At the February 27 meeting of the County Board, Fillmore County employees were recognized for their contribution to the county. Each year employees that have been with the county for 5, 10 15, 20, 25, or 30 years are given a certificate of appreciation for their service.
This year 27 employees were recognized. Todd Kokinos, maintenance specialist, III, Highway De
partment, was honored for his 25 years of service. Kristi Ruesink, office support specialist, senior, Extension/Zoning, and Michael Chiglo, working foreman, Highway Department were honored for 30 years of service.
The safety award this year went to Chris Larson, custodian.
Highway maintenance funding
In 2014, Fillmore County enacted a half cent Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) to help fund county road projects. This source of funding generates about $830,000 annually. The additional funding has allowed six bridge structures to be replaced and the chipsealing of 20 miles of county road.
In 2017, the county enacted the Wheelage Tax. Collection began in January 2018. The tax is collected at the time vehicle tags are purchased; $20 per vehicle. In January 2018, over $38,000 was collected for that month. This tax is expected to produce $460,780 of revenue per year to be used on chipseal and surface reconditioning projects to help preserve and maintain county roads.
Both local revenue sources help the county be “proactive in the replacement and preservation of our current infrastructure.”
Chatfield Township officers Lowell Meeker and Forrest Hayden asked the county to adopt a policy where the county would not issue building permits before sending applicants to the township first. Meeker said a home building permit was issued by the county over the objection of the town board.
Commissioner Marc Prestby asked why the township denied the building permit. Meeker said it did not fit within our ordinance which limits one residence per quarter of a quarter section, which is more restrictive than the county ordinance. The county is less restrictive and allows two dwellings per quarter of a quarter section in the Ag district.
Commissioner Duane Bakke explained that the county ordinance allows the zoning designation to be changed if it is within a half mile of a municipality. The property in question is within a half mile of Chatfield. A zoning change from Ag District to Residential Agricultural District (RA) for the property in question, which is located on County Road 2 west of Chatfield, was approved by the county. The building permit applied for is allowed by the county in a RA zone. The township does not have a RA district.
Bakke said the county sent the township a letter when the zoning was changed from Ag to RA to explain the county’s actions. He said the county has jurisdiction because the township ordinance does not have a prohibition for a RA district.
Chatfield Township considers everything outside of the city limits Ag residential. They don’t have any reference to a RA district and don’t have any prohibition written into their ordinance against building a dwelling in a district zoned RA.
Meeker said he believed that because the township ordinance is more restrictive, it pertains to everything in the township regardless how it is zoned. Hayden added the township board is concerned about losing control of zoning.
Township officers and their zoning board may meet with the county to discuss language changes to prevent future issues of this kind.
Other business in brief
• Gasoline and diesel fuel contracts were awarded to the lowest bidder, some to Hovey Oil Co. and some to Severson Oil Co.
• The purchase of a tandem truck and snow plow equipment on the state bid contract was approved. A 2019 Mack will be purchased for $101,118 after trade-in allowance of $24,000 from Nuss Truck and Equipment. The snow plow equipment will be purchased from Universal Truck Equipment for $103,153. The total package cost of $204,271 is in the 2018 budget. Delivery is expected in August.
• A resolution for a variance for the vertical alignment on the proposed canoe landing in Rushford was approved. Fillmore County acts as the fiscal agent for Rushford, which is preparing plans for the Canoe Launch Access Road. State Aid System requires a minimum design speed of 30 mph for the design of vertical and horizontal alignment of roads. The variance is needed over the levee where the proposed project will include 10 mph design vertical curves.
• Approval was given for the county engineer to attend the 2018 National Association of County Engineers Annual Conference to be held at the Wisconsin Dells.
• Jessica Erickson, director of nursing, reported on and compared 2016 and 2017 public health expenditures.