July 25, 2019 – Washington Co., WI – A standing room only crowd at Thursday morning’s public hearing before the Land Use and Planning Committee. Over 50 people spoke out against the creation of an Annual Special Charge Tax Assessment for Washington County properties served by Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) for the purposes of tracking and maintenance.
A portion of some of the comments from Part 1 are below.
Rosie Stern: “Just because you can charge doesn’t mean you should. If I have a problem, I’m going to call Arnold’s Environmental. There’s no excuse for this. Who is going to take responsibility for this?”
Mike Westphal on Hwy NN: “I get my septic pumped on regular basis. Our government from federal to the local have been bragging on how they’ve been lowering taxes when they’re just jacking fees.”
Dale Knuth in Richfield: “Stadium tax never came off. The septic company knows when it needs to be clean so why does county need to do. All these years they just take it from us.”
Debbie Boldt – Germantown: “Someone in planning and parks gathered all this data and compiled this report. You had enough staff for that. Never in my 20 years did anybody from county come to pump my system. Why is additional funding needed. Things aren’t adding up. Looking at proposal from June 2019 and need added $126,000. Trust has been broken.”
Mary Boldt Town of WB – “Every municipality I’ve lived in in last 20 years. Milwaukee County is famous for these fees. Then what’s the process to raise the fees. My concern the fee is raised and we don’t know until we get tax bill at the end of the year. I’m asking that you vote no.”
Jeff Wolf – Town of Trenton – “County board approved mining of Heritage Hills County park in Slinger. What will be the yearly revenue and can that revenue be used to cover this proposed fee.”
After the first round of comments from the public a break was taken in the meeting to try to make more room for those in attendance. There were so many people at the meeting the crowd packed the hallway and filled a neighboring room. The fire department from the City of West Bend came in and asked that chairs be removed to create more space. With chairs removed, members of the public also asked that those on the Land Use committee also stand, which they did.
Part 2 of the public hearing is below.
Richard Bertram – Dist. 9 supervisor – “It’s hard for city people to understand the cost.”
Bob Schmerlow – Town of Erin – “Speaking for family and neighors who can’t be here, we are very, very angry. We’re telling you we don’t need this. We’re paying to go to a county park which is already on my tax bill.”
Boehm – “It’s like you have nothing more to do than sit around and find more ways to piss away people’s money. Nobody’s listening. I knew this was a waste of my time but you just get so irritated. When you’re running for this position do you come in with the mentality or does this just happen to you. This whole thing is a joke. No better than Hazard County with Boss Hog.”
Jim Holden – Shannon Road: – “Hopefully there are a few more supervisors that can have a backbone. Why aren’t the other supervisors here and why aren’t they here. They’ll vote on something they won’t get any input on. The person who said you should resign had the best idea.”
Don Pridemore – Town of Erin: – “There is no authority for the county to even do this. This power was only granted to cities, villages and towns and not aware of anything to be transferred to your authority. My system is pumped every two years. Many voters in this room and the other and others who left in frustration and I would consider that they’re going to have to speak to their voters and ask for their vote in the last election.”
Janet Fischer – “People you will hurt the most is the farmers. The cost of $11 going up is – it’s micromanaging. If this is all automated why will it cost this much money?”
Part 3 of the public hearing is below.
Dan Mitchell – Town of Trenton – “Washington County Land Use and Planning did not plan this very well.”
Paul Toucher – Town of Trenton – “You can justify anything given enough time. This tax is not necessary.”
Robert Schulteis – Town of Wayne: – “Why do I pay $11 a year when it’s pumped out every two years. There’s something wrong with your figures. I understand the clean water but I don’t understand the MMSD can pump raw sewage into the lake and I can not pump mine onto my 53 acres. I see the cost is going to keep going up – that’s just the way government operates. Where is this going to stop. When will the bureaucrats say we hear you and will address you. To constantly charge doesn’t make sense in my opinion.”
Jeff Dresher – Kewaskum – “I’d like to address social security, health insurance, and life insurance and if you could review that and take it out.”
Mike Ripple – N. River Road: – “Who makes $11,000 for 8% of their pay. Enough’s enough…it’s time to drain the swamp.”
As of 11 a.m. the County Clerk is now reading submitted letters on this issue. Here’s a link to the 146 pages of letters received.
The local fire marshal said there were between 350 and 400 people in attendance.
The next meeting of the Land Use and Planning Committee is August 22.
According to Parks Administrator Jamie Ludovic the committee will discuss the proposal and reportedly take no action.
The issue is expected to go before the full county board on Sept. 11, 2019.