2017 Winter District Reports

 

Brian Giebel, East Central District -- The East Central District will be meeting December 8th to kick off our winter meeting schedule.  We will be meeting with Mark Finger and Tim Vander Leest to discuss plan review and septic inspections for systems that utilize different types of media, pretreatment devices and new septic technologies and code changes.   We will also discuss ways to stabilize steep slopes in shoreland areas and the use of tablets for completing septic inspections electronically.

 

Jared Grande etal, West Central District --  February 9, 2017:  WCZA hosted the biennial Administrative Assistant Training at the Eau Claire County Courthouse.  Five speakers assisted with the training and 16 participants in attendance.  Rod Eslinger, the Eau Claire County Department Manager, welcomed and introduced everyone.  Lynn Mark, the Land Use Specialist from UW-SP & UW-Extension, held three training sessions:  general zoning, general shoreland zoning, and general board of adjustment discussion.  During lunch, Rod Eslinger led a “Lunch and Learn” round-table discussions regarding responsibilities and tasks people had in the office, how POWTS inventory and maintenance is tracked, and website management.  Karen Kohler, the CVTC Director, led training on “Improving Soft Skills” that focused on how to deal with difficult people, generational difference, and improving communication within the office and public.  Jason Fey, the Pierce County Asst. Corporation Counsel, led a fun and enthusiastic discussion about public hearings, legal notices, posting, agendas, minutes, & open meeting laws.  He even handed out candy at the end during a fun pop-quiz.  Rod Eslinger led closing remarks, training evaluation, and consensus was an informative and fun day!

 

March 9, 2017:  WCZA spring quarterly meeting at the Chippewa County Courthouse.  We had officer’s reports; WCCA Spring/Fall conference topics and locations, dues, scholarships, and google group discussion; Admin Asst. Training Discussion; POWTS Inventory Discussion; Department clothing stipend discussion; Shoreland Zoning discussion where we shared forms, guidance documents, and worksheets; Legislative Updates; County updates, and future meetings. 

 

June 8, 2017:  WCZA hosted a County Employee field Soil & Site Evaluation Training at the Mann Valley Lab Farm in St. Croix County.  Don Taylor and Holly Doliver, the UW-River Falls Soil Science Professors, were so gracious to help and let us use their facility.  In turn, we got Digger’s Hotline to approve 5 sites and for Total Excavating to donate to dig opened 5 pits.  Ed Taylor, DSPS Wastewater Specialist, led the soils training.  A total of 16 participants evaluated the soils and could see how the last Wisconsinan Glaciation (10,000 yrs. ago) moved around loess, outwash, till, colluvium and altered the landscape, dolomite, shale and sandstone below.  They could distinguish Mollisols, like Pillot, a deep, dark grassland soil versus an Alfisol, like Jewitt and Derinda, both forested soils with and E-horizon and clay content of eluvial horizon.  Derinda soil will not be forgotten for being saturated, sticky, “Great Green Goo.”  (4 pictures attached below)

 

September 14, 2017:  WCZA hosted a Non-Metallic Mining site tour of a mine owned by Anderson Brothers & Johnson Inc. in Marathon County.  The tour included a quick presentation in the central office outlining the history of Anderson Brothers & Johnson Inc., a demonstration of the machines used to cut the materials onsite into slabs, the pit onsite and practices used to mine the granite, and lastly seeing the final product ready for purchase. Also discussed was the unique project the company was involved with Marathon County, 45N – 90W Geographic Marker Project. To read more, visit Marathon County’s website.  Then the quarterly meeting proceeded with officer reports, legislative updates, county updates, and future agenda items. Brian Duell announced he would be taking a new position as the Highway Commissioner for Clark County. In the meantime, Tony Roder and Jared Grande would help fill in as the WCZA interim presidents until the December election filling in Brian’s role as the president.

 

December 13, 2017:  WCZA winter quarterly meeting at the Eau Claire County Courthouse.  We have election of officers and review of the year.  We have two speakers from WisDOT, Chris Michels and Jeorgia Dahl, to talk about "Access Management, Outdoor Advertising & Scenic Easements."

 

Andrew Baker, Southeast District -- The Southeast District met on December 1 in Waukesha.  On the docket was a review and discussion of recent and pending legislation that has an impact our roles as code administrators.  On the top of the list was Act 67 (AB 479), otherwise known as the “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.”  We also discussed proposed legislation, introduced first in the end of November as SB 601 and now the companion AB 713, which would change how a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) approved by FEMA is recognized in the administration of Floodplain Zoning.  Today, most of us rarely see a LOMA because the primary use is for flood insurance purposes.  If the legislation passes, a LOMA approved by FEMA can be used as the center point of development decisions and permitting with no upfront input from the Community as is required for other Letters of Map Change (i.e. the Community Acknowledge Form).  This Bill effects each community differently depending on the detail the FIRMS available, but none the less will change how we will process Floodplain Zoning Permits.

 

The District invited Mike Halsted from the DNR Bureau of Environmental Analysis & Sustainability to have a roundtable discussion primarily about the DNR/DOT Cooperative Agreement for transportation related projects.  Mr. Halsted is the state-wide policy coordinator who over see’s the work of the regional DNR Liaisons reviewing transportation projects. While many transportation projects are exempt from local jurisdiction for permitting, those exemptions are clearly defined and, by policy, are held to the same standards as a private project, just through a different process.  Frankly, as discussed with Mr. Halsted, it is that different process that raises questions locally, both from our view as regulators and from citizens.  We talked at length about the challenges in meeting Floodplain Zoning requirements based, namely map amendments after projects are completed in the Floodplain, and also siting of borrow and waste disposal sites.   The consensus of the District was that a presentation along these same lines would be very beneficial at a future conference for the entire WCCA membership and for DNR and DOT staff as a means to improve intergovernmental coordination for these types of projects.  Watch for that on a future agenda. 

 

Jennifer Croonborg-Murphy, Northwest District -- The NW District met on September 20th in Glidden.  Much of the day’s discussion surrounded proposed statutory language changes effecting county zoning & sanitation.   CeCe (Rusk) also discussed creating POWTS training opportunities for WCCA Members, Eric (Sawyer) discussed POWTS code updates/progress, and Matt (Sawyer) lead a discussion about short term rentals/tourist rooming houses.   At the WCCA fall conference, Josh (Ashland) was elected 2nd VP of the WCCA, Rob (Bayfield) will move on to become President of the WCCA in 2018, and CeCe will continue her role as DeCoder Editor & Website Coordinator.  I am proud to part of such an active District that also commits to leadership roles in the WCCA. We will be meeting on December 13 in Hayward to hold elections for District President, Vice President, & Sec/Treasurer. 

 

Jeremy Johnson, Northeast District --  The NE District had its first meeting of the season in Crandon on 12/1.  Jennifer Jefferson of WDNR gave a presentation with examples on determinations of base flood elevation in floodplains.

There were extensive discussions on many of the new Acts and pending bills in the Legislature.

 

Elections for officers were completed and results are:

Dave Sadenwasser (Vilas) – President/District Representative

Mike Huth (Lincoln) – Vice-President

Pat Virtues (Oconto) – Treasurer

 

The next district meeting will be in Crandon on January 5th at 9:30 a.m.

 

Adam Wiegel, Southwest District --No Report
 

Jeff Brewbaker, Central District -- On December 8, 2017, the Central District of the WCCA met at the Rockton Bar.  All counties in the Central District and Southwest District were invited to participate.  Jeff Brewbaker was elected to another one year term as the Central District Representative.  There was a half hour long business meeting, where recent legislation regarding land use issues were discussed among the attendees.   Participants were present from Vernon, Wood, Jackson, Lacrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Marquette, Portage, Waushara, Grant, and Green.

 

The last two hours of the meeting were presented by Michelle Staff WI-DNR, State NFIP Coordinator.   Michelle discussed Senate Bill 601 and she answered questions as to how counties will be impacted by this proposed legislation.  Michelle also educated the  group on all of the different types of LOMC. The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 PM followed by lunch served at Rockton Bar.

 

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