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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Town Residents Address Peshtigo Board Meeting

Issue Date: November 17, 2021

The Town of Peshtigo had a full house with over 40 residents in attendance for the Public Hearing on the proposed 2022 town budget/ special meeting of the Electors to approve the levy on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

The 2021 levy was $259,064 and the 2022 was approved at $260,270 with a small increase of only $1,206. The meeting then moved into the regular town meeting format.

Former Town Chairman, Herman Pottratz spoke in public comment stating, "What I would like to see by the board as we have done for the past 60 plus years, is for them to hold the meetings every third Tuesday of the month with the clerk present at those meetings. Do not exclude the clerk from these meetings. I would like to not have all the other meetings you are having. With three or four meetings a week during the morning and all different hours of the day, the press can't service all those meetings and it is hard for residents to get to them also. Supervisors should bring the items to the agenda for the monthly meetings for discussion there, instead of all the extra meetings. The other thing is what we have got to watch these landfills. A couple of Supervisors got their nose into the landfills that were closed per the DNR rules and regulations and now cost the town over a million dollars. The work was done by the County and checked out by the DNR and we received a letter from the DNR to do testing for five years". Clerk Clarence Coble verified that and stated, "Yes that was part of the closure plan and we did it for over 25 years". Pottratz continued, "Someone now has the idea to test these and there is no reason for that, let the DNR do it at their expense. We could sell those landfills if we wanted to and there are other uses for it. If the DNR doesn't like it, go to court and you will find that they will be doing the testing themselves at their expense".

Resident Roger Schoenfeldt then spoke saying, "I am here again for the hay bail damn across from my property on Hale road where they are blocking the flow of water. The first draft was printed in October 2020, we went one year and now we are going on to two years without anything being done. I talked to the building inspector today and he said he is very intimidated by my neighbor, saying he is 75 years old and he wants to see 76. Either we are going to have to do something with a new building inspector or get this settled one way or another very soon". Chairperson Cindy Boyle then commented, "We were just brought up to speed on that today, thank you very much".

Lloyd DuBlois then stated, "One, congratulations on your budget and two, just a question on the landfill we just heard with the past Chairman saying they were only supposed to do the checking for only five years. I am sure you are still doing testing and for some reason there has to be some ordinance that says you still have to do testing. If the DNR has given you a waiver not to do testing anymore, then have them give you a permanent waiver to sign off that you don't have to do it anymore. Because if its an ordinance, the only way you can change an ordinance is board elective".

Boyle then added, "For the record, the DNR has not given us a waiver. In quite the contrary, the DNR is requiring testing or we as a Town are in non compliance, which is where we don't want to find ourselves".

Fire Chief Mike Folgert gave his report stating it was a slow month with five calls, three being fires with one structure fire assist in the City of Marinette, a mulch fire at the recycling center and a grass fire. The other two calls were a vehicle crash and downed wires on Shore Drive. The department is going through a lot of training and testing and the truck inspection has been completed for the month. We re-elected two of our long term lieutenants, Joe Paoli and Darius Dahl for a two year term. Our current roster is 21 firefighters with one new applicant pending his physical and medical exam results. Our annual recognition banquet was held on Nov. 7 with 45 members attending. Firefighter of the year was awarded to Darren Jacobsen along with a number of years of service awards, mentioning Rich Seils with 30 years of service. The business award went to Springer Creek Lodge for their support over this past year. Seils then snuck in a comment that it was 35 years of service for Chief Folgert.

In his Roads and Ditches report, Supervisor Jon Drees stated, the Pacer report was completed and sent into the state, which included grading the blacktop on every town paved road. The shouldering project was done on Old Peshtigo Road and heaving humps were removed on Richter Road.

In her finance report, Supervisor Kayla Furton stated, "In regards to the ARPA funds that the Town is eligible for, Treasurer Kelsey Lossett and I decided they will be sending their calculations and numbers to the Towns Association specialist just to double check that we are allocating funds correctly. I also think it is a good idea for the board to meet early in 2022 to start prioritizing and planning for the month".

Supervisor Kristin Edgar added, "With the town now having paper ballots versus machines and we need to space them out to be Covid safe and $210,000 in the ARPA funds, I would like to put a request in for ARPA funds to be used for eight additional booths so more people can fill out ballots in a more faster and efficient way and move people through quicker, especially with Covid". A motion was made by Edgar to purchase eight more booths with the ARPA funds for more election efficiency and safety, not to exceed $2,500 per booth. The motion was unanimously approved.

In her Recycling report Supervisor Cindy Baur announced that maintenance was done on the loader at the center. There has been a lot of comments on how nice things are looking at the center and how great things are being ran.

Edgar then advised of an invitation to residents for a Public Hearing for the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) being held on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall. There is a committee of residents working on ideas and all residents are welcome to come and share any ideas they may have. Boyle interjected saying, Edgar and her team have been working tirelessly on this and it is a wonderful opportunity for this Town because there are no matching dollars necessary".

Edgar and other Supervisors have received calls of resident concerns about the dispensary and more coming into the town and as to what the rules and regulations of the ordinance for possession of THC or Marijuana in the Town. Edgar contacted neighboring municipalities of what their ordinances contain from the cities of Peshtigo and Marinette. Edgar provided copies to the Board members for their review.

Boyle then also referenced the regulations of smoking in public places as well as to what our ordinance states on that. Boyle advised Edgar to run both ordinances through the Towns Association to get a model of what other Towns do versus cities as a comparison.

Edgar briefly mentioned that the board may want to review the resolution pertaining to public comment. Edgar and other residents of the policy committee discussed sign in sheets for public comment to assure that all residents that want to speak in public comment are given the opportunity to speak about agenda items. "I believe public comment is an important part of the meeting and want to make sure it doesn't go away and suggest that we discuss further at a future meeting".

In ending, Coble was happy to announce that after having to cancel the annual Potluck Christmas party last year due to Covid, the Town will resume their much appreciated potluck Holiday gathering. All Town residents are invited to attend and it will immediately follow the Tuesday, Dec. 21 meeting. Anyone interested in bringing a dish to share is encouraged to let Kayla know what you are bringing to eliminate duplicates and have a wide variety of goodies.

Also, a reminder that the Water Summit meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 7


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