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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Water Issue Hot Topic At Town Board Meeting

Issue Date: May 22, 2019

The contaminated water issue was a hot topic at the Town of Peshtigo Board meeting on Tuesday, May 21. The absence of any reference of the Tyco update, which was a constant on the monthly agenda, and the contracted services of Cedar Corp environmental consulting firm as well as the Citizen Advisory Board that were not included in the monthly agenda even though they were both approved at the April 16 Board meeting.

At the April meeting, resident, Chuck Boyle presented a Resolution of Electors stating, "Be it resolved, that we, the Town Electors of the Town of Peshtigo, being duly assembled at the annual town meeting on April 16, 2019, do herby authorize the town board of the Town of Peshtigo to maintain the contracted services of Cedar Corporation or another environmental consulting firm, to assist the Town with water supply and water quality issues due to the Tyco/Johnson Controls situation as is deemed appropriate by the Town Board. This resolution shall have continuing and ongoing effect until rescinded by the electors at a town meeting called for such purpose by at least the number of electors who voted for the original resolution". The resolution was approved by the board.

Also at the April meeting, Marsha Rettke, town resident, made a motion to form a Citizen Advisory Group to work with Cedar Corporation along with residents of those living in the affected areas of the contamination by Tyco. Rettke made a motion to accept and Trygve Rhude seconded. This was also approved by the board at the April meeting.

In public comment, City of Peshtigo resident, Andi Rich voiced her disappointment that there was nothing on the agenda concerning the Tyco water update and the Cedar Corp and Citizen Advisory Group.

Rich addressed Chairman Herman Pottratz saying, "I am disappointed with the lack of anything on the agenda for the Tyco water update, nor Cedar Corp or the Citizen Advisory Group. A lot still needs to be done by you so we can move forward in an intelligent manner. If you don't have these updates on the agenda, you are not doing your job. Your town has poison all over and you don't have it on the agenda. This is too important of an issue not to have updates, this should be on the agenda for every meeting".

Rettke also addressed Pottratz stating, "The Citizens Advisory Committee was approved at last months meeting, What is happening with that? I have seen no action of the committee at all. We have been dealing with the water issue for 18 months, this is a serious issue that needs attention. What happened to the Consultant, I don't see anything on the agenda for that either, nor a Tyco update. You represent us, it's not your personal opinion, keep that in mind".

Resident Chuck Boyle, echoed Rettke's concerns saying, "The resolution is in print and voted on, why is it not on the agenda to discuss the Citizens Advisory Committee"?

Pottratz responded with, "We are looking for help, we do have lawyers working on it and have not been sitting and letting this pass us by". He continued with, "We cannot respond to public comment, we are working on this".

Rich commented, "We already have a resolution to act on. Can you promise me this will be on next months agenda"? Pottratz responded with, "Can you promise me you will leave the room when you are done with your three minutes"?

Rich then responded with, "Herman, I think you should step down. Why are you not helping your people"? Pottratz replied, "It is not on the agenda tonight, if you don't like it you can leave the room". Rich then said, "I have a problem with you not giving an update. If you are not willing to do what it takes to help your people, then you should step down. You have a resolution to act on".

Rich pointed out that Pottratz could suspend the rules and provide an update since Tyco representatives, Jim Cox and Scott Wahl are present and Pottratz declined to do that.

Rich then took Pottratz's suggestion and left the meeting, followed shortly after by Cox and Wahl.

In other water issue concerns, resident Paula Meintz voiced her opinion of the choice between deep wells and municipal water, mentioning the municipal water source versus wells is a better choice with municipal water guarantees us of having good water where as wells having the possibility of good or bad water. The municipal water source will raise the value of homes without the worry of wells possibly getting contaminated again in the future.

Later in the meeting, Pottratz commented Johnson Control Inc. (JCI) is a big company and the board is trying to work with them but so far no checks have come in and nothing has been paid. "They will pay and the foam coming down the river in Peshtigo will stop. They were dumping in the Peshtigo River, but that won't be happening anymore".

In other news, the Snowplowing contract with Road King was unanimously approved for a three year contract from June 1, 2019 thru May 31, 2022 at the same cost as prior. This was an extension of the previous contract.

With comments at the April meeting about boats going too fast on the Bay and ruining the shoreline, of which was discussed at the Marinette County Board meeting and turned over to the Town of Peshtigo, the Town will be drafting a no wake zone on the lower Peshtigo River.

Supervisor John Drees said, "I talked to a lot of people that live in the area and also received pictures of the damage that will be presented to the DNR for an ordinance to be drafted".

Clerk Clarence Coble commented, "There is a 60 day waiting period through the DNR and after that we can get signs made". Pottratz mentioned, the City of Peshtigo is also thinking of doing the same for their portion of the river. If they choose to do so, the ordinances have to be the same. Coble will get ahold of Mayor Cathi Malke and work with her to adopt the same ordinance. A motion was then made to go forward with the no wake ordinance.

Another ordinance was approved pertaining to the DNR shooting range off Harbor Road in the Town of Peshtigo to regulate the time frame the range is open, along with new amended rules and regulations.

At present, there is shooting going on at all hours of the evening, including after dark and late into the evening hours. The DNR is willing to go along with the ordinance and will set the hours of when the range can be used. Rules and regulations will be drawn up by the DNR and they are also willing to pay someone to enforce the rules if need be.

Pottratz announced that there are rumors out there that the ATV trails have been approved. At this point they are not approved, we found out there is more that has to be done, including signage. A special meeting will be held, tentatively setup for Thursday, May 30 at 5 p.m., if it can be co-ordinated with the DNR.

Fire Chief Mike Folgert reported the Fire Department responded to several fire calls including, four vehicle crashes, two involving extractions, two grass fires, two City of Marinette assists, one for water in a basement, one for smoke in a residence and one water rescue.

Folgert also reported there are five newly certified fire fighters, four fire fighters at state level two, eight signed up for a driver/operator class at NWTC and two in fire officer training. He also stated there is a waiting list for folks wanting to be on the department, which is a nice problem to have. They would need to be trained, but it is not in the budget at this point.

With a harsh winter and spring there is lots of cleanup to be done and the Highway Department is asking for residents to be patient. They are working on the cleanup and maintenance of roads but it will take some time.

The next monthly Town of Peshtigo meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 18. As a reminder, a tentative meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 30 at 5 p.m. for discussion of the ATV trails. The final meeting date and time will be posted in the Peshtigo Times and the EH Extra along with being posted at the Town Hall, City Limits Gas Station and Golden Sands Gas Station.


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