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Basic Information for Town of Dekorra Residents

Welcome to New Residents

The Town of Dekorra Board and other officials wish to extend a sincere welcome to those who have recently moved into our community. Welcome to the beauty and serenity of rural living. This is why we all choose to live here. Rural living is a great life, however, as in all good things there often are trade-offs. Services may be more limited or less frequent than urban areas you may have come from. We are more dependent on our neighbors so courtesy and good relations are especially important.
Below is some important information for all our new and current residents. It is hoped this information will be of help to you. Feedback is encouraged.

Regular Meetings

  • Town Board Meetings: The second  Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm.
  • Utility District Board Meetings: The second Tuesday of each month, 5:30 pm.
  • Plan Commission: The fourth Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm.
  • Safety Committee: The first Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm.
  • Annual Town Meeting: The second Tuesday of April, 6:30 pm.
  • Poynette School Board: First and third Mondays of the month at the high school IMC, 7:00 pm.

Meetings Called as Needed

  • Parks Committee: Called as needed by the Commission Chairperson. Meetings are posted.
  • Roads and Highways Committee: Annual roads tour in spring is primary activity. Other meetings as called for by Town Roads Supervisor. Meetings are posted.
  • Fireworks Committee: Called as needed by the Committee Chairperson. Meetings are posted.
  • Waste and Recycling Committee: Called as needed by the Committee Chair. Meetings are posted.
  • Poynette-Dekorra Fire Protection District Commission: Generally the first Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at the fire station, 601 Water Tower Road, Poynette.
  • Columbia County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC). Meets monthly at a rotating location, usually on a Wednesday evening. Meetings are posted.
  • Sanitary District 1 Commission and Sanitary District 2 Commission are inactive.
  • See the Meetings and Town Officials, Committees & Commissions pages of the website for more detail.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend all Town meetings. Meetings are held at the Town Hall, W8460 Bilkie Road, unless noted otherwise. Agendas are posted on the Town website, and at the Town Hall, The Town website is not a legally required posting location.

Town Public Information E-Mail List
The Town of Dekorra Clerk’s Office has created a Public Information E-Mail Listing. Persons on that list receive: all town notices, meeting agendas and minutes for all town board, commissions and committees meetings; budget information; election notices; and other pertinent public information. To be added to this list please email: dekorra@centurytel.net with your request to be added.

Town Hall Location
The Dekorra town hall is located at W8460 Bilkie Road and is about 1 mile west of Highway 51.

Town Clerk’s Office Location
The Town Clerk’s office is located in the Town Hall at W8460 Bilkie Rd., Poynette. The Clerk’s phone number is 608-635-2014. If you have any town related questions it is recommended that residents call prior to making the trip to the Town Clerk’s office. The Clerk has many responsibilities that frequently take her out of the office for a few hours or sometimes for the day. She may also be involved in meetings that will not allow her to meet with you. Call and set up an appointment. If no one is available to answer your call, please leave your name and phone number on the answering machine. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. We strive to meet your needs in a timely manner.

Town Treasurer
The Town Treasurer,  Peggy Tomlinson is located at W8495 County Road JV. Her phone number is 608-635-2320.

Taxes
Tax bills are sent out as early as possible in December (usually sometime the last 2 weeks)
The preferred method of payment is to mail payment to: Town of Dekorra Treasurer, W8495 County Rd. JV, Poynette, WI 53955-9323, payable to Town of Dekorra. Payment in full or at least the first payment is due January 31 and the second payment if there is one is due July 31. The second payment must be sent to and payable to the Columbia County Treasurer, PO Box 198, Portage, WI 53901. See the Assessor, Assessments & Taxes page of the website for more detailed information, including lottery and first dollar credits.

Town Budget
Each fall during October and November, the Town Board establishes our annual budget. This process usually takes several meetings. The challenge is to meet our needs in the face of rising costs and the decrease in shared revenue from the State. It is anticipated that with the State’s budget problems we will continue to lose significant dollars of shared revenue. Our budget is also constrained by State mandated levy limits.

Most of the budget has little or no flexibility. Roads must be maintained, snow removed, and public safety provided. Contractual payments must be made. Some costs, like the costs of fire and EMS protection and local schools, are out of our control. Fuel costs continue to increase. The only real areas of control are capital outlays for our roads for the repair and maintenance program. We can only delay these projects. Unfortunately, this means increased costs in future years.

Residents, interested in the process of establishing our budget, are invited to attend our meetings. Plan to attend the annual budget workshop in October and hearing in November and the Annual Town meeting in early April. Watch for posting of dates and times.

See the Town Budget page of the website for more detailed information.

Fire and EMS Emergencies
Fire and Ambulance services are provided by the Joint Poynette-Dekorra Fire and EMS Protection District, located at 601 Water Tower Road, Poynette. Call 911 to report a fire or other emergency. Fire and first responder services are provided by members of our volunteer departments. They are backed up by other volunteer departments from other communities. See the Ordinances, Agreement & Resolutions page of the website for more on the Joint Fire Protection District.

Law Enforcement
For a Town Ordinance enforcement related issue call the Town Constable, Martin Schmidt at 608-235-8027 (cell),  608-635-7430 (home)  or  for a Columbia County law enforcement matter call the County Sheriff at 9-1-1.

Elementary, Middle and High School
Children of Dekorra residents attend schools at Poynette and Lodi School Districts. The Poynette School District office is at 108 N Cleveland Street, Poynette. Phone: 608-635-4347. See the Poynette School Districts website for more information: http://www.poynette.k12.wi.us/. The Lodi School District office  is at 115 School Street, Lodi, WI. Phone: 608-592-3851. See the Lodi School Districts website for more information: http://www.lodi.k12.wi.us.

Library
Dekorra residents can use and check out materials from the Poynette Area Public Library located at 118 N. Main Street, Poynette, Phone: 608-635-7577. The library also has computers for public use. Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. See the library’s website for more information: http://www.poynettelibrary.com/. Residents may also utilize the Lodi Library located at 130 Lodi Street, Lodi Wi, Phone 608-592-4130. Hours: Monday – Thursday 9: a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. See the library’s website for more information: http://lodipubliclibrary.org.

Voting
Voting for all elections takes place at the Dekorra Town Hall, W8460 Bilkie Road. Registration is required prior to voting. You have 3 options to register: by Mail; in Person at the Town Clerk’s office; or, at the Polling Place on Election Day. Avoid the waiting in line on Election Day by registering early by mail or in person. For more detailed information, see the Voting Information page.

Fire Numbers
Every home in the Town has an assigned fire number. It is on that red sign with white lettering (example: N2428) on the right side of your drive way as you enter. This number is crucial in locating your home in the event of a fire or other emergency. The sign is located in a standardized place where emergency responders can easily locate it day or night. Please do not move it. Tampering with this sign can place your family at risk. If you have removed the sign please replace it. The fire number is your address. Having these signs in a consistent place is essential. If you do not have a posted fire number, please contact our Town Clerk immediately at 608-635-2014.

Pets
The Town requires that all dogs be licensed. The annual license fee must be paid in time to have a valid license by April 1. A license form is enclosed with the tax bill. Renters can obtain the form from the Town Clerk. Proof of rabies vaccination is required. The Town has a leash law (dogs may not run at large within the Town). You may not keep more than 4 dogs unless you have a kennel license. See the License, Permits and Forms page of the website for permit forms.

Postal Service
Town postal service generally comes from the US Post Office at 128 E Seward Street, Poynette, WI. Phone 608-635-2623. Business hours Mon – Fri 9:00 am – 11:30 am; 12:15 pm – 4:30 pm, Sat 9:00 am – 11:00 am; Sun – closed. Some portions of the Town are served by the Pardeeville Post Office.

Burning Permits and Open Burning
An annual DNR burning permit is required to burn brush, grass or other clean materials. Outdoor burning is a very serious matter as the Town has many acres of woods, brush and grassland. Recently, an out of control outdoor burning resulted in the loss of a home. The DNR has a relatively new process for obtaining a permit. You must obtain an annual permit each year. See DNR Burning Permits under the License, Permits and Forms page of the website for detailed information on obtaining a permit and other requirements. All open burning shall be performed in a safe pollution free manner, and must not occur when windy and dry weather adverse conditions occur.

Town Roads
The Town Board has worked diligently over the past several years to meet the needs of our community by an aggressive roads maintenance and repair and replacement program for the Town’s 57 miles of roads. Columbia County is responsible for maintaining County Roads. Falk Trucking  does the snow plowing on most of our roads. The Town uses private contractors on some shorter and narrower town roads. During snow storms roadways may close rapidly due to drifting snow. Some roads may remain closed longer than you are accustomed if you come from an urban area. It is essential to know the height and capability of your vehicle before entering drifts. Roads may also remain slippery much longer than in urban communities. Please be patient and exercise caution during any winter driving.

Recycling and Garbage
The Town has a recycling site located at W8901 Hall Road. Phone 608-635-7261. It is open Saturdays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and Tuesday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. You must have a Town issued sticker on the upper passenger side front window to gain admittance to the site (obtain from the Town Clerk or Recycle Site Operator). Homeowners may also contract with any one of several private companies for the collection of your trash and garbage at your curbside. The Town does not contract for garbage pickup service. See Recycling Site under the Town & Community Services page of the website for more detailed information and restrictions on use of the Town Recycling Site.

Sewage
The only municipal sewage system is in the Town’s Utility District at the Highway CS / I-/39/90/94 Interchange. All other waste treatment is either by on-site septic systems or holding tanks. On-site septic system tanks must be pumped at least every 3 years by State Statute. Holding tank systems require that every gallon of water used and waste flushed be pumped and hauled away. A number of local companies provide septic tank and holding tank pumping services.

Water Supply
The Town has no municipal water supply. Water needs to be supplied by individual or group wells. It is advisable to test annually for water quality.

Zoning and Building Permits
The town of Dekorra is under Columbia County Zoning regulations. Go to departments, Planning & Zoning, on the Columbia County website http://www.co.columbia.wi.us/ColumbiaCounty for more information. A building permit from the Town and a zoning permit from the County are required for any activity on your property that increases its value or any construction that takes up ground space. If planning any such activity, contact the Town Clerk (608-635-2014) and the County Planning and Zoning Department 608-742-9817 prior to starting any project. See the Licenses, Permits & Forms page of the website for more detailed information.

Note for Realtors and Developers
Dekorra is zoned and has a Code of Ordinances. Adherence to all State and local building code regulations is required. Make sure the planned construction is consistent with the zoning on the involved property. Obtain all zoning and building permits prior to starting any project. If you are considering any land division, it is important that you review all the Town Ordinances related to zoning and the development of roads. A road constructed by a developer will not be accepted by the Town Board until the road is completed to our Town road standards. Funds must be set aside to guarantee the road against structural defects for two years and for future blacktopping.

Signs
The Town of Dekorra has recognized the desire of its residents to maintain the aesthetic rural nature of the Town and to ensure open spaces along town streets and highways. Therefore, the Town of Dekorra no longer allows any new off-premises signs or billboards. These are defined as signs advertising goods or services not provided on the parcel where the sign is located or advertising businesses not located there.

Town ordinances limit signage within the Town. If you are planning any signage on your property, please call the Town Clerk before you proceed to ensure compliance with Town Ordinances. See the Sign Ordinance under the Ordinances, Agreements & Resolutions page of the website.

Small signs such as address signs, temporary signs such as Real Estate For Sale signs or lease signs, garage sale signs, crop signs or no trespassing signs less than size do not require a permit if they fall within the size limit stated in the Ordinance for each type. Garage sale signs must be removed within 48 hours of the conclusion of the sale. Political signs are allowed during an election campaign. These must be removed after 10 days of the election. All signs must be off the Town right of way.

Transient Merchants
The Town has an Ordinance that regulates merchants setting up any temporary sales locations within the township. It also regulates individuals that are selling at your door and have not been invited by you. Examples include someone stopping and offering to fix your roof, blacktop your driveway or sell you a product you have not ordered or asked for. If this occurs, they must have received a permit from the Town. Feel free to ask to see this permit and report any violations. This does not regulate any charitable organizations such as churches, Boy or Girl Scouts or school organizations.

Respect Your Neighbor’s Property
Be respectful of your neighbor’s property. Many of us have grown up in the city and understand how individuals feel about their lawns and yards. It is no different in the country. All lands are owned by someone. Whether it is the vacant lot next door or that seemingly vast expanse of farm land behind your lot, show the same respect you expect for your own property. Going on anyone’s property without permission is trespassing and subject to fines.

Contacting the Town
You may contact the Town via e-mail. You must provide your name, full address and phone number. This information is essential for us to better serve you. While our goal is a prompt response, other demands may make this difficult. Please call the Town Clerk if a response has not occurred in a timely manner.