Town of York
Monthly Board Meeting
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Please Note: These Town Board meeting minutes are posted as draft-only to inform town residents of the topics addressed at the board meeting. These minutes are subject to review and possible revision at next month’s Town Board meeting and should not be considered official until they receive final board approval at that time.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm. The meeting was held on Wednesday due to the election on Tuesday 8/11. The meeting was held as a video conference on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairman Steve Van Hout, 1st Supervisor Tim Czerwonka, 2nd Supervisor Steve Hermanson, and Clerk Heidi Hankley were present. Treasurer Ann Carlson was absent. Verification of proper notice was given. Meeting minutes for the Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Board Meeting were presented as well as minutes from the August 5, 2020 Special Town Board Meeting. Tim Czerwonka moved to approve the July 14, 2020 minutes as presented; second by Steve Van Hout. Motion carried. Steve Hermanson moved to approve the August 5, 2020 minutes as presented; second by Tim Czerwonka. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report- Ann Carlson was not present at the meeting, but she supplied the board with her usual reports. Steve Van Hout confirmed that the loan for the Ford F-550 has been paid off at the Bank of New Glarus. Steve Van Hout made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report as presented; second by Steve Hermanson. Motion carried.

Bills- Heidi Hankley presented bills to be paid. Heidi noted that the County Highway Department matching funds balance of $4,000 was applied to the invoice for the major contracted road projects of the year. Steve Van Hout noted that there is still a need for the additional dumpster emptying at the Town Recycling Center so we will continue to have Pelliteri provide this service. Steve Van Hout made a motion to approve the bills as presented; second by Tim Czerwonka. Motion carried.

Patrolman’s Report- Steve Van Hout and Steve Hermanson reported that Wayne has just finished mowing along the town roads. He will be addressing several ditch issues next and then move on to trimming trees and brush along town roads. Steve Hermanson reported that the rotary cutting/mowing attachment has been installed on the excavator. Wayne will do some test cutting and assess the need for an additional person to manage traffic for safety, or if roads should be temporarily closed while the machine is operating. Steve Van Hout also reported to the board that Strommen Lane has some significant potholes that will need to be addressed before winter plowing begins. Because this lane is blacktop, Steve Van Hout will ask the County to give an estimate for repairing the potholes.

Plan Commission Report- Bethany Storm reported that the Plan Commission approved a land transfer for Craig & Deborah Miner for Lot 14 in Pondrose. The Plan Commission was also approached by Joel Zimmerman for a variance to divide a parcel that he has not owned for five years (as required by the Town’s Land Division-Development and Transfer Ordinance #16-03). The commission voted 4-1 to send the variance request to the Town Board for consideration and advised Mr. Zimmerman that if the variance is granted, he would need to reappear before the Plan Commission at next month’s meeting with the proper application and documentation.

Public Comment- Bethany Storm thanked everyone that worked at the poll on election day.

New Business-

  • Craig & Deborah Miner, Land Transfer- The Miners presented their completed Land Transfer form to the board for their review. Steve Van Hout moved to approve the land transfer for Lot 14 in Pondrose, CSM 3668, which has one dwelling unit; second by Tim Czerwonka. Motion carried.
  • Holly Siegenthaler, Driveway refund request- The board inspected Siegenthaler’s driveway and Steve Hermanson noted that a culvert is needed. Tim Czerwonka also noted that the construction is just beginning on the site and that the town usually waits to inspect the driveway until after the majority of the construction is complete in case there is any damage to town roads due to heavy construction machinery. Steve Van Hout also noted that the driveway is currently breaker rock only and that the finish gravel has not yet been applied. Steve Hermanson made a motion to table the refund request until a future time after the board’s concerns are addressed; second by Steve Van Hout. Motion carried. Steve Hermanson will reach out to the builder and to Holly Siegenthaler to try to address the board’s concerns.
  • Joel Zimmerman, Land division variance request- Mr. Zimmerman requested that the board grant him a variance to sell parcel 381.02 with portions of parcels 383 and 384.02 that are north of Highway H. Mr. Zimmerman purchased the property in February, 2016 so he has not owned the property for 5 years which is required before splits are allowed under the Town’s Land Division-Development and Transfer Ordinance #16-03.The prospective purchaser, Harold Thompson, also requested the variance. He plans to build a shed and use the land for family gatherings and hunting and he needs to build the shed before the end of the year for tax purposes. Realtor Adam Crist of Lori Droessler Real Estate, Inc., also asked for the variance on behalf of Zimmerman and Thompson citing the fact that the variance and sale would result in the parcel having a single structure built with the bulk of the land staying in agricultural use which he believes aligns with the town’s vision statement.

    Curt Moen, Chairman of the Plan Commission, noted that Mr. Zimmerman was already granted a variance when he purchased the land in February, 2016 so that he could split off and sell the farmhouse and buildings. Mr. Zimmerman was asked at that time not to return to the Plan Commission until five years had passed. Bethany Storm noted that Mr. Zimmerman put the current property in question up for sale knowing the 5-year mark had not yet been reached. Moen clarified that the ordinance was created to help manage development in the town, preserve agricultural land, and uphold the town’s vision statement as presented in the town’s comprehensive plan. Chairman Steve Van Hout expressed concern that allowing this variance would set a precedence and open the door for similar requests in the future. Tim Czerwonka noted that each variance request should be addressed individually and that granting one does not mean others must be granted.

    Tim Czerwonka made a motion to grant Joel Zimmerman a variance to sell parcel 381.02 with additional parts of parcels 383 (a sliver of land east of parcel 381.02) and 384.02 that are north of Highway H, to create a single parcel; second by Steve Hermanson. Roll call vote is recorded as follows: Tim Czerwonka- Aye, Steve Van Hout- Nay, Steve Hermanson- Aye. Motion carried.

    Mr. Zimmerman will be required to return to the Plan Commission to submit his Preliminary Parcel Division/Transfer Inquiry Form and supporting documentation.

  • Creating Clerk’s Assistant position to help with November election- The board recognizes that the November election will create more work than the clerk can handle on their own due to COVID-19 and a dramatic increase in absentee balloting. Steve Van Hout moved to create the position of Clerk’s Assistant to work on an as-needed, hourly basis, at $18.50 per hour; second by Tim Czerwonka. Motion carried.Discussion of this topic generated the idea that town employee compensation should be reviewed on an annual basis. Steve Van Hout will make sure this is part of the up-coming budget discussions.
  • Changing pay frequency for Clerk-Treasurer Position- If the clerk and treasurer positions are combined at the meeting of town electors on Tuesday, August 25th, the board feels it would be appropriate to change the pay frequency for the position. Steve Hermanson made a motion to change the pay frequency for the clerk-treasurer position from bi-yearly to bi-monthly; second by Steve Van Hout. Motion carried.
  • Additional Public Comment: Plan Commission Chairman Curt Moen requested to speak under Public Comment. Tim Czerwonka granted him the floor. Curt Moen verbally resigned his position as Chairman of the Plan Commission. The board members expressed their regrets and requested that Moen reconsider his resignation.

Adjournment- Steve Hermanson moved to adjourn the meeting; second by Tim Czerwonka. Motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 9:35 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Heidi Hankley, Clerk