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DECODER

Official Newsletter of the Wisconsin County Code Administrators

July 2006

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Greetings from Philip Gaudet, 2006 President:

The State legislature finally adjourned the regular session in early May. It was a long session to keep track of and many bills effecting WCCA were introduced. Scott Godfrey who is the WCCA Legislative Chair this year did an excellent job of keeping the Executive Board up to date and sending letters to the legislators and the Governor in an effort to express WCCA's opinion. Thanks again to Duane Greuel for tracking the legislation last year when the marathon session started. I believe we did help influence some decisions in a direction which was beneficial to WCCA but, bills did pass that the Executive Board did not agree should become law. The Governor did veto some bills thankfully, that would have been in contrast to WCCA's position.

The NR 115 Advisory Committee met again on June 8th in Stevens Point at the new Holiday Inn which will also be the location of WCCA's fall conference. The DNR gave a summary of all the comments from the public hearings held across the State last summer. The next step in the process will be for Focus Groups on the NR 115 Advisory Committee to be formed and work on two specific topics. One group will work on impervious surfaces and the other will work on mitigation. After that the Advisory Committee will meet in the fall, if needed, and then the DNR would start drafting the rule. The Advisory Committee would then meet again after the draft rule is done and then the DNR would have to request approval from the Natural Resources Board to go to public hearings in the summer of 2007. So, we still have a long road to go. On the other hand, I believe the idea of concentrating on a rule that relies more on the use of impervious areas is a vast improvement over the last draft rule that went to public hearing last year. Hopefully the idea will translate to a rule that WCCA can accept and administer.

The DNR has said the NR 116 Technical Advisory Committee/Review group may not start till later this year or possibly next year now. The NR 116 process is most likely dependent on how the NR 115 process proceeds. I have recommended 3 WCCA members along with an alternate to review NR 116 along with the DNR.

Wisconsin Act 347 (AB 449) is a new law on the books. This law covers a wide range of issues related to POWTS. It appears the Department of Commerce will be putting the POWTS Code Council together again to discuss the new law and how it will effect Comm 83. The council will probably meet starting after Labor Day of this year. Dale Diamond at Marathon County is WCCA's rep on the Council. The maintenance of POWTS is one item that will be discussed in this process as far as how and what systems will be required to have maintenance performed.

WCCA is continuing work on a "Workforce Leadership Program" to help educate and train County staff. The program would be a joint effort of WCCA, UWSP, DNR and other groups to provide training for staff that are new to the business of administering codes. The purpose would be in part to give training to get at learning not only the technical side of the job, but also the political, and how to deal with property owners and contractors to better enforce codes. A subcommittee of the Executive Board has been formed to work with UWSP on setting up the program and more information will be forthcoming. The subcommittee members of WCCA are Dick Mace, Duane Greuel and Scott Godfrey.

I hope the summer goes well and you can make the fall conference in Stevens Point which will be held November 1st to the 3rd.

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