'Friend of Town' Award Created

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MTT News Desk's picture
Kevin Murphy

The Middleton Town Board doesn’t want residents who make a positive difference in the community to go unnoticed.

Beginning next year the board will select an individual who has made a significant contribution to bettering the town as a recipient of the “Friend of the Town” award.

Board supervisor Tim Roehl suggested initiating the annual honor some years ago, While selection criteria remain purposely non-specific, town chairman Milo Breunig last week cited Mike Hanson’s work toward establishing the July 4 Freedom Fest festival as an example of the type of work that could garner the honor.

“But we have lots of residents who have stepped forward and have done great things for the town over the years,” he said. “There are some people who have 30 years of service on the plan commission.”

The board wanted the award limited to an individual and not a group of people. Nominations will be solicited through February. In March the board will make the selection.

The winning “Friend” will receive a plaque and her or his name will be added to a similar plaque kept in the town hall.



The board has also established a cost analysis procedure to be used when accepting land donations in land division zoning cases.

State statutes require donation of land for parks, or cash in lieu of land, when land is divided for residential development. They accept land for park and trail development but the cost of maintaining parks and trails has grown significantly over the years as the town’s park and trail inventory also has grown.

“The cost of maintaining parks is a concern; shouldn’t we have a cost analysis before we accept more land?” Breunig asked.

Roehl initially opposed the idea, calling it “beyond overkill” and saying it imposes a hardship on developers.

Breunig countered that it was a needed tool the town could use to roughly determine in advance park and trail development costs that can be in the thousands of dollars and maintenance costs that extend in perpetuity.

Town staff can plug cost numbers into a formula based on updated data the town’s engineering consultants provide, “probably a 30-minute process,” said Breunig.

Roehl also objected to establishing the analysis because board members may use it as a basis to deny a requested land division.

Breunig defended his proposal, saying the analysis had “nothing to do with a plat approval but whether we wants parks and trails,” in a specific land division.

“It’s a good tool to have to keep a handle on current and future costs. I don’t see it as having any bearing on approval of a plat, we don’t have criteria for using cost analysis in any plat approval process,” he said.

The proposal eventually was approved but Breunig and other board members said a discussion should be held in the near future on how much parkland the town should have.


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