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59.55 History History: 1995 a. 201 ss. 130, 131, 152, 178, 240, 368, 452; 2017 a. 207 s. 5.
59.56 59.56 Cultural affairs; education; recreation.
59.56(1)(1)Cultural and educational contributions. The board may appropriate money for cultural, artistic, educational and musical programs, projects and related activities, including financial assistance to nonprofit corporations devoted to furthering the cultivation and appreciation of the art of music or to the promotion of the visual arts.
59.56(2) (2) Public museums.
59.56(2)(a)(a) The board may appropriate money for the establishment, expansion, operation and maintenance of public museums in the county, including, but not limited to, any public museum owned by a city.
59.56(2)(b) (b) The board may acquire, establish, expand, own, operate and maintain a public museum in the county and appropriate money for such purposes, except that a public museum owned by a county under this subsection may seek tax-exempt status as an entity described under section 501 (c) (3) of the internal revenue code.
59.56(2)(c) (c) Notwithstanding pars. (a) and (b), in counties having a population of 750,000 or more the board may contribute funds toward the operation of a public museum owned by a 1st class city in such county, as partial reimbursement for museum services rendered to persons residing outside such city and in a manner similar to the annual appropriation of funds by the board under s. 43.57 toward the operation of the central library in such city.
59.56(3) (3) University extension work.
59.56(3)(a) (a) Creation. A board may establish and maintain an educational program in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin, referred to in this subsection as “University Extension Program".
59.56(3)(b) (b) Committee on agriculture and extension education. If a board establishes a university extension program, it shall create a committee on agriculture and extension education. The board may select as a member of the committee any public school administrator resident in the county. The members of the committee shall receive such compensation and expenses as the board determines under s. 59.22 (2) (c) and (3). The committee shall meet at such intervals as are considered necessary to properly carry out its functions and responsibilities.
59.56(3)(c) (c) Staff.
59.56(3)(c)1.1. The committee on agriculture and extension education shall appoint professionally qualified persons to the university extension program staff in cooperation with the university extension. Vacancies and additions to the staff shall be filled in the same manner.
59.56(3)(c)2. 2. The committee on agriculture and extension education may enter into joint employment agreements with the university extension or with other counties and the university extension if the county funds that are committed in the agreements have been appropriated by the board. Persons so employed under cooperative agreements and approved by the board of regents shall be considered employees of both the county and the University of Wisconsin.
59.56(3)(d) (d) Finance. For the partial maintenance of the work of the university extension program, including cooperative extension programs as provided for in an act of congress approved May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. 372) and all acts supplementary thereto, the board may appropriate moneys as requested by the committee on agriculture and extension education to provide the county's share in such work. The money appropriated by the board shall be disbursed by the treasurer upon orders of the clerk pursuant to the actions of the committee on agriculture and extension education and as adopted by the board.
59.56(3)(e) (e) State aids. To supplement the funds provided by the county for the work of the university extension program, each county shall be entitled to a minimum state aid of $1,500 per year if the board has made the required appropriation to maintain such a program, and such additional funds as are required to provide salary increases equal to those granted to state employees by the legislature.
59.56(3)(f) (f) Functions.
59.56(3)(f)1.1. A university extension program is authorized, under the direction and supervision of the county committee on agriculture and extension education, cooperating with the university extension of the University of Wisconsin, and within the limits of funds provided by the board and cooperating state and federal agencies, to make available the necessary facilities and conduct programs in the following areas:
59.56(3)(f)1.a. a. Professional and liberal education.
59.56(3)(f)1.b. b. Human resource development.
59.56(3)(f)1.c. c. Economic and environmental development.
59.56(3)(f)1.d. d. Extension work provided for in an act of congress that was approved on May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. 372) and all acts supplementary thereto.
59.56(3)(f)1.e. e. Any other extension work that is authorized by local, state or federal legislation.
59.56(3)(f)2. 2. Such a program may consist of, but not be limited to, providing agents to conduct programs on energy conservation and renewable energy resource systems, conduct evaluations and provide planning, analysis and other technical support to community agencies and organizations, small businesses, individuals interested in energy conservation in local communities and primary and secondary school teachers.
59.56(3)(f)3. 3. Such program may take any action that will facilitate the accomplishment of any of the functions under this paragraph, including without limitation because of enumeration the following:
59.56(3)(f)3.a. a. The training of group leaders and the directing of group activities.
59.56(3)(f)3.b. b. Individual or group instruction or consultation.
59.56(3)(f)3.c. c. Demonstration projects, exhibits and other instructional means.
59.56(3)(f)3.d. d. Group workshops, institutes, and conferences.
59.56(3)(f)3.e. e. The creation of citizens' advisory committees.
59.56(3)(f)3.f. f. The dissemination of information by any appropriate means including press, radio and television.
59.56(3)(f)3.g. g. The imposition of fees for certain desired educational services when sufficient public funds are not available to cover costs.
59.56(3)(f)3.h. h. Cooperation with other local, state and federal agencies.
59.56(3)(g) (g) Department of government. For the purposes of s. 59.22 (2) (d) the university extension program shall be a department of county government and the committee on agriculture and extension education shall be the committee which is delegated the authority to direct and supervise the department. In cooperation with the university extension of the University of Wisconsin, the committee on agriculture and extension education shall have the responsibility to formulate and execute the university extension program. The university extension shall annually report to the board its activities and accomplishments.
59.56(3)(h) (h) Cooperation. The personnel of the university extension program shall, whenever feasible, cooperate with other educational programs of importance to the residents of the county. Such cooperative agreements may be made under s. 66.0301.
59.56(4) (4) University college campuses. The board may appropriate money for the construction, remodeling, expansion, acquisition or equipping of land, buildings and facilities for a University of Wisconsin college campus, as defined in s. 36.05 (6m), if the operation of it has been approved by the board of regents.
59.56(5) (5) Historical societies. The board may appropriate money to any local historical society incorporated under s. 44.03 located in the county for the purpose of collecting and preserving the records of the early pioneers, the life of the Indians, the experience of persons in the military, and the salient historical features of the county.
59.56(6) (6) County historian. The board may create the position of county historian. The historian shall collect and preserve the records of the Indians and the early pioneers, the experiences of military men and women and the records of their service; mark and compile data concerning places of historical interest in the county; and perform such other duties relating to the collection, preservation, compilation and publication of historical data as the board prescribes. The board may provide the historian with a fireproof safe or vault in which to keep papers and documents, with clerical assistance and with such other needs as will enable the historian to adequately perform the duties of historian. The board may require reports.
59.56(7) (7) School attendance. The board may enact and enforce an ordinance to impose a penalty, which is the same as that provided under s. 118.15 (5), upon a person having under his or her control a child who is between the ages of 6 and 18 years and whose child is not in compliance with s. 118.15.
59.56(9) (9) Recreation. The board may create, promote and conduct and assist in creating, promoting and conducting recreational activities in the county which are conducive to the general health and welfare, and elect persons for such terms and salaries as may be determined, who shall exercise the powers and perform the duties given by the board. The board may provide for what purpose and in what manner moneys appropriated under this subsection may be expended. Such persons may be designated “County Recreation Committee". At the annual meeting next after making the appropriation the board shall determine in which municipalities such activities were held and which other municipalities received benefits therefrom and determine the amount expended from the appropriation to make the programs or activities or benefits derived therefrom possible in each municipality and levy a tax upon the property of each municipality in accordance with such apportionment to reimburse the county for its expenditures, but no expenditure shall be made nor improvement ordered without the consent of the governing body of the municipality.
59.56(10) (10) Advertise county. The board may:
59.56(10)(a) (a) Appropriate funds to advertise the advantages, attractions and resources of the county and to conserve, develop and improve the same. The county may cooperate with any private agency or group in this work.
59.56(10)(b) (b) In counties with a population of 750,000 or more, appropriate funds for the placing of advertisements in newspapers, periodicals or other publications listing radio and television broadcasting schedules, informing county residents of a radio or television appearance by a county official or employee, or advertising any program, function or activity sponsored by the county.
59.56(11) (11) Fish and game. The board may establish, maintain, and operate fish hatcheries and facilities for raising game birds, except that in a county with a population of 750,000 or more, the county may own the hatcheries and facilities, but must lease the hatcheries and facilities to another person who will maintain and operate them.
59.56(12) (12) Amusements; regulation. Subject to sub. (12m), the board:
59.56(12)(a) (a) May exercise, outside of cities, villages, and towns that have not adopted a regulation under s. 60.23 (10), all powers conferred on cities to regulate dance halls, roadhouses and other places of amusement.
59.56(12)(b) (b) May enact ordinances to regulate, prohibit or license dance halls and pavilions, amusement parks, carnivals, concerts, street fairs, bathing beaches and other like places of amusement. Such ordinances shall provide for license fees yielding sufficient revenues for administering their provisions and paying for extraordinary governmental services required as a result of the licensed amusement. These services are limited to extra police protection, traffic control or refuse collection.
59.56(12)(bg) (bg) May, upon enactment of an ordinance under par. (b), select a sufficient number of persons whose duty it shall be to supervise public dances or places of amusement according to assignments to be made by the board. Such persons while engaged in supervising public dances or places of amusement shall have the powers of deputy sheriffs, and shall make reports in writing of each dance or place of amusement visited to the clerk, and shall receive such compensation as the board determines. Their reports shall be filed by the clerk and incorporated in a report to the board at each meeting.
59.56(12)(br) (br) Shall immediately revoke the license of any dance hall proprietor or manager issued under an ordinance enacted under par. (b) if there is allowed at any such dance presence of intoxicated persons, or of children 17 years of age or under or adults who have not attained the age of 21 years unaccompanied by their parent or lawful guardian when alcohol beverages are available for consumption on the premises, or if any of the ordinances are violated. The board may enact an ordinance requiring the revocation of a dance hall license if the use of intoxicating liquor is permitted on the premises during the holding of a public dance. The chairperson of the board, when the board is not in session, is authorized to issue licenses or to suspend the license of any person violating this law or any regulation adopted by the board; such issuance of licenses or the suspension of such license to be acted on by the board at its next meeting.
59.56(12)(c) (c) May enact ordinances providing for a specified closing hour for places where soft drinks are sold.
59.56(12m) (12m) Limits on regulation. Ordinances enacted by a board under sub. (12) (b), (br) or (c) shall not apply to any city or village, or to any town that has adopted a similar regulation under s. 60.23 (10).
59.56(13) (13) Celebrations and conventions. The board may appropriate money to defray the expense of national air shows or similar aeronautics activities held in the county, of municipal commemorative or patriotic celebrations or observances, of state or national conventions of war veterans, of national conventions of fraternal associations, of group entertainment for children on Halloween by county or municipal agencies within the county or of state or national conventions of county officers or employees or associations thereof or of bringing any of such conventions to the county.
59.56(14) (14) Fairgrounds and fairs.
59.56(14)(a)1.1. Except as provided in par. (c), land upon which to hold agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions may be acquired by a board and improvements made thereon.
59.56(14)(a)2. 2. In counties containing less than 750,000 population, the board may annually, at the same time that other county taxes are levied, levy a tax upon the taxable property of such county.
59.56(14)(b) (b) The board may grant the use of fairgrounds acquired under par. (a) 2. to agricultural and other societies of similar nature for agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions, and such other purposes as tend to promote the public welfare, and may receive donations of money, material or labor from any person or municipality for the improvement or purchase of such land. All improvements made on such lands by societies using them may be removed by the societies at any time within 6 months after their right to use the land terminates, unless otherwise agreed in writing between the societies and the county at the time of making the improvements.
59.56(14)(c) (c) In counties containing more than 750,000 population, land upon which to hold agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions may be acquired by a board, and improvements made thereon, by donation, purchase or condemnation, but not exceeding in value $150,000, and the board may convey or donate such lands so purchased or acquired or the use thereof to the state of Wisconsin or to agricultural and industrial societies for the purpose of holding thereon agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions, and may receive donations of money, material or labor from any person or municipality for the improvement or purchase of such land. If at any time lands or the use thereof so conveyed or donated shall be abandoned or no longer used for the purpose for which such lands or the use thereof were so conveyed or donated, the title to such land shall revert to the county; and the commissioners of public lands, in the case of conveyances or donations to the state, are authorized and directed to execute and deliver such proper deeds of conveyance as well as revest the title to such lands in such county, and when such lands or the use thereof were conveyed or donated to an agricultural and industrial society, such proper deeds or conveyance shall be executed and delivered by such society by its proper officers. However, the state may at any time within one year after title to any such lands revests, by proper conveyance in such county, remove any structures erected thereon by or for the state subsequent to the acquisition of such lands by the state.
59.56(14)(d) (d) The board may vote an amount which it considers sufficient to aid in the purchase of, or to make improvements upon the fairgrounds for any organized agricultural society, or to aid any organized agricultural society or any incorporated poultry association in any of its public exhibitions held or to be held; and any amount so voted shall be paid upon demand by the treasurer to the treasurer of such organized agricultural society, who shall keep an accurate record of the expenditure thereof by such society, and file a verified copy of such record with the clerk within one year after the receipt of such amount.
59.56(14)(e) (e) The board may provide for and conduct county fairs and exhibitions if a majority of the electors in the county so approve, in a referendum, and for such purpose may:
59.56(14)(e)1. 1. Acquire by deed or lease real estate and make improvements on such real estate.
59.56(14)(e)2. 2. Appropriate funds to properly equip, manage and control the fair or exhibition.
59.56(14)(e)3. 3. Adopt rules and regulations for the management and control of the property, fair or exhibition and for the appointment and salaries of persons necessary therefor.
59.56(16) (16) Advocacy for women and agriculture. The board may appropriate money to county commissions to conduct advocacy activities on behalf of women or agriculture.
59.56 History History: 1995 a. 201 ss. 128, 129, 132, 136, 138, 142, 143, 144, 145, 173, 199, 200, 209, 370, 372, 373, 406, 408, 410, 412, 443 to 448; 1997 a. 35, 237; 1999 a. 150 s. 672; 2013 a. 14; 2017 a. 207 s. 5.
59.56 Annotation A county board has the power to lease a public museum to a private corporation. Hart v. Ament, 177 Wis. 2d 694, 500 N.W.2d 312 (1993).
59.56 Annotation A special county board committee to plan and coordinate the need for planning trails for snowmobiles, bicycles, hiking, motorbikes, etc., is discussed. 60 Atty. Gen. 259.
59.56 Annotation Possible county liability for 4-H club activities at a county fairgrounds is discussed. 61 Atty. Gen. 218.
59.56 Annotation Section 59.07 (95) [now s. 59.56 (1)] authorizes the appropriation of county funds for promotion of the fine arts. 61 Atty. Gen. 316.
59.57 59.57 Economic and industrial development.
59.57(1)(1)County industrial development agency.
59.57(1)(a) (a) Subject to par. (b), the board may appropriate money for and create a county industrial development agency or to any nonprofit agency organized to engage or engaging in activities described in this paragraph, appoint an executive officer and provide a staff and facilities to promote and develop the resources of the county and of its component municipalities. To this end the agency may, without limitation because of enumeration, develop data regarding the industrial needs, advantages and sites in the county, acquaint the purchaser with the products of the county by promotional activities, coordinate its work with that of the county planning commission, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and private credit development corporations, and do all things necessary to provide for the continued improvement of the industrial climate of the county.
59.57(1)(b) (b) If a county with a population of 750,000 or more appropriates money under par. (a) to fund nonprofit agencies, the county shall have a goal of expending 20 percent of the money appropriated for this purpose to fund a nonprofit agency that is actively managed by minority group members, as defined in s. 16.287 (1) (f), and that principally serves minority group members.
59.57(2) (2) Industrial development agencies.
59.57(2)(a) (a) Short title. This subsection shall be known and may be cited as the “Industrial Development Law".
59.57(2)(b) (b) Findings. It is found and declared that industries located in this state have been induced to move their operations in whole or in part to, or to expand their operations in, other states to the detriment of state, county and municipal revenue arising through the loss or reduction of income and franchise taxes, real estate and other local taxes, and thereby causing an increase in unemployment; that such conditions now exist in certain areas of the state and may well arise in other areas; that economic insecurity due to unemployment is a serious menace to the general welfare of not only the people of the affected areas but of the people of the entire state; that such unemployment results in obligations to grant public assistance and in the payment of unemployment insurance; that the absence of new economic opportunities has caused workers and their families to migrate elsewhere to find work and establish homes, which has resulted in a reduction of the tax base of counties, cities and other local governmental jurisdictions impairing their financial ability to support education and other local governmental services; that security against unemployment and the preservation and enhancement of the tax base can best be provided by the promotion, attraction, stimulation, rehabilitation and revitalization of commerce, industry and manufacturing; that there is a need to stimulate a larger flow of private investment funds from banks, investment houses, insurers and other financial institutions; that means are necessary under which counties so desiring may create instrumentalities to promote industrial development and such purpose requires and deserves support from counties as a means of preserving the tax base and preventing unemployment. It is therefore declared to be the policy of this state to promote the right to gainful employment, business opportunities and general welfare of the inhabitants thereof and to preserve and enhance the tax base in counties and municipalities by the creation of bodies, corporate and politic, which shall exist and operate for the purpose of fulfilling the aims of this subsection and such purposes are hereby declared to be public purposes for which public money may be spent and the necessity in the public interest for the provisions herein enacted is declared a matter of legislative determination.
59.57(2)(c) (c) Definitions. In this subsection, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
59.57(2)(c)1. 1. “Federal agency" includes the United States, the president of the United States and any department of or corporation, agency or instrumentality that is created, designated or established by the United States.
59.57(2)(c)2. 2. “Industrial development agency" or “agency" means a public body corporate and politic created under this subsection, which agency shall have the characteristics and powers described in this subsection.
59.57(2)(c)3. 3. “Industrial development project" means any site, structure, facility, or undertaking comprising or being connected with or being a part of an industrial, manufacturing, commercial, retail, agribusiness, or service-related enterprise established or to be established by an industrial development agency.
59.57(2)(d) (d) Formation of industrial development agencies.
59.57(2)(d)1. 1. Any county upon a finding by the board that there is a need therefor may cause to be formed an agency. Except as provided under s. 59.82, the agency shall be the sole agency and instrumentality of the county for the purposes stated in this subsection.
59.57(2)(d)2. 2. Any adjoining counties upon a finding by their boards that there is need therefor may jointly cause to be formed an agency which shall be the sole agency and instrumentality of the counties for the purposes stated in this subsection.
59.57(2)(d)3. 3. The board may appropriate such sums of money as are necessary or advisable for the benefit of the agency and prescribe the terms and conditions of such appropriation.
59.57(2)(d)4. 4. The agency shall be a separate and distinct public instrumentality and body corporate and politic exercising public powers determined to be necessary by the state for the purposes set forth in par. (b). The agency shall have no power at any time to pledge the credit or taxing power of the state, any county, or any municipality or political subdivision, but all of its obligations shall be considered to be obligations solely of the agency.
59.57(2)(e) (e) Organization of industrial development agencies. All of the following apply to an agency:
59.57(2)(e)1. 1. Proposed articles of incorporation and proposed bylaws shall be made available for inspection by any municipality within the county for a period of at least 30 days and shall then be submitted to the board for approval.
59.57(2)(e)2. 2. The articles of incorporation shall be signed and acknowledged by persons designated by the board or where counties join in the formation of the agency by the boards of those counties and shall include at least 3 of the following from each county: the county executive, if there is one; the chairperson of the board; the chairperson of the board finance committee, if there is one; the county corporation counsel and the county auditor or treasurer in counties having no county auditor, and only those persons so signing and acknowledging the articles of incorporation shall for the purposes of ch. 181 be the incorporators of the agency.
59.57(2)(e)3. 3. The provisions of ch. 181, except such as are inconsistent with this subsection and except as otherwise specifically provided in this subsection, shall be applicable to such agency. The articles of incorporation shall specifically state that the agency is a public instrumentality created under the industrial development law and organized in accordance with the requirements of ch. 181 and that the agency shall be subject to ch. 181 to the extent that said chapter is not inconsistent with this subsection.
59.57(2)(e)4. 4. The articles of incorporation shall provide for 2 classes of members who shall be designated as county members and public members and shall fix the number of each class, but the county members, at all times, shall constitute not less than a majority of the total authorized members. All members of each class shall be designated by the board and shall hold office at the pleasure of the board, except that in counties having a county executive, the members shall be designated by the county executive subject to confirmation by the board. The agency shall be subject to dissolution and its corporate authority terminated upon resolution adopted by a majority of the board, or of the boards of each county where counties join in the formation of the agency whereupon the members shall proceed immediately to dissolve the agency, wind up its affairs and distribute its remaining assets as provided in this subsection.
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