Town of Oregon
Board Meeting Minutes
April 14, 2015
Chairman Darryl Weber called the April 14, 2015 Town Board Meeting to order at 6:30 pm with the following Town Board Supervisors present Wayne Ace, Fred Clark, Steve Root, Phil Van Kampen, Constable Gary Wackett, Assessor Andy Blomstrom and Clerk Denise Arnold. Absent: Treasurer Rhonda Christensen LaFlash.
Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Clark to approve the March 3, 2015 Town Board Meeting Minutes as presented. Motion carried.
Motion made by Root and seconded by Ace to accept the Financial Report as submitted by Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Jennifer Hanson. Motion carried.
There were no public comments therefore Chair Weber proceeded to the next item on the agenda.
Clerk Arnold shared email correspondence from Sara Kwitek of the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, Parks Division. Ms. Kwitek communicated that work was going to be done on the driveway and parking lot area of Anderson Farm Park. Supervisor Root informed everyone that the Friends of Anderson Park will be meeting on Wednesday April 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm.
Supervisor Van Kampen also serving as the Oregon Area Fire/EMS District (OAFED) Chairman reported that a new Fire Chief has been hired. Officially they should know if the candidate has accepted the position in the next few days. The new Chief will also respond to calls which will increase staff. The Commission has proposed to hire a new full time staffer officially July 1st of 2015. The fund balance for the OAFED is healthy right now at about $650,000 and do not want to drop below $400,000. The salary with benefits should not exceed over $30,000 to finish out the remainder of the year. According to hours worked they have lost 2 full time staffers and only replaced one of them. No vote was needed because of the fund balance the new full time salary can be handled. It is difficult to compete with the salaries offered in Madison. Supervisor Ace inquired about the fund balance since in the past the Town of Oregon had to take out a loan to support the OAFED. Van Kampen said the OAFED has been running very lean. Ace asked if this fund balance included equipment funds. Van Kampen said that all of the funds are combined. Loans would be used to purchase new equipment. The last ambulance was purchased in 2009 and the old one is a 1998. The new Chief expense was considered in the budget and will not affect the fund balance. The fund balance could be used as a down payment on new equipment.
Supervisor Clark reported on Belleville Fire and EMS. Clark reported that staffing problems are an issue. The Belleville Fire and Belleville EMS are separate of each other. They have hired legal counsel to determine if combining the two would be a benefit financially with the staffing issue. With one Chief funds could be saved. Clark thought that some kind of commitment should be established so that turnout gear is not purchased for a firefighter only to have them leave when a position in Madison is offered. If a firefighter leaves before that contract is up perhaps they would be responsible for some of that expense. May 17th, 2015 Belleville will be offering an open house, all the board is invited to this event.
Clerk Arnold instructed the Board that a financial report for the Brooklyn Fire/EMS had been placed in their informational binder for them to remove and review at another time.
Town of Oregon Board Meeting Minutes
April 14, 2015
Supervisor Root also Chairman of the Park Committee reported that they have held two meetings since the Town Board had met due to the election delaying the board meeting. Town Residents James and Kathleen Herman residing at 870 Jean Circle contacted Root regarding a diseased elm tree located on the park property line and hanging over onto their property. The Park Committee recommended the tree come down. Mr. Herman agreed to pay $175 of the $350 expense to have Nikolas Professional Tree Service remove the tree. Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Clark to pay the remaining $175.00 of the expense. Motion carried. Root needed to act on this situation in a timely fashion to insure the cooperation of the resident. A group of neighbors from Madsen Circle attended the Park Committee Meeting requesting the Town consider purchasing the small park area that Rita Kluever owns and is willing to sell. They would like park equipment upgrades. The current assessment is not accurate because a low value was placed on the property due to the owner’s willingness to share it with the public. Assessor Blomstrom has it assessed at wasteland rate. Some of the playground equipment is a liability and at best the rest needs work. The area is approximately 5.3 total acres on the two lots. The Park Committee would like to explore what the property is worth by obtaining an appraisal to proceed with a decision whether or not a purchase would be feasible. Blomstrom told Mrs. Kluever that the town would likely allow her an allowance for a buildable site at another location on her farm. Motion made by Root and seconded by Van Kampen to approve up to $500 toward a third party appraisal for the park area currently owned by Rita Kluever. Motion made by Root and seconded by Ace to approve up to $200 for materials to stain the gazebo located at the Oregon Town Hall. The labor would be provided by a volunteer group. Motion carried. Angela Lucas who is involved with Troop 50, her son was the Eagle Scout that was responsible for the exercise stations at the Kennedy Park. Mrs. Lucas requested permission for Troop 50 to replace the bench that was stolen at the BiCentennial Park. This would be done at no cost to the town. Motion made by Root and seconded by Van Kampen to grant Troop 50 permission to replace the bench and plaque honoring Scout Master Wollin at the BiCentennial Park. Motion carried.
Assessor Blomstrom shared a report that was prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue providing 2014 Assessment/Sales Ratio Analysis. Assessor Blomstrom provided his report last month. Blomstrom said that he is very close to being in compliance he is only slightly higher than Dane County. The 2015 assessment roll has been sent to Dane County. Some numbers did not show but they are on the Assessor’s computer so he is working on that. He is working on an audit report. The MFL numbers are off but he will fix that. Supervisor Root requested an update for the board’s benefit regarding the Foust property. Blomstrom was able to work with the homeowner and went to his home and assessed the property. The CRP land was reviewed and his assessment was increased somewhat. The lake is maintaining an agriculture status with a current fish farm license. The 8,000 square foot home was purchased in 2013 at a lower value than what the assessment is at 2015. Supervisor Root said that Assessor Blomstom had a report last month that had some inaccuracies and he was instructed to provide a corrected copy. Blomstrom said he forgot and will provide a copy next month.
Town of Oregon Board Meeting Minutes
April 14, 2015
Clerk Arnold reported that there were eight building permits applied for in the month of March 2015.
Constable Wackett reported 192 miles and 11 hours logged in March 2015 with one checked person, 11 park checks 8 verbal warnings. Most of the warnings were in regard to park hours.
Chair Weber shared that resident Pat Hermsen attended the last Plan Commission Meeting requesting to obtain a conservation easement for his property located in the Town of Oregon. He will have representatives from the Heritage Land Trust with him at the next Plan Commission Meeting.
Supervisor Ace reported that the Public Works have been patching roads and trimming brush. Ace and Public Works Employee Schultz checked the roads that needed the most work. Harding and possibly Forest Glen will need to be repaved and plans for seal coating are being considered. Clerk Arnold and Schultz will be working on bid submission before the next meeting.
Weber said that Sheldon Tachon is working on clearing brush. Ace shared that there was a fire that required the fire department started by a residents at the TORC.
Clerk Arnold reported that a bill had been received for the Town’s portion for the new carpet in the Oregon Senior Center in the amount of $1,276.00. Van Kampen shared that there have not been any meetings for the Senior Center.
The May Meeting future agenda items should include road bids and the continued review of the Ordinance Codification.
Chairman Weber addressed the Board Supervisors during board communications stating “I want to squelch a couple of rumors after the drama and false statements that were made yesterday under no circumstances will I been involved with the Town of Oregon Board in any capacities after next Tuesdays meeting.” (Tuesday April 21, 2015 Annual Town of Oregon Meeting).
Supervisor Van Kampen inquired about the Gray’s Inc. expense for $3,202 was for? That expense was for new plow blades installed on Public Works Employee Abel Schultz’s Town plow truck. Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Root to approve the March 2015 payment vouchers in the amount of $70,018.51. Motion carried.
Clerk Arnold reported that the roof is leaked a little during the last hard rain in the Town Hall. The Oregon Youth Center submitted a 1st quarter report of the number of youth involved, their activities and upcoming events. Director Diane Newlin expressed appreciation for the funds allocated to the center.
Motion made by Van Kampen and seconded by Clark to adjourn the April 21, 2015 Town Board Meeting at 7:30 pm. Motion carried.
Denise R. Arnold