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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Town of Stephenson Votes To Withdraw From Recycling

Issue Date: January 10, 2018

At a special Stephenson Town Board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 3, supervisors voted unanimously to terminate the town's membership in the Northwoods Recycling Coalition. They discussed problems with operating the sites in the past, and to operate the current sites on town property in the Village of Crivitz and adjacent to the Town hall in Twin Bridge independently under the new single stream recycling contract with Advanced Disposal.

They also agreed to work out actual costs of the recycling operations and offer the Village of Crivitz and Towns of Middle and Lake an opportunity to pay a proportional share of those costs in return for allowing their residents to use the recycling facility. The brush site disposal center in the Village of Crivitz apparently will also be closed.

Further discussion of these decisions and the related options are expected at a meeting of the Northwoods Recycling Coalition at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at Stephenson Town Hall.

At the special meeting on Jan. 3, Town Chair Mike Kudick began the discussion on the possibility of exiting the Northwood's Recycling Coalition. He felt it would be more beneficial for the town to be able to make decisions and control the direction of town recycling its own and saw no benefit in the town remaining in the coalition.

Supervisor Jeff Lieuwen concurred. He said the coalition was a great idea when it started and has been good over the years but there was no longer a benefit to remaining in the collation.

Discussion indicated that part of the problem was that the bottom dropped out of the market for recycled materials, and income that formerly was earned by the coalition operation no longer exists.

Supervisor Kevin Solway declared he also felt it best for the town resident if the town is in control of its own destiny.

Motion to complete the steps necessary to exit the Northwood Coalition and inform the coalition of the decision to terminate was made by Supervisor Jim Stradal, seconded by Supervisor Rick Kikulski, and approved without dissent.

There was a lengthy discussion on options the three remaining Coalition members without separate recycling service have for handling their recyclables.

Lieuwen and Department of Public Works Superintendent Craig Baeten summarized the current single stream operation and brought the board up to speed on some start-up issues, including equipment break-down problems and lack of prompt response by Advanced Recycling.

Kudick said he contacted Advanced Recycling and they are going to address the issues.

Baeten said they will most likely need an additional dumpster for recyclables in the future. Lieuwen presented costs of recycling, and said there will be additional costs if extra hauls are needed because of serving outside municipalities.

Kudick stated he is in favor of putting together costs for recycling and offering some sort of recycling contract to the other municipalities as long as costs are shared appropriately.

The board discussed the process by which the town made the decision to move to single stream recycling and leave the coalition.

There were comments from board members who were not pleased with other municipalities criticizing them town for changing the recycling program so without permission or input from the Coalition.

Lieuwen reiterated that he began discussing this with the Northwood Coalition in August of 2016 and other coalition members "had simply done nothing about it."

Solway repeated his belief that the Town of Stephenson needs to do what is in the best interest of Town of Stephenson taxpayers.

An audience member, referring to the decision to eliminate participation in the brush disposal site in Crivitz, commented that the town was again reducing services for town residents who live near Crivitz.

Solway stated no services for Town residents are being reduced or eliminated; in fact they are being increased, and at the same time the board is saving an estimated $30,000 per year for town taxpayers.

Baeten asked what was going to be done about the town still accepting recyclables from other municipalities, "as we are doing this now."

Solway felt Northwoods Coalition should be taking recyclables from all member townships other than Stephenson, "and our residents should be using our single stream." Solway suggested the Town of Stephenson needs to hire its own employees for recycling and the Coalition needs to take over all aspects of the coalition operation, including employees.

After continued discussion Supervisor Solway moved for the Town of Stephenson to offer the opportunity to contract with the Town of Stephenson for recycling to a limited number of Municipalities at the discretion of the Town of Stephenson, with the contracts to have a 90-day termination clause by either party. Cost would be based on the percentage of residents within each municipality and would include all costs associated with operating recycling, such as wages, benefits, electricity, plowing, insurance, compactor rental etc. Billing would be done in the month following the month the expenses are incurred so that actual costs are known and billed appropriately. That motion was seconded by Kikulski and passed without dissent after concerns expressed by Stradl were addressed.

Stradal preferred a set fee instead of a varying cost each month. Solway stated this may be possible in the future but for the time being he believes it should be based on actual costs, "since we only have estimates at this time and setting a standard fee may subject the Town or a contracted municipality to paying more or less than their share." Motion passed.

At a Building and Grounds Committee meeting immediately preceding the special board meeting three certified survey maps were approved.

They included:

*A survey presented by Rob Kamps Surveying for Frank J Cacciotti and Jamie Cummings was approved. This is for 1 lot in part of the SE of the SW of Section 21, T33N, R18E in the Town of Stephenson, Marinette County, with ingress and egress to Ranch Road;

*A survey presented by Hugh Guy Surveying for Vandewalle Farms LLC with ingress and egress to Smith Creek Road; and

*A survey presented by K W Surveying Inc for Clara Wilkowski, Kenneth J Wilkowski, Kathleen A Donais, Jeanne Peterson, and Mary A Haveywith ingress and egress to Netzel Lane, subject to receipt of a check and an "Owners Page" being submitted to Clerk Elaine Olsen prior to the Town Board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10.


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