Town of Oregon
April 15, 2014
Chairman Darryl Weber called the 2014 Town of Oregon Annual Meeting to order at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 with 12 Town residents present, Clerk Denise Arnold and Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Jennifer Hanson.
Roe Parker, President of the Anderson Park Friends spoke about the progress and plans for the Anderson Farm County Park located in the Town of Oregon. Dane County purchased the park property on Union Road in 2009 and acquired more land in December 2013 for a total of 380 acres. The non-profit Anderson Park Friends have incorporated to operate as a 501 (c) (3) organization thus allowing them to apply for grant funds. The master plan for the Park is a three phase plan. The wood lot is the first focus to restore 2 to 3 trails and eliminate buckthorn and garlic mustard weeds. Removal of down trees and underbrush along with a tree inventory are on-going projects. Starting on Earth Day on April 22 and also some future dates scheduled for the Oregon School children to come out to the park for various hands on learning experiences. Bob Johnson inquired about the next phase of the park plan. Parker shared that the next plan is on the east side for an informal recreational area with a baseball field, garden plots, agricultural learning center and dog park. The Friends Group is working in cooperation with Dane County. In the near future some signage will mark the area for ease of location. No trapping will be allowed. It is expected that 5 to 8 trees may need to come down and individuals may apply for a permit to harvest the lumber for personal use. The Friends group is currently about 33 members strong and they hope to expand to 75 members. Parker also thanked Supervisor Steve Root for his cooperative assistance with the Anderson Farm County Park.
Rachel Brickner, Outreach Case Worker for the Oregon Area Senior Center distributed their 2013 annual report and an informational tracking report. The tracking report recorded the Town of Oregon residents that have used the facilities and services available. Dane County also has outreach workers that aid in underwriting some of the expenses. The Senior Center also offers Adult Day Care service and loan closet for needed health assistance equipment.
Motion made by Phil Van Kampen and seconded by Chris Johnson to approve the 2103 Annual Town of Oregon Meeting Minutes as presented. Motion carried.
Clerk Arnold explained that on September 12, 2013 Town Treasurer Rhonda Christensen LaFlash submitted a letter of resignation. On October 1, 2013 Deputy Clerk Jennifer Hanson was appointed to the position of Deputy Treasurer per State Statute 60.341 to assume the daily functions of the position. LaFlash was appointed to maintain the position until the term is complete in 2015. On November 20, 2013 the Town of Oregon Budget Hearing was held which was legally published and posted. At this meeting of the electors the position of the Town of Oregon Treasurer was changed from elected to appointed per Wisconsin State Statute 60.12(3), this change will take effect at the April 7, 2015 election.
Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Jennifer Hanson presented the financial accounts report for 2013. Hanson explained that some of the liquid accounts were moved to Bank of Oregon from Oak Bank in Fitchburg for the convenience of depositing and transferring between
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April 15, 2014
accounts. Hanson shared that the Marcus Cable funds had been returned to Charter as an escrow account was no longer needed. Clerk Arnold added that an ICS (Insured Cash Sweep) account had been established. The tax funds collected exceed the FDIC insurance threshold therefore some funds are transferred to other financial institutions. This provides the Town with FDIC insurance for all of the tax funds the Town is responsible for holding for later distribution.
Motion made by Phil Van Kampen and seconded by Chris Johnson to accept the Financial Accounts Report as presented by Deputy Treasurer Hanson. Motion carried.
Clerk Arnold explained the Budget Comparison Report for 2013. This report displays what was budgeted for 2013, what was actually spent in 2013 and what has been allotted for the 2014 Budget. Fortunately the tax levy, shared revenue, and state highway aids have not been reduced and the recycling grant is still available. The punch card system along with the funds from the recycling grant are helping to maintain the TORC functions. Arnold inquired if there were any questions regarding the revenue side of the budget. Resident Sharon Christensen inquired about the increase in the surplus funds to be applied to the 2014 Budget. Arnold explained that the use of reserve funds were approved at the 2014 Budget Hearing on November 20, 2013 due to the anticipated purchase of new large equipment. Each year $40,000 is set aside for large equipment purchases and not always used and that contributes to a reserve to draw from for future purchases.
Arnold continued with the expenditure portion of the budget. The expenses were on target with the proposed 2013 budget with the exception of the public works department. The road construction for 2013 was over budget by nearly $100,000. This was a combination of culvert replacements, add-ons in the road construction process, crack filling roads and seal coating. When the Town learned of the necessary increase of cost in the paving project the seal coating bid had already been awarded and in process of completion. A V-plow was purchased for $12,845 in anticipation of a 4 wheel drive plow truck being ordered. A joint purchase with the Towns of Rutland, Dunn and Dunkirk for a new JD Excavator, the town’s share was $26,600. All of these combined factors exceeded the budget allowance for public works. The TORC expenses also exceeded the 2013 budget due to a used tractor purchase.
Motion made by Steve Root and seconded by Bob Johnson to accept the 2013 Budget Comparison as presented by Clerk Arnold. Motion carried.
Plan Commission Chair Darryl Weber shared that there were not many new developments for the Plan Commission in 2013. There were minimal rezones and land divisions. The tree project on Netherwood was the largest project. The AT&T Cell Tower has been approved and will be installed as early as May or June in the Reindahl Stone, Inc. quarry located at 783 County Highway MM.
Park Committee Chairman Steve Root shared that there are two new members Al Miller and Jeff Nelson. There are two Eagle Scout Projects for 2014, exercise stations at Kennedy Park and trail improvements in the Bi-Centennial Park. In 2013 an enthusiastic group of parents in the Hillcrest Heights neighborhood approached the board with a playground improvement for Della Park. This tremendously organized group shopped, painted and installed used playground equipment complete with grass seeding. The Oregon
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April 15, 2014
pullers did work at the Kennedy Park and have committed to assisting with the Eagle Scout project exercise stations. Donated trees were planted in the Town Park.
Supervisor Phil Van Kampen was pleased to report that the Oregon Area Fire/EMS District is in an improved financial state than in past years. OAFED does have a couple of major purchases planned for 2014 for a new tanker/tender and a passenger vehicle. There has been no change in staffing. A potential merger between Fitchburg, Verona and Oregon has been put on hold due to some difficulties in Fitchburg.
Clerk Arnold swore in recently elected Town Board Supervisors, Phil Van Kampen and Steve Root for another two year term.
Motion made by Phil Van Kampen and seconded by Fred Clark to set the 2015 Town Annual Meeting for Tuesday April 21st at 7:00 pm.
Chair Weber acknowledged the great job done by Clerk Arnold and Deputy Clerk Hanson with elections this year. Weber also complimented the Public Works Employees Abel Schultz and Ryan Zurfluh for the great job maintaining road safety during such a difficult winter snow season. Weber reminded people that the TORC could use some more help if anyone knows of a good candidate.
Clerk Arnold shared that resident and former Board Member and Chairman of the Town of Oregon Dallas Christensen passed away at the age of 77 on January 28, 2014. Dallas had served on the board for 18 years and would have served longer had it not been for his accident. Clerk Arnold requested a moment of silence in honor of Dallas Christensen.
Motion made by Chris Johnson and seconded by Steve Root to adjourn the 2014 Annual Town Board Meeting at 8:30 pm. Motion carried.
Denise R. Arnold