February 24, 2016
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof a public hearing of the Common Council of the City of Bloomer was called to order on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall to hear comments authorizing alley blacktopping & storm sewer improvements in Kitch’s Addition, Block 2. Mayor Meinen opened the hearing to the public. Paul Clark, 911 15th Avenue stated a petition had been circulated in the neighborhood last summer by one the adjoining property owners. They were not in agreement with the petition. He doesn’t feel they need the alley blacktopped when their driveway is gravel. He has small children and feels blacktopping will make for faster speeds and unsafe in his backyard. There are water drainage problems at this time of year, but not severe. He feels the City if wasting $4,200 of taxpayer money for an alley that is hardly used. He feels blacktop will make it more of a hazard. Jennifer Nyhus, 911 15th Avenue stated the alley serves no purpose to her or the property owners across from her. She did agree there are drainage issues. She does not want to pay for blacktopping the alley when her driveway is gravel. She also stated past practice of the City was to only blacktop driveways when there was 100% participation from the property owners and the City has never used Police Powers to force special assessments for an alley. She feels it is being forced on her for no reason. Tony Rubenzer, property owner at 917 15th Avenue questioned if the alley could be abandoned. The hearing was closed at 6:10 p.m.
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof a regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Bloomer was called to order on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6:10 p.m. at City Hall, 1503 Main Street - Mayor Meinen presiding.
Roll call was taken: Mayor Meinen, Alderpersons Meinen, Hofmann, Steinmetz, Koehler, Clerk Stoik and Attorney Gustafson.
All present gave pledge to the flag.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting (February 10, 2016) as presented. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Koehler made a motion to approve all claims against the City and Utilities as presented. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye. The claims were in the amounts listed below:
Checks Numbered: 74082 - 74199
General Fund: $ 63,272.12
Electric Fund: $ 345,872.86
Water Fund: $ 1,349.16
Sewer Fund: $ 16,053.12
Payroll: $ 71,644.00
TOTAL $ 498,191.26
Jennifer Nyhus questioned the procedure for abandoning an alley. Attorney Gustafson stated the action could be taken by the Common Council or a petition could be circulated to the adjoining property owners and presented to the Council.
Discussion was held regarding the authorization of Alley Blacktopping & Storm Sewer Improvements Levying Special Assessments Against Benefitted property – Kitch’s Addition – Block 2, Lots 1-11 for approximately 300 feet. Alderperson Koehler questioned Michael Meindel, Street, Water & Sewer Administrator regarding the need for blacktop. Mr. Meindel stated that at a budget work session last fall, the city approved proceeding with the blacktop and the storm water issue on the far west end. This was a combination of two issues. He also stated the city does not exactly know where the pipe is located. The council questioned if the storm sewer issue was repaired, would this solve the issue with drainage in the alley. He stated they would need to gravel and build up part of the alley, but they did not have to blacktop it if the council did not want to proceed. Ms. Nyhus also expressed concern regarding the adjoining property owner parking cars tight to the curb and covering the right-of-way for pedestrians. It is unsafe for her children to walk to school.
Alderperson Meinen made a motion to approve proceeding with the storm sewer improvement repair for $3,500 on the far west end of the alley located in Kitch’s Addition – Block 2. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion. Discussion: Alderperson Koehler questioned Mr. Meindel if the city would be grading the alley for proper drainage. Mr. Meindel stated they would. Roll call vote: Alderperson Meinen, aye; Hofmann, aye; Steinmetz, aye; Koehler, aye. Motion carried.
Alderperson Koehler made motion to disapprove blacktopping the alley located in Kitch’s Addition, Block 2, Lot 1-11 as described in Mr. Meindel’s improvement report. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion. Alderperson Meinen, Steinmetz & Koehler voted aye; Hofmann voted no.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve a waiver for two driveway entrances on Vine Street – City Code 6-3-2(A)(2) & (D) for the new location for the Dove Healthcare facility. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Discussion was held with Robert Olson regarding City Code 10-5-8 – Junked Vehicles & Appliances on private property and the letter he received from Bloomer Police Department regarding the violation of the code. He owns a residential lot on the east dead road of 8th Avenue from its intersection with Newman Street. He currently has more than 25 cars stored on this empty lot. He received a letter from the Bloomer Police Dept. stating he was in violation of the city ordinance and had 10 days to remove the vehicles. He was requesting the city to allow him more time to move the cars. He currently is constructing a large garage to store his multiple vehicles and is experiencing delays with his contractor in completing it. Discussion was held if the vehicles were personal vehicles or business vehicles and what was properly licensed. Junked vehicles on residential lots are not allowed. Business vehicles stored on residential lots in the city are in violation of the zoning ordinance. Attorney Gustafson stated the property owner can be fined and if not removed impounded by the Police Department. Alderperson Koehler stated that this was a police matter and felt Mr. Olson should be contacting the Police Chief regarding the ordinance. This was not a council matter and if they were going to review every letter and citation issued by the police department, everyone would be coming to meetings with problems. He felt it was up to the Police Chief to resolve. No action was taken by the council.
Alderperson Meinen made a motion to approve replacement of the roof & gable ends with steel on the concession stand at the baseball field with low bidder Spencer Seidling Construction for $4,200 and to transfer funds from the irrigation fund for payment. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye. Clerk Stoik reported the fund balance as of 12-31-15 was $10,055. Alderperson Koehler requested renaming the remaining balance as there is no planned irrigation installation being planned at this location.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve purchase of 5 radio/pagers from Calkins Electronics for $1,000 for the Fire Department. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Hofmann made a motion to approve a Class B Beer & Class C Wine license for Peter Michael Hable – Northern Hemisphere Entertainment, 905 Martin Road effective February 24, 2016 to June 30, 2016. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Koehler made a motion to approve a Class A Beer & Class A Liquor license for CAP Operations, Inc. – Holiday #38 – Jonathon Schmidt, Agent, 2016 17th Avenue effective March 15, 2016 to June 30, 2016. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
The Common Council reviewed the mediator’s review of a grievance filed by LAW on behalf of Police Officer Mark McElroy. He grieved the Police Chief’s filling of a comp shift, less than 14 days as the Police Chief saw fit was incorrect. The union had agreed at the last negation session to allow the Chief to follow this procedure for vacation time, not comp time. The mediator ruled in favor of the union. Alderperson Meinen stressed his frustration over the attorney costs to the city to fight this case and the advice of the attorney. Other members of the Council also expressed their frustration. There are two 12-hour OT shifts in question as grieved by Officer McElroy. After review, Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve compensating Officer Mark McElroy 2 – 12 hour OT night shifts for comp time for an approximate cost of $858. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Koehler made a motion to approve the application for a license to serve fermented malt beverages & intoxicating liquors for the following listed and approved by Police Chief Zwiefelhofer and to deny the application of Chasity L. Miller for too many points on her record. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Merle D. Paine
Clerk Stoik – no comments.
Michael Meindel, Street, Water & Sewer Administrator reported the City needed to conduct an inspection of the dam per DNR regulations this year. He will be getting bids from area engineering firms to complete this task. He also stated he was looking into a monitoring system for regulating the gates at the dam. He will keep the council informed. Alderperson Hofmann questioned Mr. Meindel regarding the use of orange garbage bags. Some residents are placing black bags alongside orange bags for pick-up. Mr. Meindel stated the garbage men are not to pick up any bags not in the approved orange bags. He will discuss this with his staff members.
Peter Paulson, Electric Administrator reported city officials met with Chippewa County employees regarding the GIS mapping they are doing in 2017. The cost to the city to be included would be $3900 every three years. Mr. Paulson stated the benefits to working in cooperation with the county and the technology available to the city. He will continue to work with them to get a contract and budget for 2017. He also reported he had been contacted by AEP representatives and they are researching solar power installation. It will save the utility customers money. They would need a fairly large site to install. He will keep the council informed regarding the developments of this technology.
Tony Rubenzer, Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator – no comments.
Police Chief Jared Zwiefelhofer – no comments.
Fire Chief Brian Bleskacek reported he had reviewed the contract with ReaLiving for crisis support and found the City – Fire – Ambulance – First Responders had some of the same employees in each division. He and other department heads reviewed the rosters and were able to reduce the annual fee to $700. He also reported the skating rink is officially closed.
Alderperson Meinen thanked the Fire Department for the work and generosity at the skating rink.
Alderperson Hofmann also thanked Fire Chief Bleskacek.
Alderperson Steinmetz also thanked the Chief and requested he let other members know they appreciate their dedication. He also reported he had recently attended an IDC annual meeting. They had a tour of the A.J. Manufacturing business and an annual meeting.
Alderperson Koehler – no comments.
Mayor Meinen reported Mark Schwartz, Ambulance Administrator had contacted him and there will be an active shooter training at the Middle School. He also stated the police union contract expires 3-31-16. He had received requests from the union regarding dates. He will contact the union rep and city attorney for possible dates.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to go into closed session under Wis. Stats. 19.85 (1) (e) & (c) as read by Mayor Meinen. Alderperson Koehler seconded the motion and a roll call vote was taken: Alderperson Meinen, aye; Hofmann, aye; Steinmetz, aye; Koehler, aye.
Alderperson Koehler made a motion to come out of closed session and report on action taken. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the sale of Lot 24 Iron Horse Industrial Park to Michael Randall for $22,500 plus attorney fees and closing costs and to amend the location of the electric easement as described by Peter Paulson, Electric Administrator. Alderperson Koehler seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Sue A. Stoik