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LIFE SAVER"At the Marinette county Board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 29, Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve, left, presented a Life saver Award to Deputy Patrick Callahan, right. Sauve said Oct. 6 Marinette County dispatchers received a call reporting a man had suffered a gunshot wound to his chest in a hunting accident on Moonshine Hill Road, west of Middle Inlet. He had been struck with shot from a 3 1/2 inch shell from a 12-gauge shotgun. Deputy Callahan arrived in seven minutes, and used his training and equipment and supplies he carried with him to save the man's life. Sauve said Callahan recognized the injury as "a sucking chest wound," which caused the chest cavity to fill with fluids and can be very fatal. Deputy Callahan's skills kept the man alive until the rescue squad arrived. He was flown with the flight for life and is now recovering. Deputy Callahan was presented with a plaque and a uniform stripe, and a plaque honoring him will be displayed in the law enforcement building, Sauve said. Asked to comment, Deputy Callahan said simply, "It's an honor and a privilege to serve you."

County Board Adopts 2020 Budget Without Dissent

Issue Date: October 31, 2019

With little discussion and no dissent, Marinette County Board on Tuesday, Oct. 29 approved the 2020 budget as proposed and presented by County Administrator John LeFebvre and Finance Director Laura Mans.

As approved, the budget brings an overall 3.8 cents per $1,000 reduction in the county property tax rate, and provides $6.25 million for remodeling and renovation of the Ella Court Building (the old jail and law enforcement center adjacent to the courthouse) and $3.2 million for early repayment of some of the county's existing long-term debt.

The net operating tax levy of $16,279,312 is supported by a tax rate of $4,154 per $1,000, and an additional 25 cents per $1,000 is levied for debt reduction. Total equalized value of the county is $3,919,932,900, of which 2,825,116,100 is in towns and the remainder is in cities and villages. Only towns are assessed for county aid for bridges and culverts, for which the budget provides $86,724 in 2020, at a rate of 3 cents per $1,000.

Approval came after a 10 a.m. budget hearing during the regular monthly County Board meeting that started at 9 a.m. No one from the public spoke for or against the proposed budget.

Board members praised LeFebvre and Mans for their work on the budget, and LeFebvre asked Supervisors to thank Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger and the staff for their hard work putting together the county's budget.

The meeting began with public comments from Town of Stephenson residents Linda Krzewina and David Gressen, urging the county to make provisions for plowing County Forest Roads that provide access to private residences. Both said private citizens cannot hire anyone to snow plow county owned roads, and reminded supervisors of the liability the county might incur by not maintaining its County Forest roads. Krzewina pointed out the county put gravel last year on Forest Road 1630 that serves her home and the Walleye Run subdivision were Gressen lives.

Lara Lakari, an employee of Stephenson Public Library, spoke on the importance of libraries for everyone, but particularly for children. "Technology does us no good without literacy," she declared. A few months ago there had been very brief consideration of some cuts to the county's library budget, but the idea had been quickly discarded She was assured by LeFebvre and Board Chair Mark Anderson that the library budget is safe. Anderson commented that nevertheless he likes hearing about activities at the library.

Land Information Office Administrator Greg Cleereman introduced new 4-H Program Coordinator Aimee Elkins who replaces the vacancy left when Ben Hoppe resigned. She will serve Oconto and Marinette County 4-H programs. Elkins said she grew up in the rural Oconto area and had formerly been employed in Social Services. "I'm excited to serve where I have a positive impact," she declared.

The board packet included a long list of positions to be filled on various county committees and councils, and LeFebvre asked supervisors to talk to people who might be interested in serving an ask them to get in touch with him.

Renovation of the Ella Court building will move a long swiftly. LeFebvre said, they plan to have bid documents ready by Monday. Nov. 11, advertise for bids from then until Dec. 9, award bids on Dec. 17, and be ready to start construction in January with final completion expected in fall of 2020. He said they had scaled back some of the plans for the green roof to keep it under the amount of square footage that would have required an additional outside staircase. He is hopeful he City of Marinette will approve vacating Ella Court street.

At the end of the meeting supervisors reported on information gleaned by attending the Wisconsin Counties Association convention, and had considerable discussion on how future economic development should be handled for the county. A new Bay Lake study report with economic development recommendations is to be presented to the board in December.

LeFebvre explained his recommendation to create a position within the Parks Department for a person who will be responsible for attracting visitors to county-owned facilities, mainly the county parks and campgrounds.

Supervisor Bonnie Popp noted the importance of promoting tourism and wondered if the budget should make better provisions for that.

Actions of the board, in addition to adopting the budget, included approval of a contract with Elexco Incorporated at a cost of $197,553 to construct a fiber optic communications line between county facilities within the city of Marinette; authorizing County Clerk Kathy Brandt to apply for an Election Security grant of up to $1,200 for computer hardware, professional IT support and travel or staff costs associated with election security training; and entering an agreement with Transcendent software for land information at a cost of $250,000 plus three year maintenance of $39,200 and an additional annual maintenance of $3,000, plus add on of a Non-Metallic Mining module at no cost; approving several Health and Human Services agreements, including a Transportation Grant administration contract for Elderly Services for approximately $151,553 for one year.


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