Executive Director’s Fall Town and Village Workshop Message
(9/30/14) Executive Director, Mike Koles, was unable to attend all of the Fall Workshops. UW-Extension produced a video that was played in Mike’s absence. A number of you have requested to have this video posted to the web. You can view Mike’s introductory message to participants in the workshops, which also is a general introduction of himself, by viewing the You Tube video that is linked below.
The Wisconsin Towns Association Announces
2014 Friend of Towns Award Recipients
(9/30/14) The Wisconsin Towns Association announced that three state legislators were named as “Friend of Wisconsin Towns for 2014.” The three legislators, State Senator Jerry Petrowski, State Representatives Ed Brooks and Andre Jacque, were named by the Association’s Board of Directors for their outstanding leadership and support on town issues in the past legislative session.
Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
Letter (send by October 15th)
(9/30/14) The WTA and National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT) are requesting your assistance to help lobby for modifications to WOTUS (Waters of the United States), a proposed rule defining what waters are “waters of the United States” and under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA has been a critical tool in cleaning up our nation’s lakes and rivers, enhancing water quality, and managing for water quantity. Clean water is extremely important to town citizens and our rural economies. We have and will continue to collaborate with many great partners to ensure that our water and environment is protected for current and future town citizens.
However, many, including WTA and NATaT, believe that WOTUS has the potential to expand CWA jurisdiction over additional “other waters”, including some ditches. With some changes and clarification, the EPA and Corps of Engineers can achieve our town interests to protect our valuable water resources within an efficient, common sense system of government. To help impact the decision making process, we are requesting that your town submit the “model” letter that is linked below to the EPA. This is a model letter and you must insert your town’s name twice on the first page and once on the last page. The EPA address is included on the top of the letter. We encourage you to submit this on your town’s letterhead. Also, please feel free to send your U.S. Congressman and Senators.
GAB Guidance on Voter Photo ID
for the 2014 Election Now Available
(9/17/14) A High Priority memorandum has been posted to the Recent Clerk Communications page on the GAB's website here: http://gab.wi.gov/clerks/recent-communications.
The memorandum provides guidance to clerks on Voter Photo ID and Absentee Ballots for 2014 General Election.
It includes general guidance, as well as a letter for clerks to use to send to voters regarding the need to provide photo ID. There are also instructions for SVRS.
If you have questions, please contact the G.A.B. Help Desk at 608-261-2028 or via email.
67th Annual WTA Convention
(7/31/14) Please join us for the 67th Annual WTA Convention October 26th-28th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. The convention features a wide range of educational workshops and opportunities to meet with your fellow town officials from around the state.
Please CLICK HERE for the convention announcement & itinerary.
Please CLICK HERE for the convention registration form.
Attorney General Van Hollen Announces
Registration is Open for Upcoming 2014 FREE
Public Records and Open Meetings laws Seminars
Registering Early Online is Recommended for Free Seminars
(9/4/14) Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen invites the public and government officials to register today to attend upcoming Department of Justice seminars on the public records and open meetings laws. Online registration opened today at the Department of Justice website -- www.doj.state.wi.us. Pre-registration is required, and it is recommended anyone who is interested in the free seminars with assistant attorneys general register early because space will be limited. Click here to be taken to the registration page on the DOJ website.
“I encourage anyone who wants a better understanding of how their government operates as well as their rights and responsibilities under the law to attend one of these free seminars,” Van Hollen said. “Education is critical to effective oversight of government, compliance with our open government laws and prevention of violations of those important laws that are essential to a democratic government.”
Below is information about each of the seminars and the webinar:
October 17, 2014
9:00 a.m. to noon
Public Records and Open Meetings Laws (3 CLE credits)
American Family Training Center – Auditorium, Building A
6000 American Family Drive, Madison
October 27, 2014
9:00 a.m. to noon
Public Records and Open Meetings Laws (3 CLE credits)
Waukesha County Technical College – Richard T. Anderson Education Center
800 Main Street, Pewaukee
Or, participate in a webinar presentation, offered in two parts:
November 6, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Open Meetings Law (1.5 CLE credits)
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Public Records Law (1.5 CLE credits)
Each 90-minute webinar session will be followed by a question and answer period. A webinar is an interactive audio-visual presentation viewed live over the Internet from the participant’s personal computer. More information about how to connect to the webinar will follow as the program dates approach.
Click here for the Open Government section of the Wisconsin Department of Justice website, which has additional resources on Wisconsin’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws.
WCHA Roadway Vendors Invite
(9/4/14) The Wisconsin County Highway Association Leadership Development Group is holding its annual training conference in La Crosse at the La Crosse Center on Sept 29th and 30Th. They would like to invite you to come and visit the vendors on the 29th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on the 30th from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. There are all types of vendors related to the construction and the maintenance of roadways. It would be a great way to see some new ideas and ways of doing business.
Apply for PSC Broadband
Expansion Grants for FY2015
(8/14/14) The Public Service Commission is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for Broadband Expansion Grants for the FY 2015 grant cycle. The application instructions may be found at: http://psc.wi.gov/utilityInfo/tele/broadband/grants/bbGrantApplicationPage.htm. Applications are due and must be uploaded to the PSC’s ERF system by Thursday, October 13, 2014, at 4:00 pm Central time. Clarifying questions regarding the application process or content should be addressed to the State Broadband Office, as provided in Section 1.5 of the application instructions, must be filed no later than September 25, 2014.
Information about workshops to help with the grant-writing process can be found if you CLICK HERE.
Sample Ordinance & Information on
New Implements of Husbandry (IOH) Law
(6/9/14) Please CLICK HERE for a link to Executive Director Rick Stadelman's June WTA magazine article on the New IOH (Implements of Husbandry) Law Overview.
A table showing a summary of the various options that municipalities and counties (these are the Maintaining Authorities under the new law) have regarding the length and weight of IOHs on highways under their jurisdiction can be found if you CLICK HERE.
Sample ordinances for each of the four options (note that Option A and Option F do not require an ordinance) that require an ordinance are attached here:
Also please CLICK HERE to view the new IOH/Ag CMV table (which provides for a 15% increase per axle and gross weight). This table is what now controls for IOH/Ag CMV, on unposted highways, unless Option B, C, D, or E are adopted.
The Standard Application for a No-Fee Permit from Local Governments can be accessed at the Wis. DOT website at: http://www.dot.state.wi.us/business/ag/index.htm
Additional information on the new law is also available at this DOT website.
Legislative Update: 2013-14 Session Recap
(5/6/14) CLICK HERE for a copy of the WTA Legislative Update as of 5/6/14 summarizing issues of importance to towns from the 2013-14 legislative session.
NATaT Legislative Update
(9/17/14) WTA posts weekly legislative updates from the National Association of Towns and Townships. Please see the current as well as past issues on the Legislative page.
Propane Crisis Information Updates -
Governor Scott Walker Announces Plan to Help Fill Propane Tanks
Early for 25,000 Households through State Heating Program
(9/4/14) Persistent very cold weather has created an ongoing propane crisis in Wisconsin of exploding prices and short supplies needed to keep homes and businesses warm. Please click on the below items for the latest updates on what the state government is doing on this issue:
In addition, Governor Walker signed the following bill into law on Thursday March 27th, 2014:
Assembly Bill 770 – creates an emergency heating assistance loan guarantee program. It will allow families to obtain financing of up to $2,500 through a participating lender with a guarantee of 50 to 80 percent on original amount borrowed. Assembly Bill 770 makes financing more affordable by providing a one-time payment of 3.5 percent to reduce the interest rate on the loan. The bill passed the Assembly 94-1 and unanimously passed the Senate; it is Act 175.
Wis. Stat. Section 82.03(2) WTA Resolution
(10/17/13) Please CLICK HERE for a sample resolution proposing that WTA should seek a legislative change to Wis. Stat. s. 82.03(2). The statute requires town meeting of electors approval to annually spend more than $5,000 per mile of town highway in total highway spending. The resolution recommends amending s. 82.03(2) to require town meeting of elector approval instead when planning to exceed $10,000 per mile of town highway in total annual highway spending.