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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Surveying Hot Topic At Town Of Peshtigo

Issue Date: June 20, 2019

Jeff Lamont, a Hydrogeologist (Water Specialist), introduced himself as the spokesperson for the Citizens Committee pertaining to water quality problems in the Town of Peshtigo at the Town Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 18. He said, "The committee met a couple of times and we have an 11 person group consisting of teachers, scientists and residents within the plume as well as those not within the plume. Our goal is to work towards continuous water quality in the community for now and in the future". The group intends to be an informational resource for the community with collaboration and communication and want to remain respectful and transparent, have open and honest communication, engage with the community to educate and empower and be solution focused.

The main discussion at the meeting was water issues the town is experiencing with the Tyco contamination along with partnering with Cedar Corp, a consulting firm, to assist the Town with the best route to take in assuring the town has quality drinking water for now and in the future.

On the Agenda first was Scott Wahl, Engineering Manager from Tyco, he said, "We are looking for access to the Town Roads and property to continue surveys in the Town of Peshtigo. We can't make any progress until we are allowed access to survey. In order for us to do anything we have to do surveys".

Town resident, Joe Wilke asked Chairman Herman Pottratz, "Why does Tyco need permission to be on Town property? They are trying to be fair and upfront and you are not being fair". Jim Cox, Tyco Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, interjected, "We just need access to see where pipes can be laid". Wahl said, "We promised people to resolve the water issues by 2020 so we need to keep moving on this project".

Pottratz was resistant to Tyco's request thinking they are forcing Marinette City Water line hookup as a resolution to the water issues. He said, "The Advisory Committee Group just got started and you are here trying to force a decision on us".

Wahl said, "No matter which route you go with we have to do surveys to know what the next steps are to take".

Resident and business owner, Dan Biehl questioned Pottratz, "They just need to survey no matter what. Why can't you just give them permission, they are only getting information for elevation". Wilke asked Pottratz, "If it is ok with Cedar Corp is it ok with you?" Pottratz again resisted to give access. Supervisor Dan Staudenmeier then made a motion to give permission to do the surveys and was seconded by Supervisor Tom Holterman.

Attorney David Spangenberg said he spoke to Tyco's Attorney for an amendment for access and if approved there is no issue other than how long it will last, which needs to be amended to three weeks and not one year.

Pottratz addressed Wahl and asked, "What about information that was requested by us?" Wahl responded with, "This has nothing do do with the survey. You are making assumptions of where the water will be coming from, may be Peshtigo, may be Marinette, we haven't gotten that far yet, no matter what route we take, we need to survey".

Biehl asked Wahl, "Your survey has to assume a source, right?" Wahl responded, "It is just a design system and we can pull from wherever".

Jeff Lamont then asked Wahl, "If you are doing a survey do you have a planned out route? I would like a map showing the proposed route". Wahl stated he would provide Lamont with a map.

Discussion then turned to Cedar Corp. Staudenmeier stated "At the last meeting we hired Cedar Corp to assist with the water issues for the study of deep well option or the City of Peshtigo water system. If the town approves the proposal can Cedar Corp do their work"?

Attorney Spangenberg said, "We are trying to get a reimbursement agreement with Tyco. The issue with Tyco is the dollar amount to be used. We know that it won't be enough. We have to amend the contract or we will run out of that money. At present, the amount is $10,000 and if we get short of the $10,000 mark, we re-up and do it again and so on. Tyco thought there would be some savings with work being done by Arcadis that Cedar Corp could use, but the Peshtigo plan was not in with the Arcadis plan. I talked to Pottratz today and we need to have a meeting in session as a legal issue".

Jeff Lamont addressed Wahl and Cox, saying, "We see what kind of money is being reimbursed to City of Marinette, Why are you not wanting to pay the Town of Peshtigo and keeping the amount very low?" Wahl responded, "We are starting with $10,000 and are supporting the Town".

Town resident Cindy Boyle said, "The town needs to keep in mind this is something as simple as not allowing the survey, that may be leverage you have to get that contract signed. It is not reasonable to set a limit. We should not be worried about if Tyco thinks it is reasonable. I think they should reimburse the town. Whatever we spend they are paying!"

Pottratz said, "A scope of work went to Attorney Spangenberg and we may be able to provide some information without redoing. Tyco wants to control the attorney".

Spangenberg said, "We have to come to a decision. We have a $50,000 estimate and know that $10,000 wont cut it. We are committed to Cedar Corp and once we get the ok, there is no way of putting a limit on this". Wahl responded, $10,000 was tentative. Jeff Lamont said, "That's not a bottom line, that is not enough" and Boyle said, "This is a good will gesture only by Tyco".

Wilke said, "You need to tell Cedar Corp what we want them to do so they can move forward". Pottratz replied to Wilke, "You are not interested in correcting the problem, you are jamming something down our throat".

A Tyco employee, Paula Meintz said, "You can't expect Tyco to open their pocket books". Cheryl Lamont responded, "Oh yes we can". Meintz said, "I hear a lot of anger coming across, you people need to monitor your anger that is coming across". Another resident said, "We are dealing with this everyday, the company has made billions of dollars on this contamination with chemicals they sold". Meintz then said, "Well I hope so because if they don't make money I wouldn't have my job". Cheryl Lamont responded with, "Wow, that is all I have to say". The conversation was asked to be ended by Tyco and the Board.

Spangenberg announced, they will continue with Cedar Corp and most likely there may be useful information in the report from Arcadis, that Cedar Corp can use. Boyle said, "We are justified in researching all the options". Cheryl Lamont asked the board, "Would it be possible to move forward to get the consulting firm going to insert in the contract a $50,000 estimate as a cost of the scope off work and can be reduced by any information first hand if Arcadis already has it?"

Spangenberg said, "There has to be trust by Tyco that we are not running up the bills. One of the options they are looking at is $25,000. We should put the whole estimated amount on the contract and the effort can be reduced if we can use the Arcadis information".

Mary Hansen asked Tyco, Why is there a dollar amount put on this? You still have to pay for that? The company is going to be responsible for all of it".

In the end, Clerk Clarence Coble asked Pottratz if the board can make a motion to authorize Attorney Spangenberg to work with you so we can get moving on whatever can be worked out with Spangenberg and the scope of work. Pottratz agreed and the motion was made and approved to move forward with Cedar Corp.

In public comment, Wendell Johnson said, "I encourage the board to offer an agreement with Marinette County for the Kowalski Walking Trail. This is a nice opportunity to build additional trails". They put up for auction the 20 acres of land that adjoins the trails.

This item was addressed as an agenda item later in the meeting by Vilas Schroeder, Marinette County Member. Schroeder said when he saw the land was up for auction, he called John LeFebvre and informed him the Town of Peshtigo may be interested in purchasing the property to enhance the trails". He added, " LeFebvre was gracious enough to honor my request to pull it from the auction. The Town now needs to show the County if they are interested or not". It was then approved to contact LeFebvre for an offer to purchase. Pottratz said, "Let him know we will negotiate".

Johnson also commented on the ATV / UTV plan for the Town roads saying, "I hope you have a plan developed before it is voted on to go forward. The road access should be minimized on certain routes and get input if residents want to go with or not".

Jessie McDonald spoke in public comment to announce that Aaron Pecor, Owner of The Peshtigo Coral will donate $100 towards the signs for the ATV / UTV trails if it is passed.

With the UTV/ ATV issue on the agenda, Pottratz said allowing of ATVs / UTVs on town roads was requested by several people in the town. Kevin Strom, one of the founding members of the Oconto ATV Club was present for any questions from residents in reference to any issues or problems they may have incurred from opening up roads to ATV's/ UTV's.

Strom commented, "There is not a lot of traffic on roads from the units and they are hardly noticeable". Supervisor Jon Drees asked if they had any problems and Strom responded, Not at all. Supervisor Tom Holterman then asked, What are the restrictions and Strom replied, requirements include, must be 16 or over and have a drivers license, insurance and must use turn signals and hand signals and follow the rules and regulations.

Resident Ken Holdorf asked Strom if he had been in communication with the Town of Pound with the issues they have had recently and Strom said he has not been in Pound for a while and was unaware of any issues.

Drees questioned the signage needed for the town and said, "I understand the signs will cost about $500 to $600". Strom replied, "Yes about 20 signs are needed and the cost is about $500. You can put a sign that states 'All roads are open to ATV use unless otherwise posted'. The club is more than willing to help the town with the signs".

Strom commented, The way it works best is, if the Town pays the club $500 for the signs and we make the signs and help put up, but we do request someone from the town helps with the signs.

Holterman asked, "Has any Town ever done this on a provisional basis as a trial"? Strom said, the Town of Little River did it as a trial but then joined and are still operating the trails".

After discussions were over, Holterman made a motion to try opening the routes on a trial basis and review at a later date. Coble interjected saying, "We can approve the routes and if we find out it is not working we can always put on the agenda to remove the ordinance or if there are issues we can review and make a provision to not allow that road as part of the route. We can be very flexible with what is allowed and not allowed".

Ordinance number 219-601 was then approved to allow ATVs / UTVs on designated roads in the Town of Peshtigo pending installation of signs and will be opened up with a public notice after signage is installed. An MOA (Memorandum Of Agreement) as presented was then signed by each board member. A MOA is an agreement with the ATV Club that they are obligated to provide signs for the route. Drees then said, "We will seek donations for the signs".

A sole bid was received from Road King Construction for grading and gravel for town roads and it was approved to go forward with Road King's services. Also requested from Road King was quotes for maintenance of three road projects including, Dahl Road with miscellaneous repairs to 2,926 square feet at a price of $16,950, McFarlane Road to remove and replace a culvert on Town property at a price of $1,850 and Heath Lane to dig ditch, haul and fill and replace two culverts at a price of $4,950. All three quotes were approved with a comment from Holterman to get going on these projects as quickly as possible.

A registered letter will be sent to the DNR in reference to the shooting range on Harbor Road. There have been reported incidents of bullets on personal properties along with pictures of holes in houses. Pottratz said, "There should be someone running this making sure the rules and regulations are being followed". Supervisor Dan VanBeek offered to send a letter to the DNR of the issues they are having.

Fire Chief Mike Folgert reported he just returned from a fire call for a report of smoke in a basement due to a dehumidifier. Folgert stressed to make sure that residents that are using dehumidifiers to check on the internet to see if their unit has had a recall by searching Consumer Product Safety Division or by doing a search of dehumidifier recalls. There are hundreds of units that have been recalled and can cause a fire.

Folgert then reported there were 11 calls for the month including, five vehicle crashes; two vehicle fires, both on Hwy 41; one power pole downed during a rain storm and three power lines downed due to trees. There were seven firefighters that attended a driver operator training course and the department spent three nights testing fire and apparatus hoses. Folgert said, "We are currently working on fire inspections of all businesses in the Town".

The next Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 17.


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