(26) Farm safety.
The board may appropriate money for or sponsor, or both, farm safety education, training or information programs.
(27) Religious organizations; contract powers. 59.54(27)(b)
General purpose and authority.
The purpose of this subsection is to allow the board to contract with, or award grants to, religious organizations, under any program administered by the county dealing with delinquency and crime prevention or the rehabilitation of offenders, on the same basis as any other nongovernmental provider, without impairing the religious character of such organizations and without diminishing the religious freedom of beneficiaries of assistance funded under such program.
Nondiscrimination against religious organizations.
If the board is authorized to contract with a nongovernmental entity, or is authorized to award grants to a nongovernmental entity, religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other private organization, to be contractors and grantees under any program administered by the board so long as the programs are implemented consistently with the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution
and article I, section 18, of the Wisconsin constitution
. Except as provided in par. (L)
, the board may not discriminate against an organization that is or applies to be a contractor or grantee on the basis that the organization does or does not have a religious character or because of the specific religious nature of the organization.
The board shall allow a religious organization with which the board contracts or to which the board awards a grant to retain its independence from government, including the organization's control over the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs.
The board may not require a religious organization to alter its form of internal governance or to remove religious art, icons, scripture, or other symbols to be eligible for a contract or grant.
If the board contracts with, or awards grants to, a religious organization for the provision of crime prevention or offender rehabilitation assistance under a program administered by the board, an individual who is eligible for this assistance shall be informed in writing that assistance of equal value and accessibility is available from a nonreligious provider upon request.
The board shall provide an individual who is otherwise eligible for assistance from an organization described under subd. 1.
with assistance of equal value from a nonreligious provider if the individual objects to the religious character of the organization described under subd. 1.
and requests assistance from a nonreligious provider. The board shall provide such assistance within a reasonable period of time after the date of the objection and shall ensure that it is accessible to the individual.
Nondiscrimination against beneficiaries.
A religious organization may not discriminate against an individual in regard to rendering assistance that is funded under any program administered by the board on the basis of religion, a religious belief or nonbelief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, any religious organization that contracts with or receives a grant from the board is subject to the same laws and rules as other contractors and grantees regarding accounting, in accord with generally accepted auditing principles, for the use of the funds provided under such programs.
If the religious organization segregates funds provided under programs administered by the board into separate accounts, only the financial assistance provided with those funds shall be subject to audit.
Any party that seeks to enforce its rights under this subsection may bring a civil action for injunctive relief against the entity that allegedly commits the violation.
Limitations on use of funds for certain purposes.
No funds provided directly to religious organizations by the board may be expended for sectarian worship, instruction, or proselytization.
Certification of compliance.
Every religious organization that contracts with or receives a grant from the county board to provide delinquency and crime prevention or offender rehabilitation services to eligible recipients shall certify in writing that it has complied with the requirements of pars. (g)
and submit to the board a copy of this certification and a written description of the policies the organization has adopted to ensure that it has complied with the requirements under pars. (g)
Nothing in this subsection may be construed to preempt any other statute that prohibits or restricts the expenditure of federal or state funds by or the granting of federal or state funds to religious organizations.
History: 1995 a. 201
; 1995 a. 448
; 1997 a. 27
; 2001 a. 16
; 2003 a. 193
; 2005 a. 90
; 2009 a. 42
; 2011 a. 31
A town has initial authority to name town roads under s. 82.03 (7). However, the town's authority is subject to the county's discretionary authority under sub. (4) to establish a road naming and numbering system for the specific purpose of aiding in fire protection, emergency services, and civil defense. A county may cooperate with a town regarding road name changes, but ultimately a county has authority to implement name changes, even if a town does not consent, when the name changes are made under s. 59.54 (4). Liberty Grove Town Board v. Door County Board of Supervisors, 2005 WI App 166
, 284 Wis. 2d 814
, 702 N.W.2d 33
A carefully drawn county ordinance prohibiting the sale of "disposable" bottles and cans would not, on its face, exceed the police power granted in s. 59.07 (64) [now s. 59.54 (6)], and would not constitute an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce, although a careful consideration of relevant factors may result in a finding of unreasonableness on both counts. 60 Atty. Gen. 158.
The authority of county officials to offer rewards for the arrest or conviction of persons violating the criminal law is limited to the circumstances set forth in s. 59.25 (2) [now s. 59.29 (1) (b)]. 63 Atty. Gen. 555.
The power of a county to provide limited rescue functions in connection with an ambulance service and to make reasonable charges is discussed. 65 Atty. Gen. 87.
Section 59.07 (64) [now s. 59.54 (6)] does not authorize county boards to proscribe deer shining. 68 Atty. Gen. 81.
A county board has authority under s. 59.07 (64) [now s. 59.54 (6)] to enact an ordinance prohibiting trespass that is similar to and consistent with s. 943.13. 69 Atty. Gen. 92.
A local emergency planning committee created by a county board pursuant to s. 59.07 (146) [now s. 59.54 (8)] is in many respects treated like other county committees. The county board has authority to appropriate funds for the committee and the county's relationship to the committee is the same as the county's relationship to other county bodies created under this section, with the exception that the county must be consistent with the authority exercised by the state emergency response commission. The county corporation counsel should provide legal advice and assistance to a LEPC. If a LEPC or its members are sued, the attorney general represents them, and the state would pay the judgment if the requirements of s. 895.46 have been satisfied. 78 Atty. Gen. 27
Local Emergency Planning Committee subcommittee members appointed by a county board under s. 59.07 (146) [now 59.54 (8)] are entitled to indemnity for damage liability under s. 895.46 and legal representation by the attorney general under s. 165.25. 81 Atty. Gen. 17
Consumer protection. 59.55(1)(1)
County consumer protection agency. 59.55(1)(a)1.
"Consumer complaint" means a complaint received by a consumer protection agency from an individual.
"County consumer protection agency" means an agency created or designated under this subsection.
A county may create or designate a consumer protection agency which may:
Receive and maintain records of consumer complaints.
Upon receipt of a consumer complaint, conduct an investigation to determine the validity of the complaint.
Notify the person responsible for the cause of the complaint of the nature of the complaint.
To the appropriate state department or independent agency; or
Maintain follow-up records on all complaints referred to state departments or independent agencies or the district attorney.
A county consumer protection agency created under this subsection shall report at least once every 6 months to the board on the actions and activities of the agency.
(2) Testing milk and soil.
The board may appropriate money and provide office and laboratory space for testing milk and soil and may provide residents of the county with reports of such tests.
(3) Truckers, hawkers and peddlers licensing.
Except in counties having a population of 500,000 or more, the board may enact ordinances providing for the licensing of truckers, hawkers and peddlers, other than licensees under s. 440.51
, and provide for the enforcement of the ordinances. The ordinances shall not provide for licensing of fuel vendors or those engaged in the delivery of petroleum products or farmers or truck gardeners who sell farm products grown by themselves.
(4) Transient merchants.
Counties may, by ordinance, regulate the retail sales, other than auction sales, made by transient merchants, as defined in s. 130.065 (1m)
, 1987 stats., in the towns in the county and provide forfeitures for violations of those ordinances.
(5) Secondhand car dealers, junking cars.
The board may license and regulate dealers in secondhand motor vehicles, wreckers of motor vehicles, or the conduct of motor vehicle junking. Such regulation shall not apply to any municipality which enacts an ordinance governing the same subject.
(6) Regulation of obscenity.
The board may enact an ordinance to prohibit conduct that is the same as that prohibited by s. 944.21
. A county may bring an action for a violation of the ordinance regardless of whether the attorney general has determined under s. 165.25 (3m)
that an action may be brought. The ordinance may provide for a forfeiture not to exceed $10,000 for each violation.
History: 1995 a. 201
Cultural affairs; education; recreation. 59.56(1)
Cultural and educational contributions.
The board may appropriate money for cultural, artistic, educational and musical programs, projects and related activities, including financial assistance to nonprofit corporations devoted to furthering the cultivation and appreciation of the art of music or to the promotion of the visual arts.
The board may appropriate money for the establishment, expansion, operation and maintenance of public museums in the county, including, but not limited to, any public museum owned by a city.
The board may acquire, establish, expand, own, operate and maintain a public museum in the county and appropriate money for such purposes, except that a public museum owned by a county under this subsection may seek tax-exempt status as an entity described under section 501
(c) (3) of the internal revenue code.
Notwithstanding pars. (a)
, in counties having a population of 500,000 or more the board may contribute funds toward the operation of a public museum owned by a 1st class city in such county, as partial reimbursement for museum services rendered to persons residing outside such city and in a manner similar to the annual appropriation of funds by the board under s. 43.57
toward the operation of the central library in such city.
A board may establish and maintain an educational program in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin, referred to in this subsection as "University Extension Program".
(b) Committee on agriculture and extension education.
If a board establishes a university extension program, it shall create a committee on agriculture and extension education. The board may select as a member of the committee any public school administrator resident in the county. The members of the committee shall receive such compensation and expenses as the board determines under s. 59.22 (2) (c)
. The committee shall meet at such intervals as are considered necessary to properly carry out its functions and responsibilities.
The committee on agriculture and extension education shall appoint professionally qualified persons to the university extension program staff in cooperation with the university extension. Vacancies and additions to the staff shall be filled in the same manner.
The committee on agriculture and extension education may enter into joint employment agreements with the university extension or with other counties and the university extension if the county funds that are committed in the agreements have been appropriated by the board. Persons so employed under cooperative agreements and approved by the board of regents shall be considered employees of both the county and the University of Wisconsin.
For the partial maintenance of the work of the university extension program, including cooperative extension programs as provided for in an act of congress approved May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. 372) and all acts supplementary thereto, the board may appropriate moneys as requested by the committee on agriculture and extension education to provide the county's share in such work. The money appropriated by the board shall be disbursed by the treasurer upon orders of the clerk pursuant to the actions of the committee on agriculture and extension education and as adopted by the board.
(e) State aids.
To supplement the funds provided by the county for the work of the university extension program, each county shall be entitled to a minimum state aid of $1,500 per year if the board has made the required appropriation to maintain such a program, and such additional funds as are required to provide salary increases equal to those granted to state employees by the legislature.
A university extension program is authorized, under the direction and supervision of the county committee on agriculture and extension education, cooperating with the university extension of the University of Wisconsin, and within the limits of funds provided by the board and cooperating state and federal agencies, to make available the necessary facilities and conduct programs in the following areas:
Extension work provided for in an act of congress that was approved on May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. 372) and all acts supplementary thereto.
Any other extension work that is authorized by local, state or federal legislation.
Such a program may consist of, but not be limited to, providing agents to conduct programs on energy conservation and renewable energy resource systems, conduct evaluations and provide planning, analysis and other technical support to community agencies and organizations, small businesses, individuals interested in energy conservation in local communities and primary and secondary school teachers.
Such program may take any action that will facilitate the accomplishment of any of the functions under this paragraph, including without limitation because of enumeration the following:
The training of group leaders and the directing of group activities.
Demonstration projects, exhibits and other instructional means.
The dissemination of information by any appropriate means including press, radio and television.
The imposition of fees for certain desired educational services when sufficient public funds are not available to cover costs.
Cooperation with other local, state and federal agencies.
(g) Department of government.
For the purposes of s. 59.22 (2) (d)
the university extension program shall be a department of county government and the committee on agriculture and extension education shall be the committee which is delegated the authority to direct and supervise the department. In cooperation with the university extension of the University of Wisconsin, the committee on agriculture and extension education shall have the responsibility to formulate and execute the university extension program. The university extension shall annually report to the board its activities and accomplishments.
The personnel of the university extension program shall, whenever feasible, cooperate with other educational programs of importance to the residents of the county. Such cooperative agreements may be made under s. 66.0301
(4) University college campuses.
The board may appropriate money for the construction, remodeling, expansion, acquisition or equipping of land, buildings and facilities for a University of Wisconsin college campus, as defined in s. 36.05 (6m)
, if the operation of it has been approved by the board of regents.
(5) Historical societies.
The board may appropriate money to any local historical society incorporated under s. 44.03
located in the county for the purpose of collecting and preserving the records of the early pioneers, the life of the Indians, the experience of persons in the military, and the salient historical features of the county.
(6) County historian.
The board may create the position of county historian. The historian shall collect and preserve the records of the Indians and the early pioneers, the experiences of military men and women and the records of their service; mark and compile data concerning places of historical interest in the county; and perform such other duties relating to the collection, preservation, compilation and publication of historical data as the board prescribes. The board may provide the historian with a fireproof safe or vault in which to keep papers and documents, with clerical assistance and with such other needs as will enable the historian to adequately perform the duties of historian. The board may require reports.
(7) School attendance.
The board may enact and enforce an ordinance to impose a penalty, which is the same as that provided under s. 118.15 (5)
, upon a person having under his or her control a child who is between the ages of 6 and 18 years and whose child is not in compliance with s. 118.15
The board may create, promote and conduct and assist in creating, promoting and conducting recreational activities in the county which are conducive to the general health and welfare, and elect persons for such terms and salaries as may be determined, who shall exercise the powers and perform the duties given by the board. The board may provide for what purpose and in what manner moneys appropriated under this subsection may be expended. Such persons may be designated "County Recreation Committee". At the annual meeting next after making the appropriation the board shall determine in which municipalities such activities were held and which other municipalities received benefits therefrom and determine the amount expended from the appropriation to make the programs or activities or benefits derived therefrom possible in each municipality and levy a tax upon the property of each municipality in accordance with such apportionment to reimburse the county for its expenditures, but no expenditure shall be made nor improvement ordered without the consent of the governing body of the municipality.
(10) Advertise county.
The board may: