Water tank doesn’t fit normal zoning code definitions

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

SHERMAN—The Board of Supervisors preceded its monthly meeting the night of Oct. 5 with a public hearing, to address two requests.

The first was from Krier Foods, Inc. The company seeks a conditional use permit. Addressing the board was Ken Ebbott of Fehr Graham Engineering & Environmental. Krier has hired this company to assist with plans to build a 23-foot high, 81-foot diameter, 900,000-gallon capacity tank. The proposed construction site is owned by Krier, zoned A-1 (Agricultural), and located north of State 144 and east of County I.

The tank would hold water resulting from the manufacture of carbonated soda. This water has been spread on farmland for at least a decade. The tank would store the water when it cannot be applied immediately to fields.

The Sherman plan commission first heard this request in early July. At that time, the commission decided that Krier would need to seek a conditional use permit to build the tank.

Ebbott described the physical attributes of the proposed tank; its location; expected traffic and its intended low impact on residents on the other side of County I.

The second request came from Chris and Kelly Laumann, who would seek a conditional use permit to build a private residence for themselves. Complications have arisen because their 28-acre parcel is affected by both Farmland Preservation Zoning and Shoreline Zoning.

After some questions from the board regarding the acreage and attributes of the property, Town Chairman William Goehring asked for questions from the audience. Receiving none, he adjourned the public hearing and convened the regular meeting.

Goehring said he had two concerns on the slurry tank request. First was a lack of written agreement from the Miller family, whose home and farm is west of the proposed tank site. Ebbott said the family had agreed to the tank’s construction, but he did not have written confirmation to present to the board. DNR regulations require a 500 foot setback from residences, unless homeowners grant permission for the tank to be closer.

Secondly, Goehring said the proposed use of the tank did not fall under A-1 zoned land as a permitted use, and it might require a rezoning. The issue is, while the final use of the tank’s contents is intended for agriculture, its production does not originate from agriculture. Supervisor Patricia Horne said she’d researched this. She couldn’t find “anything that comes close to” a product resulting from a non-ag process, being stored for ag use, under either permitted or conditional uses for land zoned A-1.

But, Horne said, she did find “waste storage” under land zoned light industrial.

Goehring said if the plan commission wanted to move forward with this project, light industrial zoning might be the right direction. But Horne said that might be difficult, as the site is within the Farmland Preservation Zone.

Goehring recommended that the proposal be returned to the plan commission. That motion was unanimously approved by the board.

The conditional use permit request from the Laumanns was unanimously approved without discussion.

At its September meeting, the board was approached by representatives of the Random Lake Union Cemetery Association, who asked for financial support to help with grass-cutting costs. The cemetery, located south of Random Lake on Random Lake Road, is not associated with a church. Upkeep is therefore the responsibility of the association.

Representatives of the association have asked the Villages of Random Lake and Fredonia, and the Town of Sherman, for financial assistance. If the Union Cemetery Association goes bankrupt, the Town of Fredonia would become responsible for the cemetery.

At its September meeting, the board had agreed to consider assisting the association based on the proportion of former Sherman residents buried at the cemetery. The board agreed to paying an additional amount toward upkeep, based on one-third of those buried there, whose previous residence had not been identified. All this, the board agreed to consider, if the Village of Random Lake and Town of Fredonia would agree to sharing the costs.

Clerk/Treasurer Rhonda Klatt learned from the Village of Random Lake clerk that the village president did not want to set a precedent by offering financial assistance, and thus the village had taken no action toward the Cemetery Association’s request.

The Village of Random Lake is currently not responsible for any cemeteries.

Sherman is already responsible for the Union Cemetery on County W. Further, other cemeteries would become Sherman’s responsibility if their associations should go out of business. (There are at least six other cemeteries in Sherman.)

Based on Random Lake’s decision and other considerations, the board unanimously voted not to take any action in financially assisting the Random Lake Union Cemetery Association at this time. Goehring added, however, that if Random Lake reconsidered its decision, the Town of Sherman would also do so.

The board voted unanimously to authorize Supervisors Kris Klein and James Fahney, who comprise the board’s road committee, to apply for funds available for road projects under two state aid programs available to towns. The board discussed at length several funding options, and the fact that applying for money from various government programs is no guarantee of receiving that money.

Under one such program, Town Road Improvement-Discretionary (TRID), the town could receive funds covering fifty per cent of an actual, in-process road project. But if the application is denied, the town would be responsible for the entire project’s costs, if it went through with the project (it would not be obligated to do so).

The town could also be more likely to receive funds, if it partners with another town. So partnering with the Town of Scott in possibly rebuilding Abbott Drive was discussed.

Another factor making receipt of funds more likely, according to Goehring, is how much blacktop is applied. If five inches are applied instead of four, the road would last longer, and decision-makers would be more likely to award funds.

The board voted to pursue TRID funds, submitting a plan to improve Abbott Drive with five inches of asphalt, and partnering with the Town of Scott. The vote was 4 to 1, with Horne voting against.

The board unanimously approved that the road committee apply for Town Road Improvement Program (TRIP) funds to repair town roads by double chipsealing.

Other town business

The board unanimously passed Resolution 2015-11, for exemption of the library tax.

Resident Philip Beuscher requested a sign at the north end of Stone Ridge Court. There is a path at the end of the road which could be confused for a continuation of the road. That path is not meant for vehicles. The board voted unanimously to put up two signs.

A draft of the 2016 budget was reviewed. The public hearing for this budget will be held in November.

Building permits issued in September: Peter Thermansen, pole shed; Vorpahl Farms, pump houses; Efran Capetillo, electric; Nathan Werner, shed.

Sherman’s next board meeting will be Wednesday, November 4, 7 p.m. (This change from the usual first Tuesday of the month was made because of a scheduling conflict.)

The Town of Sherman web site: townofshermanwi.com

Town office: 920-994-9421

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