City of Medford Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes. Monday, August 26, 2019; 6:00 PM

City of Medford Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes

Monday, August 26, 2019; 6:00 PM

Council Chambers, City Hall

639 South Second Street, Medford, WI


{Subject to Council Approval}


Call to Order/Roll Call


Mayor Mike Wellner called the meeting to order with the following members present: Dave. J. Brandner, Laura Holmes, Greg Knight, Christine Weix, and Clem Johnson. Alderpersons Peggy Kraschnewski, Dave Roiger and Mike Bub were excused absences.  All vote tallies will be with the exception of Alderpersons Kraschnewski's, Roiger's, Bub's, votes.


Pledge of Allegiance


Alderperson Holmes began the meeting by leading the group in the reciting of the “Pledge of Allegiance”.


Open Meeting Law Compliance


Mayor Wellner announced that this was an open meeting of the Committee of the Whole. Notice of this meeting was given to the public at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting by forwarding the complete agenda to the official City newspaper, The Star News, and to all news media that have requested the same as well as posting. Copies of the complete agenda were available for inspection at the City Clerk’s Office. Anyone desiring information as to forthcoming meetings should contact the City Clerk’s Office.


City Personnel Present


The following City personnel were present:  City Clerk Ginny Brost, Street & Water Superintendent Joe Harris, and Police Chief Bryan Carey.  City Coordinator/Public Works Director John Fales and City Attorney Courtney Graff were excused absences.




Visitors present were:  Don Watson-Star News, Sandy Liske, Don Liske, John Polzin, Marcia Konecny, Gloria Carpenter, Mark Carpenter, Lori Waldhart, Ron Waldhart, Tom & Marlene Schreiner, Pat & Carol Chariton, Ryan Bahr, Eric Evers, Roger Ewan, James Hartl, Travis Smith, Galen Neuenfeldt, Kim Neuenfeldt, Galen Bergmann, Michelle Dunn, Michael Platt, Jim Peterson, Bob Monke, Molly Knoll, Sara Mitchell, Craig Bolz, Paul Webb, Sue Fitzgerald, Bob Fitzgerald, Ken Kraft, Lance Dehne, Margo Zuleger, Dave Zuleger, and Jeff Hemer.


Citizens & Delegations Comments


No citizens or delegations addressed the Committee.




There were no general issues to discuss.




There were no planning issues to discuss.




Finance Update(s)


July 2019 Financial Report - The Committee reviewed the July 2019 Financial Report.




There were no personnel issues to discuss.


Public Safety


Parade/Special Event Permit - Aspirus Medford Hospitals & Clinics


Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics have submitted a request for parade/special event permit for their annual 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, September 8, 2019 form 3 PM to 5 PM.  The permit has been reviewed by the various departments, and there were comments.


Clem Johnson moved, Laura Holmes seconded a motion to

approve the issuance of a parade/special event permit to Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics for their annual 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, September 8, 2019 form 3 PM to 5 PM.  All in favor: All Aye.

 Motion Carried.



Ordinance Regulating the Operation of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Vehicles (UTVs) in the City


The Committee of the Whole, at its August 12, 2019 meeting, tabled action on an ordinance that amends Ordinance #1036 dated September 18, 2018, and extends the regulations for the operation of all-terrain (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) until the August 26, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting.  In addition, the Committee directed Police Chief Carey to contact several communities regarding their ATVs/UTVs routes, operation, and problems or issues.


Police Chief Carey provided the following:  (1)  Question responses from the City of Merrill, City of Park Falls, City of Phillips, Village of Rib Lake, City of Rhinelander, and City of Tomahawk.  (2)  Ordinances from the City of Merrill, Village or Rib Lake, and City of Parks Falls. (3) ATV route maps from the City of Merrill, City of Phillips, and City of Park Falls.  (4)  The City of Medford snowmobile operations ordinance.


The City received a proposal from residents that included:  (1)  Open the entire City to ATVs and UTVs with the exceptions of State Highway 13 & Highway 64 - vehicles can cross per the State law, Progressive Avenue, Jensen Drive, South Gibson Street, Jensen Drive to County Highway O, Wisconsin Avenue, South Whelen Avenue to County Highway 0, and Industrial Drive.  (2) Operator must be 16 years or older.  (3)  Speed limit would be 15 miles per hour.  (4) Operator must obey and follow regular traffic laws and regulations.  (5)  Signage will be at all entry points into the City limits.  Twelve to fourteen signs will be needed.  Fundraising and donations from City users and businesses would fund all sign and posts.  The City would install signs with no additional charges.  Having the signs at the entry points would eliminate the need to post on all roads which will save on the signage costs.  All signs will contain the rules and exceptions.  The signs would post the closed roads within the City limits, i.e., South Wisconsin Avenue, South Whelen Avenue, and Industrial Drive.  (6)  Operation would be prohibited from 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM.  (7)  The ATV/UTV groups would work with Taylor County Tourism to develop a new map which would include the City routes.  The map would be available for residents and tourists at restaurants, gas stations, and hotel/motels.  (8)  The ATV/UTV groups and business owners are currently working on creating a private trail to access Strama's, Cravings, the movie theatre and residential homes behind the Fire Hall.


Mayor Wellner expressed the following: (1)  Merrill, Phillips, Park Falls, and Rib Lake are similar to Medford as they are not tourist towns.  These municipalities allow residents to travel on their ATVs and UTVs from their residence to the nearest trail.  Rhinelander has two streets that are off limits to ATVs and UTVs.  Tomahawk is completely opened except for Highway 86 which is not opened as per State law.  Both Rhinelander and Tomahawk have more tourism than the City.  (2)  The age limit is regulated by the Department of Natural Resources. 


Mayor Wellner suggested that the Council consider allowing ATV/UTV operators to travel from their residence to the nearest trail with Council reviewing the matter after one year.  He added that this similar to the City's ordinance regulating snowmobiles except for the annual review.


Public comments included:  (1)  The City has a good foundation for ATV/UTV operation, and should consider extending new routes off of existing routes. (2)  Suggested that ATV/UTV operators be 18 years old with a valid driver's license.  (3)  Suggested that the Allman Street route be extended to include the roundabouts.  (4)  Suggested the speed limit be changed from 15 miles per hour to the posted street speed.  (5)  Suggested that language be considered that would allow non-residents to travel into the City to a specific destination.  (6)  The ATV/UTV group is working on creating a private trail to address concerns expressed by residents and businesses in the Hoffman Addition. (7)  The use of common sense by both ATV/UTV operators and law enforcement in addressing issues.


Committee comments included:  (1)  The more routes that are added, the more problems are created.  (2)  City residents value quite, enjoy biking, walking, etc.  These activities do not mix well with ATVs/UTVs.    (3)  Suggested changing the ATV/UTV operation hours from 2 AM to 6 AM to midnight to 6 AM. 


Alderperson Weix informed the group that she had contacted Mark Little, Recreation Officer with the Department of Natural Resources.  He stated that because there is no trail route into the City and operation is not allowed on a road route, there is nowhere no ride in the City.  By law, the 16 year old age limit must be upheld.


The Committee discussed proposed changes to the current ordinance.  The changes included:  (1)  Allowing residents to travel from their residences to the nearest trail.  (2)  Include language to allow non-residents to travel into the City to their place of business, visit family or friends.  (3) Operation Time - Midnight to 6 AM.  (4)  Speed Limit - Posted speed limit to not exceed 35 miles per hour. (5)  Include insurance requirements similar to Rhinelander's ordinance.  (6)  Extend the Allman Street route to include the roundabouts.


Dave J. Brandner moved, Laura Holmes seconded a motion to have the City Clerk draft an ordinance to include the about changes, and present the same at the September 9, 2019 Committee of the Whole.  All in favor:  All Aye.  Motion Carried.



Electric Utility


There were no Electric Utility issues to discuss.




There were no landfill, refuse or recycling issues to discuss.


Wastewater Utility


There were no Wastewater Utility issues to discuss.


Water Utility


There were no Water Utility issues to discuss.


Public Works


There were no Public Works issues to discuss.




There were no parks or recreation issues to discuss.


Tree Board


There were no tree issues to discuss.


Pool Committee


There were no pool issues to discuss.


Coordinator's Report


The Coordinator's Report was as follows:  (1)  An update on Electric Utility projects was given.  (2)  An update on Public Works projects was given.  (3)  An update on Wastewater Utility projects was given.


Communications from the Mayor


Upcoming Meeting Schedule - The upcoming meeting schedule was distributed.


September 3, 2019 Council Meeting - The September 3, 2019 Council meeting was canceled.


September Plan Commission Meeting - There will be no Plan Commission meeting in September.




Clem Johnson moved, Dave J. Brandner seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:55 PM.  All in favor:  All Aye.  Motion Carried.  Meeting Adjourned.


Respectfully Submitted,


Virginia Brost

City Clerk, WCPC/MMC


Council Approval:  __________



Discussion/Recommendation:  Ordinance Regulating the Operation of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Vehicles (UTVs) in the City



Discussion/Recommendation:  Issuance of Parade/Special  Event - Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics


© 2020 City of Medford

639 S. Second Street, Medford, WI 54451

Powered By Revize Login