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Lafayette County Law Enforcement approves updated ATV/UTV Ordinance

POSTED August 30, 2017 1:17 p.m.

DARLINGTON - At the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Committee meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 Gerald Heimann called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
    Reg Gill, Lafayette County Sheriff, is moving ahead with changes in the ATV/UTV Ordinance. The new changes in their entirety are as follows:
Countywide ATV/UTV Speed Limit
    (1) Definitions. The definitions as stated in Wisconsin Statutes §23.33 are adopted and incorporated by reference for purposes of this ordinance.
    (2) Speed Limit for Operation of ATV/UTV on all Trails or Routes.
    Speed Limit 30 m.p.h., unless posted at slower speed. No person shall operate an ATV / UTV in excess of 30 m.p.h. on any trail or route within Lafayette County.
    (3) Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be subject to a forfeiture not to exceed $200.00.
Operate An ATV / UTV With Open Intoxicants
    (1) Definitions. The definitions as stated in Wisconsin Statutes §23.33 are adopted and incorporated by reference for purposes of this ordinance.
    (2) Possession of Open Intoxicants in an ATV or UTV while in operation. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess an open intoxicant container while operating, or as a passenger on an ATV or UTV on any road or road route in Lafayette County.
    (3) Penalty. Any Person who violates any provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be subject to a forfeiture not to exceed $200.00.
Seatbelt Use In UTV Mandatory
    (1) Definitions. The definitions as stated in Wisconsin Statutes §23.33 are adopted and incorporated by reference for purposes of this ordinance.
    (2) Mandatory Use of Seatbelts During Operation of UTV. All occupants riding in, or operating a UTV, shall be required to wear a seatbelt when travelling on any trail or route within Lafayette County.
    (3) Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be subject to a forfeiture, excluding court costs, not to exceed $50.00.
    A few notes regarding the updated ordinances. The 30 m.p.h. speed limit and mandatory seatbelts will be enforced for all trails. The no open intoxicants will only be enforced on asphalt roads and road routes, but not the trail. A conviction of ATV/UTV open intoxicants will not count on a persons driving record.
    The committee approved sending the three ordinance changes to the County Board. This will go through two County Board meetings (a first reading and second reading) before it could be approved.
Finances
    The Law Enforcement Committee is requesting carryover funds for the Sheriff’s Department – Jail Division - $134,453 and Administration/Patrol Division - $99,782. The requests are to utilize unused funds from the 2016 year and use them in the 2017 year.
    On the Jail Division side the funds will be used for several Spillman Project items - $120,623, GPS Mapping - $5,600 and unbudgeted Courthouse Security - $8,231. On the Administration/Patrol Division side – Unbudgeted Land Acquisition (Multi-Use Facility) - $25,000, Spillman Project Patrol Training - $2,787 and Drug Officer - $71,995. (Note: The Spillman System is a public safety software that handles departments dispatch, records, jail, etc. and is integrated with other law enforcement agencies.)
    Three recurring items are Spillman Annual Support - $15,000, Courthouse Security - $8,231 and Drug Officer - $71,995. Gill said the three items will be included in these carryover items, but will be budgeted for in the future. The committee approved the request for both carryover requests. The request will now go the Finance Dept. for approval.
    The committee also approved the 2018 proposed budget. The 2017 budget was $2,951,622 and the proposed 2018 Sheriff’s Dept. Budget is $3,110,257. That is a net increase of $158,635. A 3% increase for wages is figured into the budget, the actual number will be determined by what the union does.
    Gill said after working on the budget, he will be withdrawing his request for two new officer positions at the jail, so those numbers are not included.
    Income gains that will be instituted include: $25 booking fee in the jail will be added; $4,000 will be billed back to municipalities for using the Spillman system. The committee approved to send the 2018 budget to finance.
Impound Yard
    The Sheriff’s Dept. is looking to expand and improve the Impound Yard. Gill relayed examples of evidentiary vehicles that could not be accommodated by the yard and had to be impounded elsewhere at a cost of thousands of dollars, potentially to the county. The estimates of the costs have not been completed, but a rough guess was $12,000 to get the yard where Gill wants it to be. The item was tabled until more accurate figures could be obtained.
Hazard Mitigation
    Theresa Burgess the Emergency Management director showed the committee the documentation that was submitted to FEMA for public assistance eligibility. The total amount claimed (and approved by FEMA) by Lafayette County was $462,404. However to receive funds from FEMA a Presidential declaration would need to be made
    •Approved the 2018 Emergency Government Budget. Burgess said there was very little changed in the budget.
    Public comment: A group of three Town of Argyle residents were present and told the committee that the people that live on Valley Road should have been informed before the road was approved as a designated ATV/UTV route. Gill informed the trio that the approval for that township road (to be an ATV/UTV route) would have been handled by the Town of Argyle.
    In other business:
    •Paid July bills in the amount of $23,120.

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