(17) Return of rents to municipalities.
The board may return to municipalities all or any part of rent moneys received by the county under leases of county-owned lands.
(18) Return of forest income to towns.
The board may return and distribute to the several towns in the county all or any part of any money received by the county from the sale of any product from county-owned lands which are not entered under the county forest law under s. 28.11
(19) Donations, gifts and grants.
The board may accept donations, gifts or grants for any public governmental purpose within the powers of the county.
(20) Sheriff's family pension.
The board may appropriate money to the family of any sheriff or sheriff's deputies killed while in the discharge of official duties.
(21) County commissions.
Except in counties having a population of 500,000 or more, the board may fix and pay the compensation of members of the county park commission and the county planning and zoning commission for attendance at meetings at a rate not to exceed the compensation permitted supervisors.
(22) County boards' association.
By a two-thirds vote, the board may purchase membership in an association of county boards for the protection of county interests and the furtherance of better county government.
(23) Purchase of publications.
The board may purchase publications dealing with governmental problems and furnish copies thereof to supervisors, officers and employes.
(24) Parking areas.
The board may enact ordinances establishing areas for parking of vehicles on lands owned or leased by the county; for regulating or prohibiting parking of vehicles on such areas or parts of such areas, including, but not limited to, provision for parking in such areas or parts thereof for only certain purposes or by only certain personnel; for forfeitures for violations thereof, but not to exceed $50 for each offense; and for the enforcement of such ordinances.
(25) Advisory and contingent referenda.
The board may conduct a countywide referendum for advisory purposes or for the purpose of ratifying or validating a resolution adopted or ordinance enacted by the board contingent upon approval in the referendum.
The board may procure transcripts or abstracts of the records of any other county affecting the title to real estate in such county, and such transcripts or abstracts shall be prima facie evidence of title.
(27) Bail bonds.
The authority of the board to remit forfeited bond moneys to the bondsmen or their heirs or legal representatives, where such forfeiture arises as a result of failure of a defendant to appear and where such failure to appear is occasioned by a justifiable cause, is hereby confirmed.
(28) Collection of court imposed penalties.
The board may adopt a resolution authorizing the clerk of circuit court, under s. 59.40 (4)
, to contract with a collection agency for the collection of unpaid fines and forfeitures.
(29) Public work, how done; public emergencies. 59.52(29)(a)(a)
All public work, including any contract for the construction, repair, remodeling or improvement of any public work, building, or furnishing of supplies or material of any kind where the estimated cost of such work will exceed $20,000 shall be let by contract to the lowest responsible bidder. Any public work, the estimated cost of which does not exceed $20,000, shall be let as the board may direct. If the estimated cost of any public work is between $5,000 and $20,000, the board shall give a class 1 notice under ch. 985
before it contracts for the work or shall contract with a person qualified as a bidder under s. 66.29 (2)
. A contract, the estimated cost of which exceeds $20,000, shall be let and entered into under s. 66.29
, except that the board may by a three-fourths vote of all the members entitled to a seat provide that any class of public work or any part thereof may be done directly by the county without submitting the same for bids. This subsection does not apply to highway contracts which the county highway committee or the county highway commissioner is authorized by law to let or make.
The provisions of par. (a)
are not mandatory for the repair or reconstruction of public facilities when damage or threatened damage thereto creates an emergency, as determined by resolution of the board, in which the public health or welfare of the county is endangered. Whenever the board by majority vote at a regular or special meeting determines that an emergency no longer exists, this paragraph no longer applies.
History: 1995 a. 201
; 1995 a. 225
; 1997 a. 35
Cross-references: As to payment of insurance premiums for employes, see also s. 66.185.
See s. 66.99 concerning appointment of a county weed commissioner.
A county can contract with employes for special reserved parking privileges in a county ramp. Dane Co. v. McManus, 55 W (2d) 413, 198 NW (2d) 667.
Section 59.08 [now s. 59.52 (29)] does not compel the purchase of equipment from the lowest bidder. Joyce v. Dunn County, 192 W (2d) 699, 531 NW (2d) 628 (Ct. App. 1995).
Limitations on power of county to sell property without calling for public bids discussed. 60 Atty. Gen. 425.
Counties are without power to furnish equipment or supplies or to contract to do repair work on private roads and driveways. 61 Atty. Gen. 304.
A county board is without authority to establish an alternative retirement system. 61 Atty. Gen. 371.
A county civil service ordinance enacted under s. 59.07 (20) [now 59.52 (8)] or a collective bargaining agreement under s. 111.70, establishing a procedure to be followed prior to the discharge of a classified employe, supersedes and modifies s. 59.38 (1) [now s. 59.40 (1) (a)]. 63 Atty. Gen. 147.
Section 59.07 (1) [now s. 59.52 (6)] is not sufficiently broad to permit a county to furnish housing for elderly and low-income persons where specific statutes provide for furnishing of such housing. 63 Atty. Gen. 297.
Under s. 59.07 (1) (d) 1. [now s. 59.52 (6) (d) 1.], counties have authority to establish a hospital outpatient health facility which would be used to train general practitioners of medicine as a part of a program with the Medical College of Wisconsin. 65 Atty. Gen. 172.
Under s. 59.07 (1) (c) [now s. 59.52 (6) (c)], counties may make gifts of land or interests in lands only to enumerated public entities. 67 Atty. Gen. 236.
Under s. 59.07 (3) [now s. 59.52 (12)], a county board may require that all bills and claims be examined by it. 68 Atty. Gen. 38.
Section 59.08 (1) [now s. 59.52 (29) (a)] does not apply to architectural services. 76 Atty. Gen. 182
A county has no statutory authority to award contracts only to unionized contractors. Federal preemption rules probably foreclose the exercise of such authority in any event. Federal preemption rules foreclose denying contracts to employers engaged in labor disputes. 79 Atty. Gen. 86
A county may not acquire land specifically for the purpose of leasing it to a private entity to operate a racetrack; it may lease land initially acquired for a public purpose to such private entity, unless the land has become surplus. 80 Atty. Gen. 80
A county board may not give land to a private corporation; the adequacy of a promise to build a factory on the land as consideration for the conveyance of land involves the application of the public purpose doctrine to the specific facts of the conveyance. 80 Atty. Gen. 341
Health and human services. 59.53(1)
Surplus commodity plans.
The board may adopt and participate in any surplus commodity absorption plan in connection with furnishing relief to needy persons within any municipality in the county and appropriate money to carry out such plan.
(2) Emergency energy relief.
Regardless of whether a county operates a relief program under sub. (21)
, the board may appropriate money for making payments to individuals or providing grants to community action agencies and municipalities to assist persons and families in the purchase of emergency energy supplies.
(3) Community action agencies.
The board may appropriate funds for promoting and assisting any community action agency under s. 46.30
(4) Comprehensive health planning.
A county or combination of counties may engage in comprehensive health planning, and boards may appropriate county funds to an areawide agency for such planning, whether the organization to be utilized is a public agency or a private, nonprofit corporation.
(5) Child and spousal support; paternity program; medical support liability program. 59.53(5)(a)(a)
The board shall contract with the department of workforce development to implement and administer the child and spousal support and establishment of paternity and the medical support liability programs provided for by Title IV of the federal social security act. The board may designate by board resolution any office, officer, board, department or agency, except the clerk of circuit court, as the county child support agency. The board or county child support agency shall implement and administer the programs in accordance with the contract with the department of workforce development. The attorneys responsible for support enforcement under sub. (6) (a)
, family court commissioner and all other county officials shall cooperate with the county and the department of workforce development as necessary to provide the services required under the programs. The county shall charge the fee established by the department of workforce development under s. 49.22
for services provided under this paragraph to persons not receiving benefits under s. 49.148
or assistance under s. 46.261
The county child support agency under par. (a)
shall electronically enter into the statewide data system related to child and spousal support payments that is operated by the department of workforce development the terms of any order made or judgment granted in the circuit court of the county requiring payments under s. 948.22 (7)
or ch. 767
that are directed under s. 767.29 (1)
to be paid to the department of workforce development or its designee. The county child support agency shall enter the terms of any such order or judgment within the time required by federal law and shall enter revisions ordered by the court to any order or judgment the terms of which are maintained on the data system.
Effective date note
Sub. (5) is shown as affected eff. 1-4-99 by 1997 Wis. Act 27
. Prior to 1-4-99 it reads:
Effective date text
(5) Child and spousal support; paternity program; medical support liability program. The board shall contract with the department of workforce development to implement and administer the child and spousal support and establishment of paternity and the medical support liability programs provided for by Title IV of the federal social security act. The board may designate by board resolution any office, officer, board, department or agency, except the clerk of circuit court, as the county child support agency. The board or county child support agency shall implement and administer the programs in accordance with the contract with the department of workforce development. The attorneys responsible for support enforcement under sub. (6) (a), family court commissioner and all other county officials shall cooperate with the county and the department of workforce development as necessary to provide the services required under the programs. The county shall charge the fee established by the department of workforce development under s. 49.22 for services provided under this subsection to persons not receiving benefits under s. 49.148 or 49.155 or assistance under s. 46.261, 49.19 or 49.47.
(5m) Receipt and disbursement of child and spousal support payments. 59.53(5m)(a)(a)
Subject to approval of the department of workforce development under par. (am)
, designate by resolution any office, officer, board, department or agency as the county support collection designee to receive and disburse child and spousal support payments ordered by the court under s. 948.22 (7)
and child and family support payments and maintenance payments ordered by the court or the family court commissioner under ch. 767
or ordered by a court in another county or jurisdiction but enforced or received by the court of the support collection designee's county.
A county board that makes a designation under par. (a)
shall send a copy of the resolution to the department of workforce development. Within 60 days after receiving the copy of the resolution, the department of workforce development shall notify the county board in writing of whether the department approves or disapproves the designation. If the department disapproves the designation, it shall specify the reasons for disapproval in the notice. If the department does not notify the county board of the department's approval or disapproval within 60 days after receipt of the copy of the resolution, the designation is approved.
Any office, officer, board, department or agency designated under this subsection shall do all of the following:
Keep a record of all payments received and disbursed and of arrearages in payments. If the department of workforce development operates a data system relating to those payments and arrearages, the county support collection designee shall use that system to keep this record.
Cooperate with the department of workforce development with respect to the child and spousal support and establishment of paternity and medical liability support program under sub. (5)
and s. 49.22
, and provide that department with any information from the record under subd. 1.
that it requires to administer that program.
Effective date note
Sub. (5m) is repealed eff. 1-4-99 by 1997 Wis. Act 27
(6) Attorneys; support enforcement responsibility. 59.53(6)(a)1.1.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, each board shall employ or contract with attorneys to provide support enforcement. Section 59.42 (1)
, (2) (a)
does not preclude a board from assigning these support enforcement duties to any attorney employed by the county.
If on June 1, 1989, a county has 1.0 or more full-time equivalent attorney positions that have primary responsibility for handling cases described in par. (b)
, as determined by the district attorney of the prosecutorial unit, the county shall establish and maintain a support enforcement office consisting of support enforcement attorneys and office personnel. In counties having a population of less than 500,000, a county budget under s. 65.90
shall list the proposed appropriation under s. 65.90 (2)
for the support enforcement office separate from any other office, department or activity. In counties having a population of 500,000 or more, a county budget shall treat a support enforcement office as a department, as defined in s. 59.60 (2) (a)
, separate from all other departments. If a county ceases to employ 1.0 or more full-time equivalent attorney positions in the office, the county may provide support enforcement under subd. 1.
Attorneys responsible for support enforcement under par. (a)
shall institute, commence, appear in or perform other prescribed duties in actions or proceedings under sub. (5)
and ss. 49.22 (7)
and ch. 769
If the place of trial is changed to another county in any action or proceeding under par. (b)
, an attorney responsible for support enforcement under par. (a)
shall continue to prosecute or defend the action or proceeding in the other county.
(7) Integrated service program for children with severe disabilities.
The board may establish a program of integrated services for children with severe disabilities under s. 46.56
(8) Rehabilitation facilities.
The board may establish and maintain rehabilitation facilities in any part of the county under the jurisdiction of the sheriff as an extension of the jail, or separate from the jail under jurisdiction of a superintendent, to provide any person sentenced to the county jail with a program of rehabilitation for such part of the person's sentence or commitment as the court determines will be of rehabilitative value to the prisoner. Rehabilitation facilities may be located outside of the county under a cooperative agreement under s. 302.44
(9) Group homes.
The board may own or operate group homes, as defined in s. 48.02 (7)
(11) Senior citizen programs; appropriation; commission on aging.
The board may:
Appropriate funds to promote and assist county commissions on aging and senior citizens clubs and organizations within the county in their organization and activities. A county may cooperate with any private agency or group in such work.
Appropriate money to defray the expenses incurred by private organizations that provide homemaking services to elderly and handicapped persons within the county if the services will enable the persons to remain self-sufficient and to live independently or with relatives.
(12) Guardian of or conservator for county hospital patients.
In any county having a population of 100,000 or more, the board may authorize the county as a body corporate to act as guardian or conservator of the respective estates of patients in its county hospital or mental hospital, and also as guardians or conservators of the respective estates of residents of its county home or infirmary.
(13) Payments for abortions and abortion-related activity restricted. 59.53(13)(a)(a)
No county, or agency or subdivision of the county, may authorize funds for or pay to a physician or surgeon or a hospital, clinic or other medical facility for the performance of an abortion except those permitted under and which are performed in accordance with s. 20.927
No county or agency or subdivision of a county may authorize payment of funds for a grant, subsidy or other funding involving a pregnancy program, project or service if s. 20.9275 (2)
applies to the pregnancy program, project or service.
(14) Victims and witnesses of crimes.
The board may appropriate money for the implementation and operation of a program under s. 950.06
(15) Nursing associations.
The board may appropriate money toward the support of organized and bona fide nursing associations in the county, such associations to have at least one qualified nurse.
In counties having a population of 30,000 or more the board may erect, establish and maintain isolation hospitals or places for the care and treatment of all persons afflicted with infectious, contagious and communicable diseases, requiring isolation and quarantine under the laws of the state, who are inmates of the charitable, penal, correctional and other institutions of said county or who are required to be cared for and treated at the expense of said county. The board may also provide for the care and treatment therein of all persons so afflicted, who are required to be cared for by the various municipalities in said counties, under such terms, conditions, rules and regulations, as to apportionment of cost of erection of such buildings and places and the expense of care and treatment of such persons afflicted, as may be agreed upon between the county board and the common council of such cities and the boards of such villages and towns, and each such council or board is hereby vested with power and authority to enter into such contracts and to appropriate such funds as may be necessary to carry into execution all contracts so made.
All isolation hospitals and other places, when erected or established in counties having a county board of administration, shall be conducted under the control and management of the board of administration in the same manner and to the same extent as other institutions under the control of the board of administration, and in other counties the isolation hospitals and other places shall be conducted under the control and management of the county board. Any resident of this state who is not indigent may be received into, treated and cared for in an isolation hospital or other place upon the terms and conditions and at the rate or pay established and fixed by the board having charge of the isolation hospital or other place; provided, however, that indigent and destitute sick persons shall be cared for and have preference of admission to such hospitals and places.
A board may appropriate an amount not to exceed $1,000 in any one year for the purpose of assisting a county association of the citizens of the county, or an association composed of the citizens of 2 or more counties of which the citizens of the county are members, organized solely for the purpose of inducing immigration to the state.
The disbursement of an appropriation made under this subsection shall be under the supervision of the chairperson of the board, the clerk and the treasurer, and in all cases after such an appropriation has been made, there shall be filed with the clerk a sworn statement by the treasurer of the immigration society for whose benefit the appropriation was made, showing that the amount of the appropriation has been used by the association for the purpose of inducing immigration to the county making the appropriation and to adjoining counties, and itemized bills for the expenditure of a sum equal to the appropriation duly verified shall accompany the statement of the treasurer. Upon the approval of the statement and the itemized bills, by the county officers above named, the money so appropriated shall be paid by the proper officers of the county making the same into the treasury of the immigration association.
The county board may create an immigration board consisting of 3 to 5 members, one of whom shall be the county surveyor. The immigration board shall meet, and its members shall receive such compensation and expenses and shall serve for the terms that the county board determines.
The immigration board shall aid in promoting settlement of vacant agricultural lands in the county, and shall protect prospective settlers from unfair practices.
The county board may in any year appropriate for the carrying out of the work of the immigration board a sum not to exceed $5,000.
(19) Joint operation of health-related service.
The board may authorize the trustees of county hospitals, together with a private or public organization or affiliation, to organize, establish and participate in the governance and operation of an entity to operate, wholly or in part, any health-related service; to participate in the financing of the entity; and to provide administrative and financial services or resources for its operation on terms prescribed by the board.
(20) Work centers.
The board may operate a work center licensed under s. 104.07
to provide employment for severely handicapped individuals.
(21) Operation of relief programs.
The board may operate a program of relief for a specific class or classes of persons residing in that county. The county may set such eligibility criteria to obtain relief, and may provide such services, commodities or money as relief, as the county determines to be reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. The program may include work components. The county may enact any ordinances necessary or useful to the operation of a relief program under this subsection. Counties may use vehicle registration information from the department of transportation in determining eligibility for relief programs under this subsection.
59.53(22)(a)(a) Sections 66.40
shall apply to counties, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, or as clearly indicated otherwise by the context.
The powers and duties conferred and imposed by ss. 66.40
upon mayors and councils are conferred upon boards, and the powers and duties of specified city officials under ss. 66.40
are conferred upon county officials performing duties similar to the duties of such specified city officials.
The area of operation of a housing authority created in and for a county is all of the county for which it is created, but a county housing authority may not undertake any housing project within the boundaries of any municipality unless a resolution has been adopted by the governing body of the municipality, and by any housing authority which has been created in that municipality, declaring that there is need for the county housing authority to exercise its powers within that municipality.
County housing authorities created under this subsection are urged to utilize those provisions of the federal housing laws whereby private developers may acquire land, build housing projects according to federal standards and turn them over to such housing authorities for due consideration.
(23) Housing authorities, counties having only one town. 59.53(23)(a)(a)
The provisions of ss. 66.40
shall apply to any county having only one town, except as otherwise provided in this subsection or clearly indicated otherwise by the context, and any housing authority established under this subsection may participate in any state grants-in-aid for housing in the same manner as city housing authorities created under ss. 66.40
The powers and duties conferred and imposed by ss. 66.40
upon mayors and councils are conferred upon boards, and the powers and duties of specified city officials under those sections are conferred upon county officials performing duties similar to the duties of the specified city officials.