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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Middle Inlet May Sell Pines Road Fire Station

Issue Date: March 15, 2019

Among items on the agenda for the Middle Inlet Town board meeting at 7:30 p.m.Thursday, March 14 is the possibility of setting a date for a special town meeting at which electors will be asked to give the board permission to sell the fire department sub-station at N9251 Pines road.

Also on the agenda in addition to routine items is adoption of a resolution to officially designate a 4-rod town road right of way between the west portion of the improved section of Raven Road and junction with the east end of the improved section of Wayside Road.

The largely unimproved town road right of way had come up for discussion at the regular monthly board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 14, when the new owner of the property that contains half the 64-foot width expressed concern over intentions of the town to fill in some holes made by a previous owner and additional mucky areas if the DNR will allow it. The plan would be to make the right of way more friendly to the ATVs, horses and pedestrians who currently use it.

Due to the fact that there is no recorded deed as to a right of way, the property owner claims ownership of his portion of the right of way and indicated his intent to close it to public access.  The threat of court action was indicated.

It was noted that a previous owner had excavated portions of the road bed in order to prevent use and the town has been in the process of repairing these sections.

The new owner was told at the Feb. 14 meeting that this road has been a public thoroughfare for about a hundred years. In the early years it was the main road access to the highway for all the properties that abut it.

Clerk/Treasurer Charles Stanek said under Wisconsin law, public thoroughfares that have been used for a specific number of years for public travel are considered roads, and are considered to have a 4-rod right of way unless there is documentation otherwise. Stanek felt this is made clear in Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 82, which addresses road right of way issues.

Town Chair Richard Wade and Supervisors Ron Wenzel and Donald Van agreed the parcel, 33-feet wide and extending the length of the 80-acre property, needs to be kept as public right of way, and that the matter should be further researched to reduce legal expenses incurred by the town in the event that court actions are initiated.

Also at the Feb. 14 meeting, Wade had reported the new owners of "problem properties" at N9224 and N9236 Ellis Lane had agreed to raze the structures and clean up the properties as directed, and promised that work will start as soon as weather permits.

However, Wade asked that this be added to the agenda at the Friday, March 1 special meeting that was called to deal with other matters. After brief discussion the board approved his request for action allowing legal counsel to proceed with compliance action, whereby the razing is to be completed by May 1.  Motion to so amend was made by Wenzel, seconded by Van, and approved without dissent.

In other action at the March 1 special meeting, fire department members presented a proposal for replacing the Equipment Van, as well as literature and specifications on a replacement unit, a 2003 Taylor Freightliner Rescue, located in Mississippi.  List price is $85,000. Following a review of the department's concerns and needs, board members unanimously authorized fire department staff to travel to Mississippi to evaluate the unit and buy it if they find it acceptable. The permission includes authorization to secure a $50,000 loan to help pay for it.  Principal and Interest payment are to be due on Feb. 1, 2020.


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