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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Pound Town Road Work Exceeds Budget This Year

Issue Date: September 20, 2018

Town Chair Jerry Heroux reported to the Pound Town Board on Tuesday, Sept. 11 that resurfacing and shouldering have been completed and culverts have been installed for Phase II of the Townline Road reconstruction being done in partnership with the Town of Grover.

September invoice for reconstruction work on Townline Road is $118,468.91 for each town. Of this, $11,175.30 was to Biehl Construction; $5,300 to Dan Risner Excavating for gravel hauling; $2,150 to Green Bay Highway Products for culverts, $168,176.34 to Northeast Asphalt for paving; $7,140 to International Truck for 85 hours at $85 per hour; $950 for 14 hours' use of the Chev pickup truck; $420 for use of the Case backhoe for seven hours; $16,400 to Dan Risner Excavating to install culverts; $3,668.22 to Koenig's Sand & stone for crushed gravel, and $21,066.60 to Green Bay Highway Products or Culverts.

Heroux commented they had done a very nice job on reshouldering, and they had hauled in extra gravel at an added cost of $17,000. The culverts, he said "were horribly expensive." There were three culverts installed plus a small one off County B. Removal of the culverts got quite expensive because each had concrete abutments, and concrete beneath them as well, which had to be removed.

He said he had only put in for $12,000 of bridge aid, and each town's share of the total cost will far exceed that. Heroux said he would take the blame, and will find out if they can put in for bridge aid for the other part of the cost for next year. The higher cost could create problems for the town budget, since it was set up to include the 50 percent bridge aid reimbursement.

He felt Northeast Asphalt had done a nice job blacktopping, and others in the room agreed.

There was discussion on the possibility of getting Marinette County to do some of the blacktopping next year, although they do not bid on jobs. They reportedly do the blacktopping for Beaver. Heroux will look into it.

Heroux reported on the Transition Meeting he had attended at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation office in Green Bay on Friday, Sept. 7 in regard to the First and Fifth Road bridge construction projects planned for 2020. The PSS will be done by Aug. 5 of 2019. Bids will be advertised in September of 2019 and be let on Dec. 10, 2019. The state selects the contractors, Heroux said. Since Cedar Corp. drew plans for the bridges the state will not allow them to be the engineers in charge of the construction while the bridges are being built.

Some preliminary work is already done. They have burrowed under the river to connect telephone lines and utility locates are in progress.

The town has nothing to say about real estate acquisition for the project. That is being handled by the state, which will need to buy three pieces of property and acquire an easement for a small slice of property for the temporary bridge.

He was told farm equipment will be able to use the temporary bridge, and it is 22 feet wide which is wider than the current bridge.

Heroux showed the board he a drawer that he said is full of bridge construction documents and information. He wanted them to be aware of where to find the information in case something happens to him before the construction time.

(Editor's Note: That concern may have been slightly prophetic. During the following weekend Heroux and his wife were both hospitalized following an accident with their ATV. They are reportedly both now recovering well, however.)

When the bridges are built in 2020 the town will be responsible for paying 20 percent of the total $1.2 million cost of the two bridges, and then in 2021 they will get half of that 20 percent back in the form of bridge aid from Marinette County. Total cost to the town is projected at $110,000.

At a special meeting two years ago the town electors overwhelmingly supported a referendum allowing the board to levy property taxes above the state levy limits for a time to allow putting $40,000 a year into the bridge construction fund while continuing with other road maintenance work.

There is money in that fund, but the town's budget for road work is already $14,000 over budget, and problems continue to surface. One of the supervisors commented this has been one of the worst years ever for pot holes, and town workers have been busy filling them. Ken Brosig commented that a culvert at the end of 8th Road is plugged.

Heroux wondered if the board wanted to hold off on culverts and postpone some shouldering work until next year since the roads maintenance budget is already overdrawn, but supervisors agreed they should get the shouldering done this year to better protect the new road surfaces and replenish the bridge reserve fund in next year's budget.

At the board's August meeting it had been reported that Oconto Electric had severely damaged one of the town's culverts while trimming trees on 20th Road and their engineer was to contact town authorities in regard to fixing that problem. Heroux said Oconto Electric had promised to fix the road but they haven't done so yet. He said he will call again, and if they don't get the repairs done the town should do it and bill them.

There was discussion on a problem with TV sets being thrown into ditches, the fact that fees charged to the town for recycling disposal have gone up by $5 a ton, and comments that the price paid by users of recycled materials is at an all time low. The mix of recyclables collected at the Pound site is 50 percent cardboard, 30 percent plastics, and most of the rest is paper. Heroux commented the operators at the town's recycling site are very careful about what they accept, and due to some changes in reporting the town will see a big increase soon in the amount of cardboard on the recycling reports.

After an explanation from Katie Torres, clerk of Northeast Wisconsin Joint Municipal Court, the board adopted a new ordinance governing issuance of worthless checks. The villages of Coleman and Crivitz reportedly either have already passed similar ordinances or soon will do so.

The ordinance does not apply to a post dated check, or to a check given in past consideration except a payroll check, and Torres stressed that a worthless check citation will not be written unless there was an attempt to work it out between the parties before an official complaint was filed, and to cover "an oops," the issuer is given five days to make the check good.

Municipal Court Judge Clifford Patz said the limit for municipal courts to handle a worthless check used to be $5,000, but now they can recoup up to $10,000, and the new ordinance allows them to do that. His court also serves Crivitz, and he said they have had some pretty serious problems with bad checks lately, including one issued for $6,000 without sufficient funds, and some for up to $16,000.

Under the new ordinance the issuer, if found guilty, will be fined not less than $50 plus costs, and in default of payment can be imprisoned in Marinette County Jail until the forfeiture and costs are paid, "but not to exceed the maximum length of time authorized by Wisconsin Statutes."

Basically the ordinance requires the check to be presented for payment in a reasonable time, and gives the issuer five days to make the check good after being notified of the deficiency.

At the August meeting there had been some discussion on problems with a dog continuously barking near the town dump. Heroux said subsequently he had read an article in the Wisconsin Towns Association magazine regarding legal responsibilities of towns in regard to animal-related issues. He said the Town of Pound does not have a Humane Officer, but does give $500 each year to the Menominee Animal Shelter to take strays from the town, "so we do meet requirements of the law."

He said people bothered with dogs barking at night should call the Sheriff's Department, and owners can be charged under nuisance laws.

Clerk Jessica Olson reported the recent elections had gone very well.


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