At his first board meeting as Dayton town chairman, Dave Armstrong said he hopes to “replace conflict with progress.”
He opened the meeting with a brief statement on how all groups have their problems and issues. But members of smaller groups, such as the citizens of Dayton, have more opportunity to make changes and have input in the decision-making process.
Armstrong distributed a list of priorities and asked those present to rank the issues they thought most important.
After the meeting, Armstrong told the Waupaca County Post that approximately 60 surveys were returned. He noted that many married couples attending the April 21 filled out a single survey together.
A re-evaluation of Dayton’s tree-cutting methods and criteria ranked as the No. 1 priority.
The creation of a multi-year plan for major projects ranked second.
The survey also found that residents want details of important issues to be presented in a well-organized format, Restoring a sense of community and restoring the shoreland for riparian property owners in the Little Hope Lake District ranked No. 4.
A review of existing town ordinances was ranked fifth in the survey of Dayton’s priorities.
Armstrong said he plans to ask the town board to establish three committees to review the town’s tree-cutting, examine the Little Hope Lake District and review the town’s existing ordinances.
“We will ask for volunteers to work on these various committees,” Armstrong said. “I’m very hopeful that the citizens groups will work out these issues.”
He said he hopes the committees will reflect the diverse neighborhoods within the town of Dayton and that members will be open minded.
Among Dayton’s issues that need clarification is the landfill fund.
In 2012, Dayton received a one-time payment of $143,000 as its share of an insurance settlement on the abandoned landfill that is jointly owned with the towns of Farmington and Lind. Dayton also receives annual payments of $21,000 that are scheduled until 2031.
Chris Klein, former Dayton town chairman, told those attending the April 21 annual meeting that the town spent $15,000 in landfill-related expenses in 2014.
An environmental engineering firm is paid to monitor the groundwater around the landfill. During its February meeting, the Dayton Town Board approved spending $21,000 for landfill groundwater monitoring in 2015.
According to the town treasurer’s report, Dayton had a landfill fund with more than $146,500 in it at the end of 2014.
The treasurer’s report for Feb. 25, 2015, indicated that the landfill reserve fund was zero and that the town had redeemed the fund’s certificate of deposit.
When asked about the reserve fund at the annual meeting, Klein said it had been taken out of reserve and put into the general fund to pay for bridges.
At the annual budget hearing in November 2014, Dayton citizens voted to cut $345,000 from the town’s proposed $1.28 million transportation budget for 2015.
Dayton’s proposed transportation budget included $970,000 for three bridges, and many of those attending the hearing questioned replacing all three bridges in 2015.
In prior discussions of the three bridges, Klein noted that the state awarded Dayton $180,000 in a grant to cover the cost of the third bridge. During the town board election, Klein said Dayton would lose the grant if the bridge is not built in 2015.
Bids for the third bridge were sent out in March.