• Frequently Asked Questions

    (Click on the question to go directly to the answer.)

    Government
    Where can I get questions answered relating to the Town of McMillan government?
    Where do I vote?
    Where and how do I register to vote?
    Can I vote by absentee ballot?
    How and where can I pay my taxes?
    When and where are town meetings held and can I attend?

    Building Permits and Zoning
    I am considering developing land in McMillan. How do I proceed?
    I am considering buying land in the Town of McMillan to build a home. How do I proceed?
    I plan to remodel my home. Do I need a building permit?
    I plan to reshingle and / or reside my home. Do I need a building permit?
    I am purchasing a lawn shed. Do I need a building permit?
    Where and how do I get a building permit?

    Rural Living
    How do I obtain emergency services?
    Why is McMillan not looking at its own police protection?
    What is a fire number?
    When I dial 911, what information should I give the dispatcher?
    Where do I get rid of my garbage? Do we recycle?
    How and what do we recycle?
    Can I open burn in McMillan?
    Does the township offer snow removal or other services for private drives?
    Does my dog require a license?
    I have found a stray or abandoned animal. What should I do?
    My pet is lost. What should I do?
    My neighbor’s horses/cows are repeatedly out on the road or causing damage on my property. What can be done?
    My neighbor wants me to fence my property? Do I have to do this? Who is responsible for the cost?
    The ditches in my area have a lot of stuff (cans, bottles, tires, a refrigerator) in them. What can be done?
    During the winter the snow plow pushed large amounts of gravel on my lawn. What can be done?
    Why are McMillan’s rural roads rough and dusty?
    Why are all the roads in the township not blacktopped?
    If I see a dangerous situation on a township road, what should I do?
    Can I use the Marshfield Public Library?
    We are having a family reunion. How do I reserve the park pavilion?
    I live near the McMillan Wild life Refuge. Can I go into this area?

    Defending Our Lifestyle
    What happens to McMillan when land is annexed to Marshfield?
    Is it true townships do not pay their fair share of taxes and use urban facilities without paying their fair share of costs?

    Where can I get my questions answered relating to the Town of McMillan government?

  • Since you are on our website, we hope many of your questions will be answered here. We also currently publish a McMillan newsletter three to four times a year. You can contact the town clerk at (389-1338) or any town board member regarding any concerns or to gain information regarding the specific areas for which the board member may be responsible. See the contact information section.

    Where do I vote?

  • Voting takes place at the McMillan Town Hall (M 403 Elm Street) at the intersection of Galvin Avenue and Elm Street, (one mile east of Hwy. E on Elm or two miles north of Hwy. 97 on Galvin to Elm.) You will see the town hall on the north (left) side of Elm. The other buildings in the area are the fire department, south of Elm and the highway department garage north of the town hall.

    Where do I register to vote?

  • Registration is now required prior to voting. This can be accomplished at the town hall anytime prior to the election date. Bring two forms of identification that show your current address. Once you have registered, this will be maintained as long as you vote on a regular basis.

    Can I vote by absentee ballot?

  • Any qualified elector who is unable to appear at the polling place on election day may request to vote using an absentee ballot. A qualified U.S. citizen, who is 18 years of age or older on election day, must have resided in the municipality where he or she wishes to vote for at least 10 days before the election. The voter must be registered with the town clerk’s office or have voted in a prior town election to be considered registered..

    Contact our town clerk and request that an application be sent to you for the stated election. You may also request an absentee ballot by letter. Your written request must contain your voting address within the municipality where you wish to vote, and the address where the absentee ballot should be sent, if different, and your signature.

    Special absentee voting application provisions apply to electors who are indefinitely confined to home or a care facility, in the military, hospitalized, or serving as a sequestered juror. If this applies to you contact the town clerk

    You can also personally go to the town clerk’s office, complete a written application, and vote an absentee ballot. It is recommended you call and make an appointment with the clerk.

    The deadline for making application by mail to vote by absentee ballot is 5 pm, 4 days prior to the election. The deadline for voting absentee ballot in the clerk’s office is 5 pm the day prior to the election. All absentee ballots must be returned to the town clerk so that the clerk can deliver them to the proper polling place before the polls close the day of the election. Any ballot received after he polls are closed will not be counted.

    How and where can I pay my taxes?

  • Tax payments can be made to the Town Treasurer, Steven Katona, at the McMillan Town Hall until January 30 during the following hours:

    Mon - Fri 9:00am to 1:00pm
    Sat. Dec. 26 & Sat. Jan. 30 - 9:00am to Noon

    The Treasurer’s office will be closed on:
    Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

    Payments may also be mailed to:
    Steve Katona, Treasurer
    M403 Elm Street
    Marshfield WI 54449

    Make checks payable to Town of McMillan and please include the payment stub for all parcels.

    When and where are town meetings held and can I attend?

  • The public is welcome and encouraged to attend all town meetings. A general list of regularly scheduled meetings is included on this website in the section on government. Agendas are posted at the town hall, Mullins Cheese Factory and at the Belvedere Supper Club. Agendas will also be posted on the McMillan website for your convenience. This website, however is not yet a legally required posting location.

    I am considering developing land in McMillan. How do I proceed?

  • McMillan has a comprehensive zoning plan. Subdivisions are not allowed in every area of the township. Individuals should contact the clerk's office at 389-1338 or contact our Marathon Co.Deputy Zoning Administrator (contact information can be found in the Town Officials section of the website).

    If you are considering any land division, it is important that you review all the town ordinances related to zoning and the development of roads. A road constructed by a developer will not be accepted by the town board until the road is complete to our highway standards and funds are set aside to guarantee the road against structural defects for two years and for future blacktopping.

    Any time a parcel of land is split forming a new parcel of land, ( with a new description) a parks fee will be assessed on that new parcel. Please inquire with the clerk as to the current fee.

    I am considering buying land in the Town of McMillan to build a home. How do I proceed?

  • Contact our Marathon Co. Deputy Zoning Administrator. They can advise you as to what can be done with the involved property.

    I plan to remodel my home. Do I need a building permit?

  • Yes, for most improvements you will need a building permit. Anything the takes up land space requires a building permit. ( This includes decks, garden sheds, etc.) Any improvement over $500 requires a permit. For further information, please contact the town clerk's office at 389-1338 and/or our Marathon Co. Deputy Zoning Administrator.

    I plan to reshingle and / or reside my home. Do I need a building permit?

  • You do not require a permit for replacing a roof. This is considered maintenance. Siding your home may or may not require a permit depending on what is being done. Call the town offices for further information.

    I am purchasing a lawn shed for my yard. Do I need a building permit?

  • Yes, it takes up ground space.

    Where and how do I get a building permit?

  • Contact the township's Marathon County Deputy Zoning Administrator. Their contact information can be found in the "Town Officials" section of the website.

    How do I obtain emergency services?

  • Dial 911 !! Your call is sent to Wausau and the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center. Remember in all emergency situations the information you give is essential to the response that will occur. Be sure to fully explain the emergency assistance needed to the dispatcher. Give your fire number (M 543 Birch) the M is an essential part of the address. (It may be helpful to tell the dispatcher that you are calling from the Town of McMillan.) Stay on the line if possible when making a 911 call. Sometimes additional information or directions are needed.

    In the case of a medical emergency the Marshfield ambulance is dispatched along with the McMillan First Responders. There will be a charge for the ambulance service.

    In the case of a fire, the McMillan Volunteer Fire Department will respond from our fire station by the town hall. For structural fires, a mutual aide call is also sent to either the Hewitt Fire Department or the Stratford Fire Department. In large fires both departments will be called along with equipment and needed man power from the Town of Lincoln and Spencer Departments. The resident will be billed for time and materials for any fire call.

    If a police officer is needed, the dispatch center will send a Marathon County sheriff’s officer. There may be a delay as often only 5 officers are on duty. These officers cover a 30 mile by 70 mile county. There may only be one officer in the SE part of Marathon County. Mutual aid response from the Village of Stratford, Spenser or other law enforcement agencies may occur.

    Why is McMillan not looking at its own police protection?

  • The frequency of need is not yet present. The cost of providing our own police protection or even contracting with the county or other existing departments for additional coverage is prohibitive. It was estimated in 2000 that it would cost more than $55,000 a year to provide a car and officer for an additional 8 hours a week. If immediate police response is required, Marathon County has mutual aid agreements with Stratford and Marshfield Police Departments. Residents of McMillan choose to live in a rural setting. It is a great life style. However, one draw back is potentially slower response times.

    What is a fire number?

  • It is that red sign with white lettering (ie. M 543) on the right side of your driveway as you enter. This sign must be kept in the location the fire department has placed it. If you do not have a sign with your number, call the town hall immediately! Your safety depends on it. If the sign has been moved or removed, it must be replaced. The sign is located in a standardized place where emergency responders can easily locate it day or night. House numbers are often not visible, especially at night. Having these signs in a consistent place is essential.

  • It is vital that you know your fire number. (Your address is your fire number.) In an emergency the fire number must be reported as M 543 Birch not just 543 Birch . (It may also be helpful to identify your location as the Town of McMillan.) without the M, the emergency response you need may be sent to Marshfield or somewhere else in Marathon County.

  • Note: Since we share a post office with the City of Marshfield, It is also important to use the M on all of your mail so it is not sent to a similar address in the city. (Example 543 Birch in Marshfield instead of M543 Birch in the Town of McMillan.)

    When I dial 911, what information should I give the dispatcher?

  • Do not use the non emergency number to request help in an emergency. Dial 911!
    Accurate, concise information is essential when 911 is called. What you say is as important as the call itself.
  • 1.Stay calm! Speak slowly and clearly.
  • 2.Give the name, fire number, and full address. (Example: M543 Birch) It may be helpful to say “in the Town of McMillan.” Also identify who is making the call.
  • 3.For fire calls say what has happened, type of structure fire, and any pertinent information. (For example: There are people inside. The house is full of smoke. The second story is engulfed.)
  • 4. For auto accidents give the exact location of the accident in relationship to your fire number. If calling from a cell phone, give a location as close as possible to any known land mark. (For example: The accident is on Galvin Avenue, 2 miles south of Highway C ) or use a resident’s fire number. Tell what has happened, the number of autos involved, the type and number of injuries. STAY ON THE LINE!
  • 5. For medical emergencies say what has happened. Give your full address and fire number. Tell the dispatcher any pertinent medical information. (For example: The individual is not breathing.) STAY ON THE LINE!
  • 6. If at all possible, stay on the line so additional information can be obtained if needed. The information you give will determine the type of equipment and personnel dispatched. In these situations it is essential that the caller stay on the line, giving additional information and directions until the emergency response team arrives.

    Where do I get rid of my garbage? Do we recycle?

  • Weekly garbage service with a cart is available through local companies. The township does not provide any garbage pickup services nor does it endorse any one company.

    The township does provide monthly recycling pickup. This is provided through a grant obtained through the Northwestern Recycling Commission made up of the towns of Cameron, Lincoln, Marshfield, Richfield, Rock and McMillan. Part of this money is paid by the state with the townships also contributes tax dollars each year for the collection of recyclable materials. Watch for the information provided with your taxes and in our newsletters for a recycling schedule. You can also contact our Town Clerk at the town hall for a copy of the schedule.

    How and what do we recycle?

  • Blue recycling bins are available at the town hall for $3.00 each. Place your recycling in these containers and set them at the end of your driveway the night before your scheduled pickup time. In some areas of the town, pickup can begin before 6 AM.

    Recycle aluminum cans, glass containers (clean without cap), clean plastic bottles and containers marked #1 (PET or PETE) or # 2 (HDPE), and tin cans (clean with labels removed). These can be put in the same recycling bin. Place corrugated cardboard, mixed papers, and newspapers in another recycling bin. A more detailed list is on the back of your recycling schedule. A word of caution. Be careful not to include sensitive personal information in recycled paper unless shredded.

    Can I open burn in McMillan?

  • Obtain a burning permit for all open burning. If you are burning without a permit and the fire department is called by a concerned passerby you will be billed for all fire response costs. If the fire should get away from your control, you are liable for all fire department costs and any damage caused by the fire.

    A burning permit is required to burn brush, grass or other clean materials. Please contact the town clerk and/or fire chief for authorization not more then 24 hours prior to burning. By ordinance all open burning shall be performed in a safe pollution free manner, when wind and weather conditions allow burning without adverse affects. Open burning shall not be used to burn refuse, garbage, plastic, construction debris or other prohibited materials. The materials being burned shall be at least 50 feet away from any structure unless in an approved burning device at least 15 feet from any structure. No burning is allowed on the public right-of -way. State law restricts burning on Sundays and holidays. Please be considerate of your neighbors when burning any material. Be aware of wind direction and conditions when burning. During dry conditions be sure to check if burning bans are in effect. Open burning (not in a container) is restricted much of the year.

    Does the township offer snow removal or other services for private drives?

  • No, the town of McMillan will not remove snow from private drives except in an emergency, nor does it do any other type of driveway service for individuals.
  • 1.Keeping town roads open and maintained fully utilizes our men and equipment.
  • 2. The small size of most driveways make efficient use of our large highway equipment impractical.
  • 3. Our large equipment is not maneuverable in small private drives.
  • 4. There is potential liability for damage to residential properties and increased risk of damage to town equipment.
  • 5. A municipality should not be in competition with private snow removal operators or other construction companies.

    Does my dog require a license?

  • Dog Licenses will be issued by the Treasurer during tax collection hours. Please bring a copy of the current Rabies Vaccination Certificate for each dog you will be licensing. No license will be issued without the certificate. All dogs must be licensed by April 1 or a late fee of $5.00 per dog will be charged. Treasurer’s Hours between Feb. 1 and April 1: Tues. and Thurs. – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

    The needed forms to apply for a license are enclosed with your taxes each year. These forms or licenses can also be obtained from our treasurer at the Town Hall (M403 Elm Street, 715-305-6005). Before a license can be issued, you must furnish a current rabies vaccination certificate. After April 1, a late fee will be charged for dog licenses issued. Money collected from dog licenses is sent to Marathon County.

    I have found a stray or abandoned animal. What should I do?

  • Dogs at Large: Please call the Constable at 715-305-6471.

    My pet is lost. What should I do?

  • Dogs at Large: Please call the Constable at 715-305-6471.

    My neighbor’s horses/cows are repeatedly out on the road or causing damage on my property. What can be done?

  • First, contact the owner of the animals. If this is a repeated occurrence, keep a list of dates and times. We do live in a rural area and most of us do not fence our property. Animals will get out on occasion. This is one of the trade offs we choose when we do not fence our own property. However, the owners are responsible to control their animals. They are liable for damages and, should the animal be hit by a vehicle, they could be found negligent if the animals are repeatedly loose. McMillan is zoned and in residential zoning the presence of horses is in many cases prohibited or restricted to one or two animals as in the case of the Ag Estate Zoning (5-35 acres). You can contact the town hall for assistance in reviewing options. The town may be able to assist.

    My neighbor wants me to fence my property? Do I have to do this? Who is responsible for the cost?

  • In residential areas fencing is at the discretion of the neighbors. If all parties agree that no fence is needed, this is okay. Should an adjacent landowner demand a fence, one must be provided under state law. The landowner is responsible for that half of the fence to his right when facing the fence from his land. The fence construction is as agreed upon by the landowners or, if they cannot agree, it reverts to the state statute. This dictates a 5 wire fence. This sometimes is an issue when a homeowner’s land is adjacent to an operational farm. Again it can be whatever all parties can agree upon.

    The ditches in my area have a lot of stuff (cans, bottles, tires, a refrigerator) in them. What can be done?

  • We encourage our residents to take pride in their neighborhood. Some areas have even organized a cleanup day. Bags are available at the town hall. When they are full, place them at the side of the road and notify us. Our highway department will pick them up. For the larger items, like a refrigerator or tires, the town hall should be notified and they will be picked up. If you find bags of garbage dumped, notify the town. Often names and addresses are included and we do notify the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department. Individuals responsible for littering are cited!

    During the winter the snowplow pushed large amounts of gravel on my lawn. What can be done?

  • Town right-of-way extends to the inside of the ditch line. Many residents choose to maintain the ditch as part of their lawn. This is acceptable as long as the ditch is not filled in and water flow obstructed. It is impossible not to push gravel off our roads during the winter. If you choose to maintain the town ditch as lawn, you may remove the gravel from the ditch so you can mow your lawn. It is illegal for a resident to plant shrubs or place stone, concrete or other materials in town ditches. This could result in drainage problems or cause damage to our equipment.

    Why are McMillan’s rural roads rough and dusty?

  • Gravel roads were originally constructed when speeds on side roads were under 45 MPH. Past generations were pleased to just get through to their homes. By nature the surface of these roads decomposes rapidly and dust and pot holes result. Increased traffic especially at high speeds accelerates this process. The roads can be graded, but that decreases the effectiveness of the chloride placed on the road for dust control. Smoother roads and dry material lead to increased speeds and a significant dust problem. Residents will need to choose. Dust and rapidly changing road conditions are unfortunately a reality of rural living. Over the years some township roads were blacktopped or were surfaced with crushed blacktop. We now have most residents living within one mile of a hard surfaced road. Some additional roads are projected for blacktopping. The availability of tax dollars for additional blacktopping may be limited in the future and this will of course determine when additional hard surfacing can be done.

    Why are all the roads in the township not blacktopped?

  • Cost is a major factor. At as much as $150,000 a mile (2003) for road preparation and blacktopping, a major burden is placed on our tax payers. The current increase in oil prices has led to significant increases in blacktopping costs. (Petroleum is a major component n blacktop.) It could cost 8 to10 million dollars to blacktop all the roads in McMillan. We have had an aggressive blacktopping program in place since1990. Soil in many areas such as Wisconsin Rapids is sandy unlike our heavy clay soils. There, the frost has less impact on the road bed and thus the blacktop. Drainage is much less of an issue and less base (aggregate) is needed. Even in townships like Rock or Lincoln, to our south near Marshfield, much less road base preparation is required than here in McMillan with our clay soils. Thus, it is much more expensive for us to properly prepare and blacktop a mile of roadway.

    If I see a dangerous situation on a township road, what should I do?

  • If you discover a potentially dangerous situation on our roads, notify the town hall immediately. If it is after hours, please notify any town official. If you see someone consistently speeding or not stopping for a stop sign please call the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department (715-849-7785). Give them the time of day it is occurring and as much information as possible about the violator.

    Can I use the Marshfield Public Library?

  • Yes. Residents were able to get the state law changed authorizing McMillan to withdraw from the Marathon County Library System and join the Marshfield Library. The same amount of taxes that would be withheld from McMillan property taxes and paid to Marathon County for library services is now instead sent to the Marshfield Public Library. In 2004, $65,433 was paid to the Marshfield library. This allows McMillan residents to use this amount of services at the Marshfield Library. While residents are encouraged to use the library, they should not check out more materials than are needed. If usage increases, additional McMillan tax dollars will be required to be paid to Marshfield. This service, while convenient and necessary, is not really free.

    How do I reserve the park pavilion?

  • Contact the town clerk (715-389-1338). They will explain the reservation procedure and fee information. See also information under parks on this website. The remainder of the park is open to the public during daylight hours. (It cannot be reserved for private use.) Children playing in this area should be under adult supervision. Trash must be taken with you when you leave.

    I live near the McMillan Wildlife Area. Can I go into this area?

  • Yes. The McMillan Wildlife Area is made up of 2,224.8 acres covering parts of sections 7, 18, 19 and 30. This is a state, public hunting and recreation area. There are hiking and biking trails within the area sponsored and maintained by the Friends of the Mead and McMillan Wildlife Association. The trails can be accessed off Mann Road and Marsh Road. There are parking lots available at these locations. These trails are open from May 1 until September 1. Much of the marsh is a wildlife refuge and closed to hunting and other activities during parts of the year. Check postings in the parking areas. It is open to deer hunting in November. Anyone using the area must be responsible. Anything taken in must be carried out. Fires are not allowed. Be careful with smoking materials as this area always has a high fire potential! Snowmobile trails are allowed in designated areas during the winter. ATV’s are never allowed.

    What happens to McMillan when land is annexed to Marshfield?

  • Whenever land is annexed to the city, the town loses tax base. The expense of running the town, including paying off of our debt, must then be shared by the remaining property owners. Everyone’s share becomes a little larger. We do not share in any tax base created by new development that is annexed to the city. We also do not receive any of the sales tax paid at the businesses that were built on the land annexed from the town. (Sales taxes go to the county and state.) Why do we allow annexation? Under current state law there is very little we can do to stop it. Currently we have a boundary agreement with the city of Marshfield that at least allows us some minimal input into the process so we can hopefully protect our landowners from totally incompatible development adjacent to their property.

    Is it true townships do not pay their fair share of taxes and use urban facilities without paying their fair share of costs?

  • Too often it is believed that the 1.6 million town residents living in the state of Wisconsin are somehow using urban facilities without paying their fair share. It has been alleged that towns in the state are “a refuge for fiscal parasites who drain the very life blood from the central city.” Some elected officials have even suggested that residents of towns should have their incomes taxed to help pay for city services. This information, taken from “Town Residents Are Not Parasites” in the October 2000 Wisconsin Towns’ Association publication Urban Towns’ Committee Mailbox, shows that town residents more than pay their way.

    That’s right, town property owners pay nearly $100 more per capita in over all property taxes this year (2000) than their city cousins. How can this be? Towns are notably frugal with their own tax levies ($155 per town resident vs. $339 for cities.) but the town share of the K 12 levies was $310 per capita, versus only $186 for cities. The county tax apportionment is especially interesting in light of the frequent (but unproven) claims that towns absorb a disproportionate share of county recourses. Even if this is true, this data shows that for every $1 in county taxes levied on city residents each year, townspeople were billed $1.66.

    Critics sometimes claim that town residents unfairly benefits from the city services by driving on city streets and enjoying such cultural amenities as parks, libraries and zoos with out paying any city taxes. ( McMillan residents contribute over $50,000 of their town taxes to the city of Marshfield library each year.) Even if all this is true, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are getting a free ride because critics simply ignore the facts that in 1998 alone, $994 million poured into the city treasuries from state and federal aid programs. By contrast towns got only $214 million from these sources. That works out to $334 per city resident, verses $134 per town resident. Since all tax payers ultimately finance these aides, isn’t it fair to say that towns people are, in fact, indirectly paying for all those visits to the zoo?

    So, the next time you drive on those newly paved streets in Marshfield, Spencer, and Stratford remember those are your tax dollars at work, too.

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