INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION

 

Overview and Basic Objectives

Intergovernmental cooperation is defined as a "compilation of objectives, policies, goals, maps, and programs for joint programming and decision making with other jurisdictions, including school districts and adjacent government units."  For the Town the interacting units include the Federal Government, the State of Wisconsin, Dunn County, surrounding townships, and school districts within the Town of Spring Brook.  The Town of Spring Brook seeks cooperative solutions with adjoining and overseeing governments that are to the mutual benefit of all parties.

The Town has, in the past, worked with the Federal government on their bridge-building program to replace old bridges.  Under the program, the Federal government pays 80% of the costs, the county pays 10% (from the bridge petition program), and the Township pays 10%.  The Wisconsin Department of transportation provides engineering services for the program. 

 

Selected Survey Results

 

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly
Agree

No Response

31. I would find value in receiving a semi-annual newsletter.

18

63

217

75

46

37. Currently the Town of Spring Brook does not have a comprehensive plan which sets out community goals and strategies to guide growth and development.  Such a comprehensive plan is advisory and does not have enforcement powers.  Do you think the town should develop such a plan?        241 Yes           154 No              24 No response

38. Currently the Town of Spring Brook does not have land use ordinances regulating the use and development of land.  Do you think the town should enact such ordinances?

                                                                     220 Yes              178 No                21 No response

44. What roles should elected officials of the Town of Spring Brook play in land use planning? (mark all appropriate)

Educational

Advisory

Regulatory

No role

159

234

154

74

 

6. As the Chippewa Valley grows, the Town of Spring Brook will likely be an attractive place for residential development. Do you feel our school systems are adequate to serve the potential increase in population without having to expand buildings or build more schools?

Menomonie Schools    Yes-93 (42%)   No-25 (11%)   No Response-102 (47%)                            

               

Elk Mound Schools       Yes-114 (52%)   No-62 (28%)   No Response-44 (20%)

 

Adjacent Local Governments 

The Town of Spring Brook shares borders with six other townships; the towns of Elk Mound, Red Cedar, Dunn, Peru, and Rock Creek in Dunn County and the Town of Union in Eau Claire County.

 

School District

The Town helps fund three school districts, Menomonie, Elk Mound and a very small portion of Eau Claire.  The Chippewa Valley Technical College also gets funds from the Town.

 

 

 

Wisconsin and Federal Departments of Transportation

There are no Wisconsin State Highways and less than one half mile of U.S. Interstate 94 in the Town of Spring Brook.  There is no access to the Interstate within the borders of the Town of Spring Brook and the township provides no maintenance services to it.

 

Existing Areas of Cooperation

The state supports Land Conservation Services and the Department of Natural Resources.  These agencies identify and preserve environmentally sensitive areas and provide forest management services and license fishing and game hunting.  The State also provides funding assistance for the Menomonie and Elk Mound School Districts, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the University Extension.

Dunn County provides law enforcement and judicial services, emergency planning and communications, public health, nursing, human services, soil conservation services, zoning administration, the county fair, and other recreational facilities, including a bike trail and numerous parks. 

The Town works with the county to provide solid waste management and recycling.  Dunn County provides several transfer stations to which residents may take their solid waste and recyclables.  Residents also have the option of contracting with private removal services.  The Dunn County Highway Department helps the Town by providing advice and services:  the PASER Program, which is a highway rating and evaluation system; bridge petition program; LRIP, which is a local road improvement program; paving roads; seal coating; crack filling; and equipment. 

The Town works to provide fire and ambulance service through available private and public ambulance services and fire departments from the City of Menomonie, the Town of Elk Mound and the Town of Union in Eau Claire County.  The Menomonie Fire Department serves eight townships:  Weston, Dunn, Red Cedar, Tainter, Lucas, Spring Brook, Menomonie, Sherman, and the City of Menomonie.  Maps of the fire department and ambulance service areas can be found in Appendix E.

The Town works with 3 other townships regarding road maintenance agreements.  On the north boundary, the township exchanges work on 490th Avenue with the town of Elk Mound, for 3 miles of road from 890th Street to the Eau Claire county line and about a mile with the Town of Red Cedar from 649th Street east to 690th Street.  Along the east, the Town exchanges road maintenance on 1010th Street with the Town of Union in Eau Claire County for 1.9 miles of road from County Highway E south to 960th Street and about one half mile of Blue Bird Lane in the Town of Union.  Along the west side, the Town exchanges road maintenance on 649th Street with the town of Red Cedar for approximately 2500 feet of road from 490th Avenue south to the end.  The Chippewa River is the south border of the Town of Spring Brook so there are no shared roads.

 

Areas to Explore for Additional Cooperation

The Town of Spring Brook might consider the following areas of cooperation:

  • Forming purchasing pools with adjacent townships to obtain better pricing on maintenance supplies. 
  • The sharing of equipment or staff where possible.
  • Purchase of supplies such as tires, computer equipment, etc. through the State of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Statute 66.0301)

 

 

 

Existing or potential Area of Intergovernmental Conflict

At present, the Town has no conflicts with other governmental units.  The range of potential conflict between the Town of Spring Brook and other governments is rather narrow.  The most likely areas of conflict might include highway maintenance with adjoining townships, disagreements about school district boundaries or disagreement about service levels from or obligations to County, State or Federal government agencies.

 

Process to Resolve Conflicts

The Town of Spring Brook will work to resolve any conflict that may arise between it and other governments.  Sometimes the town may address intergovernmental issues, while neighboring communities may have different visions and ideas. Many techniques exist to resolve conflicts and the town should consider using mediation first to resolve a dispute. A mediated outcome is often more favored by both sides of the disputing parties, settled faster, and costs less than a prolonged lawsuit.

If mediation does not resolve the dispute, there are more formal dispute resolution techniques that may be able to end the conflict. The following is a list and description of different techniques.

 

  • Binding arbitration
  • Non-binding arbitration
  • Early neutral evaluation
  • A focus group
  • A mini-trial
  • A moderated settlement conference
  • A summary jury trial

 

Dispute resolution techniques are usually used to resolve conflicts and tense situations, but they can also be used to avoid them. It may be easier in the long run to prevent disputes, thus avoiding the time, trouble, and expense of resolving the dispute by maintaining open communication. Presently no conflicts exist with other governmental units.  Unwritten but enduring agreements between other municipalities offer testimony to the strong possibility of creating ongoing, trusting relationships.  Through both continuing and improved communications, potential conflicts should be minimized or avoided.  Care should be taken to avoid creating "structure" that could produce conflict.

 

Recommendations

See Policies and Programs in the Implementation Section