Town of Doty – COVID – 19 Response

 Town of Doty Statement on the COVID-19 Virus (REV. 4/8/2020)

The town of Doty will continue to operate per County, State and National direction it receives.  The Governor has enacted a “stay-at-home” order until April 24.  https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WIGOV/2020/03/24/file_attachments/1409408/Health%20Order%20%2312%20Safer%20At%20Home.pdf  However, this may continue until mid-May or longer per the CDC.  Town government must comply with many limitations to continue to operate (some of which conflict with each other).  The items in this notice are accurate and current as of posting (Wednesday, April 8th, 2020.)  The state has also issued an easier to read version of the safer at home notice.  It can be found at https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/English_SaferatHomeFAQ.pdfOconto County also issued a travel advisory requesting people NOT travel to their second or seasonal homes.  That advisory is on the Oconto county website here: https://www.co.oconto.wi.us/news_and_announcements/?i=603ca5f72af0.  Added other towns ATV/UTV status to ‘recreation’.

Recycle center – Hours will remain the same to help spread out use of the area.  The attendant shack is for the attendant only.  He is able to assist with unloading of heavy items.  Please avoid using the area for ‘social gatherings.’  If there is a line to use an open dumpster or the scrap metal pile, please wait in your vehicle until you can dispose of your materials.  No more than 10 people are allowed outside of their vehicles (including the attendant) at any time.  The receipt of large items, electronics, tires and other pay items are temporarily suspended.  Please hold those items at your residence until further notice.  Exceptions will be made for safety or sanitary reasons (ie. water damages a mattress).  Please contact a town supervisor prior to bringing in one of these items.  Waste oil collection is also temporarily suspended until the secondary containment is de-watered and the roof repaired.  Snow melt due to roof damage in the storm has filled this to the brim and there is no room for overflow oil.  This should be corrected soon. 

Town Hall / Town Clerk/treasurer – People needing services should either call or use the ‘contact us’ feature on the town website to conduct town business.  We know that not everybody has internet or may have business that must be conducted in person due to documents or signatures so the clerk/treasurer will be available on Tuesdays (10am – 2pm) by appointment ONLY – call first.  Business will only be conducted at the hallway sliding window or doorway.  The clerk will also be working from home and will conduct business via phone and internet on Fridays (no access to office).  Saturday hours are suspended.  Other actions will be seen around the hall to promote cleanliness and social distancing.  All non-governmental use of town hall (ie. Weddings and other gatherings) are cancelled until May 17th (none were scheduled anyway).  Governmental use is restricted to the 50-person limit.

Fire / EMS – operating as normal.  No station tours through May 17thThe DNR has suspended ALL burning permits in the state.  Campfires for cooking and warming is currently allowed, but are discouraged.  As the spring continues and the ground thaws out, an EMERGENCY BURNING RESTRICTION may be enacted by the DNR for portions of Oconto County (this is due to last years storm and not the virus).   The EBR would BAN ALL outdoor burning including smoking, campfires and severly limit use of grills. When this happens, the Fire Dept tab will be updated as well.  Commercial building fire inspections are on hold.  We will respond to all 911 calls.  When calling dispatch, expect to be asked about any fever or respiratory conditions.

Town Board – Town board meetings will continue as scheduled if there is vital business to conduct.  The next meeting currently is scheduled on April 21st.  This same information also is applicable for the annual meeting on the same date.  The town approved an ordinance for the payment of bills without board pre-approval at an emergency meeting just before the stay at home order.  It allows the clerk and chairman to pay bills after checking their validity.  The town board reviews at the next meeting.  There are also statutes which allow the adjournment of the annual meeting and BOR to a later date after the initial convening.  The town commonly uses this for the BOR as the assessment rolls are not complete in May.  The governor is calling a special legislative session.  There are two bills being discussed that affect town operations: SB912 – allows the town chair to postpone the annual meeting and BOR as necessary during a declared emergency and SB 914 – allowing town boards to meet by any method available, even if the public cant fully participate during a declared emergency.  This post will be updated after the final bill is approved as several amendments have been proposed.  Also, the legislature may elect to not discuss these items.

Recreation – The county closed COUNTY maintained campgrounds, boat landings and county highway ATV/UTV usage.  The forest service also closed their campgrounds, campsites, boat landings and motorized use of trails.  Boulder, Bass and Boot lake public boat landings are also controlled by the FS.    In order to prevent excessive use of Star lake and minimize confusion, the Town has closed the boat landings on Star Lake.  This does not apply to private landings.  The town plans on keeping town roads open to ATV/UTV use.  With the trails closed due to spring thaw and county roads closed, there is no through traffic, only local use by residents.  Since many people use their ATV/UTV for property maintenance and the like, I plan on keeping them accessible.  Currently the surrounding towns (Townsend, Lakewood, Riverview, Mountain, Breed, Brazeau) are also keeping their TOWN roads open to ATV/UTVs.  Any town may change its rules should social distancing not occur or there is illegal use of ATV/UTV on trails of county road segments.  Please check with the respective towns website, facebook or clerk for current status.

Roads – Road maintenance will continue (snow plowing, fallen tree removal, sign repair).  Road weight limits are currently in effect on gravel roads.  Vital road work by the town is occuring using social distancing as conditions allow.  We are waiting to hear from contractors regarding the planned summer road construction season.

The above actions are designed to allow essential town operations while minimizing person to person contact between the public and town employees for everybody’s benefit.  The town made it through the wind storm of 2019 and we will make it through the “virus storm” of 2020.  Take care of yourselves and look in at your neighbors to ensure they are safe as well.

Doty Town Board