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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Stephenson Town Board To Meet Jan. 20 On Referendum, Raises

Issue Date: January 20, 2022

Among other issues to be handled at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, the Stephenson Town Board will finalize plans for an April 5 referendum to allow them to temporarily increase the property tax levy above the limit otherwise allowed by state law, and possibly act on raises for the Superintendent of Public Works and other town employees.

Also on the agenda are action on an airport hangar contract for Mark Shaffer, an event permit for Lakeside, permission for Joy Riders Snowmobile Club to cross land, and a final budget amendment for 2021.

The board will go into closed session to discuss the wage raises, and then likely act on them after returning to open session. Discussion on the levy referendum is the last item on the agenda.

Supervisor Andrew Rogers has been working on wording and other legalities involved with the referendum vote. At the regular monthly board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12, Rogers had said he has most of the information needed, but would need a special meeting to finalize things. Clerk Elaine Olson noted the referendum question, with actual wording, must be submitted to the County Clerk by Monday, Jan. 24 if it is to be on the April 5 ballots. Later the special meeting was scheduled for Jan. 20.

In other business at the regular meeting on Jan. 12, the board was told there had been two applications received for the Animal Control position. After reviewing them, Supervisor Jim Stradal moved to hire Michael Stueck, and that motion was approved without dissent.

Board members present in addition to Stradl and Rogers were Town Chair Mike Kudick and Supervisors Jeff Franzmeier and Jeff Lieuwen. Also present were Treasurer Mary Jane Kempka, Clerk Olson, and 10 members of the public.

After an explanation by Lieuwen the board approved a motion to allow parking of snowmobile trailers in the town park parking lot, near the ski beach at Boat Landing 3 in the winter.

Lieuwen had explained that Craig Baeten, director of Public Works, had plowed the parking lot for use by ice fishermen, and it was used without posting by several snowmobile trailers. Lieuwen said one of the snowmobile clubs has now asked for permission to post it as an approved parking spot for snowmobile trailers. He said Baeten has no problem with that request. After very brief discussion the town board agreed they had no issues with it either, and vote to approve the request to use the parking lot during the winter months was approved without dissent.

The board approved event permits for Twin Bridge Ski Team, Inc. for the Radar Runs on Saturday Jan. 22 and the Fish-o-Rama on Saturday, Feb. 12. They also approved Class B temporary liquor licenses for Twin Bridge Ski Team, Inc. for the Feb. 12 Fish-o-Rama and July 2 fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July (with a rain date of July 9). The fireworks permit was also approved.

Olson wondered if the clubs obtaining liquor licenses knew they had to have at least one licensed operator on site when beer was being sold. Lieuwen assured her that was covered.

Clerk Olson had received a letter of engagement from CLA, LLP for the town audit for 2021. Olson said the auditors send them the letter every year. The price had gone up again this year, but not as much as last year, Olson commented. this year's increase was about $120. Last year the price had one up by $460. Copies of the letter had been forwarded to all board members, and later in the meeting it was approved without dissent.

Minutes of the December 8, 2021 Regular Board meeting and a Special Board meeting on Dec. 29 were approved. At the Dec. 29 special meeting the board had discussed the wage raises for public works employees and superintendent, but decided they needed more information on cost of living increases before proceeding with a decision. They did agree to inform the Teamsters Union that the pay increases that are eventually approved would be retroactive to Jan. 1.

Also at the Dec. 29 meeting Crivitz Rescue Squad and Twin Bridge Rescue Squad contracts for 2022 were approved. Prior to the vote, there had been some discussion on Twin Bridge Rescue Squad being able to perform the duties of the contract. The board was advised some things were being worked on to get and maintain personnel, and until then, the squad would work with other departments on staffing shortages.

Department reports were given for Fire by Chief Jim Stradal, Public Works and Recycling by Superintendent of Public Works Craig Baeten, and Building Inspector Jane Meissner. Canine and Code Enforcer had no reports.

Hugh Guy Land Surveyor presented a survey for Nicholas and Alyssa Aerts, for two lots described as lot 22 and part of lot 23 in Eagle Lake Subdivision, with ingress and egress to Eagle Lake Road. The survey was approved as presented.

Treasurer Kempka's financial report showed as of December 31, town balances were Stephenson National Bank General Fund, $14,389.27; Nicolet Bank Tax Money Market, $502,484.06; LGIF #1 Operating Account, $480,117.06; LGIF #2 ?? 2% Account, $30,608.94; LGIF #3 Depreciation Account, $1,073,214.67; LGIF #4 Tax Account, $2,222,231.44, and LGIF #5 ?? ARPA Account, $22,370.68. The report was accepted and vouchers, payroll charges, and EFT payments were approved as presented.












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