Town of Barnes

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Home > Town Digital Library > Town Board Meeting Minutes > 2012 Town Board Meeting Minutes > April 10, 2012: ANNUAL TOWN MEETING





Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

At Barnes Town Hall

Chairperson Lu Peet called the Annual Town Meeting to order at 7:03pm.  The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag was said by all. 


Spring Election Results

Discussion about Audit & Treasurer’s Report


·       Annual Report from the Chair

·       Annual Highway Department & Roads Report

·       Annual Ambulance and Fire Departments Report

·       Annual Constable Report

Townspeople Business, if any



1)      Spring Election Results:  Peet read the following results for the April 3rd, 2012 Election:

·       Total Voters/Ballots:  214 of 637 (turn-out = 34%, lowest since April 2008)

·       TOWN BOARD SUPERVISORS (Vote for 2):

Jack Meinke:  157        Mitchel McGee:  162 Write-in:  3

·       Presidential Preference Vote:

Newt Gingrich                       15                           Barack Obama                      64

Jon Huntsman                        0                           Uninstructed Delegation        4    

Mitt Romney                         77                                              Total:              68

Michelle Bachmann               1

Ron Paul                                 7

Rick Santorum                     44

Uninstructed Delegation       1    

Total:           145


2)      Discussion of Audit & Treasurer’s Report

Clerk-Treasurer Baldwin stated that the 2011 Final Audit report was not yet completed; it was delayed due to the final packet of required documentation Express-mailed to the auditor in Park Falls took over a week to get there.  He had received a ‘Draft’ from the auditor that listed the following year-end balances as:

                     Total 2011 Receipts/Revenue:                     $1,111,885.

                  Total 2011 Disbursements/Expenses:         $   913,356.

                  Total Cash Excess (2011 Income):              $   198,529.

                  Year-End Cash Balance (12/31/2011):         $   910,895.

Baldwin said a Special Town Meeting would need to be scheduled once the final report was received for release to the townspeople.  He explained a CPA audit report is required for Barnes since we have a ‘combined’ Clerk-Treasurer’ position.  Likewise, Baldwin said the audit report also notes a “deficiency” for internal control, which is routine, for all towns that have a combined single person Clerk-Treasurer.  To mitigate the risk of this control issue, Barnes has by formal Resolution the requirement that any/all checks written by the Treasurer must be co-signed by 2 Board members; all Town Disbursements require 3 signatures.



Annual Report from the Chair

Another year has gone by here in Barnes. It has been another busy one, with quite a few projects going forward.

Our two board members, Jack Meinke and Mitch McGee were re-elected at the Spring Election on April 3rd.  All of us on the board are honored to be able to serve the Barnes community and the board looks forward to working for all of the people of Barnes.

The elections went smoothly, despite all of the new regulations and last minute changes that the GAB made. Thank you to all of the poll workers and to Steve Baldwin for all of their work.

In January of 2011 we hired Bob Lang to take over as Highway Foreman and Property Manager. He has done a fine job. Bob has submitted his report on what was accomplished this past year for those departments.  This past year the town Highway Department took possession of several new (or new to us) pieces of equipment which will allow our crew to do more of the road work, as opposed to having it contracted out, thereby saving many thousands of dollars.

Tom Renz, as Fire Chief and Ambulance Director, has dedicated many hours to making ours a great emergency services unit.  Several new members were added this past year and it is hoped that some others will join this year, also. Tom will also present his annual report.

     The town has been successful in securing grants to upgrade the Upper Eau Claire Boat Landing, but the funds will not be available until fall, so this project is still on hold. Fortunately, when the project is completed, the town will have few out-of-pocket expenses.

     Since one of our main goals was getting our citizens involved with the day to day problems and concerns of the town, the Road Committee and Town Hall and Building Committees were established a few years ago. A committee was also established to look into the cell tower situation. These committees continued to meet and address these issues, to the end that all of these committees were able to disband this past year, as the issues were addressed as much as possible at this time. We have now set up a new Transfer Site and Recycling Committee. This committee, made up of 5 town citizens, 3 members of the town’s workforce and 1 board member, is working hard to resolve the issues at the transfer site. The town still encourages any citizen with a complaint to fill out the “Citizens Request for Action” form. This form has been revised to make it more efficient.

     The Recreation Committee worked on getting some new park equipment and the board approved these purchases. The town crew installed some of the equipment this past summer and many people were able to use it last year. There will be more playground improvements that are slated for this year. The equipment is already here and will be installed this spring.

     The town board agreed to hire a new assessor in 2011. Our new assessor is Associated Appraisal Services.

     The board agreed to renew our commitment to the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for another five years. Through this program, the town has been able to secure grants to alleviate some of the fire dangers, especially in the northern area of town, the Potawatomi ,and Eau Claire Lakes areas due to the past blow downs.

      In May of 2011, the town received the gift of the green Conservation Building from the Conservation Club. The building will still be used mainly by the club for its work in the community.

     The Eurasian Water Milfoil Committee has been busy getting grants for the EWM problem. It has been noted that milfoil has been found in another lake. With the help of the people, EWM hopes to avoid further contamination and is working to control or destroy the existing milfoil.

     The “Town Chair Project” has been completed. Bud Heerema spent the better part of two years researching all of the past chairpersons. The town appreciates Bud’s tireless effort in getting this accomplished. Through his diligent detective work, we now have a wall of pictures of the past Town of Barnes Chairpersons. Thank you, Bud.

     It has been a rough year for our businesses here in Barnes and the surrounding areas. Lack of snow, a poor deer hunt and the Packer’s loss in the playoffs, along with the sluggish economy, were just a few of the obstacles that the businesses faced. I urge all of you to support our local businesses this coming year.

     Some of the Barnes area was also hit hard by the wind storm and tornado on July 1st.  Power was out in many areas of town for days. This did nothing to help the businesses over the busy 4th of July weekend. Our town crew and emergency services volunteers worked tirelessly throughout that night clearing roads and helping our citizens clear downed trees.

     Our former Clerk/Treasurer Elaine Brustad, informed us at the end of 2010 that she would be retiring at the end of 2011. The board launched an intensive search to find a suitable replacement for her. In August of 2011, we hired Steve Baldwin, a Barnes resident, as Deputy Clerk/Treasurer. He held this position, learning the job hands on, until Elaine retired. Steve started the full-time position of Clerk/Treasurer in January 2012.  We welcome him.

    April is clean-up month in Barnes and we encourage everyone to participate in the road clean up. On April 28th, there will be coffee and rolls available to all at the transfer site. Bring in your roadside trash for free.  Check on the web site for more information.

Lu Peet 

Town of Barnes Chairperson


Annual Highway Department & Roads Report

A good number of things were accomplished during 2011.  We made many improvements to the town hall.  The new ceiling and lighting were installed last spring along with extensive insulating above them.  The new handicap entrance door made the building more weather proof and is more bright and inviting.  We also installed new outdoor lighting on the ramp and in front of the building.  The well pit that was out of code was eliminated and the pressure tank and valves were moved into the utility room.  While they were digging in the water lines, they discovered the sewer pipe that leads to the septic tank had failed, so we replaced it with an insulated pipe.  This allows the area to be plowed without fear of freezing.  This worked into the master plan of creating one-way traffic around the town hall.  We expanded the parking lot, designated angle parking, and exited the vehicles around behind the building.  This makes for easier parking and better visibility, which means walking in the parking lot is also safer.

We made many improvements to our road infrastructure in 2011.  We improved about 7 miles of our northern roads with tree removal and extensive shaping and grading to allow for the heavy truck traffic that area receives each spring, as well as created major fire breaks in that heavily forested area.  We filled in a major swale on Webster Road that hindered traffic year round.  That project required moving over 7,000 yards of material.  We also made road and shoulder improvements on Eightmile Lake Road.  The FireWise program helped pay for these improvements with grants totaling $14,435.

We received a grant from Bayfield County for $9,165 to gravel a difficult hill on Halfway Road.  We received another grant of $6,893 from Bayfield County which assisted us in graveling 1.25 miles of 43 Road.  These funds come from timber sales in the county forests that our road system provides access.

Tars Pond Road was another large construction project we accomplished last year.  The road was opened up to its full right of way, shaped and graveled to the Drummond town line.  This was the largest project the town has taken on in recent history without the use of contractors.  The town crew did the stump removal and hauling.  We utilized the inmates from Gordon correctional facility for much of the tree removal on this project.  We also received help from them for brushing on Denver Road and Clearwater Road.

Two major culvert replacement projects were completed in 2011.  On Tars Pond three smaller culverts were replaced with one large one.  On Mulligan Creek, a larger culvert was installed putting the stream closer to its original elevation and making it more accessible.  There is a great deal of beaver activity at this location so we have to be able to get inside the culvert to clean it.  Both of these projects were done in conjunction with the County Bridge Aids program which paid for 50% of the installation.

After being discussed and reviewed by the Town Roads and Right of Way Committee, the process of discontinuing roads that no longer meet the standards or function of town roads was implemented.  After having public hearings and residents input, Augustine Road, Allison Road, Carlstrom Road, Metcalf Road, South Call O Wild Road, and a portion of Cranberry Lake Road were officially discontinued during 2011.  Other roads are being considered and will be reviewed.

In October of 2011, after reviewing options, public hearings and residents input, the Outlet Bay road bridge was officially and permanently closed.  We have been working on funding for removal of this bridge and the restoration of the river banks.  We hope to accomplish this in the upcoming months with the help of the Department of Natural Resources.

We have many projects lined up for the construction season of 2012.  The largest one will include 4.4 miles of roads in Potawatomi.  This project will combine road improvements and wild-land fire prevention with tree removal and reconstruction of the northern and western perimeter roads of the development.  We will also be relocating and reconstructing North Lyndale Bay Road.  Along with these projects, we have many smaller intersection and road segment improvement tasks planned  This combined with improvement plans for the Transfer site being developed by the Transfer Site and Waste Management Committee, will make for a very busy and productive construction season.


Respectfully Submitted,

Bob Lang,  Town of Barnes Roads & Property Foreman


2012 Annual Meeting Report - Annual Ambulance and Fire Departments Report

In 2011 there were a total of 92 Fire and Ambulance calls combined.  We had one major multi jurisdiction incident which was on July 1st which caused numerous power outages and just about every road in the Town was blocked.  The Fire Department and Ambulance Department worked with the Highway Department and the Sheriff’s Department through the night and had all roads passable within ten hours.  A job well done by all Departments.  Concerns still remain in effect for this blow down area as being a high concern for the wild-land Fire Season.

We have now started the use of a new computer program for Fire and Ambulance Reporting.  We will also be going to a new company for billing soon. We have gained new members of the Fire Department and will be gaining several for the Ambulance.  The problem on Ambulance side is there are no new classes beginning until September. 

The Town will also be adding a generator to the Town Garage which will benefit the Emergency services and the Highway Department in that the Garage will have electric service even when the power goes out. 

I believe we have now have an agreement between the Town of Highland and the Town of Barnes which has to be passed by both Town boards.  I will be presenting it to our Town Board at their next meeting. 

I believe the Town will also be the recipient of two $5000.00 grants for radio trunking which will also include a new radio for our engine 1. 

Steve , Bob and I are working together to make everything easier and more computerized to help cut down on wasted paper and saving the trees as most things can now be in computer files.

Also attached to this report are the runs for the year.



Tom Renz

Barnes Fire Chief and Barnes Ambulance Director



2011 Run Totals for Barnes Emergency Services

11-01   01-01-11:  Medical County Highway N Transported to Hayward

11-02   01-03-11:  Medical Barnes Road Transported to Hayward

11-03   01-03-11:  Medical County Highway N Transported to St. Luke’s

11-04   01-16-11:  Medical Walters Road Transported to St. Mary’s

11-05   01-16-11:  Trauma Snowmobile accident Kickapoo trail Life link

11-06   02-01-11:  Mutual Aid structure fire Iron River

11-07   02-08-11:  Medical Twin Bay Road transported to Hayward

11-08   02-05-11:  Medical Barnes Road transported to Hayward

11-09   02-09-11:  Medical CTH N Transported to St. Luke’s

11-10   02-11-11:  Medical Birch Lake Road Patient refused assistance

11-11   02-12-11:  Snowmobile accident Lake Road and Robinson Lake Road Patient transported to Hayward

11-12   02-12-11:  Medical Ellison Lake Road Great Divide requested for Mutual aid since our ambulance was already out

11-13   02-20-11:  Medical Twin Bay Road Transported to Hayward

11-14   02-25-11:  Peninsula Road Patient deceased no transport

11-15   03-05-11:  White eagle road Iron River called for lack of EMTs here

11-16   03-07-11:  Medical Moen Road transported to St. Mary’s Duluth

11-17   03-10-11:  Medical George Lake road Transported to St. Mary’s      

11-18   03-10-11:  Medical Barnes Road Intercept with Great Divide

11-19   03-15-11:  Medical George Lake Road no transport

11-20   03-29-11:  Medical CTH N transported to St. Lukes

11-21   04-08-11:  Medical CTH N transported to St. Lukes

11-22   04-12-11:  Motor vehicle Accident transported to St. Lukes

11-23   04-18-11:  Medical Fire Tower Court Town of Highland Gold Cross int.

11-24   04-18-11:  Medical River Road transported to St. Marys

11-25   04-20-11:  Medical River Road transported to Hayward

11-26   04-25-11:  Motor vehicle accident George Lake Road at Gronemous Road; Life Link helicopter

11-27   05-01-11:  Medical CTH N Gold Cross intercept transported to St. Marys

11-28   05-03-11:  Trauma White Eagle Drive Transported to MMC Ashland

11-29   05-09-11:  Tree Fell on House on Point O pines Road

11-30 -   05-09-11  Tree on power line Lake Road

11-31 -   05-09-11  Tree on Power Line on Red oak Drive

11-32 -   05-10-11  Medical Lake Road Gold Cross Intercept

11-33 -   05-11-11  Medical CTH N Gold Cross Intercept

11-34 -   05-14-11  Medical Call O Wild Road transported to St. Marys

11-35 -   05-27-11  Boat Accident Upper Eau Claire Lake No transport

11-36 -   05-28-11 ATV accident Lake Road Gold Cross Intercept and Lifelink 111

11-37 -   05-29-11 Medical Pease Road transported to St. Marys

11-38 -   06-06-11 Medical West Idlewild Lake Road Iron River contacted for Mutual aid

11-39 -   06-06-11  Mutual aid to Gordon Fire Department for electrical Fire in Kitchen

11-40 -   06-07-11 Medical CTH  N transported to Hayward

11-41 -   06-10-11 Medical South Shore Road transported to Hayward

11-42 -   06-11-11  Medical Lake Road transported to St. Lukes

11-43 -   06-16-11  Medical Hans Road Transported to Hayward

11-44 -   06-24-11  Mutual aid to Drummond Fire for rescue sled patient deceased

11-45 -   06-24-11  Medical Idlewild Lake Road to Essentia Health

11-46 -   06-27-11  Medical Golden Eagle Trail to Essentia Health

11-47 -   06-27-11  Medical George Lake Road Transported to Essentia Health

11-48 -   07-01-11  Wind damage through out Town assisted Highway with trees

11-49 -   07-02-11  Tree on Power line on Hans Road

11-50 -   07-03-11  Medical Lake Road to Essentia Health

11-51 -   07-05-11  Medical Lake Road to Essentia Health

11-52 -   07-08-11  Medical Birch Lake Road to Essentia Health

11-53 -   07-13-11  Medical Golden Eagle Trail Patient refused transport

11-54 -   07-17-11  Fire Alarm Lake Road – False Alarm cancelled en-route

11-55 -   07-17-11  Structure Fire Robinson Lake Road caused by lightening

11-56 -   07-17-11 Boat fire Lake road

11-57 -   07-20-11 Medical Call O Wild road transported to Hayward

11-58 -   07-20-11 Medical Barnes Road Transported to Hayward

11-59 -   07-27-11 Medical Sunset Road transported to Hayward

11-60 -   07-28-11 Medical Point O pines road transported to Hospice Center in Duluth

11-61 -   07-31-11 Medical Idlewild Lake Road Transported to Hayward

11-62 -   08-04-11 Medical Cranberry Lake Road transported to Hayward EPI used

11-63 -   08-11-11 Medical Golden Eagle Trail transported to St. Mary’s

11-64 -   08-16-11 Mutual Aid to Drummond for Vehicle Fire on CTH N

11-65 -   08-19-11 Medical Walter Road transported To Hayward

11-66 -   08-25-22 Propane Leak CTH N

11-67 -   08-26-11 Medical Murray Lake Road Town of Highland Transported to St. Lukes

11-68 -   09-02-11 Medical Murray Lake Road Town of Highland Transported to St. Lukes

11-69 -   09-04-11 Medical County Highway N Transported to St. Lukes

11-70 -   09-05-11 Medical Idlewild Lake Road Transported to MMC Ashland

11-71 -   09-11-11 Medical Point O Pines Road Transported to Hayward

11-72 -   09-19-11 Ambulance Stand-by Highland Fire Beauregard Lake Road

11-73 -   09-21-11 Propane Tank rolled down hill causing propane leak Martin Rd.

11-74 -   09-23-11 Trauma call HWY 27 Transported to Hayward

11-75 -   09-27-11 Medical Lyndale Bay Road Transported to Hayward

11-76 – 09-27-11   False Alarm Cancelled

11 77  – 10-04-11   Medical Krenz CPR Patient Deceased en-route by ER doctor

11-78 – 10-21-11     Propane Tank Leak owner cut supply line with Chainsaw

11-79 – 10-26-11    Medical S Ellison Lake Road Town of Highland Transported to Hayward

11-80 – 10-30-11     Medical CTH N Transported to Hayward

11-81 – 11-14-11   Medical Jackpine Lane To St. Mary’s Duluth

11-82   12-01-11 – Medical Golden Eagle Trail Transported to Hayward

11-83 – 10-30-11 – Carbon monoxide Alarm Schiess Road all Okay

11-84 – 11-20-11 – Mutual Aid Gordon Garage Fire

11-85 – 11-22-11 – Medical Lake Road Transported to Hayward

11-86 – 11-22-11   Patient DOA Barnes Road

11-87 – 11-22-11   Brush Fire South Shore Road

11-88 – 12-09-11   Power Line down CTH A

11-89 – 11-26-11   Medical Lake transported to Hayward

11-90 – Carbon Monoxide Alarm False Pease Road

11-91 – Carbon Monoxide Alarm Lake Road Alarm Malfunction

11-92 – Smoke detected in house.  Smoke due to gloves on fire from lantern heat source                                                                                                                                          


Annual Constable Report




Motion by:   Tom Renz / Seconded by:  Dave Schiess to approve the State of the Town Reports as presented and read.  Motion Carried.


4)      Townspeople Business, if any:

·       Tom Renz proposed a resolution for the TOB – Barnes Emergency Services Sinking Fund:


BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED by the qualified electors of the Town of Barnes here assembled at the Annual Town Meeting this 10th day of April 2012 that the Town of Barnes shall budget and levy the amount of $20,000. to the BES Sinking Fund for three years.

Clerk-Treasurer Baldwin stated that the resolution was invalid because townspeople financial resolutions are restricted to current or only for the next budget year and thus three year resolutions are not allowed.  Renz and Baldwin reviewed the appropriate WI State Statutes book but could not find a relevant statute.    

Motion by:   Tom Renz / Seconded by:  Chris Webb, to approve the resolution that the sum of $20,000. be levied to the BES Sinking Fund for three years.

Number of electors authorized to vote:  19   A hand-raising count was conducted and the Resolution passed by a vote of:         Yes: 17        No:  1  

·       Jon Harkness suggested a motion to rename the Town EWM Committee to Aquatic Invasive Species to be in sync with current standards.  David Pease stated that actually the Committee was renamed that several years ago but the Town has continued to use the old name.  The Board agreed that all town documents and the web site should be changed and be using the proper name.  Clerk-Treasurer Baldwin said he would research and verify the name change and coordinate with Ingemar Ekstrom, committee chair, accordingly to change and use the correct name.

·       Jon Harkness also inquired to the Board as to the status of the 2 unfinished Verizon Cell Phone Towers constructed along highway 27.  Supervisor Webb stated that although the company had been in receivership for some time that she knew that they had recently contacted Norvado; she said she would follow-up on the status and contact the original Verizon consultant involved.

·       Fred Barnes asked the Board why local businesses are not allowed to use the Town Transfer Site and if the Board would support a change to allow them access.  Peet stated that the original Town state DNR grant required residential-use only.  The newer grants still require tracking and reporting residential-only  garbage tonnage and recycling statistics so businesses have not been allowed in order to maintain reporting requirements.  She said we could consider business access if the town was willing to support the additional increase in expenses and the methods necessary to continue accurate reporting of residential use.  Peet said this was an issue the new Transfer Site Committee could and should review.


Motion by:   Tom Renz / Seconded by:  Dave Schiess to table the Annual Audit Report review until a Special Town meeting or for the November meeting.  Motion Carried.


5)      Adjourn

Motion (Tom Renz/Donna Porter) to adjourn the Annual Meeting of the Town of Barnes of April 10th, 2012.   The meeting was adjourned at 8:13P.M.



Respectfully Submitted,




Stephen C. Baldwin, Town of Barnes Clerk-Treasurer

Dated this 20th day of April, 2012


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3360 County Highway N, Barnes, WI 54873

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