Per the decree by Governor Evers that all non-essential businesses be closed and all residents of the State of Wisconsin “stay home,” there will be no in-person absentee voting at the Town Hall until further notice. You are urged to visit the following website: https://myvote.wi.gov/ to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and more.
At the present time the election will still be held on time, but we honestly have no idea how that will happen. Stay tuned for further developments from Madison with regard to the status of the election!
Continue to check back for more information and if you haven’t already, sign up for emails from the Town to stay abreast of current town happenings, meetings, and other important information! Send a message to: [email protected]!
In-Person Absentee Voting will re-open tomorrow, Monday, March 31 at 9 am at the Town Hall and be available during regular office hours; Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to Noon, Thursday, 1 to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, April 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. In-person absentee voting will close at 5 p.m. on Friday and by law, no absentee ballots will be issued after that time.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission strongly recommends that anyone planning to vote in the April 7 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them.
- You must be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot.
- Monday, March 30, is the deadline to register to vote online or by mail.
- Starting March 31, voters who need to register must do so in person at their municipal clerk’s office until the Friday before the election and on Election Day at the polling place.
- Voters should request an absentee ballot as soon as possible for April 7. The deadline is April 2, but do not wait!
- Request your absentee ballot online at https://myvote.wi.gov
You can request Absentee Ballots directly from the Clerk’s Office via email, in person, or through the mail. We must have a copy of your WI Driver’s License, WI ID card, or US Passport on file for your vote to be counted. You can provide a copy of either with your absentee request or return a copy of either with your voted ballot if you have not already provided a copy with a previous absentee ballot request.
You can call ahead to let me know you will stop by to pick up your ballot and I will have a printed label affixed to a ballot envelope ready for you to take along if you prefer not to vote in person.
We’re all trying to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19!
CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE #8
As of this writing, there is an election scheduled for April 7. This will be a presidential primary as well as final elections for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Walworth County Supervisor, and local school boards. The Town Hall has been receiving a number of inquiries regarding precautions being taken to prevent the potential spread of the Covid-19 virus. Our current plan is to give each voter a pen when they present their ID to vote. This pen will be used to sign the poll book and mark the ballot and can then be taken with the voter.
We will regularly sanitize the voting booths, door handles, restrooms and all flat surfaces in the voting area.
There is the possibility that Governor Evers will postpone the election for a period of time, however, that would be problematic since the State and County terms of office expire in April and newly-elected officers need to be sworn into office in a timely manner in order to provide a seamless transition. A further possibility might be if the Governor decreed all voting to be by means of absentee ballots. If either of these scenarios come to pass, we’ll advise you as soon as possible.
I personally find it heartening to see so many residents taking an interest in Town government by attending the Planning Commission meetings and Town Board meetings. At the present time, I don’t intend to suspend either of the next two meetings because town business still has to go on. In the interim, I would strongly urge you to not attend either meeting unless you have a vested interest in the subjects being considered, at least until this current health issue abates.
As the whole Covid-19 virus continues to spread throughout the state, we should all refrain from unnecessary assemblies, if at all possible. If any important business or decisions are made, we will advise you by means of these updates and by posting minutes on the Town website in order to keep you informed.
For now, stay healthy, wash your hands often, avoid crowds and try to enjoy Spring.
As many of have probably learned by now, at the January meeting of the Spring Prairie Planning Commission, by a 3 to 2 vote, the Planning Commission approved the rezone, conditional use permit and the certified survey map for the proposed gravel pit on Highway 120. Acknowledging that the Planning Commission vote was advisory only, and not incumbent on the Town Board to accept, the Board, at its February 10 monthly meeting, unanimously voted to deny the project in its entirety. The issue now passes on to Walworth County which is scheduled to take it up at its February 20 County Zoning Agency meeting. Residents who wish to express their thoughts regarding this issue should address their correspondence to Land Use and Resource Management (LURM), P.O. Box 1001, Room 222, Elkhorn, WI 53121, or email [email protected]
At the same meeting, the Town Board voted to approve the Non-Metallic Mining Ordinance which, while unable to totally ban future mining proposals, puts more power in the hands of the Board to determine if such proposals are in the best interests of the Town in terms of health, safety, noise, pollution, traffic, impact on property values and on the overall quality of life of Spring Prairie residents.
In about a month, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin sending out notices to individual homes with instructions on how to fill out the upcoming 2020 census forms. While some may feel it is a governmental intrusion and waste of time, the census is extremely important to the town, the county and the state because the data collected provides the basis for the distribution of federal funds that have an impact on housing, education, employment, healthcare and public policy. Results also determine how many seats a state will have in the House of Representatives as well as how state and local districts are drawn.
In short, your responses help determine our representation in government and our ability to plan for the future. Wisconsin’s estimated loss in federal funding is over $1,300 per year for each person not counted! The form is short and simple and can be filled out in a very brief amount of time. It is vitally important you take the time to fill it out because it will serve to affect our future for the decade to come.
A second reading, discussion and possible vote on the proposed Non-Metallic Mining Ordinance is scheduled for the February 10, 2020 Town Board meeting. You can find a copy of the updated ordinance by accessing the following link:
A public test of the Town of Spring Prairie voting equipment will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. at the Town Hall, N6097 State Road. 120. A Spring Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. This notice is posted or published pursuant to Wis. Statutes, Chapter 5, Sec. 5.84.
At the January 13 meeting of the Town Board, two new ordinances were introduced. The first was one that more clearly defined the role of the Planning Commission in light of its present duties and responsibilities and allowed for a Board member to sit on the Commission as a voting member. Town Supervisor Don Trimberger was appointed to a one-year term as a member and will serve as the Commission chairman. The ordinance passed without a second reading. Don has indicated he will abstain from voting in most circumstances unless his vote is required as a tiebreaker.
The second ordinance was a Non-Metallic Mining Ordinance that laid out the rules and requirements of any future mining applications in Spring Prairie. While many in town would like to see an ordinance totally banning any future mines, it simply is not allowable under State law. This new ordinance puts more power in the hands of the Town Board to determine if a proposed mining operation is in the ‘best interests” of the Town. The ‘best interests ‘’ would include health, safety and welfare concerns as well as impact on the environment and wildlife, quality of life in the Town, noise and air pollution, traffic and impact on Town roads, loss of value in neighboring residences and any other possible factor that may have a negative impact on the Town and its residents. Following a first reading, a few minor changes were made in the ordinance and it will have a second reading and possible vote at the February 10 Board meeting.
At the January 16 meeting of the Planning Commission, the issue of the currently proposed gravel pit was taken up. Following an approximately hour-long presentation by representatives of Asphalt Contractors, an open hearing was held wherein residents asked questions and voiced their opinions. Following nearly an hour of comments, both against and for the pit, the open hearing concluded and questioning by the Planning Commission began. After a relatively brief question and answer session with one member recusing himself and Trimberger abstaining, a vote was called and the Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of approving the rezone for the pit, the conditional use permit and the certified survey map.
The issue of the gravel pit will now be taken up by the Town Board for a vote at its February 10 meeting. Bear in mind that the vote from the Planning Commission is an advisory recommendation and is not binding on the Board. The majority of the Board members have attended all the meetings regarding the proposed gravel pit and have both read all the materials provided and have heard all the arguments on both sides of the issue. Consequently, at the February meeting, there will be neither presentations by Asphalt Contractors nor comments by residents allowed. The issue will be solely discussed by the Town Board members. Following the discussion, a vote will be taken on the issue
Emails that the clerk’s office has sent to addresses with the wi.rr.com ending are bouncing back as undeliverable with permanent errors. If your email address ends with wi.rr.com and you did not receive the message sent earlier this week regarding upcoming meetings, kindly check with your provider, or send us your new email address. Thank you!
CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE #4
The Town was informed by Asphalt Contractors, Inc. on January 2 that they have successfully answered the various queries from Walworth County regarding the proposed gravel pit and were ready to present to the Spring Prairie Planning Commission at their January 16 meeting. The meeting will commence at 6:30 PM to allow additional time. Following a presentation by Asphalt Contractors to the Planning Commission, an open hearing will be held wherein concerned residents may ask questions of the presenters and offer comments and concerns. Because we anticipate a large resident turnout, certain rules will be strictly enforced during the open hearing. Any resident wishing to speak will be allowed to do so one time only and for a maximum of two minutes, so I strongly suggest they organize their thoughts in advance and be as concise and factual as possible. Speakers will need to say their names and give their place of residence. Additionally, so all attendees can hear what is being said, each speaker will be required to speak into a handheld microphone.
Following the open hearing, the Planning Commission will ask questions of Asphalt Contractors and address any issues the members consider pertinent. During this phase, no residents will be allowed to speak. At the conclusion of the Planning Commission’s questioning, it will either vote on the issue or, if more information is required, table it for a future meeting.
While this has been a somewhat emotional and contentious issue with some residents, I sincerely ask all concerned parties to keep their emotions in check and be rational, courteous and respectful.
At the monthly Board meeting on January 13, the Town Board will be discussing the draft of a proposed Non-metallic Mining Ordinance that would serve to regulate future applications for gravel and sand pits in Spring Prairie. Legislation cannot be retroactive so this proposed ordinance will not apply to the current gravel pit application or any existing operating pits. This proposed ordinance must appear on two (2) meeting agendas before it can be acted upon.
The proposed ordinance for the Planning Commission redefines the role of the commission as it currently exists.