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Message from the Prez

Terry Ochs, Dodge County

Well, it appears summer is finally here!  Seems like we just put away the ice fishing equipment, snowmobiles, sturgeon spears and long underwear just like last week.  Now we pack up the turkey and morel mushroom hunting gear, and have our gardens well on their way. “Boom” summer is here! 

With it comes work, work, and more work. As well as all our constituents want to kick off the building season and get their permits.  We all know the saying, “We’re digging tomorrow and I want my permit today.”  It’s simply a never ending cycle. Then throw Mother Nature into the equation with a little flooding, erosion and fertilizer plus four months of manure storage to spread, just to make things interesting.  I think we all should budget for a canoe, with a cooler, of course, in order to do our jobs in a timely professional manner.

With that said, I hope our economy continues to grow on a slow and steady pace, as permit numbers continually tick upward, at least locally.  Actually, I wish it would go gang busters; but I’ll take slow growth which is far better than no growth.  Also I hope we all have a good year budget wise.

Wrap this all in the new acts passed by the Governor early in the year and we never have a dull moment as we move forward with ordinance changes to carry out the “current” word of the “people”.  This does put us as Code Administrators, into often uncharted, inconsistent and/or confusing territory.  Let’s use this time as an organization to utilize one another’s expertise in solving many of these confusing issues.  Talk with one another and find out what’s working or not working.

Our organization is also working on outreach with other organizations and various task forces to become more proactive in addressing many of these issues.  Reestablishing lost personal connections between our organization and the powers-that-be is crucial to steering common sense legislation.  We adjust, adapt and overcome changes which will always be coming our way.  Only one thing is constant and that’s change.  If we fail to adjust, adapt and overcome…Well, just ask a dinosaur what happens!

We do have one thing going for us.  It’s an election year (Sarcasm), so legislation should cool off for a bit.  Word of advice, watch a half hour of local and half hour national news and then turn it off.  I don’t want to visit any of you in the “Looney Bin”.

We live in a great state, located in the best country in the world.  Protect it, respect it, enjoy it and leave it better than you found it!

Remember, it’s summer!  Drop work, decompress, break out the pontoon boats, canoes, inner tubes, fishing gear, motorcycles, baseball and tailgates, camping, campfires in your structures (Oops, I meant to say fire pits), hiking, biking, running (Ok-jogging, alright walking).  I guess what I’m trying to say is get out and enjoy it.  It’ll be over by Thursday.

PS:  Don’t forget the cooler.  Hey, we need to get through this line of work!


JUNE 2016
Each year since 1998, WCCA recognizes the accomplishments of an individual who has significantly contributed to the success of the goals and services of the WCCA. Nomination Forms and a list of past recipients are available at the WCCA website or by clicking above. Nominations are due by September 15. 
The Spring Conference was held March 31 - April 1 at the Stoney Creek Inn in Mosinee. Click above to get links to the presentations. Fall Conference will be October 12-14 at Radisson Paper Valley in Appleton. SAVE THE DATES!
Caleb Armstrong of Park Falls and Emily Roach of Hortonville each won a $500 WCCA Scholarship!


We have three new members from Burnett County so we are highlighting all of them with this edition - from left to right: Dale (Butch) Beers, Shane Buchholz, and Jason Towne


Member Spotlight – Dale:
My name is Dale Beers Jr ; Nickname is Butch. I am 55 years old, I work for the Burnett County Zoning and Land Use Office as a Zoning and POWTS Specialist. I became a Apprentice Plumber in 1985, after attending Rice Lake Vo Tech and also New Richmond Vo Tech for my plumbing education. I worked for a local plumbing business for my on the job training then became a journeyman plumber in 1989, and continued to work there until 1993. Then became a full master plumber and started my own business that year, specializing in plumbing – heating a/c –and electrical work. I sold my business 18 years later, and became an employee of Burnett County. I issue Land Use and Sanitary Permits for the County. I am a POWTS Inspector & also a Certified Soil Tester and also maintain my Master Plumber License. I enjoy working for the public and the challenges of problem solving issues. I also enjoy many things outside of work, including hunting – fishing – and traveling. I have been married to my wife Ranae for 30 years, who currently works as a Branch Manager at U.S. Bank. We have no children which allows us the time to do many of our hobbies. Some things that people would be surprised to hear about me, is that I train bird hunting dogs in my spare time. I own a Brittany Pointer that I have entered in many tournaments in the Upper Midwest. One of my favorites was being in the Bird Dog Challenge Tournament that was aired on National T.V.

Member Spotlight – Shane:
My name is Shane Buchholz; I am 25 years old, and I currently work for Burnett County Zoning and Land Use Department as a Zoning and POWTS Specialist. I graduated from UW-River Falls in 2013 with a B.S. in Conservation. I have worked for the WI-DNR and USDA-NRCS in jobs related to natural resource management and recreation, though I consider this my first “real” career position. Through this position, I have received credentials through WI DSPS for POWTS Inspector and Certified Soil Tester (CST). The part of the job I enjoy most is when I am able to help people through the permitting process who is unfamiliar with how it works. I take pride in crossing every “T” possible to ensure that people do not have any rude surprises in the future. I enjoy when I can issue a permit for someone to begin a project, but want to make sure everything is up to par on their application first. Things I like to do outside of work include fishing (primarily bass), camping, playing golf, kayaking, playing guitar, and travelling to new places for sight-seeing. I am currently engaged and will be married on September 10th of this year to my fiancé Brandi. We have no kids as of yet. I have been very enlightened about the inner workings of county government since I have started here last February.

Member Spotlight – Jason:
My name is Jason Towne and I have been the Zoning Administrator for Burnett County since July 2014. I have a Bachelors Degree in Land Surveying and Mapping Science from St. Cloud State. I have been employed with Burnett County since 2007. In 2007 I was hired as the Land Information Director/County Surveyor and still hold those titles along with Zoning Administrator. Prior to that I lived and worked in the Twin Cities as a surveyor for two different engineering/planning/surveying companies doing boundary surveys, construction staking, condominium plats, etc. I am a licensed professional land surveyor in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I was born and raised in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. I am married to Sara and have three children, Everett – 9, Barrett – 2, and Scarlett – 1. In my spare time (not much available with the kids) I like fishing and hunting. Something people might not know is that I still own my first car from high school.


Burnett County Zoning and Land Use Department


The Burnett County Zoning and Land Use Department administers the Sanitary, Floodplain, Shoreland, Wetland, Subdivision and General Zoning programs. 17 of the 21 Towns in Burnett County are under county zoning and four Towns are unzoned (however the 4 do have shoreland areas which we regulate). There are four employees, Jason, Dale aka “Butch”, Shane and Sue. Sue is the Administrative Assistant and keeps the office functioning smoothly. We issue approximately 1,000 Land Use/Sanitary permits per year. We are quasi combined with the Land Information Department at this time as we share the same Department Head. There is talk of us also being combined with the Land & Water Department at the end of 2016, to make one Land Services Department. If the Land Services Department becomes a reality then the following services/programs would be in the same department: Sanitary, Floodplain, Shoreland, Wetland, Subdivision, General Zoning, Real Property Listing, Surveying, GIS/Mapping, Addressing, Farmland Preservation, Wildlife Damage, AIS, Shoreline Restoration and Conservation Education.

A few interesting facts about Burnett County: a large portion of our county is in a high risk fire area (see map below), we have no official cities in Burnett County (we have three villages), we have two stoplights in the entire county and we got our first roundabout in 2015.

We have many great places to visit in Burnett County, some of the top ones are:
  1. Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park. The park is a living history site with two Fur Trade Posts; North West Company and XY Company, reconstructed on the site known to be active from 1802 to 1805.
  2. We also contain part of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. A great place to paddle, camp, fish hike and boat.
  3. We also have one of the largest state owned wildlife areas, Crex Meadows Wildlife Area. At 30,000 acres Crex is a paradise for bird watchers, naturalists, botanists, hunters, and all other hearty explorers.
What were we doing 40 years ago?
Results from a 1976 survey...

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President - Terry Ochs, Dodge County
1st Vice President - Dan Everson, Dane County
2nd Vice President - Rob Schierman, Bayfield County
Past President - Terri Dopp-Paukstat, Waushara County
Secretary/Treasurer - CeCe Tesky, Rusk County

Webpage Coordinator/DeCoder Editor - CeCe Tesky, Rusk County
Copyright © 2016 Wisconsin County Code Administrators, All rights reserved.
2016 WCCA Spring DeCoder

Our mailing address is:
311 E Miner Ave, Suite N110, Ladysmith WI 54848

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