01/10/18 – Monthly Town Board Meeting Minutes

JANUARY 10, 2018

The Town of Spider Lake Board of Supervisors monthly meeting was called to order by Town Chair Hucker at 7:00 PM. Present were Hucker, McGuiness, Cerman, Huot, Clerk Ferda, Treasurer Overman and Fire Chief Nelson. Supervisor Brandt was absent.

Motion was made by Huot and 2nd by Cerman to amend the agenda by moving Item #12 (Action regarding issuance of a Conditional Use Permit to Sawyer County Forest Crop – American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation) to immediately following Item #7 (Year End Financial Report) All in favor. Motion carried.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Motion was made by Huot and 2nd by Cerman to approve the Town Board minutes of 12-13-17 and the Plan & Review Commission minutes of 12-6-17. All in favor. Motion carried.

Overman presented the Treasurer’s report. December 2017 receipts were $214,769.78 and expenditures were $63,321.03 leaving a balance of $781,311.39.

The vouchers were presented for payment. Motion to approve checks numbered #022665 through #022681 (including EFT checks) in the amount of $220,183.98 was made by McGuiness and 2nd by Huot. All in favor. Motion carried.

The 2017 year-end financial report was reviewed. Hucker noted that overtime wages was less than expected and a part-time road worker has not been hired yet. Most of the surplus has been applied to the 2018 budget.

On the recommendation of the Plan & Review Commission, a motion was made by Huot and 2nd by McGuiness to approve a conditional use permit to the Sawyer County Forest Crop and the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation subject to conditions (conditions attached). All in favor. Motion carried. The CUP is needed to remove the current trail head building and replace it with a new building at 12205W County Road OO.

After discussion, a motion was made by McGuiness and 2nd by Huot to approve an operator’s license for Kimberly Fleming. All in favor. Motion carried.

As both the Town of Spider Lake and the Town of Round Lake are in need of assistant fire chiefs, a Memorandum of Understanding has been drafted to allow for the Fire Chief of each respective department to serve as the assistant Fire Chief to the other department if needed. A motion was made by McGuiness and 2nd by Huot to authorize the Town Chair to sign the Memorandum of Agreement on behalf of the town. All in favor. Motion carried.

Hucker reported that there would be no discussion or action on amendments to the Citation Ordinance relating to short-term rentals because the amendments were not received from the town’s counsel. Hucker reviewed the Short-Term Rental Ordinance (#2018-01). He reported that a component of the state’s budget bill has changed the regulatory structure of short term rentals. The changes indicate that municipalities cannot prohibit short term rentals but municipalities can restrict short term rentals that are for less than seven consecutive days. Municipalities can also restrict the number of days for short term rentals in any given year to 180 consecutive days and by ordinance provide for the owner or the owner’s agent to provide the town with notice of the start date for the 180 consecutive days. Hucker stated that the ordinance allows for property owners to operate a short-term rental for ten nights or less each year without a license which would allow property owners to rent their homes for the Birkie ski event. The ordinance does not apply to resorts if the rental units are operated under a resort license. If not operated under a resort license, a short term rental license would be required at the state level as well as under the ordinance. Several property owners spoke in opposition to the ordinance. Comments included: the ordinance is too restrictive, it is another layer of regulation, it is redundant as the state already performs well inspections, septic inspections, etc., a public hearing should be held, the town board is just making up rules and not recognizing property owners viewpoints, why should property owners have to pay for two licenses, it will force property owners to sell their property, it will cause a loss of tourism, it is not enforceable – who will decide what is excessive noise, fumes, noise, glare, etc., it is a privacy violation, it will create a barrier to short-term rentals, it is vaguely stated and excessive, property owners already in compliance are being punished, limiting rentals to 180 consecutive days would mean rentals only during the winter season or summer season, which would cause a loss of business, it is a conflict of interest for the board to vote on the ordinance because three of the supervisors have short term rentals as neighbors, what will the $500.00 fee be used for, there are many short term events (Birkie, Pre-Birkie, Fat Tire, etc.) that would not necessitate a seven day rental. Two property owners spoke in favor of the ordinance and commended the town board for their efforts. In response to the comments, Hucker advised that enforcement of the ordinance could be accomplished by hiring someone to monitor the rentals and there would be no real estate tax increase as the license fees would cover the cost. Huot stated that there is a need for regulating short term rentals, but this ordinance is “chicken s___”. Cerman commented that if the ordinance could be amended if needed and was not set in concrete, he was in favor. Otherwise he would be opposed. A motion was made by Cerman and 2nd by McGuiness to adopt Ordinance #2018-01. Motion carried. 3 yes votes and 1 nay vote by Huot.

Discussion was held regarding the purchase of a computer and file cabinets so that the zoning administrator can transfer the town’s zoning records from his office to the town hall. The clerk and treasurer also need more storage. There may be room at Fire Station #2 to store old files for the clerk and treasurer.

Plan & Review Commission Report

Hucker reported that the request for registration of a nonconforming use as a short term rental by landowner’s John Parker and Linda Chandler was tabled. The land owner failed to establish the specific date the landowner received a state license in 2017.

Zoning Administrator Report – Hucker reported that Boss issued a few permits and that there were a couple of compliance issues.

A comprehensive plan cost proposal was received from NWRPC in the amount of $5,733.07 to update the town’s comprehensive plan. Motion was made by Huot and 2nd by McGuiness to authorize the Town Chair to proceed with the cost proposal. All in favor. Motion carried.

Committee Reports

Roads – McGuiness reported that all equipment is operating properly.

Regarding an update on the Town Hall Road Project, McGuiness reported that NWBE will be sending soil samples to a geological engineer for review and a conference call will be held to discuss the results.

Health & Safety – Fire Department Report – Fire Chief Nelson reported that a telephone has been installed at Fire Station #2 along with a temperature and water alarm. All equipment is working properly.

Hucker and Nelson reported on the County meeting regarding radio communications held on December 19, 2017. The town was advised to purchase a repeater to improve communications. Possible grant monies may be available. Hucker reported that the County communication system does not work as well as it was planned to work in part because the County apparently spent a lot less on the project than what the study indicated was required.

Regarding the 1-3-18 LEPC meeting, Hucker reported that the county is planning to have the water testing l program up and running next month. The County plans to be the agent for the state on short term rental inspections and staff hopes to move ahead on that as well.

The CWPP meeting is currently scheduled for 1-11-18 at 5:00 pm at the Spider Lake Town Hall, but due to the weather forecast, may be rescheduled to 1-16-18. The meeting between the Town of Round Lake and the Town of Spider Lake, regarding communications, must be postponed to a later date.

Cerman will contact Moberg Electric to repair the generator.

Insurance & Finance – Huot reported that after speaking with the town’s insurance agent, it was not necessary to increase the injunctive relief limits.

Clerk’s Report

Other Correspondence – A letter was received from the Birkie Foundation outlining road closures for the Birkie ski race to be held on February 23 and February 24, 2018. At the intersection of County OO and Pederson Road, motorists will only be able to turn east during the race.

Ferda reported that the domain rights for the town’s website have been transferred from Kyle Froese to the town.

A letter was received from the USFS announcing that the environmental assessment for the Black Torch project on the Great Divide Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is available for public comment. The documents are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47680.

Hucker will submit the Census BAS Boundary Survey for 2018. He noted that there have been no boundary changes in the town.

The final calculation for transportation aids was received for 2018 in the amount of $243,214.18.

Questions from Audience and Other Matters for Discussion Purposes Only

Bobbi Huot reiterated her concern regarding privacy issues in the short term rental ordinance. Hucker advised he would review the matter with counsel.

Motion to adjourn was made by Huot and 2nd by McGuiness. All in favor. Motion carried.

Christine Ferda
Town Clerk

Click the link below to download the minutes as a PDF