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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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County Is Still Seeking Home For Supervised Sex Offender

Issue Date: April 28, 2021

In March Marinette County Board rejected a proposal for the county to establish a â€transitional living†home for an about-to-be-released â€980†sex offender in a rural residential area on Mudbrook Road near the Lake/Porterfield town line.

In his report at the County Board meeting on Tuesday, April 20, County Administrator John LeFebvre said he and Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison had been looking at other options and had shifted their attention to finding a private owner willing to house a sex offender. He added that given today's extremely tight housing market, he believes that will be extremely difficult to do.

The â€980†offenders are convicted sex offenders who have served their time either in prison or at the state mental hospital and are now deemed ready to transition to the outside world. They are under extremely strict supervision during the first portions of their release, wear ankle bracelets for monitoring purposes, and are forbidden to go outdoors without direct supervision.

LeFebvre said it is hard to determine what criteria County

Board wants him and the 980 Committee to follow in selecting a location for the offender to live. He said he had thought the state standards (for distances from schools, churches, homes with children, etc.) would suffice, but some supervisors want the dwelling to be closer to the city, and some want it out in the woods, far from anyone.

LeFebvre said there has been no request made for an extension of the requirement to find a home for the offender within 120 days of the court release order, and suggested they could have a discussion at the next board meeting.

Meanwhile, he asked anyone who knows someone with a possibly acceptable home to be leased to contact him.

Later, Supervisor Don Pazynski asked LeFebvre if he had followed through with suggestions to locate a county-owned house on property adjacent to the Law Enforcement Center in the City of Marinette, and LeFebvre said he had not. He said the property does not meet the criteria, since it is located within 1,500 feet of a church and a school, â€unless you were to subdivide it and obtain a zoning change, which takes about six months...and we don't have that long.â€

Pazynski maintained the city should cooperate, and mentioned the loan from the county that had helped the city construct its Rec Center.

â€I don't think it's worth pursuing,†LeFebvre replied and added that the jail is filled to capacity and had recently sent nine prisoners to Oconto County. He said more of the land adjoining the Law Enforcement Center may be needed to build a new pod for the jail.

LeFebvre reported attending a Niagara City Council meeting on Monday, April 19 to discuss the use of CDBG â€Close†funds that had been allocated for projects there, including sidewalk and resurfacing of a portion of Tyler Road that ends at a recreation area on the Menominee River. It was the last meeting before the retirement of long-time Niagara Mayor George Bousley, who also was Marinette County Board Chair for many years. The Niagara City Council had re-named that portion of Tyler Road as â€Bousley Parkway,†and LeFebvre said he had the honor of presenting the surprise sign to Bousley.

LeFebvre also talked about efforts to include the Bay of Green Bay coastal region as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve, in which UW-Green Bay is taking a lead role in hopes of establishing an Estuarine Center with classrooms somewhere along the Bay. LeFebvre suggested with all the public lands along the Bay in the Marinette/Peshtigo area, the University's Marinette Campus, which is located on the Bay, would be a wonderful location. He mentioned Red Arrow park, Seagull Bar, and the Peshtigo Harbor wildlife preserve as excellent reasons to locate the classrooms here.

LeFebvre reported that a county-owned home on Liberty Street in Marinette, one of the tax-deed homes being restored through an agreement with NEWCAP had sold for $111,000 the previous week, the house in Niagara could be on the market very soon, and a house on Dow Dam Road in Amberg should be ready to sell by the end of May or early in June. He said they would be adding a whole slate of new tax deed properties at the end of April, but only a few have structures on them.

In other action, County Board approved the appointment of Supervisor Mike Cassidy to the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission, and Don Phillips, Rose O'Hara, and Supervisor Penny Chaikowski to the Aging and Disability Resource Center Governing Board.

Without dissent, the board approved the designation of several segments of county roads as daylight ATV/UTV routes. They are parts of County B from N11th Road to Belgium Road in the Town of Pound, and another segment starting at 23rd Road and ending in the Village of Coleman; parts of County P in the towns of Lake and Beaver; and parts of County Q in the town of Pound.

On the recommendation of the Development Committee, the board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition; and two zoning changes in the Town of Niagara as approved by Niagara Town Board.

Two utility easements across County Forest land were approved as recommended by the Infrastructure Committee.


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