2019 Annual Newsletter


All questions regarding the Merrimac ferry (is it running, how much, when does it close, etc?).

Check out the Ferry Information page or call the Department of Transportation info-line at 511 or (866) 511-9472.


How do I get a dog license?

All dogs in the town are required to be licensed per state and county laws. A dog license is $5 for spayed/neutered. $10 for all others.  Make the check payable to Town of Merrimac.  Include your rabies vaccinations certificate and a self-addressed return envelope.  Mail to the town at PO Box 115, Merrimac, 53561. Dog license fees are collected every tax collection period and are considered late after April 1 for that license year.  A $5 fee is assessed for renewal licenses after April 1.  If you are adopting a dog from the Sauk County Humane Society, they are authorized to license your dog, but only at the time of adoption. Renewal licensing is still through the town.


Does the town reimburse the Non-Participating Fee for the Sauk Prairie Recreation Department and how do I get reimbursed?

Yes!  The participation fee does not justify the number of participants from the town.  We have saved thousands of dollars simply reimbursing families for the difference from the fee charged to those who live in participating communities, which is $20.  You can forward your confirmation email to townmerr@merr.com or mail in a copy of your paid invoice or canceled check to the Town of Merrimac, P.O. Box 115, Merrimac, WI  53561.


Where can I purchase a Great Sauk Trail pass?

All state trail passes sold in Sauk County helps support the cost and maintenance of the Great Sauk Trail.  The pass can be used statewide. A state trail pass is required for all people age 16 and older for biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding or in-line skating on certain trails.  Mail a separate check for $25 per pass made payable to the Town of Merrimac at PO BOX 115, Merrimac, WI 53561.


Can I participate in the Senior Fitness Program?

The town co-sponsors "Fitness for Seniors" every fall and winter.   The program typically starts and the end of October and runs through the middle of April at the Village Hall located 100 Cook Street in the village.  All town and village residents 50 and older can participate for only $10 for the season.  Program is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30am until 10:00am.  Participants can simply show up and sign up!  Click here for a current flyer.


How does a revaluation of the Town affect my property tax?

Why hasn't the town lowered/raised the assessment on our property?

Check out this page on Revaluations. A revaluation of the entire town is only done when the value of the town falls outside of the Dept. of Revenue's assigned value as determined by sales.  During years when a revaluation is not required, only homes that have been sold, built, or remodeled are assigned new values. 2018 Mill Rates.


Can I rent out my home on a daily or weekly basis (vacation rentals)?

No one may rent their property for this purpose without a conditional use permit.  Vacation rentals by owner are required by state law to obtain a permit from the WI Department of Health Services (WI DHS) and are considered a business.  Anyone who is renting their residence on this basis is also required to collect and remit to the Town a 7% room tax as well as collect State and County Sales Tax.  Property owners are reminded that an application for this use does not guarantee that a permit will be issued. State Guide Book.  


Can we have chickens?

Chickens are not allowed in residential neighborhoods on parcels with less than 1.15 acres.  This is primarily due to the nature of our lakefront community having smaller lots and no storm sewers.  Chickens are regulated in the residential district on lots that are 1.15 thru 4.99 acres and a permit is required.


Can I push my snow across the road?

Per Wisconsin Statutes 86.01, 86.07 and 346.97, it is illegal for persons to leave deposits of any materials on highways, including snow.The practice of leaving piles of snow on public highways after plowing private driveways or parking lots creates a hazard for the traveling public and creates a problem for our road plowing operations. In some cases, it may cause the person responsible to be held liable for personal injuries or property damage.  


What or where is the right-of-way (ROW)?

The right-of-way, or ROW, is 66' wide on most town roads.  The road is the actual paved surface.  In newer subdivisions, the ROW ends at the property line.  In older subdivisions and on farm roads, the owner's property line is in the center of the ROW.  A Certified Survey Map (CSM) is the best way to identify exactly where the ROW ends on your property.  Property owners cannot stake off this area to protect the lawn from the snowplows.  When these stakes interfere with our ability to clear the pavement and safely push snow back, they will be damaged or removed.  Property owners who place septic systems or lawn sprinkler systems in the ROW do so at their own risk.  The town, and Sauk County, cannot be help liable for any damage that might occur to these systems.


Can I park on the street?

Parking on the paved surface of the road is not permitted per state statute.  Vehicles can be parked in the right-of-way (the shoulder) on a short-term basis, but long-term storage of vehicles is prohibited by town ordinance and cannot exceed 72 hours.


My culvert is plugged, who can I call?

If the culvert runs under your driveway, it is your responsibility to keep it clear and in operating condition.  If there is a culvert on your property that is in the right-of-way, we ask that you maintain this area as well.  It is very similar to the responsibility of a city/village property owner who is required to keep an adjacent storm drain clear.  In extreme circumstances, you should call the town hall, but if it is an emergency situation (immediate damage to persons or property), please contact Sheriff Dispatch at 356-4895.


What is the population of the Town of Merrimac?

The January 1, 2017 population estimate is 997, or more than double the population in the Village of Merrimac.  There are an estimated 856 residents of voting age.  Registered voters are typically between 80 and 85% of the voting age population.


Do I need a building permit?

Check out the Planning & Zoning page for all information regarding residential permits and ordinances.


Realtor & Rummage sale signs.

Temporary realtor signs, signs for vegetable stands, political signs, and garage/rummage sale signs are allowed without a permit.  These signs cannot be placed in any public right-of-way under statute. All other signs require a permit.


My garbage/recycling was not picked up. Now what?

Garbage is required to be out by 6:00 a.m. on Mondays. If Monday is a holiday, then pick up is on Tuesday.  If your trash is not out before the truck comes by, they will not come back.  If the recyclables or trash contain ineligible materials, the hauler will not pick those items up.  They will not take electronics, appliances, furniture, construction material unless special arrangements are made.  Learn More.


Do I need a permit to place a pier on my property?

At present, the Town does not require a pier permit to place a private pier on private land.  The State of Wisconsin has several regulations about pier placement and in some cases require a permit.  Residents should contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Can I place on a pier on the Public Access?

Under town ordinance, the former pier permitting program is being discontinued.  No applications are being accepted from persons who were not permitted prior to 2009.


How much do I owe for taxes/when are they due?

Your tax statement is determined after the Board of Review has been completed.  The statements can be expected in early December.  Your first installment (or to pay in full) by January 31st of each year and are sent to the TownAfter January 31st, mail them to Sauk County. The second installment is due July 31st to the Sauk County Treasurer.


Where is the beach on Lake Wisconsin?

There are no public beaches on the north side of Lake Wisconsin.  While the lake provides several great recreational opportunities, the flow of the Wisconsin River through the lake causes challenges for swimmers if they are on the main channel.  Devil's Lake State Park has a beautiful beach.  Take Hwy. 113 to South Lake Road to access the South Shore Beach.


Open Records Requests

All requests for records must be made in writing.  The town may charge $.25 per page and will not produce the record until agreed to by the requestor.  As a matter of policy, the clerk does not respond to emails from unknown parties as a safety precaution against phishing or other malicious malware. If your request has not been answered and it is a legitimate request, please contact the clerk's office by mail or in person.


How are ordinances enforced?

The Town does not have the police force. State laws are enforced by the Sauk County Sheriff.  Because the Town does not have a police department, we also do not have ticketing authority.  Forfeitures are requested by the Town Board or the Town Administrator.  Failure to pay these forfeitures then leads to court action. Ultimately, a request to pay forfeitures is the way the town can pursue ordinance violations.

Official Website Town of Merrimac, Wisconsin

S6911 State Highway 113 • P.O. Box 115 • Merrimac, WI  53561

Phone: (608) 493-2588  • townmerr@tds.net

Merrimac Ferry: Call 511 or (866) 511-9472