The Vernon County Board of Supervisors met Dec. 19 and approved the Town of Viroqua Farmland Preservation Zoning Ordinance.
According to a handout county conservationist Ben Wojahn presented to the Board of Supervisors, the town of Viroqua approved its Farmland Preservation Zoning Ordinance at their board meeting. This ordinance will allow the town to make their own local decisions and to be in compliance with the State Farmland Preservation standards. In the handout, Wojahn said changing to the new standards will allow farmers/landowners who are residents to claim the Farmland Preservation Tax Credit if they choose to comply with the conservation standards (meet the runoff rules). The current tax credit amount is $7.50 per acre on all land, including woodland, which is contiguous with the farm operation. Wojahn said landowners claiming tax credit under FPP zoning do not sign a contract and do not have to pay back the tax credits for selling their property of if they choose to no longer meet conservation standards.
The Land and Water Conservation Committee voted to approve and forward the ordinance to the County Board. In the handout, Wojahn said it is anticipated that the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will accept the plan once approved by the County Board, and if accepted and approved in 2017, then landowners of the town of Viroqua will be eligible for the tax credit in this current tax season.
The County Board also adopted the County Forest Annual Work Plan for 2018. The Vernon County Forest consists of five separate compartments – Duck Egg, Kooyumjian – Lost Creek, Esofea – Rentz, Sidie Hollow and Jersey Valley.
Supervisors also heard an update from Highway Commissioner Phil Hewitt regarding the new highway shop.
One of the special items of business was the consideration of the conduct of the personnel coordinator.
The County Board went into closed session to discuss the matter. Following the meeting, County Clerk Ron Hoff said the County Board did not act on items discussed in the closed session. He also said “nothing came out of the closed session” to confer with legal counsel with respect to litigation as a result of department head conduct.