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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Town of Peshtigo Residents Question Chairperson On Contaminated Water

Issue Date: February 21, 2018

In public comment at the Town of Peshtigo Board Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, Chuck Boyle asked, "Why was there no representation by the Town of Peshtigo at the meeting held by Arcadis and Tyco at Little River Country Club on Jan. 23"?

Chairperson Denise Wiedemeier didn't address why no-one attended but responded by saying, "Our attorney is in contact with Tyco and the Town doesn't have jurisdiction or know enough about it. Town property is not affected by ground water but private property is and once the properties ditches are contaminated, then town officials will be on top of it. We can't tell the property owners what to do with their property. The landowner and Tyco are responsible for communicating with each other. We are not obligated to answer these questions, this is not on the agenda".

Boyle replied with, "The City of Westfield, Mass. is suing over contamination, which was reported in a local paper last week".

Wiedemeier said, "A city is different than a Township. A city has one central system for water and a township has individual personally owned wells."

Boyle commented, "The Town adopted the state statues, they should be protecting the residents".

Wiedemeier replied, "The Town can't get involved in individual land owners situations. They don't own the property so they can't take a stand on it because it is personal property. The Town has been advised not to get involved".

Boyle responded, "The Town of Peshtigo should support their people. They adopted the Health and Safety Code of Ordinances and they should be followed"

Wiedemeier ended with, "We don't have the answers and we can't answer these questions".

Another resident said, "The Town needs to take a stand on this issue and needs to put pressure on the DNR".

Wiedemeier said, "I talk to the DNR three times per week and Tyco calls about once per week".

Boyle asked, "Then why aren't you sharing this information with the Board Supervisors and the Town residents? They should be aware of the findings".

Wiedemeier responded with, "I can't talk to the Supervisors other than at the meetings. If I have any new information, I will put it on the agenda and address at the next meeting".

A concerned resident said he has contacted the phone numbers provided by Tyco to have his well tested a couple of times with no response. They have not called back to make an appointment.

Wiedemeier said, "You have a right to have your well tested. Call them back and if you don't hear anything call the Town of Peshtigo and we will get our lawyer to address it".

Boyle also directed a statement to Wiedemeier to take inventory of where the foams have been used when fighting fires in the town to see if those areas were affected by the foam that was used.

After the meeting, Wiedemeier talked to Boyle and asked "What do you want me to do"?

Boyle said, "Enforce the code of ordinances of the State Statues that were adopted by the Town".

Again she asked the same question and Boyle responded "The Town should be enforcing this ordinance for the residents and should be reaching out to an environmentalist like the City of Marinette did if you don't have the answers and get the answers".

The standards Boyle was referring to are found in Chapter 20 Environmental and Chapter 26 referencing "groundwater protection standards, Wis. Stats. 160.001 et seq. with a definition of: "The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning: Health and safety hazard means an object, act, occupation, condition, use or property which shall continue for such length of time as to substantially annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public or in any way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property. For further information refer to the Town of Peshtigo website under Town Ordinances.

Fire Chief Mike Folgert in his report, stated after 35 years, Mark Monnette retired from the Town of Peshtigo Fire Department and he will be missed. The department added three new firefighters, now having four in training. Their roster of firefighters is now at 25.

Folgert said, "We were called out on 11 fire calls, including four vehicle fires, two structure fires, assisting the City of Marinette with the old knitting mill building for seven hours and then the Dun Rite fire for eight hours.

Wiedemeier made an announcement that the new Fire Department sign is installed on the building and Folgert added the sign was done locally at half the bid price than other non-local companies.

Clerk Clarence Coble announced that there is new criteria for Emergency Management and if there would be another emergency situation like the storm damage of last year, they need to follow the guidelines in the Emergency Management Manual. They are still in the finishing stages of documenting and putting together a grant from last years storm damage and it is almost completed. Nikkee Dionne, Administrative Assistant will be meeting with Kathy Frank, Marinette County Emergency Management Program Assistant/County Public Information Officer, the week of Feb. 26 to finalize the grant paperwork and submit it.

Coble commented, "For future reference, everything has to be documented, including man hours, time, equipment used, who was using the equipment and how long. Pictures also need to be taken of the damage and of street signs in the area. Documentation is very important in submitting a grant and we need to document the who, what, when and where on everything".

It was approved for Dionne and Elizabeth Monnette, Assistant Town Treasuer, to attend a UW-Green Bay clerks/treasurers institute on July 15 through 20 at a cost of $472 each plus mileage and lodging.

The Town of Peshtigo newsletter will be completed and sent out soon. Also, Coble mentioned the new fire number signs will be offered for purchase at a special price of $25.

Department and Committee reports were given by each department head. Building and Grounds Supervisor Dan Staudenmeier commented, being the winter season, they are maintenance free at this time. Recycling Supervisor Daniel VanBeek reported recycling is operating as it should and the ramp is working out good. Roads Supervisor Tom Holterman stated they will address the gravel problems on Kozuzek Road by putting recycled blacktop on the area of concern and Constable Rick Badgley stated everything was pretty quiet with no issues.

The next Town Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 20.






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