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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Herman Pottratz Takes Over As Town of Peshtigo Chairman

Issue Date: April 18, 2019

The Town of Peshtigo held their Annual meeting on Tuesday, April 16 prior to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The meeting was well attended with approximately 50 people in attendance.

It was an opportunity for residents to voice their opinion on what was on their mind related to the Town of Peshtigo.

Town resident, Chuck Boyle presented a Resolution of Electors stating, "Be it resolved, that we, the Town Electors of the Town of Peshtigo, being duly assembled at the annual town meeting on April 16, 2019, do herby authorize the town board of the Town of Peshtigo to maintain the contracted services of Cedar Corporation or another environmental consulting firm, to assist the Town with water supply and water quality issues due to the Tyco/Johnson Controls situation as is deemed appropriate by the Town Board. This resolution shall have continuing and ongoing effect until rescinded by the electors at a town meeting called for such purpose by at least the number of electors who voted for the original resolution".

A motion was made by Boyle and seconded by Jeff Budish to accept the resolution. Clerk Clarence Coble, made Boyle aware that this is only an advisory, advising the board of the Towns wishes, but the board makes the final decision. Attorney, Dave Spangenberg, did confirm that is correct, but also stated if the board does not approve it, you are going against the residents wishes.

Marsha Rettke, town resident, made a motion to form a Citizen Advisory Group to work with Cedar Corporation along with residents of those living in the affected areas of the contamination by Tyco. Rettke made a motion to accept and Trygve Rhude seconded.

Town resident, Wendell Johnson, spoke in honor of Chairperson Denise Wiedemeier, saying, "Thank You for the work you have done in the past few years. When you needed to seek out something, you did. I am glad we had your leadership to do that. I think it is important to get competitive bidding and you didn't play favorites". He added, "The Town of Peshtigo has a lot of people with a lot of expertise".

Wiedemeier responded with, "Thank You, I cancelled surgeries to attend the Embers Tyco meeting and put medical issues aside for the betterment of the Town, because I felt it was important for me to be at that meeting".

Gordon Wicklund, commented about boats going too fast on the Bay of which was discussed at the Marinette County Board meeting, but they only turned it over to the Town of Peshtigo. He added, "There should be signs for a no wake zone". Wiedemeier responded, "I have passed that information to our new Chairperson, Herman Pottratz".

Town resident, Jeff Budish, resident, spoke about the Tyco contamination saying, " Who is going to recoup all the property loss values and losses"? With the decreased property values due to the contamination, people will not be able to sell their homes". Wiedemeier responded, "We are hoping Cedar Corp can help with that"

Concerned area citizen, Mary Hansen also commented on the contamination with, "Fact is that Tyco knew in 2014 about this and they didn't stop until three years later. This is nothing less than criminal because they did know about it. That's all I have to say".

The annual meeting then ended with a motion to close the Annual Town Meeting and move forward into the monthly Town board meeting by Wendell Johnson and seconded by Chuck Boyle.

The gavel was then handed over to the new Chairman, Herman Pottratz, once again taking the lead for the Town. Before continuing with the meeting, Pottratz reviewed some items on the agenda, removing the 'Update on well water testing ongoing in the Town of Peshtigo', due to Tyco unable to attend and a separate meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m. 'Discussion/ action on snowplowing contract for June 1, 2019 thru May 31, 2022' was removed and will be added to the May agenda and also removed was the agenda item to 'Redo front page of news letter and send out to Town residents'. After discussion, it was decided not to redo the page due to the cost of $1,200 to send out one page to correct the Town Chairperson name on the page. Pottratz, said it is not necessary to spend that amount just to change a name and Treasurer, Vilas Schroeder pointed out that the phone number is the same, it would just be a name change.

In Public Comment, resident Jeff Budish again spoke on the Tyco water issue. He asked, "When are the PFA's going to be eliminated"? "We need third party involvement and environmental studies on the effects it has on deer, animals and fish, we need to step up now"! "There are 167 houses contaminated, who is going to buy these properties? We need these addressed now! For two years people have been drinking bottled water and they can't water their gardens". Pottratz responded with, I urge you to attend the Thursday, April 18 meeting at 6 p.m. being held at the Town Hall by Tyco.

Some minor agenda items approved included, write off of personal property tax for Malagi Corp. of $5.83 from 2018; acceptance of the appointment of Darla Jean Springer as election inspector and approval to appoint two commission members, Grace Pennings and Dale Edlebeck for the Fire Commission.

Coble announced, Cindy Gressel retired as Chief Election Inspector due to moving to Michigan. He said, "She will be missed and we now need to find a replacement".

There were two agenda items for pay adjustments including an increase for Deputy Clerk/ Treasurer and Office Assistant and also for road crew Personnel. Discussed and approved was an increase for Deputy Clerk, Nikki Dionne of $2.00 per hour and an additional 2 days of vacation for a total of 5 days vacation time.

After a brief discussion, it was also approved for an increase for employee, Keith Shallow of an additional $2.00 per hour bringing his hourly rate to $22 per hour and an additional five days of vacation to give him 10 days of paid vacation. A suggested increase for a second road crew personnel will be discussed at the next meeting, along with other personnel increases, in order not to miss anyone who may be eligible for an increase.

In other news, Rich Seills announced, "The Town Fire Department took delivery of the UTV about two weeks ago, the UTV is in service and the Fire Department is trained on its use. The department is still deciding on the best skid unit to purchase for the UTV and may have it narrowed down to a unit made by Stainless and Repair Company at a cost with the Skid unit, installation of radio, a trailer and upgrades to the UTV of $17,700 minus $2,000 for a trailer trade in bringing the final cost to $15,700 which is in the budget.

Seils gave his report stating there was one vehicle crash called in but no incident was found, a semi was leaking gas, two grass fires and one MABAS call for a structure fire in the Town of Little River in Oconto County. He also reported the Dudka family donated $500 in honor/memory of Alex Dudka who passed away Jan. 4, 2019 and was the longest member of the Fire Department.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 21.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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