Gun Range Safety Topic Town of Peshtigo BoardIssue Date: July 18, 2019
Sheriff Jerry Sauve was present at the Town of Peshtigo monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 16 to discuss the multiple complaints he received over the weekend from residents in regards to the Hipke Road DNR shooting range.
Sauve announced that as of Wednesday, July 17 the shooting range will be indefinitely shut down until further notice so they can do a full investigation of the activity at the range. There have been many reports of gunshots hitting peoples houses as well as high power automatic weapons like AR15's being used constantly. Sauve commented the DNR was very good to work with in getting the range shut down.
A house has been hit with bullets on Krause Road and several bullets were found in a residents yard and some people have to shut their windows because of the loud noise from the range. They can't be outside because of safety issues with bullets frequently entering their yard. There was also a Kayaker with her son that had to hide on the shore line because the bullets were whizzing over their heads.
Town Resident Doug Tripler said, "I can't tell you how many times bullets fly through our yard. I found two bullets in our driveway where our grandchildren play and also found one in the children's wagon. This is not just rifles, these are automatic weapons and I can almost guarantee you the offenders are not from this area".
With the range issue already being on the agenda, later in the meeting, discussion continued with residents comments along with Wildlife Biologist David Halfmann and Conservation Warden Jeff Lautenslager from the DNR present to discuss further.
Tripler then stated, "I talked to you last year, why do you have to shoot in a populated area? The bullets are coming through the trees. Last year the bullets zoomed right past my head. We want our grandchildren and our neighbors to be protected. Someone is over there with AR15's shooting all day long. Groups show up with several vehicles. They are not practicing shooting they're practicing something and I guarantee you they are not from Wisconsin".
Hoffman said, "It is bad people that ruin it for the good people. I completely understand your frustrations". Tripler then asked, "Did you think about moving the range"?
Hoffman ended with, "If you take anything home tonight, When things happen, contact law enforcement immediately".
Other areas of discussion was about the Tyco water situation and possible options. Chairman Herman Pottratz stated he attended the City of Peshtigo Water and Sewer meeting and they offered to supply water to the Town if and when it is needed. "We are just getting started with Cedar Corp and it seems like that would work out good. The Citizens Committee is working on this with us and we will have meetings along the way or we have the possibility of having wells as we do now. There are other sources and ways of handling this problem, nothing is a done deal and we are not going to be pushed into Marinette water lines".
Citizen Committee Member Co-Chairman, Keith Jung spoke on behalf of Jeff LaMont who could not attend. Jung said, "Two new members, Joan Campbell and Carl Jaeger were added to the committee to bring the amount of members to 12". He commented, the meeting at the Rec Center was an excellent presentation and there was good representation by the community. I want to point out that the DNR has a website and if you search PFAS questions and answers it will bring up a lot of community questions and answers. It also shows maps, sites of where testing has been done, depths of wells, alternative suggestions for water resources and more information of what Tyco has done. There are six remedial action options for future safe water options on the site".
Jung continued saying, "With wells there could still be the contamination issue maybe not with PFAS but with arsenic, radon or other chemicals". "If city water is chosen as an option, the DNR suggested having 4 to 6 inch casing, fire hydrants and spider lints to be able to branch into new subdivisions as needed". "I have talked to Representatives Nygren and Hansen and they are in favor of and working on a bill prohibiting dumping into the sewer system".
Jung suggested to go on the Wisconsin DNR website and search PFAS contamination in Marinette and Peshtigo area and it gives a summary of activities and letters. The link can be found at: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Contaminants/MarinetteFAQ.html The Arcadis Remedial Action Plan along with the maps, letters and other information also available on this site. Information can also be found on the TYCO website at: https://tycomarinette.com
Scott Wahl from TYCO interjected, "In September the DNR wants to have another meeting and they also talked about having monthly listening centers". Pottratz commented "The DNR meeting will be held in our town and possibly at Little River Country Club".
Pottratz said, "Cedar Corp will be addressing the option of attaching to City of Peshtigo Water lines. This was a good presentation for the City of Marinette and Tyco plan but it doesn't cover the Town of Peshtigo. We will be working with Cedar Corp. The residents will make the final decision, they're not going to jam this down our throats. We will see what the Committee has to say and it's not going to be jammed down our throat".
Wahl then spoke on behalf of Tyco saying, "Weekly reports were sent out for ongoing and future work that addresses where they are going to be on town roads and what they are doing".
Pottratz responded, "Heath Lane and Edwards Avenue have testing holes down 90 feet, we don't want anymore holes punched in the Town if we don't have to". Supervisor Tom Holterman questioned Wahl if we have access to the location of where the Plume is and where it is going and Wahl said Yes.
Resident Don Pizinski then spoke saying, "A request has been made for further information for Weigers Road for the drains behind Shore Crest that tested at 2,100 parts per trillion of PFAS. This is something you should be looking at. This was checked in September or October of 2018 and it was supposed to be tested again, did you do that? This has been requested since December. If you tested, prove it, you are now doing vertical borings and we have heard nothing. What is your long range plan for Heath and Edwards"? Wahl responded, "Heath is part of the work plan that is out there now to add more well testing". Pizinski stated, "You would think you would want to prove there is nothing there. We shouldn't have to bug you for seven or eight months. This is your consequences and you need to face up to it. People deserve an answer". Wahl responded with, "Yup, point taken".
Attorney Dave Spangenberg spoke on behalf of Consultant Engineer, Dennis Steigenberger of Cedar Corp who was unable to attend. He said, "Cedar Corp is in the data collection phase. Contact was made with Arcadis and a conference call will be placed this week. The DNR has requested the City of Peshtigo as their seventh option."
Spangenberg noted that there are duplication of efforts at this point with Arcadis and Cedar Corp. We will have more confidence in Cedar Corp versus Arcadis. We don't want to have a situation that Cedar Corp is asked to step down and Arcadis continue. We need co-operation, I understand that there is a problem and we will work it out.
In public comment, Wendell Johnson urged the board to delay opening of Town roads to ATV/UTV use. He said, "Officer Zak Albrecht already had several complaints from residents and enforcement is minimal with only one officer. This will be very noisy, dangerous and an intrusion on Town residents. You should take a survey or bring it to referendum to see if the residents want this or not".
Later in the meeting it was discussed that signage is not even ready yet and residents can't use the roads for ATV/UTV use yet. Also discussed was the no wake zone. Lautenslager commented, "We don't have jurisdiction over the river. Enforcement will be a nightmare. The river would have to be buoyed and signage needs to be put up. With boats going slower, it could actually do more damage causing more wake than a boat that is going faster. You need to figure out where the boats are operating. Bottom line is high Bay water equals high River water and it may not be the boats that are causing damage to the shoreline". Supervisor Jon Drees commented, "The most complaints are during the Walleye Tournament". It was decided to review the ordinance further and table until the next meeting.
Lautenslager said "If you have issues with ATVs or boats, contact the Warden or the DNR and we will work with you".
With the Town being behind on road work and in need of road crew workers, the board approved hiring of LEROY SUENNEN and WILLIAM WOODWARD. The positions are listed as part-time with no benefits and they will start Thursday, July 18 at the rate of $15 per hour.
The board also approved the hiring of Northeast Wildlife Removal LLC for removal of muskrats on Canal Lane and Harbor Road areas. Work will also be done on that road by Marinette County in an area that was damaged last year by an electrical contractor.
The next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 20.
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