Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes 8-6-19 (Approved)

The Village of Birchwood Trustees held the August meeting on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was called to order by Village President, John Depoister.  Roll Call: Depoister, Hurckman, Small, Seffinga, and VanGilder – present.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Police Report – Minong Police assisted with Bluegill Festival for 2 nights., more storm damages and stayed busy with traffic.


Maintenance Report – Bluegill Festival parking rope was cut Sunday and there were vehicles parked and ATV tracks along Park Ave. Ruts behind firehall from Lions Club hauling in and out food supplies on wet grounds. Breakdowns – Black truck front ball joints, tie rod and leaf springs; John Deer tractor brakes were fixed but pedals still don’t come back all the way. Ken-way dumping increased from 3 days per week to everyday now, 2 loads per day. East Hills lift station 5 both pumps were pulled and are finding disposable wipes. A list of items not to go in should be sent out twice per year.  Traps in manhole can be used to find out where it’s coming from to go after them for costs. Trees trimmed after $500 quote was cleared by Depoister. Manholes being raised. Weed wiping and spray done. Attended class on WISLR which helps with a 5 year plan, setup cost to be broken into 6 regions, and to take advantage of funds coming back to northern part of the state to help with our streets.


Public Comment – Dewaine Reiten permanent owner/resident of 803 Hinman Dr requesting ATV/UTV trail access from Hinman Dr to County Rd D to intersection of the Tuscobia trail at Hwy 48. In agreeance there should not be access in Doolittle Park. Washburn County will be responsible for the decision of Highway D but was told first step is to have Village approval. States he understands the rules. Proposed signage for Hinman Dr ATV usage and map with two options. Option A – Hinman Dr to Hwy D to intersection of Wise Rd and Euclid then Wise Rd to the Tuscobia Trail recommended to shorted time on Hwy D. Option B Hinman Dr to Hwy D to intersection of the Tuscobia trail at Hwy 48. Did study on the safety of pedestrians, takes about 56’ to stop full size vehicle at 25 mph which is the speed limit and more distance if pulling. ATV traveling at 15 mph 26’ to stop and better visibility, 28 ft between Doolittle Park and Hwy D where Birch St by Montessori School playground the road is only 21 ft; sound of 88 decimal sitting in ATV verses 100 decimal of someone mowing their lawn. 29 years as police officer experience investigating 100s of accidents, currently regional safety coordinator, and feels well qualified for street preventions. Asking Hinman Dr be approved to get trail access and would like consideration of request. Linda Sturtevant, owns home on Hinman Dr for about 25 years asking for support of agenda item 7 of opening Hinman Dr. Michael Houy lives at 905 Hinman Dr has invested interest in opening access of Hinman Dr to get to trails. President of Birchwood Senior Center, Vice President of Birchwood Area Historical Society, Chairman of Washburn County Aging and Disability Citizens Advisory Council, Member of Northlakes Clinic Community Advisory Board, Member of Birchwood Lions Club, Member of American Legion, Member of Birchwood Bobcat Trail Riders, and various activities with the Birchwood School District; brings this up to show he is concerned with Birchwood and wants what is best for the residents. Unfair to deprive certain residents from being able to utilize the trail access. Himself and represents other residents of Hinman Dr should be opened without having to load onto a trailer to hall a couple of blocks and make this a major benefit of being a resident of Birchwood. Residents only want access to the trails. Mark Manning 801 Hinman Dr a new resident, would like access from Tuscobia Trails to Hinman Dr to have access to Birchwood and support it and everything else in town.


Linda Zillmer speaking on agenda items 4 and 7. Follow up on public comment from Special Meeting in July, doesn’t feel village should hold or pay for a special election for the firehall. BFCESD did not get granted optional powers, with permission to be not allowed to build that hall and needs to go out for bids. Appreciates the access of trails and outreaches, understands law can’t be restricted to residents only, resident pass to drive in/out on Hinman that can be pulled, doesn’t think it’s appropriate to open it as a route.


New Business

  • Motion by Hurkman, seconded by Small to approve agenda, carried 5-0.
  • Motion by VanGuilder, seconded by Seffinga to approve minutes from July 9th, 2019 Board Meeting, carried 5-0.
  • Presentation by Ralph Jostad to determine need for Timber Bay conditional use permit. Sue Jostad and Ralph Jostad are volunteers and Charity Knaff is staffed. Only one currently in Wisconsin and is looking to build a Youth Center to be owned and managed by Timber Bay. Designed/built for year around youth activities can be rented for community use through Timber Bay. Looking at building requirements for conditional use for property address 907 E Highway 48. Outdoor space for field games, picnic tables, and cooking. Indoors to have high enough ceilings for basketball court. Intent of medal building heat/air conditioning. Public comment by Ellen McKowen states .38 acres would allow conditional use under lodging; enough for the building and parking. McKowen questioned processing time of approval. Discussion by Hurckman of timeframe of about a month for publication to hold a public hearing and Planning Commission meeting. Motion by Small, seconded by Hurckman to bring forward to Planning Commission Board, carried 5-0.
  • Discussion on referendum for firehall. Per legal counsel from the village attorney John Behling, Weld Riley, S.C. the village is not required to do a referendum; is contractually obligated to pay our share per the signed contract with the district. Attorney’s opinion was provided to Village President, John Depoister via letter dated August 6, 2019 after his review of the contract with the Village to Commissioners dated January 8th, 2014, Village Minutes from December 3rd, 2013, and January 7th, 2014 Board Meeting. Documents only state Village would have liked to have a referendum for something like this, but no resolution was made stating the Village must have a referendum to do this. Per the attorney, it’s up to the board as an undue expense to have a referendum. A properly noticed meeting would save the Village money and residents could review the promissory note. There is no election this November in the state or county therefore it would require a special election with a referendum, if decided. The district has a draft letter for residents to notify them of a Village Board Meeting date and time, information on the matching grant to build the fire hall, need of passing the resolution to enter promissory note, and the need for a new building. Action on adding discussion of BFCESD firehall to September agenda and letters be sent out notifying all village residents of date and time of September Board Meeting. Motion by VanGilder, second by Hurckman, carried 5-0.
  • Action on hiring Daryl Dostal as Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator. Motion by Hurckman, seconded by Small, carried 5-0.
  • Action to purchase firesafe for protection of backup hard drives for the Village Hall and Police Department. Motion to purchase First Alert 2087F by VanGilder, seconded by Hurckman, carried 5-0.
  • Action to allow ATV/UTV access on Hinman Drive. Signage are good in Birchwood; sees drivers not obeying. Safety concerns for children riding their bike or walking down to the park; combining of children, cars, boat, and ATVs on a road that is hilly and curvy. History of death of a child on an ATV in the Village. ATV/UTVs is not allowed in Doolittle Park. Table discussion to open the whole village up to ATV/UTV – excluding Main Street; Town of Cedar Lake, Town of Edgewater, and Rusk County have opened all their roads. Contingent to Washburn County determination of opening County Road D the village is to open up Hinman Drive to ATV/UTV; additional concerns of County Road D narrow bridge and curve. Easement road does not allow ATV access, for the residents only. Washburn County wants village minutes and signatures of Hinman Dr residents. Public comment by Dwaine Reiten on signs at Hinman Dr and Cty Rd D “no ATV/UTV in Doolittle Park” and post same sign at entrance of Doolittle park.  Current signs in village no ATVs on main street but doesn’t stop all ATV/UTV drivers now.   Public comment by Bob Longacre lights must be on when on a route but trails you don’t, speed test on Hinman Dr, and need more signs to get down the ally – ATV/UTV route ahead, local only, no outlet, and speed limit. Chief Brunclik reports previously Minong had problems with Hwy 77 at same time Birchwood had issues with ATV/UTV on Main Street. If a violation is witnessed, take a picture of license plate and report it to get on record. Hurckman proposed to not allow use of frontage road #1 and change to Tuscobia trail to access Hwy D; more signatures from residents in that area for a positive on that and bring back to board; meeting was posted timely, opportunity to speak, and posted online. Petition last year was a draw of 50/50.  Public hearing opening routes causes change in ordinance. Motion by VanGilder to open up Hinman to ATV/UTV trails on option #6 or option B that take you all the way up to the trail down Euclid Avenue, contingent; Seffinga seconded. Depoister sustained from vote, carried 3-1.
  • Action on approving Republic proposal for fall clean up with charge for $10 per mattress and no appliances, garbage only. Motion by Depoister, seconded by Small, carried 5-0.
  • Motion by Hurckman, seconded by Small to approve new bills, payroll and accept Treasurer’s Report. carried 5-0.
  • Motion by Small, seconded by Seffinga to adjourn meeting.



Submitted Ashley Beffa, Clerk/Treasurer

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact the Village Hall with comments, questions, and/or concerns and we will be happy to help.

Posted in