“Public contract" means a contract for the construction, execution, repair, remodeling or improvement of any public work or building or for the furnishing of materials or supplies, with an estimated cost greater than $5,000.
“Responsible bidder" means a person who, in the judgment of the town board, is financially responsible and has the capacity and competence to faithfully and responsibly comply with the terms of the public contract.
(2) Notice; advertisement for bids.
Except as provided in subs. (4)
No town may enter into a public contract with an estimated cost of more than $5,000 but not more than $25,000 unless the town board, or a town official or employee designated by the town board, gives a class 1 notice under ch. 985
before execution of that public contract.
No town may enter into a public contract with a value of more than $25,000 unless the town board, or a town official or employee designated by the town board, advertises for proposals to perform the terms of the public contract by publishing a class 2 notice under ch. 985
. The town board may provide for additional means of advertising for bids.
(3) Contracts to lowest responsible bidder.
The town board shall let a public contract for which advertising for proposals is required under sub. (2) (b)
to the lowest responsible bidder. Section 66.0901
applies to public contracts let under sub. (2) (b)
(4) Contracts with governmental entities.
This section does not apply to public contracts entered into by a town with a municipality, as defined under s. 66.0301 (1) (a)
(5) Exception for emergencies and donated materials and labor.
This section is optional with respect to public contracts for the repair and construction of public facilities when damage or threatened damage to the facility creates an emergency, as declared by resolution of the town board, that endangers the public health or welfare of the town. This subsection no longer applies when the town board declares that the emergency no longer exists. This section is optional with respect to a public contract if the materials related to the contract are donated or if the labor that is necessary to execute the public contract is provided by volunteers.
(6) Application to work by town.
This section does not apply to any public work performed directly by the town.
An unsuccessful bidder was not entitled to maintain a suit for damages, but was instead required to seek an injunction. Only if the bidder successfully obtained an injunction would it be entitled to limited damages, not including lost profits, as, if successful, the bidder could force the town to award it the contracts, or alternatively, to relet them. D.M.K., Inc. v. Town of Pittsfield, 2006 WI App 40
, 290 Wis. 2d 474
, 711 N.W.2d 672
A disappointed bidder may recover bid preparation expenses for a violation of the competitive bidding statute regardless of whether it has sought injunctive relief. North Twin Builders, LLC v. Town of Phelps, 2011 WI App 77
, 334 Wis. 2d 148
, 800 N.W.2d 1
PUBLIC WORKS AND PUBLIC SAFETY
Without limitation because of enumeration, the town board may:
(1) Acquire lands.
Notwithstanding s. 60.10 (2) (e)
, acquire lands to lay, construct, alter, extend or repair any highway, street or alley in the town.
(2) Streets, sewers and service mains.
Provide for laying, constructing, altering, extending, replacing, removing or repairing any highway, street, alley, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main or any other service pipes, under s. 62.16 (2) (d)
, in the town.
Provide for construction, removal, replacement or repair of sidewalks under s. 66.0907
(4) Lighting highways.
Provide for lighting for highways, as defined under s. 340.01 (22)
, located in the town.
(5) Lake improvements.
Provide for making improvements in any lake or waterway located in the town.
Gather at the site of a public works project or a highway, street or alley project that has been approved by the town board for the sole purpose of inspecting the work that has been completed or that is in progress if, before gathering at the site, the chairperson of the board or the chairperson's designee notifies by telephone or facsimile transmission those news media who have filed a written request for notice of such inspections in relation to that project and if the chairperson of the board or the chairperson's designee submits at the next board meeting a report that describes the inspection. The board may not take any official action at the inspection site.
Sewer and water systems of adjoining municipality. 60.52(1)(1)
With the approval of the town board, any city or village adjoining a town may construct and maintain extensions of its sewer or water system in the town. An extension of a sewer or water system under this subsection is subject to s. 62.175 (1)
and the rights of abutting property owners.
An abutting property owner who is permitted to connect with and use a sewer or water system constructed under sub. (1)
may not be deprived of the use of the sewer or water system, except for nonpayment of water or sewer charges, without the approval of the town board.
History: 1983 a. 532
A city or village sewer extension through town lands that does not provide service for town residents does not require approval of the town board under sub. (1). Danielson v. City of Sun Prairie, 2000 WI App 227
, 239 Wis. 2d 178
, 619 N.W.2d 108
In determining under Danielson
whether the extension through a town serves the town and thus requires the town's approval, the extension project must be looked at as a whole, and not in its component parts. Town of Union v. City of Eau Claire, 2003 WI App 161
, 265 Wis. 2d 879
, 667 N.W.2d 810
Service pipes and laterals.
Sections 62.16 (2)
, relating to service pipes and laterals, are applicable to towns.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 1999 a. 150
Solid waste transportation. 60.54(1)(1)
The town board may designate any town highway which provides reasonable access to a solid waste disposal site or facility licensed under s. 289.31
as appropriate for the transportation of solid waste into, within or through the town for the purpose of disposing of the waste at the site or facility and may prohibit the use of other town highways for that purpose.
Any person violating a prohibition enacted under sub. (1)
shall forfeit not more than $1,000.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 1995 a. 227
Fire protection. 60.55(1)(a)(a)
The town board shall provide for fire protection for the town. Fire protection for the town, or any portion of the town, may be provided in any manner, including:
Joining with another town, village or city to establish a joint fire department. If the town board establishes a joint fire department with a village under s. 61.65 (2) (a) 3.
, the town board shall create a joint board of fire commissioners with the village under s. 61.65 (2) (b) 2.
The town board may provide for the equipping, staffing, housing and maintenance of fire protection services.
The town board may:
Appropriate money to pay for fire protection in the town.
Charge property owners a fee for the cost of fire protection provided to their property under sub. (1) (a)
according to a written schedule established by the town board.
Levy taxes on the entire town to pay for fire protection.
Levy taxes on property served by a particular source of fire protection, to support the source of protection.
Any fire department created under this section, whether formed under ch. 181 or 213, is a government subdivision or agency entitled to immunity under s. 893.80 (4). Mellenthin v. Berger, 2003 WI App 126
, 265 Wis. 2d 575
, 663 N.W.2d 817
This section does not create an exception to the grant of power to the town meeting to authorize land purchases or construction by the town board. If a town board chooses to meet the requirements of this section to provide fire protection by providing housing for fire protection services and also chooses to purchase land and construct that housing, then the town board must proceed with the authorization of the town meeting under s. 60.10 (2) (e) and (f) to purchase the land and construct the building. Town of Clayton v. Cardinal Construction Company, Inc. 2009 WI App 54
, 317 Wis. 2d 424
, 767 N.W.2d 605
The presence of a fire district standing by ready to extinguish fires constitutes a fire protection service for which a fee may be assessed. Unlike in the pre-1988 version of this statute, fire protection services for which a fee may be assessed are not limited to “fire calls made." Here, the town demonstrated that the primary purpose of a charge was to cover the expense of providing the service of fire protection to the properties within its geographic boundaries and, therefore, the charge was a fee rather than a tax and assessable against county property. Town of Hoard v. Clark County, 2015 WI App 100
, 366 Wis. 2d 239
, 873 N.W.2d 241
A town may assess a fire protection special charge under sub. (2) (b) for making fire protection services generally available, and not based on the incidence of fire calls at a property. The special charge is a fee, not a tax, and, therefore, may be assessed against the county. OAG 1-15
Combined protective services. 60.553(1)(1)
Any town may provide police and fire protection services by any of the following:
A combined protective services department which is neither a police department under s. 60.56 (1) (a)
nor a fire department under s. 60.55 (1) (a)
, and in which the same person may be required to perform police protection and fire protection duties without being required to perform police protection duties for more than 8 hours in each 24 hours except in emergency situations, as described under s. 62.13 (7n)
Persons in a police department or fire department who, alone or in combination with persons designated as police officers or fire fighters, may be required to perform police protection and fire protection duties without being required to perform police protection duties for more than 8 hours in each 24 hours except in emergency situations, as described under s. 62.13 (7n)
The governing body of a town acting under sub. (1)
may designate any person required to perform police protection and fire protection duties under sub. (1)
as primarily a police officer or fire fighter for purposes described in ss. 62.13 (7m)
, and (11)
, and 891.455
History: 2011 a. 32
; 2013 a. 165
Fire safety regulations.
Except as provided in s. 101.14 (4) (de)
, the town board, by ordinance, may adopt regulations to prevent, detect and suppress fire and related fire hazards. The regulations may include provision for the inspection, at reasonable times, of property in the town for compliance with regulations adopted under this section.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 2015 a. 240
Reimbursement for fire calls on highways. 60.557(1)(1)
If a town incurs costs for a fire call by responding to a vehicle fire on a county trunk highway, the county maintaining that portion of the highway where the vehicle was located at the time of the fire shall reimburse the town up to $200 for the costs if the town submits written proof that the town has made a reasonable effort to collect the cost from the insurer of the person to whom the fire call was provided or from the person to whom the fire call was provided, except that the town may attempt to collect the cost from the person only if the town is unsuccessful in its efforts to collect from the person's insurer or if the person has no insurer. If the town collects the cost from an insurer or such person after the county reimburses the town, the town shall return the amount collected to the county.
If a town incurs costs for a fire call on a state trunk highway or any highway that is a part of the national system of interstate highways and maintained by the department of transportation, the department of transportation shall reimburse the town up to $500 for the costs, even if the fire equipment is not actually used, if the town submits written proof that the town has made a reasonable effort to collect the cost from the insurer of the person to whom the fire call was provided or from the person to whom the fire call was provided, except that the town may attempt to collect the cost from the person only if the town is unsuccessful in its efforts to collect from the person's insurer or if the person has no insurer. If the town collects the cost from an insurer or such person after the department reimburses the town, the town shall return the amount collected to the department.
Law enforcement. 60.56(1)(a)(a)
The town board may provide for law enforcement in the town or any portion of the town in any manner, including:
Joining with another town, village or city to create a joint police department. If the town board establishes a joint police department with a village under s. 61.65 (1) (a) 3.
, the town board shall create a joint board of police commissioners with the village under s. 61.65 (1) (b) 1. b.
If a town board establishes a town police department under par. (a) 1.
and does not create a board of police commissioners singly or in combination with another town, village or city, or if a town board establishes a combined protective services department under s. 60.553
and does not create a board of police and fire commissioners, the town may not suspend, reduce, suspend and reduce, or remove any police chief, chief of a combined protective services department, or other law enforcement officer who is not probationary, and for whom there is no valid and enforceable contract of employment or collective bargaining agreement which provides for a fair review prior to that suspension, reduction, suspension and reduction or removal, unless the town board does one of the following:
Establishes a committee of not less than 3 members, none of whom may be an elected or appointed official of the town or be employed by the town. The committee shall act under s. 62.13 (5)
in place of a board of police and fire commissioners. The town board may provide for some payment to each member for the member's cost of serving on the committee at a rate established by the town board.
Appoint a person who is not an elected or appointed official of the town and who is not employed by the town. The person shall act under s. 62.13 (5)
in place of a board of police and fire commissioners. The town board may provide for some payment to that person for serving under this subdivision at a rate established by the town board.
The town board may provide for the equipping, staffing, housing and maintenance of law enforcement services.
The town board may appropriate money to fund law enforcement services.
A town cannot “establish" a police department without official action. Christian v. Town of Emmett, 163 Wis. 2d 277
, 471 N.W.2d 252
(Ct. App. 1991).
That a police chief served on a volunteer basis without compensation did not render him a probationary officer under sub. (1) (am). “At-will" employment has no relevance to whether the procedures outlined in this section must be followed. Town of LaGrange v. Auchinleck, 216 Wis. 2d 84
, 573 N.W.2d 232
(Ct. App. 1997), 96-3313
A sheriff may not unilaterally withdraw investigative services provided to one urbanized town within the county because the town maintains its own police department. 81 Atty. Gen. 98
Rewards for crime information.
When any heinous offense or crime has been committed against life or property within a town, the town board chairperson, with the consent of a majority of the members of the town board, may offer a reward for the apprehension of the criminal or perpetrator of such offense.
History: 1993 a. 246
The town board shall contract for or operate and maintain ambulance services unless such services are provided by another person. If the town board contracts for ambulance services, it may contract with one or more providers. The town board may determine and charge a reasonable fee for ambulance service provided under this section. The town board may purchase equipment for medical and other emergency calls.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 1991 a. 39
County home rule under s. 59.03 (1) allows every county to “exercise any organizational or administrative power, subject only to the constitution and to any enactment of the legislature.” The language of this section acknowledges that another person can provide the ambulance service instead of a town and withdraws the mandate when another person provides ambulance services. The absence of a command from the legislature that towns provide an ambulance service in all situations causes the argument that county home rule prevents counties from providing ambulance service to miss the mark. Town of Grant, Portage County v. Portage County, 2017 WI App 69
, 378 Wis. 2d 289
, 903 N.W.2d 152
Police and fire commission.