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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Laura Mans Approved As County Finance Director

Issue Date: January 31, 2019

By unanimous vote at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29, Marinette County Board approved appointment of Laura Mans as Finance Director. She has been serving as interim finance director since the retirement of Pat Kass on Sept. 16 of 2018. In reality, Mans, as deputy director of the Finance Department, has been handling Finance Director duties since June 22 of 2018, when Kass announced his retirement and began using up vacation and sick days.

At the start of Tuesday's meeting Board Chair Mark Anderson asked for a moment of silence to recognize the passing of former supervisors Joe Banaszak of Crivitz and Jerry Martens of Beaver.

Despite the bitter cold of Tuesday morning, all supervisors were present except Shirley Kaufman and John Guarisco, who had been previously excused. The District 14 supervisor position left vacant because Supervisor Josh Anderson moved out of his district remains unfilled. Chair Anderson said he now has the name of a potential replacement but it came in too late to be considered this month and will be on the agenda for next month.

After a presentation by Kim Brooks and Keith Killen, the board unanimously supported a proclamation of support for the grass-roots community effort to achieve the top spot in the Small Business Revolution #MyMarinetteMenominee campaign.

At the board's December meeting Brooks has been approved to serve on the Marinette County Industrial Development Corporation Board of Directors, and she participated in her first meeting with that group Tuesday afternoon.

Brooks told the board the #MyMarinetteMenominee campaign technically is centered on the cities of Marinette and Menominee, "but we've expanded it to include both counties and the entire area."

Brooks said the city and county of Menominee have passed similar resolutions. Killen said Sen. Dave Hansen and Rep. John Nygren are working with Gov. Tony Evers on a state proclamation. Anderson said Wisconsin Counties Association has agreed to make a little video at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5 and spread it across the state in hopes of getting greater numbers to e-mail their support to #MyMarinetteMenominee for the Small Business Revolution campaign sponsored by Deluxe Corporation. Supervisors were urged to vote themselves and ask their friends and family to do the same. Votes can be sent once a day from each individual on each device.

Marinette County Fair Association Board President Mario Ruiz gave a brief address on the fair. He said 25,000 people came through the fair this year, "so we're going in the right direction." Supervisor Vilas Schroeder, chair of the County Board's Administrative Committee, asked him to provide a financial report, which has been done in the past, and Ruiz said he will do that.

Anderson asked if any outside groups want to use the fairgrounds at Wausaukee. Ruiz said there was interest from WAMPA for truck pulling but the Fair Board was concerned that would take away from the Fair-sponsored truck pulls. He said the Village of Wausaukee uses it as part of their Harvest Fest.

New Medical Examiner Kalynn Van Ermen was introduced to the board.

Action later in the meeting included approval of purchasing two 2019 Ford Edge SE AWD SUV's from Ewald Automotive Group for $29,140.50 each.One of the vehicles will replace an older one in the motor pool and the other will be assigned for Medical Examiner use.

Purchase of a Cat D5K2 LGP crawler dozer with all available options, trade in, extended warranty and additional track guarding for a total cost of $119,793.00 from Fabco Cat as recommended by the Infrastructure Committee was approved.

The board approved the first contract for renovation of the Ella Court Building (the former Law Enforcement Center and jail). The approval was for entering into an agreement with Henry Malke & Son LLC/ A&P WI LLC for demolition of steel detention equipment in the jail portion of the building for $24,675.00, subject to Corporation Counsel's approval.

LeFebvre explained plans for future uses of the building, and unveiled plans to put a "green" turf roof on the building.

After a detailed explanation by Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison the board approved a cost of living adjustment of 2.5% for all county part time positions not identified in the County's Grade Order List Step Plan effective January 27, 2019, and a tentative collective bargaining agreement with Wisconsin Professional Police Association, which includes numerous wording changes and a roughly 2.5 percent per year pay increase. They also included allocations for the county employees' Wellness Committee.

Appointment of Rick Downs was approved as representative of the Pembine/ Niagara area on the Elderly Services Board.

After long discussion and with several dissenting votes the board agreed to allow the county Health and Human Services Department to continue its supportive home health care program. Of Wisconsin's 72 counties, only Marinette County and Menominee County provide this service. HHS Director Robin Elsner said private firms offering the service often do not accept needy clients who live in remote areas, or who present particular problems for caregivers, so the county services prevents a gap in services to vulnerable citizens of Marinette County.

After discussion the board approved a Development Committee recommendation to remove the two county-appointed representatives to the Marinette County Association For Business and Industry Board of Directors.The county's contract with that economic development group expired on Jan. 1 and has not been renewed.

At the end of regular business the board toured the newly opened City of Marinette Community Convention and Recreation Center, which was built with the help of a $7.5 million low interest loan from the county. The interest savings amounts to about $1.5 million over the life of the loan. During the tour Anderson asked if all schools in the county will be allowed to use the turf area for baseball practices and other sports activities, and was assured that announcements of that opportunity have been sent to athletic directors of all schools in the county.


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