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Board hears more options for town assessor

Lake Holcombe Town Board

Discussion of who should be the town’s assessor continued during a regular Lake Holcombe Town Board meeting, Feb. 13. Brian Guthman, chairman, updated the board on other options for assessors he found online.

“I talked to several of them,” said Guthman. “Several of them were too busy. They said that they couldn’t take us on, even if they wanted to.”

Guthman said Randy Prochnow, with Prochnow Assessing out of Menomonie, may be willing to take on the town. Prochnow, and his father, Jerome, are assessors for a number of area municipalities.

Guthman said Prochnow did not give exact figures for what a complete reassessment would cost, but did give a preliminary estimate. Guthman said Prochnow was willing to spread the cost of the reassessment over three years, to make budgeting easier.

“He’d do all of the complete evaluation in one year, but he would just get paid over three,” said Guthman.

Supervisor Dave Staudacher asked if the other townships are happy with Prochnow Assessing’s work. Guthman says those he talked to said they have not had any problems with them.

Guthman said Prochnow is planning to attend the March regular meeting, to discuss the issue further. Members tabled a decision on the matter until after they hear from Prochnow.

Board members also talked about what should go on the town website, and what should not. They discussed whether a section on senior living help should be displayed on the town website.

Guthman said the website information in question provided a variety of options for group home settings, for all different needs and age groups. He asked if the board thought private entities should be allowed on the website and what the town’s criteria is for organizations that want to share information on the site. “Do we only want to make it public entities?” asked Guthman, giving the example of the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).

Supervisor Doug Olson says he agrees having criteria is important, but also said links to other organizations can increase the website’s positioning on search results. He said he doesn’t think the town website should be used to promote specific, individual for-profit businesses.

Guthman said the information in question contained many different businesses.

“We’re not recommending one,” said Guthman, since the information contains lists of many businesses and organizations.

Olson said, in general, he would not want to promote a private, for-profit business, that looks like a referral from the town. He says he likes to see information in the best interest of the community listed on the town website.

Members voted in favor of listing infor- mation, as long as it does not promote any single, for-profit business.

Members also approved participating in the Chippewa County road ditch clean-up project.

“They give you $500 for doing it,” said Guthman.

Guthman says he knows the Town of Birch Creek has participated in the past, because the FFA would help pick up the road ditches and the town would give some of the money to the FFA. Guthman suggested the town could pick a group to help, if they would like.

Guthman asked Ben Jordan, town roadman, if he thought participating in the project was worth it, since the town already does recycle round-ups to collect unwanted goods, to prevent things like tires and electronics from ending up in ditches.

“You just have to haul it down there and the county takes care of the disposal fee,” said clerk Tracey Larson of the road ditch clean-up project.

Larson said tires should be taken to Cornell or Chippewa Falls, and everything else has a drop-off location in Eau Claire.

Olson said they may not want to give all $500 to a group, if the township has to haul items picked up all the way to Eau Claire.

Jordan says he picks stuff out of ditches as he sees it. He puts smaller items in the dumpster, but says he currently saves larger items for the recycle round-up.

Larson suggested they put the $500 toward Jordan’s wages, since he is collecting the discarded items anyway and Jordan can haul the items to the appropriate place.

“Because, right now, we are paying for the disposal of it,” said Larson.

Guthman agreed it could offset some of the recycle round-up.

Members agreed to sign the letter of intent to participate in the project.

Town board members also took a look at the town grievance procedures, dealing with employee grievances, as required by state law.

“Slowly we are catching up on things we were supposed to do that we had no idea about,” said Olson.

Guthman said he had Jordan look over a draft of the procedures for feedback. Members passed a resolution to adopt the procedures.

They also consented to summer work by CenturyLink. Guthman said he suggests the board make the stipulation that CentryLink place identifying flags on any nodes or other equipment installed.

“I think they’ll be far enough back for snow removal, it’s a lot of times when we are mowing brush...that you can’t see them,” said Jordan.

Members agreed to the work, with the stipulation.

In the chairman’s report, Guthman suggested they include a notice in the tax letter that garbage containers can not sit out all week.

“They sit out there and then they’re in the way when we’re trying to plow snow,” said Guthman, adding the problem extends to any work that takes place in the road rightof- way.

He also said the garbage bins pose an issue by the streets over summer, since they get tipped over in the wind and garbage spills in the right-of-way.

As a notice the public, snow can not be plowed across the road.

“It’s hard on equipment and it’s dangerous,” said Guthman.

Guthman also noted during the report that the Rusk County Transit has teamed up with the Chippewa County ADRC to give Holcombe and Cornell residents rides to Ladysmith. Residents must meet some criteria to use the service.