm. Chair Weber asked for the board to comment on the public hearing tree issue.
Supervisor Phil Van Kampen confirmed with Dan Green from Alliant even if the alley arm system is used the trees will be subject to significant trimming. The trees would no longer be the stately oaks and taking them down would provide an opportunity for cost free replacement. Merit to the Larsons must also be considered.
Supervisor Steve Root realized that the trees will have 4” to 8” limbs trimmed causing stress to the oak trees that would enhance the decay process.
Supervisor Chris Johnson inquired about replacement trees. Alliant confirmed that they would plant the trees wherever the Town wanted. Trees that grow 30’ to 35’ tall and able to be trimmed would be a good option. Johnson was concerned for public safety, as a tree on her own property that appeared healthy went down. Compromising with Alliant should be the route taken to provide the best safe alternative.
Chair Darryl Weber respects the trees and he walked that tree line. The safety and the cost factor need to be considered. The alley arms are not a viable option. Weber did not want to put the poles on a resident’s property. The placement of the trees that close to the edge of the road is a hazard. Weber also wanted to work in cooperation with Alliant as they do provide a great service.
Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Weber to proceed to remove the trees and maintain the power line on the north side of the road as in the original proposal from Alliant. Motion carried unanimously.
Eagle Scout candidate Collin Schmidt presented his completed project to the Town Board Supervisors.
Schmidt started by thanking Park Chair Steve Root and Scout Master Brian DeBaker for their assistance. The project was in Ravenoaks Park to provide some walking trails. Dr. John Beasley helped by clearing 325’ of trail. Erosion bars were placed on the incline, wood chips and railing. One hundred feet of railing with 200 stakes were installed. Ten people helped 4 to 5 hours on the project and it took about a month. The Budget was $1,100 however the actual cost was $600.00. The benefit of this trail is that it provides a recreation trial for people to enjoy nature close to home. The wood chips were provided from the Town of Oregon Public Works. The trail was built around the trees so none were taken down. The Board thanked Collin for the completion and sharing of his project.
Motion made by Root and seconded by Van Kampen to approve the January 8, 2013 Town Board Meeting Minutes. Motion carried.
Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Johnson to accept the January Financial Report as presented by Treasurer Rhonda Christensen LaFlash. Motion carried.
Chair Weber called for public comments there being none the next item on the agenda was addressed.
Town resident Scott Pulver residing at 5427 Alan Drive approached the board regarding a chronic problem on his dead end road. There are no sidewalks for playing, running, walking, etc. In the past 4 ½ years that Mr. Pulver has resided there he has observed drivers turning off of Netherwood Road onto Alan Drive at estimated speeds of 30 to 45 mph. Pulver suggested traffic calming humps be installed because the
Town Board Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2013
speed limit signs are not effective. Weber thought the humps are a liability, difficult to plow snow and low cars are subject to damage. The board suggested the speed cart be placed out there when the weather breaks. Van Kampen thought the neighbors would need to agree to the installation of speed humps. Weber suggested a neighborhood petition as a watch group.
Dane County Supervisor Jerry Bollig shared that John Hendrick stepped up as Chair and Carousel Andrea Bayrd as Vice Chair on the Board. Dane County is urging the United States Congress and Wisconsin Legislature to ban assault weapons and support gun control. The current pending item is Dane County Ordinance limiting the issuance of permits for trapping. Bollig also spoke of the ongoing conversations regarding the replacement of sections of concrete on Highway MM in the City of Fitchburg. This project needs to be done and Bollig is working with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi to encourage the City of Fitchburg to take responsibility.
Supervisor Root talked about the bike trail and the Park Committee would like permission to apply for a grant to put toward the project. The route is still being decided upon. The County would match the $75,000. grant making a total of $150,000. The board was agreeable with the application process. Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Johnson to approve the Park Committee proceed with the grant application process for the purpose of bike trail funds. Motion carried.
Assessor Andy Blomstrom reported that he has picked up the 2013 tax roll. Blomstrom has downloaded all the name and address changes from Dane County. The building permits have been entered into market drive. The outdoor permits have been viewed and only the more time consuming indoor inspections need to be completed . The Clerk provided a calendar for Supervisors and the Assessor to prepare for choosing the dates for open book and Board of Review next month. The Clerk will also check into any training that would be necessary before the Board of Review.
The Clerk reported that there were six building permits applied for and one new housing start on Netherwood Road in the month of January 2013.
Constable Wackett submitted a report for January 2013 prior to the meeting.
Chair Weber shared that the Plan Commission discussed the Alliant tree issue. Jim Purdin brought forth a new commercial project that may be on the March Plan Commission Agenda.
Public Works and the TORC are doing well. There are some freezing issues with the recycling compactor. The Public Works Department have been busy with frequent snow falls and more plowing opportunities. The Board instructed the Clerk to sign public works employees Abel Schultz and Ryan Zurfluh up for an asphalt maintenance learning session on March 5th.
Weber brought up the possibility to purchase a bucket for the recently purchased TORC tractor. Weber was allowing his personal bucket to be used and would sell it to the township for $800.00. Van Kampen suggested getting as least one bid for a new one.
The Clerk shared that there will be no FEMA money for the December snow storm. The Town of Oregon has all ready used $13,761.58 worth of salt this year. More salt delivery is not confirmed at this time.
Supervisor Johnson reported that the Oregon Senior Center Committee met last week and they are still working on 2014 contract language. They continue to work to find a fair cost for all, calculating by three different ways fixed cost by population, case management and outreach. They will meet again on February 20th. The “My Senior Software” has been installed and working well.
Future agenda items for March include the Oregon Senior Center Contract Amendment, Emergency Management, Open Book and Board of Review dates and two Eagle Scout Projects.
Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Johnson to approve the January 2013 payment vouchers in the amount of $3,534,066.58. Motion carried.
The Clerk shared that Halverson Logistics reported that they have not received payment for completed road work from B.R. Amon. This work was done in the Town of Oregon along with other townships. Rural Insurance has finally come thru with a Workman’s Compensation premium refund in the amount of $2,844.00.
Town of Oregon Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2013
The Board determined that a closed session was not necessary for a policy issue regarding employee compensation so the board remained in open session. There was discussion as to whether or not the Public Works Employees should receive a financial compensation for staying away from home and sleeping at the Town Hall overnight in snow emergency situations. After a lengthy discussion the Board members agreed that there would not be additional financial compensation for overnight pay and would rather discuss this at job review time and compensate employees for exemplary performance.
Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Johnson to adjourn the February 5, 2013 Town Board Meeting at 8:55 pm. Motion carried.
Denise R. Arnold