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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

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December 17, 2017

12/5/2017 7:28:00 AM
Woodruff wants agreement clarification
Another meeting with Arbor Vitae regarding Brandy Park coming up
Brian Jopek/Lakeland Times
Brian Jopek/Lakeland Times

Brian Jopek

Supervisors with the town of Woodruff would like to meet again with the town of Arbor Vitae as well as with members of the Brandy Park Commission.

The majority of the Woodruff Town Board - Barry Seidel, Ed Richardson and Shirley Jacoby - have been successful to this point in getting the town's $13,000 contribution removed from the 2018 budget.

Their reasoning, essentially, is the park commission has money in its savings account they indicated needed to be spent before Woodruff would contribute any more.

That $13,000 is the same amount Arbor Vitae has contributed and will again in 2018.

Town clerk Christine Woynich said Friday even though town electors have approved the tax levy for 2018, the town board has yet to formally vote on the budget itself, which means the $13,000 could be put back in.

At the first meeting of the two town boards and the park commission in late October, Woodruff town officials confirmed the intent to remove the Woodruff funding in 2018.

Woynich pointed out during that meeting the town of Woodruff would have to pay double should the town board decide to provide funding for 2019.

"It's not permanent," Woodruff town supervisor Barry Seidel said.

A couple weeks later, at a Brandy Park Commission meeting, Woodruff town supervisor Ed Richardson, also a member of the park commission and when pressed by Arbor Vitae town chairman Frank Bauers, said he wouldn't have a problem with seeing the town of Woodruff break the agreement with Arbor Vitae.

At last week's town board meeting, Seidel said he asked the agreement between the two towns be placed on the meeting agenda.

"There's some things I think we need to discuss as a town board, based on some comments made at the joint town board meeting," he said. "We were told we had 19 years of catching up to do on the agreement."

That was in reference to a comment made by Bauers, who pointed out during the joint meeting the town of Arbor Vitae takes care of a large part of the administrative duties, such as paying salaries and insurance, as well any snowplowing during the winter months.

"So, what I wanted to do is I wanted to look at the agreement and try to understand, first of all, what our obligations are every year," Seidel said last week. "I'm finding there are either inconsistencies or things are being done we don't know about. Unfortunately, the guy that can answer most of the questions isn't here."

Town chairman Mike Timmons, like Richardson another long time member of the Brandy Park Commission, wasn't at last week's meeting.

"I have questions about the payroll, I have questions about the alternating members and memberships and whether or not that's actually occurred," Seidel said. "And then I have questions ... if Arbor Vitae feels Woodruff has 19 years of catching up to do, I want to know in what regard that catching up is and what it is Arbor Vitae feels we're behind on so that we can do our fair share and that is somehow clarified in this agreement."

Richardson said Bauers would have to be at a meeting to tell the Woodruff Town Board how the town is behind.

Supervisor Corky Sheppard suggested another joint meeting.

"Go over just this," he said, referring to the agreement. "Nothing else."

"I think that would be a good idea," Seidel said.

Richardson said he could answer some of the questions as he is on the park commission but couldn't answer for Bauers.

It was ultimately decided to schedule another meeting with the Arbor Vitae Town Board and Brand Park Commission members and have that meeting take place soon.

"It (the Brandy Park Commission) has been running efficiently," Richardson said. "It hasn't been running according to the agreement."

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.

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