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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Middle Inlet Board Seeks To Exceed State Levy Limit

Issue Date: October 21, 2021

At their Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing proceedings in November, Town of Middle Inlet electors will be asked to allow the Town Board to set a tax levy that slightly exceeds the increase limits set by state statutes. A resolution approved at the monthly town board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14 asks for a levy of $499,310 to support the 2022 budget. This is $29,892 above last year's levy. If electors refuse to allow exceeding the levy limit, the levy can be no more than $469,993, which is only $1,877.15 more than last year.

Levy limits allow municipalities to raise the tax levy only by the percentage of change in equalized value due to net new construction less improvements removed, and for Middle Inlet that amount was only 0.401% last year.

At a 2-hour budget workshop meeting starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4 Town Chair Rich Wade and Supervisor Don Van struggled to come up with a balanced budget with only the allowable $1,877.15 increase and ended by concluding that it is in the town's best interest to exceed the allowable levy increase. Present for that meeting were Wade, Van, Clerk/Treasurer Patricia Schutte and Fire Chief Jon Kleuskens. Supervisor Chuck Stanek was absent due to illness.

All board members were present for the Sept. 14 regular board meeting. Before calling for a vote on the tax levy resolution, Wade explained the prices of everything have gone up, so they need to either raise the levy or take out a loan to keep up with the services provided. The enabling resolution was approved without dissent.

Before the vote, Schutte commented one good thing is that Middle Inlet is debt-free. She said at the Annual Meeting voters can either accept or reject the resolution, and if they reject it, the board has to cut back in the budget. Legal notifications must be published at least 15 days prior to the meeting, which was set to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11.

The board scheduled a special meeting for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 to approve a resolution requesting Bridge Aid for the long-awaited culvert construction on Camp 5 Road, which turned out to be an involved and costly venture due to DNR regulations because the creek is a Class A trout stream. In his monthly road report Wade announced the project has been completed, and again expressed thanks to adjoining property owner Mark Van Der Zee "for generously helping out the town with this project." He said had Van Der Zee not let them use his land to temporarily reroute the creek they would not have been able to do the project at all. As it is, because of redesigns caused by DNR rules, the project cost $37,000 more than it originally was supposed to cost.

Schutte reported the town will be getting a total of $86,456 in ARPA funds from the Federal government over a two-year period. They have received the first one, and the second is coming next year. Wade wanted to use it on roads to help the town recover from the Camp Five project cost. Stanek and Van agreed, and a motion to that effect was approved.

Theft and/or vandalism of road signs has been a continuing problem in the town, and Wade issued a reminder that the town's offer of a $1,000 reward for anyone reporting an incident that leads to someone being convicted of taking or damaging road signs in Middle Inlet remains in effect. He said all of the signs that were missing have been replaced, and out dated signs on Lake Mary Road, including Dead End, Bridge Crossing and boat launching signs have been replaced.

Shouldering has been completed on Wayside and Ledvina roads. Immediately following grading, base work will start on Section Three of Wayside Road, for a distance of approximately 3,750 feet. The surface will be scarified and limestone applied after which it will be allowed to sit through the winter to allow deadheads to work their way to the surface before the road is paved next year. Wade said it now costs about $165,000 to re-do a mile of road that used to cost $120,000.

Stanek reported the new boiler has been installed in the town hall and the new lawn over the septic tank is looking good.

During financial reports at the start of the meeting Stanek thanked Schutte for listing income as well as expenditures, which he had requested several times, and again at the September meeting. However, he suggested every revenue should have a numbered receipt. Schutte said she puts the amount paid right into Quick Books and asked him to stop at her office to explain what he means. Stanek was town clerk/Treasurer for many years prior to being elected as a supervisor.

By unanimous vote the board agreed to again have Marinette County handle property tax collections. Cost is the same as last year, 85 cents per parcel plus a $250 administrative fee.

Kleuskens reported the Fire Department;'s new dive team is almost certified to go to depths of 115 feet, and is doing very well. The department had no fire calls in the past month. Hose testing was done, and after ladder tests are done this week all tests will be done for the year. The 6-month fire inspections have started and are going well.

Signs and surveillance cameras posted at the Recycling Center seem to have done their job, as for the first time in a long while no garbage was dropped off there after hours.

Van reminded everyone that garbage collection in the town goes to every other week starting on Nov. 1. He said there will be pickup on the Mondays after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As authorized at a special town board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 30, legal action is being pursued in regard to "problem properties" owned by Wendy (Gribben) Klawitter at W7382 County X and Cynthia Magerowski at W7586 County X has been sent an official notice of ordinance violation with legal action to follow if she does not comply.

The board approved the new redistricting as recommended by Marinette County as a result of the 2020 census. Little was changed for Middle Inlet.

Also approved was the 2022 contract with Crivitz Rescue Squad for emergency medical services. The price increased from $3,076 last year to $7,690 for 2022. "Things like this are one of the reasons we have to have to raise the levy," Wade commented. Crivitz Rescue Squad serves the entire Town of Middle Inlet except for a small corner that is served by Wausaukee Rescue Squad.


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