JEFFERSON — The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors has scheduled four public meetings to garner residents’ feedback on the future of the county.
Meeting for its monthly session Tuesday, the board unanimously approved some editing changes and rewording to the county’s strategic plan. The primary edit was to reword the plan’s first goal, which now reads: “Jefferson County is committed to sustainable growth that improves the lives of our residents and other stakeholders and creates a more positive fiscal environment.”
County Administrator Ben Wehmeier said the strategic plan was designed to be “a living document,” and that changes and updates such as those approved were always part of the overall process.
Along those same lines, but not requiring board action, Wehmeier announced that the county will be holding special public meetings on the county’s Comprehensive Plan and its Agricultural Preservation and Land-Use Plan.
Those meetings, all of which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., will begin with a formal presentation at 6 sharp, with county staff on hand afterward to answer questions from the public. The meetings will be held:
• Monday, June 24, at the Bank of Lake Mills, 400 Bernard St., in Watertown.
• Wednesday, June 26, at the Palmyra-Eagle High School.
• Wednesday, July 10, at the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson.
• Thursday, July 11, at the Lake Mills Municipal Building.
More information is available on the Jefferson County website, including a public survey that residents can take to provide feedback online if they cannot make it to one of the public meetings. Copies of the plans also are available on the county webpage, at http://www.jeffersoncountywi.gov/.
Wehmeier commented on the importance of getting county residents’ feedback on the plans.
“The upcoming regional sessions for the comprehension plan is really the first opportunity to make sure we are getting the voice of those in the county to look at the future of the county,” he said. “As we have talked about the plan, there are a lot of factors that go into it — everything from how we handle land use, to transportation, to housing, intergovernmental cooperation, just everything. This is the initial chance to voice those ideas and thoughts for the future, both through the survey instrument and those meetings, to our consultants and county officials. In the future, there will be more opportunities as that dialog continues, and that product was created in line with the county’s values.”
The board of supervisors also approved several unrelated resolutions during its relatively short meeting Tuesday.
The board unanimously passed a resolution to formally accept Foster Parent Incentives Grant funding through the State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
The $36,000 grant will assist local efforts to support foster parents and “normalcy opportunities” for children in out-of-home-care. The grant will be split over both 2019 and 2020, at $24,600 and $11,400 respectively. According to the resolution, 52 counties applied, but only 12 counties received the grants.
The board unanimously approved a resolution in support of the continuation of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The state-based program is used to fund land acquisition for recreational uses, and Jefferson County has received over $1 million through the program over many years.
In other matters Tuesday, the board formally disallowed an $875,000 claim by Diedre Ulm and the estate of Brian Ulm.
In August 2018, Ulm’s vehicle entered a construction zone at the intersections of County Highways CW and SC in the Town of Ixonia, and, in attempting to avoid another vehicle in his lane, Ulm lost control of his own vehicle, resulting in the crash that caused Ulm’s death. By disallowing the claim, the issue now will be handled by the county’s insurance carrier, Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Company (WMMIC).
Additionally, the board appointed county residents Ruth Fiegi, Janet Sayre-Hoeft, Marcia Bare and Ellen Sawyers, and county Supervisor Russel Kutz, to the county’s Aging and Disability Resource Center Advisory Committee (ADRC).
Finally, the board approved a resolution recognizing June as Dairy Month for Jefferson County.