TOWN OF BLAINE
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Chairman Jessica Estridge called the June 15, 2021 monthly board meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.
Present were Chairman Jessica Estridge, Supervisor Josh Fornengo, Supervisor Bryan Holter, Clerk Charla Zaccardi, Treasurer Mona Velebir, Ron Gallagher, Ron and Sharon Proffit and Dori Willett.
Pledge of Allegiance
Clerk’s Report: Supervisor Josh Fornengo motioned to approve the May 18, 2021 meeting minutes. Supervisor Bryan Holter seconded. Motion approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Mona Velebir reported.
Expenses: Supervisor Josh Fornengo made a motion to approve payment of expenditures as submitted. Supervisor Bryan Holter seconded. Motion approved.
Citizen’s Input: None
1) Chairman Estridge shared a handout outlining new GTA funding updates. The GTA information is currently in legislation but still has to go thru the assembly and be signed by the Governor before there will possibly be a 2% GTA increase in 2022 and an additional 2% in 2023.
2) Chairman Estridge mentioned that Vern Drake submitted the FEMA project extension paperwork.
3) Chairman Estridge requested the phone number from Ron Proffit for possible light fixture replacements at the NCC in the future.
4) Potential Trail/Town Road Closures Due to Fire Danger:
The town board along with the Fire Chief are monitoring dryness levels, especially concerning the Barrens area. If the dry weather continues, the board may impose an emergency trail and town road closure to ATV/UTVs to prevent fires. If this happens, the town will notify the County and any businesses in the township that this will affect.
5) Fireworks Permit:
Due to the dryness, firework permits will only be issued on a conditional use. That being the town and/or Fire Chief has the ability to pull the permits if needed due to fire danger.
6) American Rescue/COVID 19 Relief Grant:
Clerk Zaccardi and Chairman Estridge will apply for the grant funds prior to the June 18th deadline. Chairman Estridge handed out information to the additional board members for review to determine town needs that would be eligible for the grant money use. We will add this topic to the next meeting’s agenda.
Road Equipment Update: Ron Gallagher reported that everything is good.
Road Condition Report: Ron Gallagher reported that he completed hand patching of paved roads today. Mowing will take place next week. Three culverts and No Parking signs will be picked up at Burnett County Highway Department tomorrow.
Northland Community Center: Woodland Wesleyan Church is in the process of negotiating a contract for their use of the NCC. Clerk Zaccardi will update the NCC User Agreement and Liability Statement for NCC rentals.
Upcoming events are noted below:
June 25/26 Sandstrom Table and Chair Rental
July 3 Gomulak (private) NCC Rental
July 31 Ellwein Celebration of Life
October 16, 2021 DOVR fundraiser
Waste & Recycle Transfer Station: Now open Wed, 4-7 PM, Sat, 10 AM to 2 PM and Sunday, 11 AM to 3 PM.
1) A bid from Custom Design Painting and Drywall, Danbury, WI for interior and exterior painting of the NCC was opened. Supervisor Josh Fornengo motioned to approve the bid from Custom Design Painting and Drywall under the provision we may not polyurethane the beams. Supervisor Bryan Holter seconded. Motion approved.
2) The annual road inspection was held on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Discussion continued about long term road improvements. Beaver trapping has been put on hold. It was noted the State of Wisconsin has a program developed at a flat rate fee for beaver trapping. The board will look into this program further.
3) The residents from McGraw Road that were present, did not approve of closing McGraw Road from the trailhead to Perkins which would force ATVs/UTVs to use the trail vs the town road, due to the fact that it would close to residents also. Chairman Estridge suggested lowering the speed limit of the actual road to a lower vehicular MPH which would provide opportunities for more enforcement and potentially reduce the number of speeding units on the road. For this to become an option, all residents who live on the road in question would need to agree to apply to lower the speed limit. It is also recommended to contact the Club as they are in charge of posting speed limit signs for the ATV/UTVs if the road/trail is not currently posted.
Several techniques are currently being trialed throughout the township and county, including the purchase and placement of large reflective signs (by Turf and Tundra Club) warning of road use closures if damage continues. These signs are being placed along the trails, at trails head and at local businesses around the county in an attempt to get the education out and reduce offenders. Burnett Co Recreation Officer Chafer has educated that 911/dispatch is the best number to call in violators as there is less of a delay than reporting over the online hotline. Chairman Estridge has also compiled a list of top problem areas to provide to Officer Chafer so he can include those in his patrol, though it isn't very often he isn't being dispatched somewhere. Additionally, Turf and Tundra club is promoting and encouraging residents and others to join the Trail Ambassador Program which would increase the presence of "officials" on the trails. Ambassadors cannot issue tickets, nor initiate confrontations, but they are able to take pictures and record plate numbers, descriptions, etc to turn in to authorities. They also are out there to provide education to those who may not know the rules or that they are breaking rules.
There is also legislation being pushed through (or trying to) to allow the townships to recoup finances thru trail pass and other sales involving recreational vehicles, this all takes time as does most things in government.
The Town Board at this time is going to continue to monitor ATV/UTV usage on the town roads to determine if the effects of the above solutions reduce violations and increase safety. Due to the pandemic winding down, there being more cities and counties open to riders, we expect a drop in numbers but with the amount of those who have become permanent residents this year also, the numbers may balance out and we may still continue to see unprecedented numbers.
Chairman Estridge was told at a County and State level meeting that there is legislation being pushed through in an attempt to allow an increase in the size and weight of machines allowed on the trails. This would be very detrimental to our road and trail systems. We encourage you to reach out to your Senators, Representatives and Assemblyman to speak your opinion on this issue.
5) Liquor license applications for McGraw Lake Tavern and Hillside Inn were received and reviewed. Supervisor Josh Fornengo made a motion to approve the liquor licenses from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Supervisor Bryan Holter seconded. Motion approved.
ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON THE JULY AGENDA:
Assess road spending
ARPA COVID19 Relief Grant
Agenda items due Friday before each meeting.
Supervisor Fornengo made a motion to adjourn at 8:45 pm. Supervisor Holter seconded. Motion passed. Meeting was adjourned.
Charla Zaccardi, Clerk
Signed and dated this 15th day of June, 2021
Jessica Estridge, Chairman