59.54(28)(d)1.1. The crime board may solicit applications for grants in a format determined by the crime board, and may vote to direct the treasurer to distribute grants to applicants from moneys in the crime prevention fund under s. 59.25 (3) (gm). The crime board may direct the treasurer to distribute grants to any of the following entities, in amounts determined by the crime board:
59.54(28)(d)1.a. a. One or more private nonprofit organizations within the county that has as its primary purpose preventing crime, providing a funding source for crime prevention programs, encouraging the public to report crime, or assisting law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of criminal offenders.
59.54(28)(d)1.b. b. A law enforcement agency within the county that has a crime prevention fund, if the contribution is credited to the crime prevention fund and is used for crime prevention purposes.
59.54(28)(d)2. 2. Not less than 50 percent of the payments made under subd. 1. shall be made to one or more organizations described in subd. 1. a., except that if no organization described in subd. 1. a. exists within the county, all of the payments may be made to a law enforcement agency under subd. 1. b.
59.54(28)(e) (e) Annually, the crime board shall submit a report on its activities to the clerk of court for the county that distributed the funds, to the county board, and to the legislative bodies of each municipality that is located wholly or partly within the county. The report shall contain at least all of the following information for the year to which the report relates:
59.54(28)(e)1. 1. The name and address of each entity that received a grant, including contact information for the leadership of the entity.
59.54(28)(e)2. 2. A full accounting of all funds disbursed by the treasurer at the direction of the crime board, including the amount of the funds disbursed, the dates of disbursal, and the purposes for which the grant was made.
59.54(28)(f) (f) Annually, each recipient of a grant awarded under this subsection shall submit a report on its activities to all of the entities specified in par. (e). The report shall contain at least all of the following information for the year to which the report relates:
59.54(28)(f)1. 1. The name and address of the entity.
59.54(28)(f)2. 2. The name and address, and title, of each member of the governing body of the entity.
59.54(28)(f)3. 3. The purposes for which the grant money was spent.
59.54(28)(f)4. 4. A detailed accounting of all receipts and expenditures of the entity that relate to the grant money.
59.54(28)(f)5. 5. The balance of any funds remaining.
59.54(28)(g) (g) Upon the creation of a crime prevention funding board, the initial members of the board specified under par. (c) shall declare that they are serving on the board, or appoint their designees, not later than the first day of the 4th month beginning after a board is created.
59.54(29) (29) Sex trafficking task forces. In any county that has received a recommendation from the human trafficking council under s. 165.29 (1) (d), the board shall review the recommendation, and the board is encouraged to establish a sex trafficking task force that includes representatives from law enforcement agencies, county departments, and local nonprofit groups to coordinate efforts to combat sex trafficking in that county, including identifying and investigating sex trafficking, supporting victims, and raising community awareness.
Effective date note NOTE: Sub. (29) is created eff. 7-1-25 by 2023 Wis. Act 239. Sub. (29) is repealed eff. 6-30-29 by 2023 Wis. Act 239.
59.54 Annotation 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 sub. (4). Liberty Grove Town Board v. Door County Board of Supervisors, 2005 WI App 166, 284 Wis. 2d 814, 702 N.W.2d 33, 04-2358.
59.54 Annotation 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 s. 60.565 authorizing towns to provide ambulance service 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 v. Portage County, 2017 WI App 69, 378 Wis. 2d 289, 903 N.W.2d 152, 16-2435.
59.54 Annotation A county may establish a rural naming or numbering system in towns, and subs. (4) and (4m) do not restrict this exercise of authority to only rural areas within towns. The word “rural" in subs. (4) and (4m) describes the “naming or numbering system"; it does not modify the territorial scope of “in towns." Town of Rib Mountain v. Marathon County, 2019 WI 50, 386 Wis. 2d 632, 926 N.W.2d 731, 17-2021.
59.54 Annotation The uniform addressing system ordinance adopted by the county in this case did not exceed the authority conferred by sub. (4). Therefore, under the ordinance, the county properly named the defendants' road and assigned addresses to the defendants' residence and rental cabins. Vilas County v. Bowler, 2019 WI App 43, 388 Wis. 2d 395, 933 N.W.2d 120, 18-0837.
59.54 Annotation 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 sub. (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.
59.54 Annotation 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.
59.54 Annotation Discussing the power of a county to provide limited rescue functions in connection with an ambulance service and to make reasonable charges. 65 Atty. Gen. 87.
59.54 Annotation Section 59.07 (64) [now sub. (6)] does not authorize county boards to proscribe deer shining. 68 Atty. Gen. 81.
59.54 Annotation A county board has authority under s. 59.07 (64) [now sub. (6)] to enact an ordinance prohibiting trespass that is similar to and consistent with s. 943.13. 69 Atty. Gen. 92.
59.54 Annotation A local emergency planning committee created by a county board pursuant to s. 59.07 (146) [now sub. (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.
59.54 Annotation Local Emergency Planning Committee subcommittee members appointed by a county board under s. 59.07 (146) [now sub. (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.
59.55 59.55 Consumer protection.
59.55(1)(1)County consumer protection agency.
59.55(1)(a) (a) In this subsection:
59.55(1)(a)1. 1. “Consumer complaint" means a complaint received by a consumer protection agency from an individual.
59.55(1)(a)2. 2. “County consumer protection agency" means an agency created or designated under this subsection.
59.55(1)(b) (b) A county may create or designate a consumer protection agency which may:
59.55(1)(b)1. 1. Maintain an office in the county.
59.55(1)(b)2. 2. Receive and maintain records of consumer complaints.
59.55(1)(b)3. 3. Upon receipt of a consumer complaint, conduct an investigation to determine the validity of the complaint.
59.55(1)(b)4. 4. Notify the person responsible for the cause of the complaint of the nature of the complaint.
59.55(1)(b)5. 5. Assist in the resolution of the complaint.
59.55(1)(b)6. 6. Refer complaints:
59.55(1)(b)6.a. a. To the appropriate state department or independent agency; or
59.55(1)(b)6.b. b. To the district attorney.
59.55(1)(b)7. 7. Maintain follow-up records on all complaints referred to state departments or independent agencies or the district attorney.
59.55(1)(c) (c) 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.
59.55(2) (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.
59.55(3) (3) Truckers, hawkers and peddlers licensing. Except in counties having a population of 750,000 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.
59.55(4) (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.
59.55(5) (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.
59.55(6) (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.
59.55 History History: 1995 a. 201 ss. 130, 131, 152, 178, 240, 368, 452; 2017 a. 207 s. 5.
59.56 59.56 Cultural affairs; education; recreation.
59.56(1)(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.
59.56(2) (2) Public museums.
59.56(2)(a)(a) 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.
59.56(2)(b) (b) 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.
59.56(2)(c) (c) Notwithstanding pars. (a) and (b), in counties having a population of 750,000 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.
59.56(3) (3) University extension work.
59.56(3)(a) (a) Creation. 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".
59.56(3)(b) (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) and (3). The committee shall meet at such intervals as are considered necessary to properly carry out its functions and responsibilities.
59.56(3)(c) (c) Staff.
59.56(3)(c)1.1. 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.
59.56(3)(c)2. 2. 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.
59.56(3)(d) (d) Finance. 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.
59.56(3)(e) (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.
59.56(3)(f) (f) Functions.
59.56(3)(f)1.1. 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:
59.56(3)(f)1.a. a. Professional and liberal education.
59.56(3)(f)1.b. b. Human resource development.
59.56(3)(f)1.c. c. Economic and environmental development.
59.56(3)(f)1.d. d. Extension work provided for in an act of congress that was approved on May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. 372) and all acts supplementary thereto.
59.56(3)(f)1.e. e. Any other extension work that is authorized by local, state or federal legislation.
59.56(3)(f)2. 2. 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.
59.56(3)(f)3. 3. 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:
59.56(3)(f)3.a. a. The training of group leaders and the directing of group activities.
59.56(3)(f)3.b. b. Individual or group instruction or consultation.
59.56(3)(f)3.c. c. Demonstration projects, exhibits and other instructional means.
59.56(3)(f)3.d. d. Group workshops, institutes, and conferences.
59.56(3)(f)3.e. e. The creation of citizens' advisory committees.
59.56(3)(f)3.f. f. The dissemination of information by any appropriate means including press, radio and television.
59.56(3)(f)3.g. g. The imposition of fees for certain desired educational services when sufficient public funds are not available to cover costs.
59.56(3)(f)3.h. h. Cooperation with other local, state and federal agencies.
59.56(3)(g) (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.
59.56(3)(h) (h) Cooperation. 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.
59.56(4) (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.
59.56(5) (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.
59.56(6) (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.
59.56(7) (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.
59.56(9) (9) Recreation. 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.
2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2023 Wis. Act 240 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on May 30, 2024. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after May 30, 2024, are designated by NOTES. (Published 5-30-24)