Abbott Drive work approved at Sherman meeting

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

SHERMAN — The town of Sherman’s 166th annual meeting drew three residents Tuesday, April 21.

The electorate and board approved proceeding with repairs to roughly four miles of town road. Only estimates of the cost of such work were available at the meeting, so this vote was just to set the general, standard process in motion, which will include getting bids.

Supervisor Kris Klein, a member of the Road Committee, said he’d like to do something with Abbott Drive. Goehring said one option was to borrow money, because interest rates continue to be low.

Klein said he would like to do the rest of Abbott, starting from the point near Allen Road where recent work ended, and continuing as far west as the town line, a stretch of road roughly 4 miles long.

Estimates of comparative prices and other details for four options had been received from the Sheboygan County Highway Department and were reviewed by those present.

Klein said, “Obviously, I think with the truck traffic, I know it’s more expensive, but I’d like to see it covered with five inches, pulverized and redone. There’s a lot of base that’s in bad shape. I think, if we’re going to spend the money to do it, then do it right.”

“We’re looking for citizen input” at this point, Town Chairman William Goehring said, and not necessarily a motion. But resident Vernon Weber made the motion to repave Abbott Drive with four inches, the estimated cost of which would be $767,478.

Resident Jim Schulz asked if the town intended to borrow that money. Goehring replied that the town would possibly borrow it over a ten-year period.

Schulz said residents would be concerned about the tax impact. But, “I guess there really is no other alternative,” he said, acknowledging that town road upkeep was behind what it should be. Klein agreed that the town was behind in road upkeep.

Supervisor James Fahney said the only way he could see Abbott Drive being repaired was through raising taxes.

The motion passed unanimously.

Other town business

Goehring said 3 town officials needed to be authorized to sign checks for the town. This is currently Goehring, Fahney, and Clerk/Treasurer Rhonda Klatt, with Klein as alternate. Weber questioned the need for that many people being authorized, suggesting that two would be sufficient.

“It’s not that three people can write checks,” Supervisor Patricia Horne explained. “It’s that three signatures are required on every check.”

“The treasurer always writes the checks,” Klatt said. The three authorized check signers then sign them.

The board and electorate voted to keep the identity and number of authorized check signers the same.

Klatt had assembled a survey of salaries paid by other townships in Sheboygan County, so that the board and electorate could see how Sherman’s compared. Ten other towns provided their numbers, while four did not respond.

“While it looks like we might be on the low end, considering population, we’re pretty much in line [with the others],” Goehring said. After a brief silence, he added, “If nothing else, a motion to continue the salaries as-is would be in order.”

The motions were made from the electorate. With no further discussion, it was unanimously approved to keep salaries unchanged for the town board supervisors and the constable.

It was unanimously approved to authorize the Town Board to contract with the Sheboygan County Highway Department for road maintenance, and to authorize expenditures that might exceed $100,000. Goehring explained, “By statute, we have to approve that at the annual meeting every year.”

Supervisor Robert Boehlke reported that things were going well at the transfer station. Horne said it had broken even in the past year. (A few years previously, expenses so far outweighed the revenue collected for its operation, that the board reluctantly said that the option of closing the transfer station was on the table.) The plan is to monitor costs and income, to continue keeping it operating on a break-even basis.

Boehlke complimented residents for doing a good job separating recyclables from garbage and by cooperating with the transfer station guidelines.

Household brush will be accepted at the transfer station Saturday, May 16.

The board and electorate reviewed and approved the 2014 Sherman financial report.

“I would like to say the town has been running very efficiently,” Goehring said. “We thank the Plan Commission and we thank the board. We don’t always agree on things, but we leave the meetings getting along with each other, and it’s good to have diverse ideas. We especially thank our transfer station attendants. I need to also especially thank our clerk/ treasurer, who really keeps the town running smoothly, and helps to keep the chairman in line.

Klein said he thought Goehring deserved recognition for being chairman since 1987.

Goehring summarized County Board developments of the past year.

The 167th annual Sherman meeting is planned for Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

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