Town Board, Calumet Volunteer Fire Dept. and Town Board of the Town of Calumet
Thursday, September 20 2012
TIME: 7:00 pm
LOCATION: at the Taycheedah Town Hall
The Town Board of the Town of Taycheedah will meet with representatives of the Town of Calumet and the Calumet Volunteer Fire Dept to discuss the amendment to the agreement for fire protection and to any action necessary to address issues related to fire protection.
Brenda A. Schneider
The Town Board of the Town of Taycheedah met for a Special Business Meeting on Thursday, September 20th, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the Taycheedah Town Hall, for the purpose of negotiating a Fire Protection Agreement with Town of Calumet and the Town of Calumet Volunteer Fire Department. Taycheedah Town Board members present were; Chairman Jerome Guelig, Supervisors Jim Rosenthal, Tim Simon and Mike Wirtz and Clerk Brenda Schneider. Absent was Supervisor John Abler. Calumet Town Board members present were: Chairman Bruce Peterson and Supervisors Fritz Anhalt and John Bertram.
Representing the Town of Calumet Volunteer Fire Department were: Keith Lefeber, Robert Schmitz, Ken Haensgen, Jason Freund, Travis Abler, Dan Kuhl, Ann Schmitz, Kim Kraus, Brian Scheer, and Brian Schussman.
Also present were: Town of Brothertown Chair Larry Propson and Supervisor Delmar Buechel.
The Town Board of the Town of Taycheedah will meet with representative of the Town of Calumet and the Calumet Volunteer Fire Dept to discuss the amendment to the agreement for fire protection and to any action necessary to address issues related to fire protection.
Taycheedah Chairman Jerry Guelig called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm.
The Town Board of the Town of Taycheedah submitted a letter to the Town of Calumet and to the Fire Department prior to June 30, per the Agreement, acknowledging the end of the term of the current contract and offered to host a negotiation meeting with Calumet and the Fire Dept on July 23rd. The Fire Dept was represented at that meeting; however, the Calumet Town Board was not in attendance. Calumet Chairman Peterson explained that he was under the impression the meeting was cancelled; reportedly by someone other than the Taycheedah Chairman. During the July 23rd meeting, the Fire Dept offered a one-year Agreement with no increase in the current subsidy for 2013, citing sufficient expected carry-over and a desire to proceed on an annual basis in order to determine their financial position each year. The Calumet Town Board objected to the deal made between Taycheedah and the Fire Dept.
Three years ago, all parties agreed to substitute the rate per $1,000 of equalized value of improvements with a base subsidy increased by an agreed upon percentage. Calumet Chairman Peterson reported that during 2011, the Town of Taycheedah grew at a greater rate than the Towns of Calumet and Brothertown. Peterson's rounded calculations indicate that Taycheedah should pay $250 more than their base subsidy and jointly, Calumet and Brothertown should pay $250 less. Peterson wants to make adjustments due to inequitable growth. It was noted that the three municipalities will always vary in growth. It was also unclear if Peterson's calculation used 100% of Taycheedah's growth or 50%. Calumet Fire Dept covers half of Taycheedah.
During the current 3-year agreement, amendments to Taycheedah's agreement were negotiated; which froze the subsidy at the same level for all three years. It was unclear if Brothertown's agreement was amended or if they paid the 3% increases for the second and third year. It was also unclear to what degree Calumet supported the Fire Dept. Prior to the current agreement, Calumet did not pay a subsidy. Calumet covered, as needed, expenses beyond the funds received from Taycheedah and Brothertown. No annual audit or financial report was provided by the Town of Calumet illustrating their level of support.
Several years ago, the Calumet Town Board gave the Fire Dept independence. However, it was determined that allowing the Fire Dept to handle their own books was illegal as a Town-owned Fire Dept.
Taycheedah offered a three-year agreement at no increase for 2013, 1% for 2014, and 1% for 2015; which are the same terms offered and accepted with the Mt. Calvary Fire Dept.. Calumet Supervisor John Bertram questioned offering a 1% increase not knowing if the Department will the additional funds.
Taycheedah had expressed a desire to pay Calumet Fire Dept and Mt. Calvary Fire Dept the same amount of money due to the fact that each department covers half of the Town. Taycheedah noted that citizens expect both department to be paid at the same rate. Taycheedah has determined that equalizing the subsidy wasn't feasible at this time.
The new agreement would retain the same 6 month re-opener clause as contained in the current agreement. Either party has the ability to re-open the agreement at any time during the term of the agreement.
September 20th, 2012 Special Town Board Meeting 2.
Brothertown Supervisor Buechel questioned the need for their attendance. Buechel stated that Chairman Peterson contacted him to advise that they needed to be at this meeting. It was noted that the meeting was called by the Town of Taycheedah for the purpose of discussing Taycheedah's Agreement. Brothertown needs to handle their own negotiations.
Fire Dept Chief Keith Lefeber reported that the Department did not take an increase in subsidy for the past four years and has determined that an increase is not needed for 2013. He re-iterated that the Department is comfortable with no increase for next year.
The Fire Dept questioned Calumet Chairman Peterson what he will do if Taycheedah decided to go with Mt. Calvary and the Town of Fond du Lac Fire Dept; Calumet and Brothertown will have to cover the 51% of the Department's budget currently funded by the Town of Taycheedah.
Statutorily, the Town of Calumet cannot use fire department subsidy for expenses other than the fire department.
Taycheedah commended the Fire Department for fantastic service.
Taycheedah again offered a three-year agreement at no increase for 2013, 1% for 2014, and 1% for 2015. The Fire Dept commented that they insist on the same contract for all three towns.
Calumet Chairman Peterson feels that in three years the base subsidy will need to be adjusted to address growth. The Fire Dept responded that they are covering the same area at the same cost.
The Fire Dept reported that they are doing more accident assistance than structural fire-fighting. They estimated a ratio of three to one this year.
Peterson again questioned at what point will the bases be adjusted. It was noted that we are debating over $250 of an estimated $173,000 total municipal subsidy.
Taycheedah commented that Calumet and Brothertown's population is under 2,000; which allows them the ability to exceed the levy limit with elector approval during their budget hearings. Taycheedah must use the referendum process.
Town of Brothertown representatives departed at this time.
Taycheedah again offered a three-year agreement at no increase for 2013, 1% for 2014, and 1% for 2015. Taycheedah also suggested agreement language change in reference to deleting the statement referring to the net of new construction percentage increase.
At 8:18 pm, the Calumet Town Board caucused privately. Calumet returned to the group at 8:19. Calumet accepted Taycheedah's 3-year offer and the language change.
Motion by Jim Rosenthal, second by Mike Wirtz, to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 pm. Motion carried (4-0).
Brenda A. Schneider, Clerk
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