1. Call to Order
The Village of Osceola met for a regular meeting on April 14, 2020 via remote video. President Jeromy Buberl called the meeting to order at 6:01 pm
Present: Buberl, Deb Rose, Travis Murphy, Van Burch, Tim Anderson, Bob Schmidt, and Bruce Gilliland
Staff present: Benjamin Krumenauer and Frances Duncanson
Others present: Beth Hanson, Germaine Ross, Steven Vold, Lisa Erickson, and Jordan Mederich
2. Approval of the Agenda
Motion by Burch and seconded by Gilliland to approve the agenda.
3. Approval of the Minutes
Motion by Schmidt and seconded by Anderson to approve of the minutes of: Regular meeting dated March 10, 2020 with the correction of the spelling of Dunham, Special meeting dated March 18, 2020, and Special meeting dated March 19, 2020
4. Public Input and Ideas
Public input and ideas (Limit 5 minutes per speaker): There were no public input or comments.
a) Staff Reports
i. Library-Rose-Reported the staff doing was doing well and morale was good. They are making plans for when things do reopen and have had such heavy ebook use it was unable to register it all.
ii. Fire-Tim Anderson-Nothing was received and there were no updates at this time.
iii. Building permits-Krumenauer- Eight permits have been issued year to date with four of those new homes.
iv. Administration-Krumenauer- Reported he is still working with potential buyers of Village properties for sale. There has not been much success in resolving the Learning Center issues with the Mill Pond Foundation and he will continue to keep working on this. Buberl thanked all who helped with elections.
v. Police-Schmidt-Reported it has been quiet with school and businesses shut down. The Dept. is looking for part time officers and there was a much appreciated local donation of PPE.
vi. Public Works-Van Burch-Reported the Dept. has been doing seasonal maintenance programs and training. Social distancing has let them do things like revamping storage and doing some street patching and sweeping. Equipment is being changed over from winter to summer. By state and local regulations playgrounds, parks and restrooms are closed. They are still doing park spring cleaning to be ready for when they can open. Public Works has been provided with cleaning agents for virus control and has no issues with shortages. In the Utility Dept. 9.3 million gallons of wastewater was treated. One of the pumps failed, a spare was used and a new one ordered. Valve and hydrant maintenance is underway and sewer maps have been updated to add manholes.
b) Chamber of Commerce/Mainstreet-Germaine Ross-Reported they are using Zoom for meetings. There was a survey for all local businesses COVID is affecting them. There were 51 responses and 50% stated they may have to close permanently within six months if this continues. 21 businesses reported they have not been affected. The main concern is loss of revenue, with many reporting by more than 75%. This data was supplied to State officials and decision makers. Burch asks about businesses receiving financial help and asked how can we save small businesses. Ross is helping to walk them through the application process for federal monies. Curbside for restaurants is working well. Buberl asks if large or small businesses are considering closing permanently. Ross replied would have to look at surveys. Anderson asked about purchasing gift cards.
6. Other business – discussion and possible action re:
a) Detachment request by Village properties on Jared Road
(Parcels 165-00342-0000,165-00458-0000,165-00458-0100, 165-00458-0001,165-00459-0000,165-00342-0200)
Buberl stated there were six properties in question and asked the conversation open from the property owners requesting to detach. Buberl asked them to state their case and facts, and to work through them slowly. Then Krumenauer will comment on the Village position and allow for further discussion.
Christopher and Martha Zant formerly of 2526 Jared Road stated they recently sold their house and the new owners were now residing there and that they would have no comments.
Steven Vold of 2525 Jared Road stated he had been there a couple years. Vold went on to comment they lived on a private road that they maintained themselves with no access to public utilities, yet they paid the fire hydrant charge on their tax bill. Vold expressed it seemed more logical to be in the township.
Jordan Mederich of 2531 Jared stated they had been here for three years and that it had been a journey on figuring out the rules. Mederich commented detachment was difficult for them to pitch as they need to give their reasoning on how it would benefit the Village to have them succeed. Mederich expressed that they get no benefits of maintenance, plowing, or utilities, that other Village residents receive. He feels this forces them to pay for something they don’t receive and understands they can’t use tax base as a reason to leave. He explained they have to go through the township to access their property. Their taxes are $6,000 a year although they can’t use that as an argument, they had no justification to stay. He felt it was accidental the road was left in the Village. They own their own sewer and septic and there is a $2,300 difference in tax cost between those down the road in township and what they pay and he was hoping to plead their case it was more appropriate for them to be in the township.
Beth Hansen of 2521 Jared Road stated they do not get the same amenities and services as others in the Village get. She went on to say she hope they had drove out to view the property and their reasoning was stated nicely in the paperwork and examples.
Village Administrator Krumenauer stated in fairness and openness they could speak about the different pieces of their argument including taxes and asked Mederich if he wanted to comment on taxes. Village President Buberl concurred.
Mederich stated they were on two lots and that they own a business in Osceola and loves the area with no desire to cause harm. They are paying almost $6,000 a year in taxes causing them a tremendous hardship. Mederich again stated taxes were not enough reason to succeed. Mederich expressed the lack of benefits from the Village amounts to $200 a month in additional costs and feels that as Town residents they would get the same benefits for less money. His taxes $2,300 a year more in the Village than in the Town. He stated neither the Town or Village will fix the road issue for them and they will never get the same services as other Village residents and he was pleading with the Board to allow them to go to the township.
Village Administrator Krumenauer gave a synopsis from the Village’s side. The initial conversation regarding detachment occurred late in 2019. The first calls about tax increases came from this area. Earlier in 2020 the official petition came in. The Village Board is allowing the petition to be reviewed. A decision may be made later, and if no decision is made it counts as a no. Krumenauer highlighted current and future land use plans pertaining to this area and noted it is consistent with future use and current use. There is a forested area on a gravel road that is not up to village code. It is near a creek running through a rural portion of the Village. Other properties that straddle the line are like Jared Road. Removing these properties would put Village in tough spot in regards to future growth. Town parcels need to be contiguous with other town properties. If detached, there is the potential of slivers of land that would be islands within the Town or Village. From a services perspective utility laterals are not funded through taxes. The properties in question are on private well and sewer as several other properties in the Village are. The tax bill charge called fire hydrant fee is for critical infrastructure for public fire protection for all residents and is proportional to value similar to taxes. If there is a fire, our Department taps in to the municipal system if possible as it is consistent and cleaner. Krumenauer reviews where the utilities currently are; they are not in that area but due to future growth or demand the Village may provide them. Utilities are not part of tax bill with the exception of hydrant rent.
Vold asked about further expansion of the Village border. Krumenauer stated the Village has sanded road in the past even if it is not in our jurisdiction but as a public safety issue for our police and fire. Vold asked for a structured approach, they could leave now, and come back in later when the Village grows and expands. Krumenauer spoke about boundary agreements with adjoining municipalities as a larger discussion with the Town, and cannot be rolled in to the detachment request now. Buberl asked if they had a homeowners type association for maintenance of the private road town they share. Vold responded there was not any interest in that and they had an informal agreement. Vold claimed they are double and triple paying more by remaining in the Village than the Town and paying for the roads maintenance themselves. Vold also claimed the School owns a small part of the road and has never paid for maintenance.
Krumenauer state the Village does provide police and fire protection. All taxes go to all services, that are sometimes forgotten like parks, public roadways, library, and other things and there were still some benefits out there for them. Krumenauer stated we were not going to debate if our services were better than the Towns and if detachment took place we would have to find revenues somewhere else. Town taxes are lower and Town services are less. This could lead to a slippery slope of detachment requests creating concern of about how we would move forward.
There were a number of questions from Board members. Anderson asked about bringing the road up to Village standards and who would bear the costs. Krumenauer responded that would be a discussion point for the Planning Commission and Board. Burch stated he doesn’t want the Village of lose smart growth planning and access to the east. Schmidt agreed with Krumenauer about smart growth and any road would need to be built to Village standards to consider acceptance. Schmidt stated he is not is favor of detachment. Buberl comments on claims of no services received and responded the Village does provide police and fire protection with a much quicker response than if they were under County and Town jurisdiction. Public Safety is the largest part of the Village budget and although you may not have had a need for them yet they will be there when needed. Buberl stated you knew the property was in the Village when you bought it and although he appreciates the questioning he does not agree with the statement the border is an arbitrary line.
Several resident spoke again. Mederich stated the detachment laws were there for a purpose for them to use and that there is no better case than theirs. One hundred feet down the down the road in the Town they get to keep $2,300 more of their personal income. Mederich implores Board to consider their case on a subjective and rational basis. Hansen claimed until recently she didn’t know she was in the Village and was told she was in the Township when she purchased the property. Hansen also commented on the disparity in taxes and said they would have a good case on appeal and the Village would not want to spend money on this.
Board member Gillilannd commented when homeowners bought the property they knew it was a private road and they can’t expect the public to take care of it. Differences in tax rates have been there from the beginning. Gilliland state the rest of the taxpayers would have to make up for the loss of tax revenue.
Board member Murphy stated the bigger cost of service would be maintaining the roads and they not getting that service. Beth Hansen stated future development and growth to that area is ridiculous. Rose disagreed. President Buberl stated taxes affect all of the board members too. Buberl stated the discussion had went on for over an hour. Gilliland asks for options. Krumenauer stated they could accept or not accept the petition to detach and that no action or motion is the same a no.
Motion by Burch to take no action on the petition tonight. The motion died for lack of a second.Motion by Schmidt seconded by Gilliland to reject the detachment request by the property owners on Jared Road and identified as (Parcels 165-00342-0000,165-00458-0000,165-00458-0100, 165-00458-0001,165-00459-0000,165-00342-0200)
Roll call vote: Ayes: Schmidt, Buberl, Gilliland, AndersonNays: Rose, Burch, Murphy Motion carried.
Rose stated she did not support detachment but would have preferred the Village take no action letting the petition die. Burch stated he agreed.
b) Resolution #20-07 Authorizing the Issuance and Establishing Parameters for the Sale of Not to Exceed $1,500,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes
BK per Village financial plan and to authorize Village staff to work with Baird to refinance the remaining debt.
Motion by Gilliland and seconded by Burch to approve Resolution #20-07 Authorizing the Issuance and Establishing Parameters for the Sale of Not to Exceed $1,500,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes
c) Resolution #20-08 Authorizing the Issuance of Not to Exceed $2,400,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes and Authorizing the Issuance and Establishing Parameters for the Sale of Not to Exceed $2,400,000 Note Anticipation Notes in Anticipation Thereof
Motion by Anderson and seconded by Rose to approve Resolution #20-08 Authorizing the Issuance of Not to Exceed $2,400,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes and Authorizing the Issuance and Establishing Parameters for the Sale of Not to Exceed $2,400,000 Note Anticipation Notes in Anticipation Thereof
d) Tax Increment District One and Two update and Resolution #20-09 Tax Incremental District 1 Termination
Motion by Rose and seconded by Gilliland to approve Tax Increment District One and Two updates including Resolution #20-09 “Tax Incremental District One Termination”.
e) Updates on COVID-19 and Village response/impact
Krumenauer gave an update on the Library and Village Hall closure as well as Park. The Board consensus was to continue these practices.
7. Permits and Licenses
i. Approving Change of Agent for Class “B” Beer and Class “C” Wine License
Pizza Cellar – 102 Second Avenue, Osceola, WI 54020
Motion by Schmidt and seconded by Anderson to approve the Change of Agent to Robert Brace for the Class “B” Beer and Class “C” Wine License at Pizza Cellar – 102 Second Avenue.
8. Board, Committee, Commission and Agency Reports
Motion by Rose and seconded Burch by to accept the following reports from Board, Committee, Commission and Agencies Reports:
a. July 24, 2019Historical Preservation Committee
b. December 16, 2019Police & Fire Committee
c. January 30, 2020Admin & Finance Committee
d. February 4, 2020Planning Commission
e. February 6, 2020Osceola Library Board
9. Financial update-Krumenauer
Krumenauer reviewed revenues and expenses and noted not all tax revenue was recorded. The Summary is a work in progress.
10. Approval of vouchers payable
Motion by Rose and seconded by Burch to approve the vouchers payable as listed.
11. Discussion of and action on any other appropriate items
Burch thanked Krumenauer and Duncanson for their work and coordination on elections. The Board thanked Travis Murphy for his service as Trustee and wished him the best. The Board then welcomed Joel West as Trustee. Buberl thanked the staff and all those helping to make things work in this crazy time.
The meeting was adjourned by Buberl at 8:33 p.m.
Frances Duncanson, MMC-WCPC