Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Zoning and Conservation 05/10/2010

Last Updated 5/19/2010 9:36:26 AM






Sawyer County Land & Water Conservation Committee

May 10, 2010


Committee Members Present:  Jim Bassett, Chuck Gunderson, Bruce Paulsen, Dean Pearson, Dale Thompson, Warren Johnson, Fred Zietlow, Bernie Kadlec


Others Present:  Kris Mayberry – County Clerk, Eric Wellauer – ZAC, Gary Gedart – Highway Dept., Kristy Maki – AIS Coordinator, Tom Aartila – DNR Basin Supervisor, Dale Olson – ZAC Administrator, Mike Gehrke - WWOA, Linda Zillmer, Terrell Boettcher - SCR.


The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by Chair Bassett who turned the meeting over to Kris Mayberry, County Clerk, for election of chair and vice-chair and committee meeting schedule.  Nominations were opened for Chair:  Zietlow nominated Bassett.  Zietlow moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Bassett as Chair, second by Pearson.  Motion carried.  Pearson nominated Zietlow as Vice-Chair.  Motion by Bassett, second by Gunderson to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Zietlow as Vice-Chair.  Motion carried. 


Zietlow moved to recommend to the County Board that Warren Johnson be approved as the 7th member of the Zoning and Conservation Committee.  Motion carried.


Motion by Bassett, second by Zietlow to approve the agenda.  Motion carried.


Motion by Zietlow, second by Gunderson, to approve the April 2010 minutes.  Motion carried.


Audience Recognition

Linda Zillmer presented information to new members on the background of her interest in the committee.  She voiced concerns over: the combined department, special use permits for F-1 (forestry zoning) regarding conservation easements, conditional use permit for a campground, length of extension timeframe for conditional use permits, livestock ordinance issues/citing, and nutrient management plans regarding land spreading of septage.  Requested all versions of the April 2010 public hearing minutes.


Dale Olson handed out a list of common acronyms for the Zoning and Conservation Department and gave a summary of those most commonly referred to.


Introductions of all committee members, Olson explained that under Chapter 92 of Wis. Statues there is to be a Farm Service Agency (FSA) representative on the local land conservation committee as a voting member.  It is also required that there are 2 members of the Ag & Extension committee serving on the land conservation committee. 


Tiger Cat Dam Failure Analysis

Olson gave the background of why dam failure analysis are necessary and stated there is a goal to get one per year completed.  Tiger Cat has been ongoing for 3 years due to slow communication and progress.  There are DNR objections to the plan the engineer submitted and the County Corp Council TJ Duffy is working to either get the engineering firm to fulfill their contract or for the County to receive the money paid back to start over with a different firm.  Discussion.


Placid Lake Diversion Canal Permit

Olson explained that Round Lake is a natural lake made up of 5 lakes historically, and today consists of Round Lake and Little Round Lake.  There is a canal connecting the Tiger Cat Flowage to Round Lake.  The canal was originally put in to divert water away from the then sparsely populated Tiger Cat into Round Lake.  Currently there is no flow occurring in the canal, due to low water levels in Northwest Wisconsin.  Olson stated the two systems are in different sub watersheds, and do eventually join together about 30 miles south.  Tiger Cat has purple loosestrife (aquatic invasive species), tannic acid and a lower pH.  Round Lake has Eurasian Milfoil (aquatic invasive species) and the invasive species alone should be enough to justify separating the two water bodies.  There is an existing design plan for the removal of the canal by the Highway department.  There will most likely be a DNR public hearing at the Round Lake Property Owners Association (RLPOA) request.  If approved, the culvert will be removed, native soil will be replaced and re-vegetated.  Discussion on the history.  Tom Aartila, DNR, stated the need to identify a new manageable range of water level and to abandon or modify the existing structure accordingly.  Discussion on bridge/land ownership.  Olson stated there is limited control currently and that nature/rainfall is more of a determining factor than the canal.






Page 2 - Sawyer County Land & Water Conservation Committee, May 10, 2010


Highway NN Culvert Issues

Olson distributed the DNR letter dated May 7th, 2010 (response to March letter).  Overview of the issue and discussion on ownership.  Olson gave an estimated cost to take the culvert out versus applying for a dam permit.  It would be possible to permit the structure as a dam to move on from this issue, however once permitted as a dam, it would be another issue in 20 years or so when the structure needed to be replaced to remove the dam status.  The County has a good working relationship with the LCO Tribe and should not act without further discussing options.  The committee determined to recommend the issue be brought before the County Board/Tribal meeting on May 26th.  A letter will be drafted to reply to the DNR by the June 1, 2010 deadline to outline the plan in motion.


Highway E & Demon Creek Culvert Projects

Olson stated that the Tribe requested the culverts on Highway E & Demon Creek be enlarged.  Currently, the native population of brook trout is unable to utilize the culverts in their upstream movement.  The LCO Conservation department is manually netting the fish and moving them to the other side of the road to continue to their spawning grounds.  Olson stated that he applied for and received a grant for $10,000 for the projects because brook trout are listed as a species of interest with the US Fish & Wildlife Service.


Banner E. Meyer Sign

Olson reported the violation in the Town of Edgewater and distributed handouts with photos of the sign.  He indicated that discussion with the Corporate Council recommended dismissing the issue.  The sign ordinance needs to be clarified before a citation could be issued.


Musky Bay Herbicide Treatment

Musky Bay is part of Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) and has an infestation of Curly Leaf Pondweed, which is an aquatic invasive species.  Courte Oreilles Lake Association (COLA) has applied for a DNR permit to treat the curly leaf pondweed and a contracted herbicide applicator will be treating approximately 9.5 acres on May 17th.  There are three cranberry growers on the lake who pull water directly from the lake.  They would need to stop pulling water from the lake for 14 days after treatment under the herbicide guidelines.  Olson discussed the option of an alternative closed-loop system for the growers to use for irrigation those 14 days.  The herbicide, Aquathol K, has a new label that was just recently passed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which does not have any food crop restrictions.  The curly leaf pondweed needs to be treated this year or next year it would be back 125%.  Olson reminded the committee of the multi-use recreation the lake provides, and the importance of treating the aquatic invasive plants to prevent their rapid spread.  Discussion on the county’s role of facilitation. 



Tom Aartila stated the topics were already covered.



No representative present.



No representative present.


Cell Phone Plans

Olson reported the conservation department currently reimburses employees to use their personal cell phones.  The Zoning department has three cell phones that do not have very good reception, low battery life, and no caller id.  Reimbursing employees would save the county an approximate $80/month.  Johnson recommended looking at the state plan options.  Bassett was concerned employees would be conducting county business after hours if personal numbers were given out.  Olson pointed out a field employee does not always work a standard 40 hour work week, and that caller id could be used to screen work related calls on personal time.  Wellauer restated the issues receiving calls, lack of texting ability which can be received in low signal areas, and poor battery life on the current phones.  Motion by Pearson, second by Gunderson to table the issue until next month’s meeting.  Motion carried. 


Updated Private Sewage System Ordinance Draft & Sanitation & Soils Quarterly Report

Eric Wellauer, Assistant Zoning & Conservation Administrator, presented the Department permit totals, which are about double this time last year.  He presented a graph showing the trend from 2005, 2009 and 2010.  Permits are almost equal to the 2005 numbers. 


2010     SAN/Sanitary Permits = 70+                               2009     SAN/Sanitary Permits = 38        

CST/Soil Tests = 52+                                                     CST/Soil Tests = 29

                        LUP/Land Use Permits = 101+                                        LUP/Land Use Permits = 58


2005     SAN/Sanitary Permits = 72                    

CST/Soil Tests = 45                  

                                    LUP/Land Use Permits = 102




Page 3 - Sawyer County Land & Water Conservation Committee, May 10, 2010


Wellauer reported on the Wisconsin Fund applicants and the Citizens Committee:


·         There were 17 applicants last year in 2009 who applied for the Wisconsin Fund program, which helps reimburse homeowners with failing septic systems meeting certain criteria.  The total amount applied for was $60,000 in 2009.  So far there have been 6 applicants for 2010 funding. 


·         A handout put together by the Sawyer County Citizens Committee on Septic Systems with their recommendations for Sawyer County Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) monitoring and compliance was presented.  Wellauer updated the committee on the Carmody system which tracks Sawyer County septic records for pumping on the 3 year cycle.  Inventory and maintenance has been slow due to the vast amounts of misinformation that were previously entered and duplicated.  The deadlines by the State of Wisconsin have been extended for counties to have all systems on a maintenance schedule and inventoried. 


·         Point of Sale inspections – the inventory and maintenance system will take care of this.


·         Draft of the Sawyer County Private Sewage System Ordinance was handed out for comments.


·         Lake Survey – this summer the septic survey will take place around Nelson Lake in Lenroot.  There are approximately 400 parcels to visit on the lakeshore.  The intern, Joel Murray, is set to start on May 24, 2010.


·         Waste Disposal Challenges – information dissemination, ZAC FACTS column in the local newspaper


·         Standardized inspection form


·         Regional waste treatment facilities – options for expansion


·         Soil identification to provide a map overlay of most suitable land spreading sites


NR 115 Grant

Olson reported that a grant for shoreline rules/regulations education and enforcement was applied for totaling $13,525.00.  The grant would reimburse the county for approximately the difference in employee hours as already approved by the county board.  The grant would also cover costs associated with public meetings and supplies for education regarding the new NR115 shoreline regulations.  Motion by Bassett, second by Pearson to approve the application for Lake Management grant NR115.  Motion carried.


Land Sale

Kris Mayberry handed out a list of county land sale properties.  There are three properties still being tested for gravel and timber value.  He gave an overview of land being used as forest land already that is not part of the county forest.  Gunderson questioned why the lands were not included in county forest if they are being managed as the county forest land is.  Mayberry explained that sometimes exchanges need to be made for land and that it is easier to do than take land out of county forest to exchange.  Mayberry recommended to leave off the three parcels still awaiting appraisal.  Discussion of land values.  Motion by Zietlow, second by Johnson to approve the land sale list as presented and publish the list pending the three property appraisals.  Motion carried.


County Monthly Work Report

Work reports were distributed. Olson reported:  1) Grant for nutrient management  2) Bear trapping, Wildlife damage  3) Interns are starting soon  4) Parks – Reservations for Hatchery Park  5) Pri-Ru-Ta representative needed from committee  6) Land use permits in floodplain  7) Drought conditions map, Palmer Index presented  8) Staffing – hours, posting, union  9) 2010 staff funding grant 10) AIS grant funding application for August 1st


Motion by Johnson, second by Bassett to approve funding in-kind for the AIS grant application.  Motion carried.

Motion by Pearson, second by Bassett to approve Bruce Paulsen as the Pri-Ru-Ta representative and to forward the appointment to the town.  Motion carried.


Review and Approve Monthly ZAC Expenditures

Motion by Bassett, second by Zietlow to approve the monthly expenditures as presented.  Motion carried.


Other Business for Discussion/Audience Recognition

Chairman Bassett asked that paperwork left by Linda Zillmer be attached to the meeting minutes of record.  Discussion about an easement checkbox or line on land use applications being added.  The department will modify the form as needed.





Page 4 - Sawyer County Land & Water Conservation Committee, May 10, 2010



Motion by Bassett second by Zietlow to convene into closed session, pursuant to section 19.85(1)(c) Wisconsin Statutes, to consider a reclassification request.  Motion carried by unanimous voice vote. 


Motion by Johnson, second by Bassett to return to open session.  Motion carried.


Motion by Johnson, second by Bassett to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried.



Meeting was adjourned at 12:30 PM.





Kelly Nechuta, Recorder