If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board has approved ordinance amendments outlining the Executive Committee’s role as the legislative committee, rules for subcommittees and advisory bodies and rules for hiring limited term employees (LTEs).
The Dunn County Board approved the ordinance amendments for section 2.05 and 2.056 at the February 20 meeting.
The ordinance amendments were approved as a second reading, and no additional amendments to the Executive Committee or the subcommittees and advisory bodies were offered by county board members.
The Executive Committee includes the chair of the county board, the vice-chair, and the chair of each of the standing committees.
The amendment to the executive committee portion of the ordinance reads, “As the legislative committee, the Executive Committee shall prepare a legislative policy for adoption by the County Board of Supervisors and review and recommend to the County Board of Supervisors all resolutions that relate to state legislative or policy matters in which Dunn County has an interest or that promote the passage of legislation in the best interest of Dunn County.”
As outlined in the ordinance previously, the executive committee’s duties also include reviewing the annual budget and proposed tax levy for presentation to the county board; acting as the legislative committee; handling all other matters not specifically delegated to any other committee; and is a part of the Land Information Council.
The Dunn County Board approved creating section 2.056 on subcommittees and advisory bodies, which did not exist prior to the county board’s approval.
According to the new section of ordinance, “unless otherwise provided by law, no committee may create subcommittees consisting of committee members for the purpose of subdividing committee work unless approved by the board.”
With the approval of the county board chair, the new section of the ordinance does allow committees to designate advisory committees or work groups, consisting of county staff members or other individuals or organizations, for conducting research and analysis and providing information to a committee to help the committee in fulfilling the committee’s responsibilities.
According to the new section of ordinance, “such advisory bodies may also include members from one or more standing committees, but may not include a quorum of any committee’s members. Members of such advisory bodies, including county board supervisor members, shall not be eligible for per diem pay unless approved by the board chair.”
Section 3.12(3)(b) of the Dunn County ordinances pertaining to limited term employees changes the rules for LTEs and removes the limitation of LTEs only being able to be employed for three months.
“Upon request from a department head, the County Manager may authorize LTEs as may be required by vacations, sickness, special projects, leaves of absence or emergencies, provided appropriated funds are available in the requesting department’s budget for such purpose,” according to the ordinance.
The section of “in the requesting department’s budget” was added to the existing ordinance.
When David Bartlett, chair of the Dunn County Board, asked if there was any additional discussion, Vaughn Hedlund, county board supervisor from Boyceville, moved to amend the ordinance to add a sentence to the end of the paragraph that, “The County Manager shall inform the Committee on Administration of any LTE authorized for more than three months.”
The motion amendment was seconded by James Tripp, county board supervisor from Menomonie.
All of the ordinance amendments were unanimously approved by the Dunn County Board without further discussion.
Julie Wathke, Dunn County clerk, gave her annual report at the February 20 meeting.
Here are some of the statistics in her report:
• In 2018, the county clerk’s office issued 232 marriage licenses, compared to 238 in 2017.
• The county clerk’s office issued 97 timber cutting permits, forwarded to the appropriate municipality and to the state Department of Natural Resources, compared to 110 issued in 2017.
• Revenue in the county clerk’s office at the end of 2018 totaled $10,831.69, an increase of $1,831.69 over the budgeted amount. A budget adjustment to pay for the January special election was needed in the amount of $10,552. At the close of 2018, there was a budget balance of $7,911.93, resulting in an overall budget shortfall of $2,640.07, which included all the costs associated with the extra special election.
• The November general election had a 51.87 percent turnout of the eligible voting age population, representing 80 percent of registered voters.
Dolly Catlin, Dunn County Transit Commission manager, also gave her annual report.
Through negotiations between Dunn County Public Works and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, DCT received a capital funding allocation as an amendment to the 2016 Section 5311 agreement in the amount of $332,200, according to Catlin’s report.
The money will be used to purchase new buses, passenger shelters and road signage. Two new bus orders were approved by WisDOT and forwarded to the manufacturer in late January, the report states.
The Federal Transit Administration in November of 2018 awarded to WisDOT an amount of money for the Low/No Emission program. The state-submitted group application was for purchasing battery electric cutaway buses and infrastructure upgrades. Dunn County Transit was among five recipients to participate in the program, which is being funded by a federal share of 85 percent for the bus purchases and 90 percent for infrastructure improvement. The infrastructure upgrades will include a charging station and coordination with local utility providers and contractors. The buses will most likely be in service in late 2020, according to the report.
In other business, Chairman Bartlett announced the following appointments to the Ad Hoc Groundwater Advisory Committee: County Board/Committee Representatives Mike Kneer and Tom Quinn; members of the public Josh Leable , Mike Wettstein, Rachel Kummer, Kathy Stahl and Paul Sterk; Dunn County staff Lindsay Olson, Keith Bergeson, Rachel Otte, Dan Prestebak and KT Gallagher as facilitator.