Board of Trustees July Special Meeting Minutes

The Village of Birchwood Trustees held the Special Meeting on Tuesday, July 15th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by Village President, John Depoister.  Roll Call: Depoister, Hurckman, Small, Seffinga, and VanGilder – present.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Public Comment –


Linda Zillmer, resident of Village of Birchwood, stated BFCESD Board of Commissioners is not operating according to state statues. The electorate of the towns and village have not granted the BFCESD commissioners Option Powers.  Had the electorate granted optional powers, optional powers does not grant the BFCESD authority to construct a fire hall. Going forward, the BFCESD must go out for bid on the construction. She hopes the village board is seeking outside counsel as to the detail of the referendum question to better represent the village.  It is not simply a matter of whether or not to build a fire hall, it may be a matter of how exceeding levy limits and borrowing.  How to pay for, and how much to pay for, the village’s share.


New Business

  • Motion by Hurckman, second by VanGilder to approve 2019-2020 Committees, carried 5-0.
  • Discussion to hire new building inspector. Tabled to August Board Meeting and seek other options other than Scott Schiefelbein.
  • Discussion of referendum for fire hall. Promissory note needs approval otherwise potential 10% cost increase by putting another year out. Referendum numbers for village is 5% but subject to change if approval is after October. Referendums by all 7 municipality must be approved for grant approval. Hurckman – Something needs to happen with the current firehall if new firehall is not going to happen. Depoister – There are current safety issues and trucks are getting bigger when the firehall is not. Linda Zillmer – Attended Sawyer County meeting and Wisconsin Counties Association gave a presentation on referenda presented by Rebecca Roeker from Van Briesen Law Firm in Milwaukee, will forward hardcopy to village; questions to put on referendum to make it valid. Small -Doesn’t want questions too confusing or detailed but wants to hear public opinions. 90 day notice before election, August 12th to have referendum. Hurckman – Questioned Yes-or-No to referendum. Linda Zillmer – Suggests Yes-or-No to firehall and are taxpayers willing to exceed levy limit to pay for it and by how much. Hurckman – Feels Board needs to figure out levy limit. Zillmer – Questions incurring payment and make up loss of revenue from firehall rent, taxes will need to be raised and levy limit tax in place what is going to be cut in the budget, seek legal help on how many parts of the question there needs to be for the Yes-Or-No answers, village operating budget not going to make it due to loss of revenue and to maintain building, how much more is annual assessment going to maintain the new building, and referendum for capital and ongoing operating. Depoister – Village currently pays share of wages and other operating expenses. Board has been looking at loss of revenue. Approximately $60,000 cost of building and loss of revenue per year projected. Work on referendum to have ready for November. Action needed within next two weeks. Scheduled Board Meeting to August 6th at 6pm.
  • Motion by Small, seconded by Seffinga to adjourn meeting.


Submitted Ashley Beffa, Clerk/Treasurer

Questions or Concerns?

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