Morrison board, residents frustrated with people illegally living in old bank building

Brian Roebke photo
The Morrison Town Board has been monitoring the old bank building in Wayside for several months. The board and Wayside residents are getting frustrated with the property owner who is not paying or responding to citations, and now neighbors are complaining, particularly about them driving vehicles to get behind the building by traveling on adjacent property.

By Brian Roebke
People in the hamlet of Wayside haven’t had a bank “downtown” for decades and the building has been largely vacant since then, but it’s been occupied in recent months by a couple who started remodeling the interior.
That remodeling work has seemingly ceased and the couple is apparently living in the basement of the building located at 8269 County Road W, zoned commercial, which means residing in the building is in violation of town ordinance.
A woman who lives next door, Lara Lindeman, spoke about the property.
She said there are two convicted felons living in the building, with charges for theft.
The building is allegedly occupied by Matthew Lampereur and Stephanie Schneider Lampereur. Supposedly her mother, Lisa Schneider, has also been there. Wisconsin Circuit Court access lists 8269 County Road W as their address.
Lindeman believes they are living illegally in the basement with no intention of every finishing the remodeling project on the ground floor.
Supervisor Jenny Wasmuth also noted if they wanted to open a business, she questioned if they would have enough on-site parking. There is actually no on-site parking and the town would have to grant them a variance.
The occupants are parking behind the building and driving on properties on either side of the building since there is not access to the back yard of the property. There is little space on the side of the building, certainly not enough to hold a car.
“The neighborhood around us has seriously become an issue with criminals,” she said.
Kempen told the woman the town is giving them citations for living on the property.
The back wall is falling, so there is plastic covering the bricks so they do not fall on the cars.
It was also noted the sanitary sewer district is not charging them for sewer use any more than the minimum because the building is not supposed to be occupied.
The town will continue to send citations to the property for the lack of a building permit and not repairing the building weekly. In addition, illegally living in the dwelling so they have documentation for any court proceedings.
The town cannot do more than continue citations. It was also noted the Brown County Sheriff’s Department has been looking for them.
Down the road, neighbors concerned about the number of stray cats at the Chris Hill property in Wayside. The town can’t officially do anything about it because of town and state ordinances, but Town Chairman Tom Kempen suggested letting Hill know that neighbors are concerned. It was also suggested Hill could either keep them contained or contact a rescue agency that could catch them and relocate them.
Kempen brought up the idea of having a policy for snow plow damage in the road right of way.
Wasmuth suggested residents contact Tisler Trucking directly and keep the town board out of it. It was noted the county or town own the property up to the back of the ditch, so it’s not private property. Kempen thanks people for keeping up that property, but it’s not really theirs.
The town received quotes for road work this year from Scott Construction, NEA Asphalt, MCC, and Fahrner Construction.
Board members accepted the quote for the 2023 TRIP Road from Northeast Asphalt to pulverize the existing asphalt, grade, water, compact the pulverized base, put down a two-inch average depth of hot mix asphalt pavement, construct two-foot shoulders, any areas of the road that do not have an adequate base will be excavated and filled with three-inch rock to create a good base, this bid also includes traffic control for a cost of $169,350 and add four inches of gravel at an approximate additional $40,000 to bring the approximate bid at $210,000.
The board accepted the quote from Scott Construction for the option listed under option 1 of Morrison Road from Highway 96 to Cooperstown Road to do a full cold mix overlay using 1,056 tons and apply a single hot oil 1/8 black granite seal coat for a cost of $141,472.
They also accepted the quote from NEA for Churchview Court to pulverize, grade, water, compact and construct a single-course average two-inch depth hot mix asphalt pavement for a cost of $52,380.
The board discussed contracts with the Morrison Fire Department and Wayside Fire Department. There was some discussion about what exactly the contracts were.
Morrison Chief Jeff Pischke said he didn’t appreciate people coming into his business the day after a town meeting hearing from people who were at the town meeting about the board holding payment because they weren’t provided with financial statements the town wanted.
Morrison fire officials said they hadn’t signed a document and didn’t think it was enforceable, saying they believed some things were shoved down their throats without any discussion.
Both parties seemed to think separate documents were contracts, unbeknownst to the other party.
Dan Vercauteran of the Wayside Fire Department said the money they receive from the towns of Morrison and Maple Grove isn’t enough to pay their expenses, and they need to raise additional money to cover their costs.
Pischke said other towns don’t ask for any additional information like Town of Morrison is asking for, and while their operation is an open book, they don’t feel they should have to take the time to provide that information.
Supervisor Jenny Wasmuth didn’t see a value in having volunteers having to provide certain information other than inspection reports.
“They’re a private entity,” she said. “I don’t care about their financials.”
It appears the two sides will get together to have one contract document, signed by both parties, instead of one contact and one request from the town that was unsigned.
Clerk Colleen Magley said this is the same process that’s been done since 2013 and this is the first time she’s heard complaints.
Kempen apologized for any communication problems or misunderstandings.
“We’ve got the best fire departments in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
Kempen appointed himself as the alternate to the board of review and Richard Kuckenbecker to the board of appeals.