April 21, 2021 Monthly Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – Approved

The Regular Monthly Board of Trustees Meeting of the Village of Birchwood was be held on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, at 6:00 pm at the Birchwood Village Hall, 101 N Main St, Birchwood, WI 54817

Village President John Depoister called the meeting to order – Meeting was recorded
Pledge of Allegiance was recited

Roll call by Clerk R. Vangilder, P. Parkos, J. Depoister, B. Milligan, M. Manning in attendance
Meeting was also attended by the following: Linda Zillmer, Tyler LeBrocq, Cutter Beffa, Steve Milligan, Bob Longacre, Mike Van Gilder, Eric Barclay, Betsy Acrey, Mike Acrey, Jeff Bemis, Steve Dullian, and Linda Sturtevant and Greg Sterner attended via zoom.

Public Notice: Posted at the Birchwood Post Office, Village Hall, Gary’s Grocery and Village Website.
Police Report: Officer Adam Brunclick presented – Have a new taser and completed training for taser. Did some drug interventions with the state patrol in town. Spent time with human services regarding child welfare. Had a propane incident at Buck’s Hardware. Upcoming training. No questions

Public Works Report: Ron Strand presented – Cleaned up from winter plowing, signs have been straightened out.
Checked culverts, some need to be flushed out and a few that need to be replaced. Catch boxes have been cleaned out
from the sod that has been moved, except on Park and Main. Still needs to be raked out. The ball field is raked. New
tractor became stuck in reverse. Something moved out of alignment. Dealer has it, if it is not back by Friday they will give us one to use until it is fixed. The tractor is under warranty. Started sweeping the streets today. The old loader is now gone. The tires on the new one look good and have been switched out. Have the wing dropped off. Will call Monday to the county to have them work on the new loader. Currently they are switching their trucks over. Tucker has fixed quite a few things and we are almost back to normal. Still having issues with the chemical to feed the bugs. Are looking into that some more. Doolittle, the water is on, the tables will be out next week. The signs are out. Garbage cans will be out. I would like to blade out the parking lot but the tractor is being repaired. Bob Hays is going to till the sand, and we will have that in by Memorial weekend. Docks are in the shop. Top boards are going to be replaced. Should have them ready in a couple of weeks. They will be water sealed. Spoke to Dave Lorenz at the school about fishing pier. They are interested, project will be started next year when the price of lumber goes down. No questions.

Non-Committee Reports: John Depoister was not at the last BFCESD Meeting, no report. The Ordinance Committee will be discussed as an agenda item

Citizen Comments: (Limit 3 minutes per person) Linda Zillmer spoke – Understood that there were extenuating
circumstances regarding the agenda not getting out early for the Board of Trustee Annual Meeting. Spoke as an affected neighbor to agenda item #4. (Special Event Permit), stated that there are two houses at the end of Hinman that on a regular basis the noise is loud, and carries into the wee hours of the morning. That there has already been an incident this year. Recognized that the wedding is fine. However, the continual not knowing and that you can not drown out the noise. The cat hides under the bed, and the dog barks. It a bit much for her ears. Also with the alcohol license, I hope that the village has figured out a way to correct the license that was applied under as a renewal, needs to be a new one. Will wait for village to address that. On East Hills subdivision lot, understands that the village is considering price adjustments. Being that they have only been on the public auction of a month, feels that it is to soon to consider adjustments downward. There are people coming into the area, tourists all summer. Possibly placing signs to direct people to the East Hill Subdivision, so people who are from out of the area can see what they may be buying. In you don’t get reasonable bids until say the end of August then reconsider, but not yet. Also, I can not tell what the discussion is on the industrial park, but if someone is interested in buying it, I think that should go out for a bid or at least be marketed for a price. John Depoister asked for any other citizen comments. Cutter Beffa presented pictures on how junky the town looks. Pictures were taken in the 5-block area around his home. Code of ordinances Section 6.598 has to do with exterior of properties Section 6.392 protection of elements, houses that do not have siding and paint on them. They look like (expletive), you look all over town and there is section 6.422, section 6.423, section 6.453, these all pertain to junk in the yards. Cars that are just plain old junk, condemned building like Niki Mills. The basement up there for about 15 years or more. Last year, there was 10 or 12 TV’s, computers, all kind of (expletive). Looked in there a couple of weeks ago and it is all covered with wood. Do not know if they want to hide it or burry it. Do not think it should be buried in the ground, computers and (expletive). Ashley Beffa requested that Cutter watch his language. There is Byron Brown, has all kind of junk there. Luckily, they have been hauling it out of there all afternoon. Cutter showed a picture of the general area. Tires and things. Stated another citizen has started a junk yard behind the fence line. You can not see it from the road, but Cutter can see it from his back porch. Paul Parkos stated that he knew that one property on Main Street is getting cleaned up. Cutter stated that grass on main Street needs mowing and there is junk, and it looks like (expiative). CarolAnn Kollar asked that he not use expletives all the time to watch his language. Cutter went on to describe other properties in the village that have a lot of junk on them. Piles of junk with tarps covering it. There is junk that has been in some of the yards for years. The board reviewed the pictures presented by Cutter. There is junk on the driveways by the street. Prevents the village from plowing snow. John Depoister stated that this issue will be discussed as item ten (10) on the agenda. The village has started to address some of the properties. Cutter Beffa questioned how it works that a letter is sent to people about mowing their lawn in June and by the time they get around to it, it’s the middle of July. John Depoister stated that the village has started to address that issue. Cutter Beffa state it is the same stuff year after year. John Depoister stated it is being addressed and that the Village attorney is involved in a lot of the issues that Cutter Beffa brought up. Attorneys don’t due things the next day. Cutter Beffa brought up that some of the businesses on Main Street need painting. You drive up and down Main Street and you see crap. That is has been going on for years. More discussion about addressing the situations legally and with an attorney. Mark Manning stated that the grass issue has been brought up in the Ordinance Committee Meeting and is being addressed. John Depoister reiterated that these concerns are being brought up as an agenda item with further information from Officer Adam Brunclik. Ashley Beffa stated that the meeting minutes from the Ordinance Committee Meeting would be online. They would contain the issues discussed. Cutter Beffa stated he did not have a computer, Ashley Beffa stated that he could come to the Village and do an open records request. Ashley also inquired if Cutter Beffa was giving the photos to the Board. Photos were given to the Board. Cutter Beffa stated that he just wants to see the Board take care of the issues. John Depoister stated that the Board is addressing the issues and that they just can not go to someone and tell them to clean up their yard. That they did not have to listen to the Board. That is why attorneys are involved. They will write a letter to the offender stating that they have this many days to clean up their yard or that the Village is going to at this cost. That carries a little more weight than the Village just telling them. We are doing it the right way so we can get it done and get it done right. John Depoister inquired for other citizen comments.

Correspondence: Received a letter from MSA on the sidewalk. John Depoister reviewed the letter. According the MSA letter they reviewed the construction of the sidewalk. They did not find any problems as to why the sidewalk is heaving in front of the hardware store. The sidewalk was put in correctly, and evidently the new owner does not have a problem. We will see if it becomes an issue later, but according to MSA they checked it out and everything checked out fine. John Depoister inquired for any other correspondence. No other correspondence.

Discussion/Action Items (No public comments allowed):
1. Current agenda: John Depoister mentioned that on item ten (10) that the dilapidated garage would be tabled until the May Board Meeting. Also, on item 11B That will go to the Ordinance Committee for snowmobiles. Those are the only corrects. Bridgit Milligan requested that they go back to item 10C for clarification. Mark Manning stated that it was the garage, and the t is tabled. Motion to approve by John Depoister. Bridget Milligan stated that it still had Stacie Small and need to be corrected to her name. John Depoister made a motion to approve with the stated changes and corrections. Seconded by Mark Manning. Carried 5 to 0

2. Meeting Minutes:
a. March 9th, 2021 Board of Trustee Regular Monthly Meeting – Rocky Van Gilder motioned to approve.
Mark Manning second. Carried 5 to 0

3. Financials: March 2021 Bill, Payroll and acceptance of Treasurer’s Report
a. Motion to approve by Rocky Van Gilder, second by Paul Parkos. Carried 5 to 0

4. Special Event Permit:

a. Wedding 2021 – Sturtevant

  1. 904 Hinman Drive – Linda Sturtevant presented: Daughter is getting married, and they are hosting the wedding at their property at the end of Hinman Drive. The permit is for the band. The intent is to have the band from 7pm to 11pm. Initially they asked for a permit till mid-night, but the intent is to wind things down around 11. Parking they intend to use the property behind them at the gravel pit. People can walk to the wedding and there will also be shuttles back and forth. There will be food and the ceremony. Intend to have a tent in the event of rain. John Depoister asked if the intent was to end the band at 11. Linda Sturtevant stated that was the intend but the guests my be around for longer. John Depoister inquired if anyone had any questions. Linda Sturtevant stated that it is her intent to talk with the neighbors that are affected by the event one on one. Rocky van Gilder made amotion to approve the permit for the Sturtevant wedding on July 24th. Seconded by Mark Manning. Carried 5 to 0.

b. AARL Field Day

  1. Presented by Jeff Bemis – Explained what that AARL Field Day is done by Ham Radio Operators around the country who set up their equipment to compete over a 24-hour period to make as many contacts as  they can. A Power Point was presented. Jeff Bemis stated that his goal was to see how well he can reach others in an emergency. He would like to setup his equipment in the lot to the west of the Village Hall. He showed pictures what the setup may look like with a small table, radios and antennas. He would be available to answer questions of interested parties on the filed day. Also, explained that his equipment would not interfere with the Villages Police and Emergency communications. Joh Depoister asked if there were any questions. Mark Manning asked if Jeff Bemis ever entered into mutual understandings. Jeff Bemis answered yes, with various municipalities. That in an emergency he would set up to be the Villages Communication. Jeff Bemis assured the board that the are would be picked up and left as it was prior to setting up his equipment. Motion to approve by Paul Parkos. Second by Bridget Milligan. Carried 5 to 0.

5. Liquor:

a. Birchwood Café

  1. Tyler LeBrocq – John Depoister explained that the Café was changing hands and has been sold to Tyle LeBrocq. The Café will be changing hands effective April 28th according to the letter of intent. Once the board approves the new license for Tyler LeBrocq and the title is complete Betsy Acrey will sign off on her license and the New license will take over for Tyler LeBrocq. Linda Zillmer was acknowledged with a comment. That the application she saw stated “all the area around the café” John Depoister stated that the original copy he had stated the restaurant, Laundry Mat and the deck. Mark Manning made a motion to approve the Original Liquor License for Tyler LeBrocq for 121 S. Main Street as stated inside the restaurant, Laundry Mat and deck. Second by Rocky Van Gilder. John Depoister asked if there was any further discussion. Carried 5 to 0.

6. Operator’s License: John Depoister stated that there was one correction for Cheyenne Okey, the application is
for the Cheers Bar and Grill. The application will need to go to the Cedar Lake Town Board. Adam Brunclik
spoke to the issue of the applications not being filled out completely or correctly. Determined that if they are not done correctly then they should not get approved. The Board has agreed that if they are not filled out correctly they will not get their license. They will have to resubmit the application to go to the board for the next board meeting..

Rocky Van Gilder motioned to approve the Operators Licenses, with exception to Cheyenne Okey. Seconded by
Paul Parkos. Carried 5 to 0
a. Tyler LeBrocq – Birchwood Cafe
b. Ciara Kruger – Jason’s Market
c. Madison Manka – Mary’s Bluegill Bar
d. Leman Anderson – Mary’s Bluegill Bar
e. Cheyenne Okey – Correction, belongs to Cedar lake. Clerk will send to Cedar Lake
f. Jayda Glenz – Mary’s Bluegill Bar

7. Land Use Application:

a. Greg Sterner

    1. 502 Wise Road – John Depoister explained that the building was presented to the planning committee. The building is a prefab building and that it fits within the perimeters for the right of way and will be placed next to the garage. The recommendation was to approve it. Rocky Van Gilder motioned to approve the Land Use Permit. Second by John Depoister. Carried 5 to 0

8. Driveway Permit:

a. CTC Telecom Inc

  1. 320 N Main Street – Want to build a 20 x 10 building to house the fiber optics for Mosaic. They are requesting a 20’ wide and a 30’ deep driveway off the north end of Main Street on the other side of Euclid to go to their building. Ron Strand looked at the property, there are no culverts. The property has been purchased by CTC Telecom Inc. Paul Parkos motioned to approve the land Use Permit. Second by Bridget Milligan. Carried 5 to 0.

9. Village Spring Clean-up Day

a. Sealed Bids – John Depoister opened the sealed bids from Liberty Tire Recycling, Independent Sanitation & Recycling, and Republic Services. Village was asking for two (2) 40-yard roll offs and cost per ton, mattresses one (1) roll off and cost per ton/item, and tires one (1) roll off and cost per ton/item. John Depoister read the bids to the Board. After bid discussion it was determined to go with Liberty Tire Recycling for tires, and Republic Services for the two (2) 40-yard roll offs for refuse, and one (1) 30-Yard for mattresses. Mark Manning made a motion to use Liberty Tire Recycling and Republic Services for Refuse and Mattresses. Second by Paul Parkos. Carried 5 to 0. Clerk took roll call for sealed bids. John Depoister, Paul Parkos, Mark Manning, Rocky Van Gilder, Bridget Milligan in attendance.

10. Public Nuisances:

a. Complaint from 701 Wise Road bought 2 cabins next to Ernie Langosch share a driveway with him, the yard is full of junk, there are cars, pontoons. The home is unlivable. They have tried to work with him. Now they are bringing it to use to see what we can do. They want to see if we can condemn the property. If we can issue him a citation to clean the property and issue him a fine if it isn’t done in a reasonable time. Mark Manning mentioned that Ernie Langosch when discussing the garbage a Board Meeting at the school, himself stated that the home is unlivable. John Depoister asked if the license for the van must be checked. Adam Brunclik stated that all the vehicles’ licenses will have to be checked. Mark Manning stated that we should continue to work with the Village attorney to see what can be done. We should keep this on the forefront of our meetings. John Depoister mentioned that in or Ordinances there is a abatement that the Village has the right to look around. Adam Brunclik has been going around and
making a list. There is also a home in the village that used to be nice, the new owner is constantly adding
things to the yard and covering it with a tarp and has ongoing garage/yard sales. That is another issue the
village is working on to limit sales

b. Summary Abatement by Chief of Police – Officer Brunclik stated that Ron, Tucker, and himself are making
lists. There are a lot of components to the process. If the vehicle is licensed and legal to drive it can be on the property. This is the normal process that the Village goes through every spring. The village tries to coordinate it with the spring clean-up. It is not as easy as writing up a ticket. We need to have as much voluntary compliance as we can get. If the Village must go the route of enforcement that is when the village attorney gets involved. If we get an abatement we would need to go to court and then take bids from companies to do an abatement. The cost could be assed to the property taxes, but in the meantime the Village of Birchwood must fund the abatement. The Village would have to pay for the disposal, trucking, and the labor. Mark Manning mentioned that the Ordinance Committee discussed revising the length of grass before a notice is given. Currently it is 12” and it will be lowered to 8”. The Committee is working with the Village attorney on revising the ordinance. We are working also with the attorney to see if we can mow the yard without notice and then bill them for the service.
c. Dilapidated garage – 322 S. Main Street – Is tabled until May Board Meeting


a. Amend Ordinance Chapter 24 Article VIII regarding ATV/UTV – Mark Manning ordinance 2021-01 route and speed limits in the Village. Is complete and pending proper public notice in the news paper for 14 days. The amendment is set to open all Village roads to ATV/UTV use with the exception of Holly Hill Drive and Main Street from highway 48 to Cedar. The speed limit is 15 MPH. There will some new signage. Rocky Van Gilder Made a motion to accept the amendment to Chapter 24 Article VIII regarding ATV/UTV. Second by Paul Parkos. Roll call vote taken by clerk. Carried 5 to 0.
b. Amend Ordinance Chapter 24 Article VII regarding Snowmobile – Is tabled to go back to the ordinance committee.

12. East Hills Subdivision:
a. Price adjustments – CarolAnn Kollar presented – Proposed that with the combination of the price of building materials and the current covenants, we should lower the starting bid price. The covenant should be addressed to allow more time to build. Currently the covenant allows for 1 year. Builders are at least out 2 years. The price of materials is rising, and it is difficult to get a quote from lumber and building suppliers such as Lamberts and Menards. There has been no interest in the properties at the current opening bid price. Suggest that the price is lowered to the proposed value from the desired opening bid. This with amending the covenant my entice more interest in the properties. John Depoister mentioned that the revision/amendment of the covenant will have to go to the Village attorney. Motion by Rocky Van Gilder to lower the starting bid to the proposed value and to work with the village attorney to amend the covenant. Second by Paul Parkos. Roll call vote taken by clerk. Carried 5 to 0.

13. Industrial Park:
a. Possible sale of Industrial park property (Property ID# 65-106-2-37-10-25-5-05-002-001010) -John Depoister stated the property has no utilities and no road access. Currently the Village is renting out the property to a farmer. The Village received a letter from a gentleman that would like to purchase the property. John Depoister raised the question do we want to just sell it to him or does the Village want to see if there is any other interest. There was discussion about the value of the property and what the Village is currently collecting for renting the property to a farmer. Rocky Van Gilder motioned to sell the property and to look into the value of the property for an estimated starting value. Second by Paul Parkos. Carried 5 to 0

14. Closed Session:
a. Pursuant to 19.85(1)© and 19.85 (1)(b) WI statute which, if discussed publicly, would likely have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of any person(s) referred to in such data. Motion to go into
Closed Session by Mark Manning. Second by John Depoister. Carried 5 to 0
15. Open Session:
a. Matters discussed in closed session. Motion to act on the items discussed in closed session by
Rocky Van Gilder. Seconded by Paul Parkos. Carried 5 to 0
16. Adjournment: Bridget Milligan motioned to adjourn, Mark Manning second. Carried 5 to 0

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact the Village Hall with comments, questions, and/or concerns and we will be happy to help.

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