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April 14, 2009 Annual Town Meeting minutes

Annual Town Meeting – April 14th 2009 – minutes

Chairman Jim Kichak called the Annual Town Meeting of the Electors to order at 7:15 pm in the Mercer Community Center.

Present were: Chairman Kichak; Superviosrs Jim Lambert, Jeff Stenberg, Bonnie Banaszak and Toni Sendra; Treasurer Christan Manners/Brandt; Clerk Opal Roberts and Atty Fritz Schellgell. Also present were approximately 80 electors.

The Clerk then read the minutes from the April 8th 2008 Annual Town Meeting.
Motion made by Victor Ouimette, seconded by Bill Davies, to approve the minutes as read. Carried.

Motion made by Kathy Tutt, seconded by Dianne Keefe, to deviate from the posted agenda in order to discuss the proposed room tax while Atty Schellgell is present. Carried.

Lisa Herberling gave a presentation on the purpose and benefits of adopting a room tax. Mercer is one of the few remaining communities in the northwoods without a room tax. The money from the proposed 4.5% room tax would be used for advertising to bring more tourists to the area. The clients of the motels, resorts, and tourist rooming houses would also become customers to other businesses. 75% of the collected tax would be revenue for the Chamber of Commerce to be used for advertising and 25% would go to the town to be used on recreational infrastructure. Atty Schellgell explained that a Room Tax Ordinance would need to be adopted by the Town Board. This would require a public hearing. He suggested the word “directs” in the resolution be changed to “authorizes”. WI Stats. state that the electors may “authorize” the town board to raise money.

Motion made by Vic Ouimette, seconded by Pam Davies, to adopt the Resolution authorizing the town board to create a Room Tax Ordinance and to include this resolution in the minutes by reference. (see attached)
A lengthy discussion on the motion was held with a number of electors stating their reasons for or against the resolution for the proposed Room Tax Ordinance.
Paper ballots were given to the electors at 8:15 pm. Votes for the resolution - 68; votes against the resolution – 17. Motion carried.

Chairman Kichak gave the Financial Report for 2008. Beginning Balance was $2,139,107.34. Revenues were $5,138,693.25. Expenditures were $5,018,029.63. Ending Balance was $2,259,770.96.
Motion made by Kathy Tutt, seconded by Etta Evenson, to approve the 2008 Financial Report. Carried.

Chairman’s report: Kichak reported on the road work completed in 2008. Crystal Lake West was rebuilt but not paved, as planned, due to a rainy Fall season. A new loader and plow truck were purchased for the garage. A new fire truck was ordered in 2008 and will be delivered later this month. A used fire truck was purchased from Port Washington and another $15,000 was invested in equipment for this truck.
Vic Ouimette asked if the current 5-year road plan was still intact. Joan Ouimette asked if chip sealing could be used as an alternative to some of the planned paving. Gary Theisen asked where Clear Lake Road was on the road plan. He also stated that the one section of Beaver Lodge Circle was in very bad shape with large boulder coming up through the road bed. Kichak said a mile of Beaver Lodge Circle is planned for this year. Ouimette asked about the requirement for dry hydrants mentioned in last year’s Annual Meeting minutes. Lambert replied that the board had amended the Subdivision Ordinance to require the installation of dry hydrants in subdivisions that have shoreline lots on a lake or river. Kathy Tutt asked when the rest of Weber Lake Road will be done. Roger Johnson asked if chip sealing could be done on top of chip sealing. Kichak replied that Gade Road is beyond chip sealing. This road needs to be rebuilt.

John Sendra requested the Room Tax Ordinance be adopted during the second regular board meeting in June.

Kathy Tutt spoke for a number of people who have businesses in the Sanitary District boundaries but are not allowed to vote for the Sanitary District Commissioner. They feel this is taxation without representation and asked the town board to write a letter to the state elections board inquiring about the possibilities of changing the requirement that the voter must live in the Sanitary District to vote for a commissioner. A letter will be sent to the state elections board.

Motion made by Vic Ouimette, seconded by Nancy Lundquist, setting the next Annual Town Meeting date as April 13th 2010 at 7:15 pm in the Mercer Community Center. Carried.

Motion made by Bill Benninghoff, seconded by Bob Karabetsos, to adjourn the 2009 Annual Town Meeting at 8:40 pm. Carried.


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Town of Mercer, Iron County, Wisconsin
PO Box 149, Mercer, WI 54547
Telephone: 715-476-2403
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