Saturday, December 14th

The Common Council met at City Hall in the City of Black River Falls on November 5, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. Alderpersons Olson, Busse, Gearing-Lancaster, Ross, Ammann, J. Rave, and M. Rave were present. Alderperson Brown was excused. Mayor J. Eddy presided.

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It was moved by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster, seconded by Alderperson M. Rave to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the October 1, 2019 Common Council meeting and approve as presented. Motion carried.

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CITIZENS IN ATTENDANCE There were 14 citizens in attendance for agenda items.

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COMMITTEE REPORTS It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to place on file the minutes of the October 14, 2019 Business Improvement District (BID) Board meeting. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson Ammann to approve the minutes of the October 16, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting. Motion Carried.

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The Committee of the Whole met at City Hall in the City of Black River Falls on October 16, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. Alderpersons Olson, Busse, Gearing-Lancaster, Ross, Ammann, J. Rave, and M. Rave were present. Alderperson Brown was excused. Mayor Jay Eddy presided.

  1. Mayor Eddy called the Committee of the Whole to order at 6:00pm.
  2. There were 6 citizens in attendance all for agenda items. The Blackdeer and Olson family representatives in attendance distributed a letter to Committee members opposing the changes proposed for Lallapalooza Estates.
  3. The City Administrator presented an updated 2020 proposed city budget. general transportation aid estimates from the Department of Revenue increased $37,000. Budgeted revenues were increased by $35,000 and the same amount was added to the Street Department Capital Budget. The proposed budget remains within Expenditure Restraint Program requirements and state imposed levy limits. The proposed budget would result in a tax increase of approximately $21.29 on a $100,000 home.
  4. The City Administrator explained changes made to the 2020 Proposed Capital Budget. $35,000 was added to Street Department, $42,000 was moved from Street Department to Fire Department for 2020. Moved Fire Department facility project and debt issuance to 2021, moved Fire Department quint replacement to 2022 and split financing between debt issuance and fundraising. Total proposed capital budget increased $35,000 to $540,500. It was clarified the $44,000 for the Police Department was to replace the Tahoe. Alderperson Ross expressed concern over the Police Department fleet getting bigger.
  5. The Department Head monthly reports were reviewed. Department heads present were Steve Peterson, Greg Rush, Jody Stoker, Jeremy Isensee, and Brad Chown. Fire Chief Steve Schreiber and Library Director Tammy Peasley were excused.
  6. The Parks & Recreation Director advised they had a sewer line collapse in front of the Chamber of Commerce building. Thanks to the Street Department for their help in getting that repaired and area restored.
  7. The City Administrator highlighted areas of his monthly report including the North South Street extension. Alderperson Ross recalls the outcome of the December 2018 vote on extending North South Street being amended at a later meeting. This will be looked in to. One quote was received for custodial services which is double the cost of filling the position so request for filling the part-time position is an action item. Update on Lallapalooza included over $20,000 in back taxes due for 2018 with penalties and interest and approximately $17,900 for 2019 taxes will be due soon. Verbal estimate to remove rocks at the entrances was $800. Plaques on rocks around the retention ponds were removed in error. Photos of those plaques were provided to the Committee members. The replacement or removal of these plaques will be discussed at the next Council meeting. There is also a Remax for sale sign.
  8. It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve the sale of the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan taxi. Motion carried.
  9. It was moved by Alderperson J. Rave, seconded by Alderperson Ammann to approve filling the parttime City Hall custodian position. Motion carried.
  10. There was lengthy discussion on renaming East 2nd Street, East 3rd Street, North South Street, E. Lincoln Street, and all of the streets in the Lallapalooza Estates Plat before the Jackson County Emergency Services Atlas is updated and reprinted. There are two East 2nd Streets and East 3rd Streets one in the city and one in Brockway. There was a recommendation not to continue street names from other side of the river and to look at alternate president names for these two streets. Residents on these streets will be notified. There was concern about renaming North South Street after a business. There was a recommendation to consider renaming North South Street to Mulberry or Frazier Street. There was consensus to rename E. Lincoln Street south of Wal-Mart to South McKinley Street. There was consensus not to rename East Lincoln Street east of Andrews Road. Christine Street needed to be added to the Lallapalooza Street list. Amy Blackdeer owns a home on Ryan Circle and was interested in knowing why the name changes were needed and spoke in opposition to changing the name of their street. Danielle Olson owns a home on Laura Lane and spoke in opposition to changing the name of their street citing running their trucking company out of their home. Neither objected to changing the names of the other streets. How to determine if it should be a Street versus Drive versus Circle was discussed. There was a recommendation to use the naming logic for east-west streets and north-south streets consistent with the rest of the City. There were no objections to removing E. Lincoln Street east of Andrews Road, Laura Lane, and Ryan Circle from the list of proposed streets to be renamed. Suggestions for renaming the remaining streets will be presented to the Common Council at the November meeting.
  11. Alderperson Busse reported there were seven applications received for the Library Director position.
  12. Alderperson Ross inquired on the status of the Rural Fire Agreement. Chief Schreiber was not in attendance and there were no updates.
  13. The EMS Division Chief reported that Western Technical College and the Black River Falls School District will be running an EMT class for seniors at the high school. Students could then become licensed as EMTs when they turn 18.
  14. The Street Superintendent reported the vendor for sealing the holes in the 3rd Street culverts has been contacted and will be coming to do $10,000 worth of work. They will start with the eastern most culvert which seems to be the worst area. The City Administrator advised there is $49,000 in the 2020 Proposed Capital Budget for this project next year so authorization to spend up to $49,000 on this project will be brought to the November meeting so it can be completed while they are here and avoid two mobilization fees. The Street Department will receive a $19,158.53 LRIP grant over the next two years. The stop light on Main Street at Water Street will be moved to the west and the light that was on Water Street at Main Street will not be replaced. The owner of the Farm Urban building, Lance Ott, was notified of this change and advised if he would purchase break away posts the Street Department would help with the installation, but he was not concerned about his building getting hit.
  15. There was an oath of office ceremony for Chief of Police / Criminal Investigator Jeremy Isensee.
  16. There was an oath of office ceremony for Full-time Patrol Officer Corey Hegberg.
  17. The Chief of Police fielded questions about speed limit signs on Hwy 12/27 from the interstate to Kwik Trip and whether the speed limit could be reduced in this area. Chief Isensee will take this to the upcoming Highway Safety Committee.
  18. It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve filling one full-time and up to four part-time patrol officer positions. Motion carried.
  19. 19. The City Administrator reviewed with the Committee the Single-Family Residential Restrictive Covenants associated with Lallapalooza Estates that are effective until December 14, 2025. Many restrictions are already included in City zoning codes. There is a need for housing in our community both permanent and temporary. Developers have expressed interest in developing multi-family units in Lallapalooza. Beth Darst explained why people buy in to developments like Lallapalooza and recommended multi-family developments look elsewhere in the city. Mayor Eddy explained the City has only owned the property for a short time and covenants were brought forward to make everyone, including Council members, aware of what is in the covenants and anything going forward will go through the Council. Amy Blackdeer spoke against duplexes or any type of multi-family units and their need to get involved to protect their families and their way of living. Danielle Olson also spoke against multi-family housing and noted concerns with current duplexes in the development. Mrs. Blackdeer stated she understands the position the city is in, spoke in support of the City’s efforts, but also wants to protect their standard of living. Mayor Eddy expressed the city’s desire to develop the property but to do it in a way that is fair to everyone. All approvals will go before the Council so there will be more opportunities to provide feedback.
  20. The City Administrator reviewed current zoning for Lallapalooza which is R-Zero for twin homes and the remainder is R-1 Single Family Residential which goes along with the covenants and does not allow for any multi-family. A map illustrating suggestions for rezoning was reviewed. The City Administrator’s recommendations would be to keep the R-Zero zoning as is for twin homes and keep most of the properties R-1, but to consider changing the lots south of Barbara Avenue and Haldeman Drive to R-3 and the lots west of Spruce Street to R-3 for multi-family and more flexibility. Single family and multi-family districts would be separated by streets and topography. The housing study shows the need for housing and there are parties interested in developing multi-family and if we want to allow them in Lallapalooza this would be a way to try and segregate that by keeping the multifamily along Spruce Street and south of Barbara Avenue. Beth Darst commented on marketing the housing study and this is not the only place developers can go in the city to build multi-family.
  21. It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson Ross to approve the vouchers for September 2019 check #66074 - #66196 totaling $785,866.24. Motion carried.
  22. It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to approve the City Treasurer’s Report for September 2019. Motion carried.
  23. It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve the Revenue and Expense reports for September 2019. Motion carried.
  24. It was moved by Alderperson M. Rave, seconded by Alderperson Olson to convene in to closed session for the purpose of deliberating on selling public properties in Lallapalooza Estates whereas competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session which is authorized under Section 19.85(1)(e) of the Wisconsin Statutes. Motion Carried at 7:23pm.
  25. At 8:02 pm, Mayor Eddy announced to those present that the Committee of the Whole was reconvening in to open session.
  26. It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson M. Rave to authorize the City Administrator and the City Attorney to offer the Lallapalooza lots at $19,900 with a $10,000 building incentive if they build within 24 months. Motion carried 7-0-1 with Alderperson Ross abstaining.It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson Ammann to adjourn. Motion carried at 8:05 pm.

A. Brad Chown, City Administrator

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It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson Ammann to place on file the minutes of the October 28, 2019 Utility Commission meeting. Motion Carried.

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David Schofield from SEH, Inc. presented the Council with application for Payment #3 from A-1 Excavating for the Andrews Road and South McKinley Street projects. S. McKinley Street is complete less the surface layer of asphalt. Construction on the bridge on Andrews Road has begun. Dave is very happy with the work to date and recommends payment to A-1 Excavating in the amount of $790,661.05.

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It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson M. Rave to approve payment #3 to A-1 Excavating for the Andrews Road and South McKinley Street projects in the amount of $790,661.05 using funds from TID No 3. Motion carried.

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Sean Lenz from Ehler’s & Associates shared financing options for the Andrews Road / S. McKinley Street projects which included $950,000 from a general obligation loan and $1,200,000 from a TIF revenue loan both through the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands State Trust Fund Loan Program.

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It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson Olson to approve the loan application and resolution for a $955,000 general obligation State Trust Fund loan for Andrews Road / S. McKinley Street Project in TID NO. 3. Motion carried.

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The loan application for a $1,210,000 revenue obligation State Trust Fund loan for Andrews Road / S. McKinley Street Project in TID NO. 3 has not been received and will be presented at the November 20th meeting.

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WE Energies representative Bill Garski addressed the Council on the request for a waiver explaining the $5,000 retainer would be burdensome to customers and create a paper shuffle between WE Energies and the city. No action was taken on the request and the Council asked the City Attorney to explore ways to streamline the process for smaller projects.

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It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson M. Rave to approve WE Energies’ request for an easement on Outlot #3 in Lallapalooza Estates. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson M. Rave to approve the Rural Fire District Agreement as presented. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between Black River Falls Municipal Utilities and the City regarding the fill sand stockpile in TID No. 3. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson M. Rave, seconded by Alderperson Ammann to approve the Quit Claim Deed from Black River Falls Municipal Utilities to the City for the land occupied by the regional retention pond in TID No. 3. Motion carried.

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The City Administrator reviewed changes to the valuations and assessments on the BID property list that were made after the BID Board meeting. Two property assessments were increased to the minimum assessment established in their respective zones. $211,300 in value and $686.73 in assessments were added to the former Boys & Girls Club buildings because it is no longer tax exempt. These changes resulted in a revised total valuation for the BID of $10,021,800 and revised total assessment for the BID of $27,345.80. The additional amount was added to the proposed Maintenance expense to balance the proposed budget at $30,845.80.

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It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve the Business Improvement District (BID) operating plan and budget for 2020 as presented. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson J. Rave, seconded by Alderperson Ammann to approve RESOLUTION 2019-07 a resolution adopting a fee schedule for 2020. Motion carried. Resolution is available at City Hall.

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It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson Ross to approve the applications for a Liquor Operator’s License from Ryann L. Dobson, Nikkole M. Leisgang, Kaitlyn M. Kaas, Melany J. Lamp, Melinda L. Muir, Denise M. Volkenant, Cheyanne N. Benson, Kyle T. Eversum, Carolina Drangstveit, Brianna N. Olsen, Clint M. Voge, Kia R. Kling, and Vicki L. Simonson. Motion carried. 

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It was moved by Alderperson J. Rave, seconded by Alderperson M. Rave to approve paying the 2018 and 2019 real estate taxes on Lallapalooza Estates properties. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ammann, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to accept the proposal from Hydro Clean to repair the 3rd Street culverts with cost not to exceed $49,000. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to authorize the Police Department to fill the vacant Full-Time Patrol Officer position. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson M. Rave, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to authorize the Public Works Department to fill the Full-Time Mechanic/General Laborer position. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson Busse to approve the revised Public Works Department Mechanic/General Laborer job description as presented. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Olson, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Jeff Amo to the Utility Commission effective December 1, 2019. Motion carried.

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The City Administrator provided an update to the 2020 proposed City Budget. The Expenditure Restraint Program limit from the Department of Revenue came in at 2.9% and expenditures are only increased 2.16% in the 2020 proposed budget.

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There was discussion on renaming East Second Street and East Third Street. Dave Seidl spoke against renaming East Second Street stating it has been that way for 55 years and doesn’t see need to change it since he has not had an issue with mail for years and never had the fire department or an ambulance at his house. Alderperson Ross cited if the call comes in from a landline the 911 system should indicate the jurisdiction whether it is City or Brockway. There was discussion on renaming to Northeast 2nd Street and Northeast 3 rd Street. As this involves emergency response it should be discussed when Fire Chief is in attendance. There was no action.

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It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to put on a future resolution to change the name on the street currently labeled North-South Street to Frazier Drive. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ammann, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to file an Affidavit of Correction to change the name of a section of East Lincoln Street to South McKinley Street. Motion carried.

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There was discussion on changing the names of the streets in the Lallapalooza Estates Plat. Amy Blackdeer spoke in opposition citing it would be aesthetically unpleasing if street names don’t make sense and suggested leaving all of them. Jim Haldeman spoke in opposition citing the work his family had done building the subdivision and the streets being named after himself, his wife and his children, streets in Sandbergen Heights were not changed and not understanding the need to change the names and it seems spiteful. Alderperson Ross expressed support if all streets were renamed to bring it in to consistency with the rest of the City stating the need to change them all or don’t change any of them. Julie Strandberg spoke in opposition stating she liked the names and feels the Council should leave all the streets as is. No action was taken.

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There was lengthy discussion on the Lallapalooza covenants, zoning, and signage. Jim Haldeman stated he would have his real estate signs removed and hopes it remains Lallapalooza but if it is changed he would pay to have rocks removed. Covenants sunset December 2025. There was discussion on the committee named in the covenants, penalties for not complying and how they would be enforced. The City Administrator listed several sections of the City Codes that cover a majority of the provisions in the covenants. It was clarified that #26 of the covenants allows the restriction on any or all of the lots within the Property may be removed or amended only by written consent duly acknowledged and recorded, of a majority of the owners of the lots within the Property. The City is the majority owner. Mayor Eddy reminded those in attendance that we have a housing shortage in the city and we have an obligation to all citizens to at least look at our options and not disallow multi-family housing, and if we have a number of requests that way that the City look at forming an ad hoc committee with representation from current owners and the city to look at the zoning. Jim Haldeman asked if the Council had considered the impact Page 6 of 6 that selling the lots at this price would have on other land owners coming to Board of Review. The City Administrator advised the city assessor had been contacted and confirmed that the sales would not be considered arm’s length transactions since the property was acquired through bankruptcy proceedings and the building incentive does not affect the assessed value of the lots. The City Attorney explained that the City as the majority owner can do what they want and those who buy lots with restrictive covenants need to read the entire document to understand that they can be changed at any time. Alderperson J. Rave cited mixed feelings, home owners have been heard, there are a number of lots and potential to benefit the city and employers trying to attract employees and agrees with forming an ad hoc committee to compare covenants to zoning and have it open to home owners being heard. Alderperson GearingLancaster agreed having stakeholder opinions while looking at the big picture is important going forward. Beth Darst questioned if covenants are covered by zoning why not leave them, believes there are lots of other places in the city to put multi-family, and feels the lots are now smartly priced and should give it time to develop. Alderperson J. Rave addressed the questions of why not leave covenants because they are covered by zoning by stating that any unit of government will not have two enforceable laws there needs to be one. City Attorney reminded Council that with covenants in place if they want to change zoning they need to change the covenants. Alderperson Ross stated the Council has a responsibility to look at the entire city and everyone’s best interest and will be further ahead having dialogue and conversation to come up with a livable solution for everyone understanding not everyone is going to get everything they want.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to form an ad hoc committee to review covenants and zoning in Lallapalooza and allowing the Mayor to appoint members with representation from the property owners and the City Council. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson M. Rave, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to convene in to closed session for the Purpose of Considering Compensation for Employees Over Which the Governmental Body has Jurisdiction or Exercises Responsibility Which is Authorized Under Section 19.85(1)(c) of the Wisconsin Statutes and for the Purpose of Conferring with Legal Counsel for the Governmental Body Who is Rendering Oral or Written Advice Concerning Strategy to be Adopted by the Body with Respect to Litigation in Which it is or is Likely to Become Involved Which is Authorized Under Section 19.85(1)(g) of the Wisconsin Statutes. Motion carried at 8:17PM.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ross, seconded by Alderperson J. Rave to reconvene in to open session to take action or announce action, if any and if appropriate. Motion carried at 8:54PM.

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The Mayor announced to those present that the Common Council was reconvening in open session.

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It was moved by Alderperson Busse, seconded by Alderperson Gearing-Lancaster to approve a 1.5% wage increase for all non-represented city employees for FY2020 and set wages for election/poll workers at $12 per hour. Motion carried.

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It was moved by Alderperson Ammann, seconded by Alderperson Olson to adjourn. Motion carried at 8:56 P.M.

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A. Brad Chown City Administrator