Minutes: Special Mtg June 1, 2009

Village of Plain

Special Village Board Meeting of June 1, 2009



A special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Plain was held at the Municipal Building on June 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The following members were present: Raymond Ellenbolt, President; David Buchanan; Robert Jewell; James Liegel; Duane Meise; Robert Neuheisel; and, Merry Lynn Riek, Trustees.


Others present: Kevin Kraemer; Ralph Soeldner; Mercille Floerke; Phil Studnicka; Chris Raught; Dr. Michael Knoll; Joe Prem; Randy Liegel; Wayne Bindl; and, Nick Ruhland, Public Works Director.


Notice of this meeting, along with the agenda, was posted at the following locations in the Village of Plain: the Municipal Building; the Plain Post Office; and, The Peoples Community Bank on Friday, May 29, 2009. 


The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and act regarding the 1981 sewer contract between the Village of Plain and River Valley Veterinary Clinic and to proceed with contractual obligations to annex as a result of the fifth connection to the sewer line and to discuss and act on dredging bids expiring on June 7, 2009.


The meeting was called to order by President Ellenbolt at 7:00 p.m.


Ralph Soeldner, Village President from 1975 to 1987, gave a historical background to the creation of the sewer-annexation contract between the Village of Plain and River Valley Veterinary Clinic. The Vet Clinic found out during construction they were unable to put in a mound septic system so they asked the Village to connect to the Village sewer line. The Village acted in good faith and allowed the connection which was the basis of the sewer-annexation contract. Mercille Floerke was in agreement with Ralph’s explanation.


Dr. Michael Knoll from the River Valley Veterinary Clinic addressed the board next. Knoll presented a letter to the board reviewing what is known, what has been assumed and questions. Knoll stated that it’s probably not that big of a deal to their business. It’s probably a little more tax money.  They are concerned about Village Ordinances and how they may impact their business. They are concerned about how it affects their neighbors. They do feel some responsibility of honoring their forefather’s agreement. Dr. Kieler was an employee back then, not an owner.


The agreement has not been followed over the years. It was a great thing that the Village did to help the Vet Clinic solve a problem back then. They are an agricultural-related business serving the Township and they feel that is where their tax dollars should go.


President Ellenbolt explained that the board supported him regarding pursuing the contractual obligation given that there were five connections to the sewer line which accordingly would result in an agreement to annex.


Dr. Knoll believes that Hess and Schreiner were aware of the annexation agreement according to a document he has seen. Some records at the Vet Clinic were lost in a 2003 fire.


Ralph Soeldner believed at the time the contract was signed, that all parties involved felt that the contract was fair and would be honored and satisfied.


Chris Raught thought that there were at least five connections to the sewer line when Schmitt was still in the neighborhood.


It was explained that when the fifth connection was made, the contract stated that the Village had the options of postponing action on the annexation; annexing part of the area served by the sewer line and postponing action on the remaining; or, annexing all of the area being served as a result of such connections. It has been postponed and it is now time for the contract to be satisfied.


The revenue from the non-resident sewer bills does not cover the cost of maintaining that sewer line.  There was some tax dollars spent on behalf of the Village when that line was installed.


Raught plans to move to the Hess house some day. He would like a wood stove which would be against Village Ordinance. He is not fond of the way the Village ensures that properties are kept tidy. The Town of Franklin does not bother residents in this regard. Raught believes that this contract does not need to be honored.


Kevin Kraemer was involved with construction when the Vet Clinic was built. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Mueller’s building was well underway when they received notice from the state regarding concerns about their septic system. They then approached the Village regarding hooking on to the Village’s sewer system, which the Village kindly did. Shortly after completion they received a letter from the state denying their mound system. Their multi-million dollar investment would have been for nothing. The Village was their savior. It is a benefit for them to be hooked up to Village sewer.


According to old minutes, when Don Ederer hooked the Merritt house onto the sewer line, Ederer had stated that he had no objections with annexing, but his neighbors may have a problem.


Town of Franklin Chairman, Joe Prem pointed out that the contract was never registered at the Sauk County Register of Deeds. Prem stated that the property owners are not interested in annexing and the Village is making it unpleasant for them. In his opinion, part of the contract cannot be honored without honoring all of it. He suggested documenting the maintenance fees and charging it back to the non-resident customers. Besides the line maintenance, there is wear and tear of equipment, service to a line break, and processing the sewage. If they do not annex, their sewer charges will be affected.


Franklin Chairman Prem pointed out that the Village will have expense to annex this property. It’s not without cost. Prem would support the sewer-annexation contract if the contract was followed consistently. The Town will not loose those tax dollars for five years. Prem stated that the Ederers were the only residents he talked to since this meeting notice went out.

Trustee Liegel reminded Franklin Chairman Prem that by state statute, the Town has no say in annexation. Wisconsin Statute 66.0217(11)(c) states “no action on any grounds, whether procedural or jurisdictional, to contest the validity of an annexation may be brought by any town.” Prem stated that he would like to work together in agreement. He does not want to loose them into the Village forever.


Those non-residents need to weigh out the pros and cons of putting in a septic versus annexing and staying hooked to the Village sewer. It is the Village’s intention to have everyone in the Village limits that are receiving sewer services.


Trustee Jewell motioned to send a certified letter to the five non-residents to invite them to the Regular Board meeting on June 10th to hear their thoughts on possible annexation.


Trustee Liegel then motioned to annex Ederer Dairy Supply and the Merritt house immediately and create a new contract with the other three, the Vet Clinic, Hess and Schreiner.


After a short discussion, Riek seconded Trustee Jewell’s motion to send a certified letter to the five non-residents to invite them to the Regular Board meeting on June 10th to hear their thoughts on possible annexation. The motion carried with Liegel voting no.


Dr. Knoll would like the figures reviewed associated with reimbursement if annexed of expenses associated with sewer construction costs. Costs also need to be reviewed if water needs to be run out there.


Buchanan motioned that the Village has the right to action to annex at the close of the June 10th Regular Board meeting. Meise seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


The board next discussed the dredging. The Village currently has $45,000 for the dredging project, Kraemer Brothers is donating $20,000, Edward Kraemer & Sons are donating $10,000 and the FEMA grant is for $15,000. The bid is for $57,345 and the engineering costs will be a little over $15,000. The Village has to cover the engineering costs no matter what. The Village would also be responsible for $12,345 of the dredging cost.


Nick Ruhland said it will help hole #9 on the golf course and allow him to take a sample at the creek. The outfall is underwater right now. It won’t help in a four inch rain.


There is a tree across the creek that would help by just taking that out. The dredging plan says to only take 1,000 yards instead of the 3,000 yards that FEMA figured because we can only go down to the original creek bed by DNR standards. The project has to be dewatered which is what is making it so expensive. There is a deadline of two years on FEMA money. Two percent could be saved by not getting a bond for the construction.


After discussion, Buchanan motioned to reject the dredging bids and reanalyze the situation. Meise seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

President Ellenbolt informed the board that the St. Luke’s Festival would like to close the road by Plain Elementary for a car show during the festival. School Superintendent Jamie Benson has no objections to it. Buchanan motioned to approve closing the street for the car show. Jewell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


Meise motioned to adjourn at 8:46 p.m.  This was seconded by Jewell and then carried unanimously. 





Sheila Tafs