OF FEBRUARY 12, 2004



Chairman Gene Ratzel called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.


Ratzel read the February Agenda as follows:


Call the meeting to order

Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

Approve the February Agenda

Approve the Minutes of the last Regular Board Meeting

Treasurer’s Report

Vouchers Approval

Clerk / Correspondence

Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease

Zoning-1. Flora Oberholtzer-Operate a home-based small engine, mostly marine repair, business and boat storage; request two on-premise signs and two off-premise signs. (Postponed from January 2004 meeting)

Appointed Clerk and Appointed Treasurer- Set a date for voter forum on this issue

Universal Dwelling Code-Board to act on Department of Commerce request

Web Site Issues-Potential packages and costs

New Doors for the Town Hall

Fire Department-New member

Public Comment Session-5 minutes for those not on the agenda

Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee-Updates

Centennial Committee-Updates

BADC (Barnes Area Development Corporation)-Updates

Department Head Reports

Board Member Reports

Motion (Chermack / Scharlau) to approve the February agenda. Motion carried.


Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve the Minutes of the Last Regular Board Meeting. Motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report- Treasurer Debbie Sesko gave the Treasurer’s Report as follows:

                Checking Balance from last meeting                                 $          208,303.78

Receipts # 15986- # 15999                                                               $            41,785.58

Checks # 17499- #17585                                                                 $          (34,183.15)

January EFTPS (Federal Payments)                                                 $             (3,803.01)

January Interest                                                                              $                   92.04

January Service Charge                                                                   $                  (16.30)

Voided Checks Per Board Approval  01-20-04                                  $                   41.35

                 Checking Balance                                                          $          212,220.29

Ambulance Department Investment Fund                                         $               1,812.17

Highway Department Sinking Fund                                                   $            70,295.83

BES Sinking Fund                                                                            $              7,715.09

Park Savings                                                                                   $              8,214.65

Ski Trail Fund                                                                                  $                 181.18

Parade-Event calendar Fund-Receipt # 15995 $50.00                        $              2,402.97

                 Balance all Accounts                                                      $          302,842.18

Motion (Scharlau / Meinke) to approve the Treasurer’s report as presented. Motion carried.


Motion (Chermack / Ratzel) to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.


Clerk / Correspondence-

  1. Letter from Forest County Potawatomi Community urging all people to contact their representatives for the State of Wisconsin on Madison to ask them why they would want to jeopardize the funding for tax relief by eliminating Indian Gaming.
  2. The DNR has sent a check for MFC and FCL taxes for $603.42. The town owes the county 20% of this amount.
  3. Wisconsin Department of Administration has sent the payment for municipal services (PMS Aids). This is for services Barnes provides for state owned facilities such as the DNR.
  4. Everyone is reminded that Tuesday February 17, 2004 is the Primary Election Day. There will only be a ballot for Presidential Preference. The polls will be open from 8:00AM to 8:00PM. All absentee ballots must be returned to the clerk by the time the polls close on Tuesday at 8:00PM. Any votes received after that time will not be accepted.


Cemetery Committee-Bud Pease reported that Elmer Wolter was interred on January 26th. All is OK. There was no other activity. Pease reported that the town has 260 gravesites in the cemetery. Of these, 66 are veteran’s graves. There is supposed to be some sort of aid for perpetual care, money from the county for these veteran’s graves. Our expenses are usually for mowing and upkeep. Meinke said that this is a little known program, but it would be worth looking into. The cost could be found by dividing the number of gravesites into the costs. The clerk has a record of what is done at the cemetery and the costs involved. Webb asked if there was a form for this. Meinke said we could ask the county about that and that he would follow through on it.


Ambulance Department Report- (Viola Friermood asked to be allowed to give her report at this time)

Friermood reported that they had two runs since the last meeting-one was to Hayward and one was to Duluth. Four EMT’s in the Ambulance Department went to Milwaukee for the EMS Conference. Four First Responders went to Iron River for a refresher course. There are two new First Responders-John Prohaska and Sherrie Craft. They are both currently on the Town of Highland Department, but want to be a part of Barnes’ department also. There was discussion if there should be a formal acceptance of the new members as Tom Renz does with the Fire Department new members. There would be a motion to these appointments at the next board meeting. Friermood reported that the Ambulance Department had purchased a new cot at the Milwaukee Conference. The cost was $6,700.00 compared to a normal cost of about $7,500.00. They also purchased a new Germavac (vacuum mattress) for about $500.00. The old one has been missing for a while and efforts to locate it at area hospitals have been unsuccessful so far. Cheryl Drallmeier donated the original one in memory of her son. The clerk needs the value of this so she can report it to the insurance company. The clerk will also report the loss of a radio that was dropped into the water and a pager that was lost. There was discussion on the radio inventory list. Gene Miller has been compiling a list off all town radios. Viola will check the list as well for the correctness of this inventory. Some of the radios have been given to the Fire Department from the Ambulance Department. We need an updated inventory for insurance purposes.


Zoning- The request by Flora Oberholtzer for a small home-based engine repair business was discussed. This was postponed from the January meeting so that the board could question the Oberholtzers on what they would be doing. Chermack had several question:

  1. How high are the walls on the building? Oberholtzer said the walls would be 8’ on the 27’ side and 14’ on the rest.
  2. The “Northwood’s Look” should be maintained. What kind of siding and roof will there be? The building will be a steel building, brown in color with a roof that will blend in with the woods.
  3. For the boat storage, how will this be done? Will the boats be shrink-wrapped? The boats will be shrink-wrapped and stored outside.
  4. When bringing boats in for repair, will the motor be kept on the boat or what will be done. The small motors can be removed, but the larger one would have to remain on the boat. Mr. Oberholtzer plans to have a mobile service where he would go to the boat also.

Mr. Oberholtzer indicated that he would be a Certified Technician. There was discussion as to any hazardous materials that might be kept in the building.  OSHA requirements would be observed. Ratzel asked if there would be a fence or other barriers. There would be landscaping done to the property. There was discussion as to neighbors and any concerns they may have. Oberholtzer said that the nearest neighbor is 8 acres away and that Oberholtzer has obtained the house next to this. There was a question if he had gotten a permit to have a business there. Yes he has gotten the permit from the county. The neighbors do not have any objections. The business will not be operational for a while, as there are things that have to be done first. Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to approve the request for Oberholtzer for a small home-based, mostly marine repair, business on West Idlewild Lake Road with the following recommendations: 1. To have the technicians send a report to the board on the business in a year and 2. To have the board revisit the site after a year to see if everything is going as planned. Motion carried. The board members and the clerk signed the request and the clerk will send it back to zoning. The signs just have to conform to the county zoning ordinances.


Appointed Clerk and Appointed Treasurer- The clerk spoke on having a voter forum to inform the people of what this process entails and why the town board is asking for this change and the benefits to the town. The date will be Monday March 22, 2004. (Time change will be announced). There will be a notice in the Shopper. The WTA will be contacted to see about a guest speaker. This issue will be a referendum on the April 6, 2004 ballot.


Universal Dwelling Code- The board discussed the request from the State Department of Commerce to make a decision on what it will do on the issue of the Uniform Dwelling Code enforcement and inspections.  This is to be implemented by September 2004. Motion (Webb / Meinke) to do nothing The County has indicated that it cannot supply the manpower to do the inspections and it would be expensive for the town to have its own program. The other option is to do nothing and the state would handle the inspections with the costs most likely going to the contractors or homeowners. The town could go in with other towns, but there is nothing in the works at this time. Motion carried. The clerk will return the statement to the Department of Commerce.


Web Site Issues- Ratzel said he had met with Gene Miller, Dave Thorson and Paul LaLiberte on this issue several weeks ago. Miller had a proposal from his son’s business that will be looked at, but the cost could be a factor. The site has to be user friendly as well as relatively inexpensive. LaLiberte was going to get back to Raztel with a proposal, but so far has not gotten back to him. Thorson is working with us and will go whichever way we go. Ratzel said he had a list of sites to look at. Webb asked for the list to be sent to her via e-mail. The state has a setup, but Ratzel said it was a “cookie cutter” type. The board needs more information on this issue soon, as many items should be available on the web site. This issue will be postponed until there is more information. The other board members want the e-mail list of sites also.


New Doors for Town Hall- Ratzel spoke on the need for new interior double doors in the main hall entrance. The furnace runs continually in the cold weather. Menard’s has doors that will do the job for about $477.00 plus some additional hardware expenses. The door will open the same way as it does now and will be insulated. Motion (Meinke / Scharlau) to purchase the replacement inner doors for the town hall at about an approximate cost of $600.00. A roll call vote was taken: Scharlau, yes; Chermack, yes; Meinke, yes; Webb, yes and Ratzel, yes. Motion carried. The garage crew will get the doors from Menard’s and will install them. There was discussion on the locks on the outside door, as the lock system is not very good. This will be discussed at a future meeting.



Fire Department- New member Sherrie Craft was approved by the board. She will also be a First Responder on the Ambulance Department. She is on the Town of Highland Fire Department now and has the initial training according to Fire Chief Renz. She lives near Rocky Lake. Motion (Webb / Scharlau) to approve Sherrie Craft as a new member of the Fire Department. Motion carried. There was discussion that she only be issued one radio, even though she would be on both departments.


Public Comment Session- Leslie Hall read a letter to the board on her opposition to making County Highway N a 12-month road. She cited pollution factors for noise and air quality, as well as an increase in semi truck traffic with the industrial park. Meinke said that this is why people need to come to the BADC and other meetings so that they can be intelligently informed about these issues. The industrial site is now being called a business and light industry park. Webb asked if the board would have to OK any businesses that would come in. Ratzel said that it was not a requirement. Webb thought that it should be. The park needs infrastructure and the BADC is working to get that in place. County N is used 10 months out of the year now and having it a 12-month road would not create that much more traffic than it has now. There would be no increase in the width of the road according to Dale Brevak, Bayfield County Highway Commissioner, so there would be no need to remove trees. A turn lane is also a possibility and that would actually make it safer.  Ingemar Ekstrom spoke on the beautification of the town in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration. He had several questions for the board. Does the town have an ordinance to get rid of “junk”? This is an opportunity to give attention to this. Also there could be ways to promote competition for the beautification through the local businesses. Webb said that we do have ordinances for public and private property littering, but they are hard to enforce. Call the county if you have a problem that could be a health hazard.  Webb also said that the county would be having 2 cleanup campaigns for Waste Clean Sweep.


Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee- Dave Pease gave an update on the progress of the committee. He said that the Citizens Advisory meeting would be held on February 18, 2004.  The Advisory Committee would be a sounding board. The results of the survey are completed and will be brought to the meeting on the 18th. 


Centennial Celebration Committee- The clerk reported that the committee is going along good. Judi Scholz should be back in town for the meeting that is to be held on Thursday the 19th. Anyone who has information on the history of Barnes is encouraged to contact one of the members of the committee.


BADC-Updates. Ratzel reported that nothing has happened since the last town board meeting. There is a meeting pending for a week from this Thursday.


Department Head Reports-

 (The Ambulance Department Report was given earlier.)

Fire Department-The Fire Department had no report for the meeting.

Constable Report-Mike O’Keefe gave the following report: He had 16 calls since the last meeting. There were 4 home alarms, 4 to assist motorists, 1 deer hit and 5 ATV /snowmobile incidents. O’Keefe mentioned that he does cabin watches for people that are gone as part of being the constable. If you want him to check on your property, please contact him. There was 1 lock out of a car.

Garage Report- Len Schiller gave the following report: The crew has been doing the regular winter road maintenance and driveway plowing since the last meeting. Nortrax had to repair the John Deere Loader. The fuel pressure diaphragm and the fuel pump had to be replaced. It was expensive, but it is good now.  The hydraulic jack that was put in the budget was purchased and has arrived. One of the plows had to be welded by Red Mundle. He still has a little work to do on it, but it is usable. JayEn Communications is going to install the base station. Arch Heating is doing the new thermostats. These are programmable so the heat can be lowered at times such as over the weekend or at night. Schiller had 2 requests of the board. He would like to purchase an industrial battery charger. The one that the department has now is like a residential one like

the one you would have at home. It isn’t powerful enough for the shop’s uses. The cost on this would be between $500.00 and $550.00. He also would like to purchase a new pressure washer. The one that the Fire Department has isn’t a heavy duty one and can’t be used for the big equipment at the garage. This would run between $500.00 to $600.00. Schiller said that there would be money left in the budget, as the cost of the thermostats was not as much as planned and the fan money was still available. Webb said that the figures would have to be looked at to see what is left in the budget. DJ&J Services would have definite figures on it. The town needs more salt and sand mixture. It is just about gone. The supplies are low in the area, but Schiller is looking to see what he can get. There was discussion on putting more sand or salt and sand mix on the bad areas of town roads to help prevent accidents. Webb said that this is a safety issue. There have been complaints on the slippery road conditions. The graders could plow closer to the surface, but that would wear out the blades at a fast rate and they are expensive. The loader and truck cannot do the job that the graders can. The first storm left icing on the roadway that is still there.  Schiller said that the crew could do a better job on the roads if they didn’t have to bother with the driveways. Meinke said that more people should go to the road seminars to see how to take care of the roads. We are doing a pretty good job compared to some other towns though. He said that this had been an unusual winter. Chermack said that she had received compliments on 2 roads in town-Witch’s Bay Road and Lake Road. The roads have never been done as good as they have been done this year. Chermack also asked about the pump house problem that was brought up at last month’s meeting. Schiller said that it has been taken care of. The cost should be split between the recreation and fire departments. The heat was evidently never turned on after the summer. Since Henry was gone, no one thought about it. Schiller said he would keep an eye on it. The town has not gotten the bill for this repair work yet. The pump house building repair issues will have to be taken up at another time.


Board Member Reports-Dixie Chermack-Chermack asked about the DSL line and if it had been installed. Webb said that she had looked at our lines into the town to see where we could cut some of them. There was some discussion on the technical aspects of the DSL between Webb and Ratzel. Webb still has to do some investigating. There was a discussion on the various costs involved. It might be better to go with a DSL line in the garage also as it is site specific. Webb said that we have 10 numbers into the town now. The 2300 and 2400 for the Ambulance will go away after 911 comes in this summer. Webb said that one of the fax lines could be a team line that costs $2.50 a month-it would have a distinctive ring. Webb said that we could have the other unneeded lines taken off. It would cost $190.90 to get DSL in two spots, but by disconnecting those other lines, it would be getting rid of $90.00 or a difference of $15.00 more. Ratzel said that this was after the initial installation costs. Webb said she would have to some refiguring before a decision could be made.  This will be on the March agenda. The clerk noted that DSL would be required for the new Voter Registration. Chermack said she had contacted the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department about their used squad cars to see if we could get one for the constable. Their department said that they use some of the vehicles as trade-ins, some they sell outright and some of the cars will be auctioned off come August or September. Chermack noted the letter that was received by all of the board members from Marilee Ludgatis in response to the survey. Chermack said that Marilee had some very good points in the letter. The town should be more active. The businesses should work together. The town could have a community Christmas tree with a lighting ceremony and it could beautify the area. Chermack said that this is now a good time to promote the town with the upcoming Centennial Celebration.  There could be banners and flowers planted. The businesses could help in this. The town could approach the Garden Club to see if they could help in this effort. The board could do its share. This will be deferred to a warmer time. We need to get some volunteers. Chermack said the some of CLUP Citizens Advisory Board could take up this cause. Is the town board going to its part, at least for the banners? We need to work together on this. Webb said that Chermack should be on a committee to do this. The Centennial Committee could be involved. Meinke said that there is money set aside for things like this. Scharlau said that the Conservation Club might be a source of help.

Dave Scharlau- Scharlau reported on the cost of a 40- yard, 20’ open top roll off, if we go with Bob Walters for our scrap. This would be $3,145.00 from Nedlund Corporation out of Ridgeland, WI. We have to determine if this is a good deal or not. It isn’t in the budget anyway.

Chris Webb- Webb had 2 small items. The Town Board of Barnes will be invited to a group town meeting with the Towns of Drummond, Cable, Grandview and Namekagon. They get together every three months or so to talk about things they can do together and what they could share costs on-sharing ideas on what each of them do. Our board has been invited in the past, but did not attend. She would like to see the town participate in this meeting to see how we could share services, etc. Webb said that she had taken the ordinances home after the meeting on Monday and had sorted them out somewhat. We need to sort and label under categories. In looking at what other towns did, the way to go is to have chapters and then number the ordinances in those chapters. We need to meet with the attorney on the ordinances. We need to consolidate some of them and repeal others. Webb said that we might end up with 23 ordinances from the 119 that we started with. Some need updating and combining. Webb will e-mail the results to the other board members.

Jack Meinke-Meinke said he was looking into the cutting of the town timber. He wants to go over the parcels with Gene. A lot of the parcels had been logged off about 6 years ago or so. There are some parcels left that have to be looked at. Dick Smith said that he would be willing to go over this with Meinke. If there are areas that need to cut, they could be done when Dick gets his cut. Meinke did not know what the storm damaged areas would be like as far as values. Other than that he had nothing else to add except to thank everyone remembering the meeting date change and coming out.

Gene Ratzel- Ratzel said that the Employee Handbook had been approved at the Monday night meeting and that two representatives from the board would meet with the employees on this. There has been some positive feedback for the road crew. Residents are reminded to call on road problems for salt and sanding if they see a need for it. The people have to learn to slow down on the roads though.


Motion (Scharlau / Webb) to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:50PM


Members of the board in attendance: Chairman Gene Ratzel, Supervisors Chris Webb, Jack Meinke, Dave Scharlau and Dixie Chermack. Also present were the Treasurer Debbie Sesko and Clerk Lu Peet.

Department and Committee heads present were Ambulance Director Viola Friermood, Constable Mike O’Keefe, Cemetery Sexton Bud Pease, Garage Foreman Len Schiller and CLUPC Chairman Dave Pease.

Absent: Fire Chief Tom Renz (Work)

Members of the community present: Rick Oberholtzer, Donna S. Porter, Lee Kuehling, Alice Kuehling, Gerald Gustafson, Marcia Wellnitz, Leigh Jordahl, Leslie Hall, Ingemar Ekstrom and Dick Collyard. There may have been others in attendance not noted or signed in.



Respectfully submitted,


Lucille J. Peet

Barnes Town Clerk

Dated this 16th day of February 2004