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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Name Cleereman To Head County Land Information

Issue Date: May 10, 2017

Marinette County Conservationist Greg Cleereman has been selected to replace John LeFebvre as head of the county's Land Information Department. County Board is expected to approve the appointment when it meets on Tuesday, May 30. LeFebvre has been handling both jobs since December, when he became interim County Administrator. In March he was officially promoted to County Administrator, the top post in Marinette County government.

LeFebvre's selection of Cleereman to replace him as head of the Land Information Department will involve some adjustments in other positions in the department. LeFebvre said those changes in responsibilities will be clarified at a later date, probably in May.

The Land Information Committee voted without dissent on Monday, May 8 to approve LeFebvre's choice of Cleereman as his successor.

If approved by the full County Board as expected, Cleereman will officially assume his new role on Sunday, June 4. He will continue to handle County Conservationist responsibilities, but other duties handled by LeFebvre will to assigned to other individuals in the department. These assignments will be discussed next month.

Before the vote, LeFebvre noted Cleereman has been with Marinette County since 1997, and was part of the land Information Department when it was created in 2003.

"Greg has been a great asset to the department and I think he's the best person to lead the county down the road," LeFebvre advised.

"Greg has vast overall knowledge," said Sup. Ted Sauve. "He's highly recommended by the State Land and Water Conservation Association and in fact is president of that group."

Sauve asked Cleereman for any comments, and his response was simply, thanks for your support. I'll do my best."

Asked if the promotion entailed a raise, Cleereman commented, "I certainly hope so." LeFebvre said this also will be discussed next month.

Whiting asked if they would be hiring someone to fill Sup. Clancy Cleereman's position, and LeFebvre said they will not. Cleereman will continue as conservationist, but the hands-on duties LeFebvre handled as administrator of the MarOco Landfill will be assigned to someone else. He had previously advised the MarOco Committee that this would be happening. Zoning duties also will be split off from the department head position but that work too will go to an existing employee.

LeFebvre said he will come to the committee next month with recommendations for changes in job duties for others in the Land Information Department, which includes property tax listing, zoning, planning, surveying, wildlife damage, conservation, invasive species control, work with lake associations, and more.

Water Resource Specialist Chuck Druckrey, who does much work with lake associations and farm runoff programs, has been mentioned as the probable new administrator of MarOco Landfill, but that appointment, if made, will come at a later date.

Committee members present for the May 8 meeting were supervisors Robert Holley, Gilbert Engel, Fred Meintz, Penny Chaikowski, Clancy Whiting and Chair Ted Sauve. Farm Service Agency Representative Mary Noll was absent.

The agenda included review of the department's very brief 5-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). It provides $50,000 a year for remonumentation in connection with the public land survey system and spending $100,000 of grant funds in 2021 to acquire digital orthography. The county receives a $50,000 grant from the state each year for the remonumentation, so plans are that no county funds will be used. LeFebvre said the state formerly gave $75,000 per year, but he expects the $50,000 to continue into the foreseeable future.

LeFebvre said he was presenting the CIP from his perspective as County Administrator, and advised the committee that the plans to tie the CIP to the county budget, and pay for it without borrowing. The past few administrators have been bringing the CIP to County Board in June, three months ahead of the county budget, and LeFebvre plans to change that. They also have recommended borrowing for capital explenses, and LeFebvre also plans to change that. He said he will submit both the budget and the CIP with provisions to pay for it at the October board meeting in preparation for adoption in November. LeFebvre said Capital Improvement projects will be handled as part of the main budget discussion, and repeated, "I do not intend to borrow for them this coming year!"

Grants from the state are received specifically for remonumentation each year, and can be used only for that purpose. No committee action was required. They use most of the grant money to perpetuate survey monuments disturbed by road improvement projects, county, town or state. This year they also plan to do some remonumentation on the border with Forest and Florence counties, and LeFebvre is hoping those counties will agree to share the costs.

He said they mainly focus on remonumenting corners on county lands. To a question from Supervisor GilbertEngel, LeFebvre said the goal is to get two-thirds of the monument locations re-established. "Borders are important to us," LeFebvre added.

LeFebvre has asked towns to keep him informed of road improvement projects that might disturb survey markers. If the road lands on a section line every half mile they will put a marker. The surveyor determines exactly where the monument should be, and puts up witness posts tied to that location. So far half the towns have responded, and there are 128 monuments to be done.

Survey work for Marinette County is done by contract with private surveyors, who are hired on a rotating basis from a pool of surveyors willing to do the work for the price offered by the county.

The committee approved Hugh Guy as the survey contractor for this year. The county pays $150 per visit. Each marker requires two trips, one to determine location and put in the four witness posts, and the second to pound the marker back into the pavement.

Two zoning changes requested by the Town of Pound were approved as presented. There is no county-wide zoning in Marinette County, but zoning changes are subject to county review and approval. Part of a parcel between Hwy. 141 and Double R Road and another at the intersection of Hwy. 141 and County M are scheduled to be removed from Agricultural/Residential to Highway Commercial Business District zoning. Both will now go to County Board for approval.

Also by unanimous vote the committee approved the 2017 contract with Lake Noquebay Rehabilitation District (LNRD) to provide care and maintenance of the Mohawk Dam at the Outlet Creek for the price of $3,000 a year, unchanged from recent prior years. Under the agreement, LNRD is responsible for dam operation (raising and lowering as needed to achieve desired water levels); grounds and maintenance, and record keeping. Supervisor Penny Chaikowski said she had talked with Mark VanDerZee, chair of the LNRD Board of Directors, who told her the contract each year "is pretty much cut and dried." Sauve said what LNRD does is pretty much spelled out in the agreement.

At the start of the meeting Cleereman explained the US Department of Trade, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs wants to change from annual contracts to permanent contracts with updates each year. To questions from the committee he said using the master contract will save a bit of time for him each year, so is probably a good thing. The county gets grants from DATCAP to fund various programs.

Asked if the county has choice, LeFebvre said they can approve the contract as offered and take the money DATCP will give them, or not approve it and not get the grant money. Decision was unanimous to accept the contract change, which in effect continues the grant program.

The committee agreed to increase the Soil and Water Resources Management budget by $105,800 to reflect additional cost sharing funds carried over from 2016 and $42,400 to match the amount of nutrient management cost sharing available this year. Cleereman explained the grants involve money that comes from the state for use by land owners for conservation practices they voluntarily install, and the $105,800 is for practices that were approved and funded last year but he project was not completed.

The committee agreed to ask Personnel Committee for authorization to hire a third summer staff person. Cleereman explained they usually have three, but this year with the budget so tight, they had been prepared to get by without the extra help. Now, with the money saved since LeFebvre has become County Administrator, and money that will be saved by duty reassignments within the department, they can afford the added help without going over budget. He said two summer people already will be working with the aquatic weed program and preventing transfer of invasive species on boats. The third person will assist weed harvesting on various lakes as a weed harvester/dive assistant. Cleereman said he feels much more comfortable with two people on the harvester. The job will total no more than 560 hours. When weather prevents working outdoors the person hired will work in the office. Total cost, with fringe benefits, is slated at $8,431 for the summer. Cleereman said he has a person in mind for the job, so if Personnel and County Board approve , "We're good to go." The person will work until Labor Day.

Cleereman reported they received a $3,000 grant from Trout Unlimited and are getting extra funds from the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service for a stream crossing inventory. There is a Lake Planning Grant in the works for Glen lake.

Committee members and staff were authorized to attend the Lake Michigan Land and Water Conservation Spring Conference which is to be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Iron Works on Main Street in Marinette on Friday, May 19. LeFebvre noted that Paul Klose is on the Technical Committee for this state organization, so it is very important that he attend. There had been comments at a prior meeting that having a small turnout would look bad for Marinette County, since they are hosting the conference.

The Conservation Technician was authorized to attend the Feedlot and Milkhouse Waste Discharges training in Portage County on Wednesday, May 31and Thursday, June 1.

LeFebvre said they are planning to do a new County Plat Book this year, and will be seeking bids. The successful bidder will publish the book and get grants to help pay for it. The county decides the size of the book and how many will be printed. LeFebvre said they are looking at larger books to get larger print. Current publisher is Farm Home Publishers. Prior to that it was ABC Printers, but they are out of business.

During bill paying at the end of the meeting Holley asked if someone had been fined or putting too much manure on their land. "There are problems with one, and they are being looked at," Cleereman confirmed.

At Sauve's suggestion the next meeting will be at 9 a.m. Monday, June 12 at Harmony Arboretum on County E off Hwy. 64. Supervisor Fred Meintz is to open the Harmony Sportsman's Clubhouse across the road for the meeting if indoor accommodations are necessary.

Whiting is to report on the Beecher Lake Association meeting to be held later this month, including an update on dredging work done with assistance from Druckrey to help control aquatic weeks.


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