OF APRIL 8, 2008


Chairman Dick Collyard called the meeting to order at 7:00PM.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said.  Collyard asked for a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the last Annual meeting. Motion(David Pease/Ron Clark ) to dispense with the reading of the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of April 12, 2007.

Clerk-Treasurer Elaine Brustad read the results of the Spring Election:


                                                                JACK MEINKE                                      121

                                                                MITCH MCGEE                                    114

                                                                LESLIE HALL                                          2            

                                                                GARY ROMSTAD                     2                                         

                                                                MIKE BOSE                                             1           

                                                                BARB ROMSTAD                    1         

                                                                RITA JOHNSON                                      1         

                                                                JOE BOO                                                   1         

                                                                RON PEARSON                                      1

                                                                GENE RATZEL                                        1

                                                                BUD PEASE                                            1

                                                                KEN WILK                                                1         



Dick Collyard announced the new members of the Board elected: Jack Meinke as Supervisor, and Mitch McGee as Supervisor.

Town Audit - Dick Collyard read parts of  the prepared audit by Lutz and Bohl to the audience.  He stated he had met with Lynn Lutz and gone over the audit with her so that she didn’t have to come to the meeting this evening.  We received $3,180.00 more than we anticipated and ended up with a cash balance over of $7,803.00 for the year.  He said everything looked good with the financial statements,  and mainly because of Elaine Brustad, and wanted to thank her for such a good job.  The cash balance at the end of the year of $501,839.00 was a healthy balance according to the auditor as we should have between 30% and 50% of our operating budget at all times in cash.  Collyard asked if there were any questions.  Viola Friermood asked why we didn’t give out copies of the year end statements for anyone to review.  Clerk-Treasurer Brustad said they were available to anyone who wanted to see them and she could start doing that next year if everyone wanted.  Ron Pearson asked if it were possible to put that on the website. Brustad agreed that would be good to get it on the website and could do it with no problem.  Collyard asked if there were any other questions on the audit.  There were none. He then asked for a motion to approve the audit.  Motion (Joe Pence/Lee Wiesner) to approve the 2007 Annual Report as presented.


Chairman’s report  Collyard said the past year a Helipad was constructed in the Industrial Park which was paid for by Tom O’Brien, a local land owner here in Barnes.  It has been used already a few times, and just needs a windsock put up which will be done soon. 

Another event that has been started is the Vet’s Clinic held at the Fire Hall each year.   It was held in March this year and he heard from some it would be better if held later in the year so will try to have her do that for next year.  She gives vaccinations to dogs or cats,  as well as exams if needed. 

Some of the grants we received last year were a DNR grant that Colin Nowaczyk from the DNR got for us to clear brush on more roads.  We received a TRIP grant for $51,000.00 to help us with the Island Lake Road project, and the Milfoil project grant for $75,000.00 to treat Tomahawk Lake. 

And thanks to Jack Meinke’s work we received $19,300.00 from the clearing of trees on our properties.  That money has been set aside for the Town Complex.  Meinke said they were not done yet, there were a few areas yet that will be cut as needed. 

Collyard wanted to touch on variance approvals mainly because of the last meeting and people didn’t quite understand the process.  Since the Comprehensive Land Use Plan was adopted these request go to the Plan Commission first for their review.  If it complies with the Land Use Plan, then they recommend approval to the Board.  The Board then will make a recommendation to the County for either approval or denial.  It is only a recommendation; the County has final say on each thing that comes up.

Finally, Collyard wanted to explain the reason for creating the Town Complex Committee.  Four or five years ago a survey was sent out by the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee with various questions on what people wanted in our community.  From of the responses of that survey there was a number of people who felt we needed a community center in our community.  This was brought up again last year and at last year’s Annual meeting a Resolution was introduced and passed to put the earnings from the clearing of trees on our property into an account towards the Community Center.  Then the Board created a committee to study the feasibility of this.  The committee has been working on this for almost a year now and at the last Board meeting presented their findings.  So this committee wasn’t started because I thought we needed a new town hall or that Elaine wanted a new office, it was because of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan survey that came out 4 or 5 years ago. 


Treasurer’s Report Clerk-Treasurer Brustad read her annual report:

General Fund Balance from last meeting









Transfers of funds from Money Market









Interest Earned and service charges


















Money Market Balance from last meeting









Checks written





Interest Earned and Service charges



Transfer of funds to General Fund



















Sub account balances:




General Funds Savings




Highway Dept. Sinking Fund




BES Sinking Fund





Park Savings





Ski Trail Savings





Parade-Event-Calendar Fund




Town Complex Fund





ACT 102 Funds
















Motion(Gordon Lund/Dean Peet) to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.


Annual Highway Department Report Collyard introduced Jerry Witt, Town Road Foreman to the audience.  Last year major road projects included reconstruction of Island Lake Road and the Hall/Kaufman roads.  Also 7.5 miles of right-of-way were cleared with the mitigation funds.  2 major projects planned for 2008 will be the blacktop and shouldering of Island Lake road, and reconstruction of Martin Road.  The east side wing walls on the bridge on South Shore road will be fixed this year and the sinking road bed on the river road bridge will be addressed.  The heaving concrete on the Upper lake landing will be fixed at ice out.  We have failed pilings on our Upper lake/Birch lake channel and also the Bony lake Middle Lake channel.  The bridge inspection report suggests replacement of the Outlet Bay Bridge and replacing the rotten timber cap on the River Road Bridge.  The Robinson Lake boat landing is in bad shape due to the condition of the road and erosion of sand into the lake after a heavy rain.  The Mud lake bridge on Lake Road is eroding away from ice damage and the heavy use it sees year around.  He would like some help with ideas on how to fix these problems.  Collyard said he has tried to get some funds from the state but the funds are not there.  He said Jerry has done a really good job for the town.  Lu Peet asked about the closing of the Outlet Bay bridge road.  Witt said he had heard of that idea somewhere and thought that would be a must cheaper fix than replacing the bridge.  It could be blocked off to allow foot and bike traffic only.   The Board will discuss that at the next Board meeting. Collyard said the Transfer Site is also under the Highway department and he wanted to mention the attendant, Tom Pieters, and the good job he is doing also. 


Annual Ambulance and Fire Department Report Tom Renz, Ambulance Director and Fire Chief, gave his report.  There were 35 fire runs in 2007, he has 7 new firefighters complete the entry level fire training this year.  One has gone on and completed the Firefighter 1 training.  The new fire truck has been ordered which will replace the 1972 Ford tanker currently in use.  The ambulance department had 72 total runs, 20 were a no transport, 6 were intercepts, 34 were transported to the hospital either in Duluth or Hayward, and 12 were to fire calls.  They have had 1 EMT retire leaving us with 9 EMT’s.  We are always looking for more so if there is anyone interested please call him.  This past year he applied for an inoperability radio grant and through that received 12 new portable radios valued at $1,700.00 each.  He has also recently applied for another grant which will be to replace the ambulance radio.  These are all needed because the old ones because of what happened in New Orleans, the different agencies couldn’t work together because their radios didn’t permit them to do that.  The State of Wisconsin then got on the bandwagon and mandated that radios now have 16 channels the same so if there was a need for mutual aid like the blow-down we had several years ago we would all be able to talk to one another.  Also the radio in the ambulance will soon be outdated and through the Emergency Preparedness program will be able to get a new one worth about $3800.00 for around $800.00. Collyard said the fire department will be getting a new fire truck this year and the loan for the last fire truck will be paid in full this year, so this new loan then will be starting next year so there will be no change in loan amounts and no increase in taxes for it.  Renz said he set up all the vehicles on a plan so every five years a vehicle will be replaced in the fire department or ambulance department.  The next one will most likely be the ambulance as it gets the heaviest use.


Annual Constable Report Mike O’Keefe gave his report of the past year.  He received 182 calls at his home for service in 2007.  30% of those were calls from the Sheriff’s office to respond to alarms, highway situations or to assist deputies as needed.  The remainder of calls were ordinance related, snowmobile, ATV, animal complaints, trespass, firearm or fireworks, and lake related issues.  In March of 2007 O’Keefe requested that the Wisconsin Department of Justice and FBI consider awarding “agency status” to the Town of Barnes,  making us a Police Department.  In August of last year , after meeting the legal requirement set by the federal government we were approved.  Although our main focus this year has been mainly ordinance enforcement, having this designation brings us into the state’s law enforcement system, making us eligible  for educational and training reimbursement, grants and legal protection.  Also in early 2007 our ordinances were entered into the Bayfield County Court system.  Not having this department status would have made our movement within the Court system more difficult, if not impossible.  By taking this step we now have a solid foundation for any future growth of this department.  In January of 2008 we put a new Constable vehicle in service.  The response has been very positive from the public and it has made the job safer for me.  Collyard said before this O’Keefe had been driving his own vehicle for the job and covering his own insurance.  O’Keefe said it also was good now to be recognizable as a law enforcement official.  In the spring and summer O’Keefe said he would be again donating the use of his boat and ATV for lake and trail issues. 

Collyard asked for two tellers and two counters for the votes.  The two Clerks appointed were Lu Peet and Viola Friermood, and the two counters were Tom Renz and Gene Ratzel.


Collyard said next we would ask for any resolutions that had been presented to the Clerk.  Brustad said she received two.  The first one Brustad read to the audience:



BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED by the qualified electors of the Town of Barnes here assembled in the Annual Town Meeting this 8th day of April, 2008, that the sum of $50,000.00 per year be levied for three years to a sinking fund for the Town Community Center Complex.

Signed: Lucille J. Peet

There was much discussion on the issue.  Most people felt they didn’t want their taxes to be increased, and this wasn’t the time to be spending more money, we should be tightening our belts.  Committee Chairperson Brustad said the levy  amount asked for would be included in the regular levy as the State mandates what the town can increase the levy to each year.  She said this was to start a savings toward the new community center for three years then look at if the town wants or needs the center.  If it gets voted down then the money would be used for another project.  Tom Renz called for the question.  Collyard said a yes vote meant they were for levying the $50,000.00 per year for a Community Center, a no vote meant they were in favor of not levy the monies. 

Motion by: Lu Peet

Seconded by: Ron Pearson

The vote came in with 23 voting yes and 68 voting no.  Brustad said the resolution failed.


During the counting Lee Wiesner spoke on the St Croix Riverfest events happening in Barnes on the 14th of June.  There are events planned in the communities of Gordon and Solon Springs also.  The events can be viewed on the web at http://riverfest.uscwa.org.  A link will be placed on the Barnes website also.


Brustad then said she had a second one from Leslie Hall but it needed to be signed.  Leslie said she had revised it and would present that one instead.  Her resolution stated: All resolutions presented for the Annual meeting would need to be presented 4 weeks in advance of the meeting allowing the clerk to post and published them one week before the meeting.  This she felt would give people ample time to review what was being presented at the meeting.  Collyard said Brustad had checked with the Wisconsin Town’s Association legal Counsel and was told that we couldn’t do that.  He read the email from Carol Nawrocki of the Town’s Association.  “See s60.11(5) Wis. Stat. which says no notice is required if it is held on the 2nd Tuesday.  That means no agenda is needed, so you can’t require people to give resolutions 2 weeks in advance”.

Collyard said we certainly could ask that people would do so and if we got any we certainly could publish the notice,  but we can’t require it.  Hall wanted to know if we were sure of that.  Collyard said yes, this came right from the Wisconsin Town’s Association’s attorney.  Jim Johnson also wanted to ask if we could move the meeting to later on to allow people to attend who were gone for the winter.  Tom Renz read from the statutes that it could only be moved up to 30 days and we would have to meet first on the 2nd Tuesday of April, then adjourn to a later date.  This would have to be done every year.  Ms. Hall decided to withdraw her Resolution, but Collyard said they would certainly try to publish anything if received early.

Ron Pearson wanted to introduce a resolution for the Town to do a no-wake ordinance on all lakes that are 50 acres or less in the town.  After much discussion regarding the costs associated with this and the enforcement issues he decided to amend his resolution to read: 

Resolution # R-08-03

Resolution for the Town to study the placement of buoys and signs on lakes that are 50 acres or less in the town of Barnes.


Motion by: Ron Pearson

Second:     Dave Pease

Clerk Brustad read the count of the votes:  33 yes votes to 26 no votes.  The Resolution was passed.


Collyard then asked for any more resolutions from the floor.  There were none.


Motion(Tom Renz/Ron Pearson) to adjourn the Annual Meeting of the Qualified Electors of the Town of Barnes April 8, 2008 to the second Tuesday in April 2009 at 7:00PM.   The meeting was adjourned at 9:20PM.



Respectfully submitted,




Elaine J. Brustad,


Dated this 10th day of April, 2008