Regular Town Board Meeting
Dec 11, 2017
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Regular Town Board Meeting
Nov 13, 2017
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Regular Town Board Meeting
Oct 09, 2017
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Special 2018 Budget Meeting
Oct 04, 2017
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Prairie OaksMemorial Eco Garden Proposal

Polk County has received application for the purchase of land that resides in the Town of Apple River for a natural or green cemetery.  Wikipedia data indicates that natural burial is the internment of the body of a dead person in the soil in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition but allows the body to recycle naturally.

This process varies from the traditional cemetery in that chemical to delay decomposition of the bodies and containers are not utilized and biodegradable coffins are substituted.  Also, only flat stone markers are utilized and designs are meant to be compatible with current surroundings.

Wiki data indicates that each year 22,500 cemeteries in the U.S. bury:

  • 30 million board feet of hardwood caskets
  • 90,272 tons of steel caskets
  • 14,000 tons of steel vaults
  • 2,700 tons of copper and bronze caskets
  • 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete vaults
  • 827,600 U.S. gallons of embalming fluid which usually contains formaldehyde

Additional information is available on the internet under Prairie Oaks Memorial Eco Gardens.  Please become familiar with these methods and share your concerns and opinions with members of the Town of Apple River Board.

Respectfully submitted By Ken Sample, Supervisor

Apple River Fire Department

The volunteer Apple River Fire Department has been servicing our town since 1957.  Their commitment to maintaining a fleet of vehicles, the buildings that house them and the training required to be a qualified firefighter and/or 1st Responder is huge and worthy of our appreciation.

Current times are presenting some significant challenges in finances and the ability to meet certain staffing needs.

We need to employ methods that help us attract and retain personnel so we can have an effective and responsive department.  There are two particular areas that need to be addressed.

1. If you qualify and can serve during the normal works hours 7AM to 5PM you are needed.

2. Fire department personnel contribute a large portion of their personal time to be a fire fighter. They need administrative assistance in processing paper work between the Town Board, other county or state identities and the Fire Department.  If you have some administrative skills to volunteer please contact a member of the fire department or town board.

Respectfully submitted by Ken Sample, Supervisor


You can choose to let others make a decision for you and criticize their efforts afterwards or get involved and help with the decision making process. The following presents information that involves the quality of life, safety and costs of a service to our town. A history follows:

A citizen had requested that a list of equipment along with life expectancy and estimated costs be provided for the Apple River Fire Dept.  The Fire Chief provided that data along with the opinion that the current allocation, $10,000 annually, does not meet the demand and solutions need to be addressed.

The Town Board under statute 60.55 (1) is empowered to select the method or methods to provide fire protection.  Statute 60.55 (1) (b) empowers the “ town board may provide for the equipping, staffing, housing, and maintenance of fire protection services.  The  Town Board of Apple River  selected their method of protection by establishing a town fire department over 50 years ago.

There are a variety of ways to address funding and statute 60.55(2)says we may use one or more of the following:

1)      Increase the amount provided from general funds

2)      Charge fees based on written schedule for service provided

3)      Levy taxes on whole town

4)      Charge fees for fire protection

5)      Reimbursement by insurance companies, or calls on State and County highways

Additionally the town board could incur debt at point of purchase, rely on grant money becoming available or down size the fleet.  Any one or combination of the previously mentioned items could be implemented to address the problem.

The following is my personal opinion and does not minimize or reject ideas that are in conflict with mine.  The Town of Apple River is receiving quality and cost effective service based on the fire department continually demonstrating their commitment to the community at large, the youth of our community, and the commitment to training and service they provide. They are diligent to explore every opportunity to minimize equipment cost.  I feel they are personally and professionally vested and committed to the safety and welfare to the Town of Apple River residents.

The upcoming budget hearing and subsequent annual meeting will provide opportunities for you to ask questions and share opinions on how the board should move forward.  This is not solely a fire department issue or a town board issue, it is a Town of Apple River community issue that is supported by that tax base. Please get involved and listen with as much enthusiasm as you speak so we can move forward in having an effective and caring fire protection method.

Respectfully submitted by Ken Sample 10/5/2017