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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Marinette Council Says No To Proposed Water Resolution

Issue Date: July 8, 2021

Council Chambers had almost a full house at the City of Marinette Council meeting on Tuesday, July 6.

Present were many Town of Peshtigo residents along with Town of Peshtigo Chairman and Supervisors to discuss the last item on the agenda 'Resolution No. 10-2021 regarding Municipal Water Service and the Town of Peshtigo'. The resolution was in reference to not going forward with providing water to the Town of Peshtigo residents.

Several Town of Peshtigo residents and Supervisors took the podium when it came to the Public Comment portion of the meeting, starting with Water Specialist Jeffrey LaMont saying, "I live in the Town of Peshtigo about a 1/4 mile from the City of Marinette border. I was wondering if there is some misinformation about the resolution. In reading the resolution it almost implied there was some kind of financial responsibility. This is to be completely paid for 100% to extend the city water by Tyco and it would be a continued revenue source for the city to sell water to the town in this situation. It's a win-win for everybody. It is hard for municipalities to find a constant revenue source and this IS a constant revenue source and a long-term contract for bulk water. You have a surplus of it and it makes sense to me. We are neighbors, these are people you know, you work with, you live with, family, you go to Church with, and you're going to turn your back not even to sit down at the table to discuss this. I just don't understand what is going on here with this resolution and why it would be proposed by the City!"

Town of Peshtigo Chairperson Cindy Boyle said, â€My husband and I own several parcels within the City of Marinette. I was very disappointed and caught off guard to see a resolution presented like this. I would implore all of you to give very thoughtful consideration to it and not remove the City from the conversation before the city even has an opportunity for a conversation to even begin. The Town of Peshtigo is creating a summit for all stakeholders to attend around one table with all the stakeholders. This resolution removes that possibility without even getting out of the gate. Why would you even consider shutting down the possibility of being there to support your neighbors and community for being a pathway which would also be a pathway for. revenue to the city. I would ask you not to vote yes for this resolution before you at least have an opportunity to get to the table and have a conversation. If there are too many roadblocks and it doesn't look advantageous for the City that is entirely different but lets at least have a conversation and see where we can find some common ground. I ask for your consideration to please vote "No" for this resolution".

Next up was Kayla Furton, Town of Peshtigo Board Supervisor. I am extremely committed to the well-being of our collective communities as a resident, a parent, and a local educator. The proposed resolution on your agenda tonight leaves an attempt to extract the City of Marinette from any discussion problem solving or solutions for long term safe drinking water for TOP residents In regards to Tyco/JCI, this proposed resolution or a stated solution of the City of Marinette municipal water to solve this problem has not yet been established or planned. In regards to City, I can understand the Cities desire not to have to deal with the aspect of contamination. Trust me I would love to not have to deal with it for myself and my children but we are all here. I cannot understand the unwillingness to work together for a positive outcome for all of our local communities. The only truly viable chance we have for a positive outcome is to work together. Any action for one community should not come at a cost or detriment to any other, so if extending Municipal water or bulk water is not in the cities best interest then I absolutely accept that and support that because no entity other than the responsible party should hold the weight of the cost of the solution. We are faced with massive PFAS contamination that was originated within the city. None of us caused or asked for this but we are now tasked with working for a positive outcome for our collective communities, our families, and the future of this area. If we do not work together I believe we will fail, so I am asking for you to vote against the resolution tonight.

Kristin Edgar Town Supervisor said, â€This resolution is concerning to me because we are cutting off the discussion. We have known for some time that the City of Marinette is the most viable solution to clean water and the quickest path for residents that are impacted and it doesn't make sense to take it off the table without a discussion. I am asking and echoing the same thing as the others that spoke because this resolution eliminates communication, cooperation, and any discussion. I feel before you put this resolution forward you should have a conversation with the board and Tyco. Let's work together as a community and see if we can resolve this. It's not about the government entities, it is about the people that are impacted. That is who comes first and that is who we should all be put firstâ€.

Town resident, Ruth Kowalski commented, "My property borders the city limits so I have more options than my other neighbors. I taught in this area for 35 years, I am worried about all of our children. We have a new reliable board and new members that are very reasonable. If this in some way would hinder or hurt the City of Marinette, I would understand you would deny this, but I also feel we need to sit down NOW as a group, listen to everyone's concerns and what we are looking for and if this is not the best option for the city then you should not because I don't feel this should be a cost to the city either".

Marinette City resident Pam Goes then spoke, "I am no stranger to this process. you just need to listen to what we have to say. I think the city only has everything to gain. The responsible party is here to try to make a wrong a right. To turn your back on your friends, your neighbors, and perfect strangers and tell them you are not willing to look at clean water for them, come on, I implore you to do the right thing. Have a discussion with them, hear what they have to say, but to cut the people off from the possibility to have clean water? Please explain to us why you would even entertain a resolution like that.

Scott Wahl resident of Marinette, represented Tyco by saying â€I come before you on behalf of Tyco and we ask that the proposed resolution be tabled and the City remain open in engaging with other parties to help meet our need and our neighbors need for permanent clean drinking water solution. Tyco is grateful to this council for your work together with us as we strive to understand and tackle our PFAS problem from our work at our Fire Training Center (FTC). We are proud of our life-saving work done at the FTC and we take responsibility for the PFAS from our operation. As this council is aware, we now have underway a major remediation effort to capture, treat and remove PFAS from the groundwater and soil. We know the PFAS from Tyco's operation has affected the private water wells of 183 residents and businesses in the Town of Peshtigo, giving a need to provide these residents with a long-term solution for clean drinking water. Several studies were done to review the options and identify the best solution. Based on the findings received Tyco is committed to paying for the construction of the municipal water lines to provide our neighbors with a permanent source of clean safe drinking water. Further, we state publicly, we are prepared to come to the table and discuss all costs associated with the long-term clean drinking water solution. Let me underscore that, should the city decide to be involved in this project it would be at no cost to the city. Tyco has made it clear that we don't want to replace water issues with an economic burden for the City, Town, or Residents. We understand the City of Marinette's frustration with the lack of progress on this issue but also feel that the momentum seems to be building to work towards a solution. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has recently responded positively to Tyco's request that they lead a series of discussions with interested parties as soon as possible to identify a path forward agreeable to all. Tyco has committed to pay for the facilitator and assist the DNR to ensure a fair open discussion option for all parties. This Council has been instrumental in moving solutions to the PFAS path forward and we respectively ask you continue that same vein, table the resolution for now, but instead, come together with other parties to explore potential pathways and solutions.

Later in the meeting, there was much discussion from Council members about the resolution, including Alderman Doug Oitzinger stating, "Ruekert Mielke reviewed all the options, but Council was never provided with a copy of the results and we never met for a final discussion, but yet the resolution is saying we are not interested in providing water to those affected. We have the opportunity to engage in discussion and communication with the Town of Peshtigo".

Mayor Steve Genisot replied, "We haven't been asked by the past or present board. It has been 90 days since the election and the new board has not approached us. It is not the cities job to tell the town, it is the town's interworking to tell us what they want, what is the best for their residents. If they are not going to ask us, we need to make it clear what our requirements are. With nothing coming from the town, we have to look at what's best for Marinette.

Alderman Jeff Skorik added, "We all have friends or family in the affected area. It is a difficult decision to say we are not going to have a discussion with these folks. I don't think the city should put themselves in a position that we will not have an open-door discussion with our neighbors. Because of that, I will have to vote no to the resolution".

Oitzinger interjected I've never known it to be a bad thing to keep the dialogue open a little longer". Skorik added, "We have heard from the Town of Peshtigo and they want to have a dialogue with us. They have come here, we have come here, we want to discuss this. To say you don't want to consider with dialogue doesn't seem like a possible solution".

After the discussion ended, the Resolution did not pass.






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