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 Co., 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 v. Portage County, 2017 WI App 69
, 378 Wis. 2d 289
, 903 N.W.2d 152
Police and fire commission. 60.57(1)(a)
If the town has a police department, establish a board of police commissioners.
If the town has a fire department, establish a board of fire commissioners.
If the town has both a police and fire department, or a combined protective services department, establish a board of police and fire commissioners.
A board created under this section shall be organized in the same manner as boards of police and fire commissioners under s. 62.13 (1)
A board created under this section is subject to the provisions of s. 62.13 (2)
to the extent that the provisions apply to 2nd and 3rd class cities. In applying s. 62.13
under this section, the town board chairperson has the powers and duties specified for a mayor, the town board has the powers and duties specified for a common council and the town has the powers and duties specified for a city.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 2011 a. 32
LAND USE AND PLANNING
General zoning authority. 60.61(1)(a)(a)
Ordinances adopted under this section shall be designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare.
Authority granted under this section shall be liberally construed in favor of the town exercising the powers. This section may not be construed to limit or repeal any powers possessed by any town.
(1m) Building code enforcement; appeal process. 60.61(1m)(b)
If an applicant is denied a temporary use permit or an extension of a temporary use permit and the individual denying the permit or extension is the chief of a fire district, or an authorized individual acting on the chief's behalf, and if the basis of the denial is a discretionary determination by the chief or authorized individual, the permit or extension applicant may appeal the denial to the town board of the town to which the application relates. Following a hearing on the fire district chief's or authorized individual's denial, the town board may approve the applicant's temporary use permit or extension application.
Extent of authority.
Subject to subs. (3)
, if a town is located in a county which has not enacted a county zoning ordinance under s. 59.69
, the town board, by ordinance, may:
Regulate, restrict and determine all of the following:
The areas within which agriculture, forestry, mining and recreation may be conducted, except that no ordinance enacted under this subsection may prohibit forestry operations that are in accordance with generally accepted forestry management practices, as defined under s. 823.075 (1) (d)
The location of roads, schools, trades and industries.
The location, height, bulk, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures.
The size of yards, courts and other open spaces.
The location of buildings designed for specified uses.
The trades, industries or purposes that may be engaged in or subject to regulation.