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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Pound To Use ARPA Funds For Water And Sewer Projects

Issue Date: July 13, 2022

Pound Village Board is faced with the possibility that decisions made by a prior board some years ago makes the village responsible for removing snow from all sidewalks along Old Hwy. 141 through the Village, while everywhere else in the village adjoining property owners are required to keep sidewalks adjoining their properties clear of snow and ice.

With that increase in winter work load in mind, along with some other needs, Public Works Director Scott Fuelle had been authorized to get quotes on some new snow removal and mowing equipment, with cabs. At the monthly Village Board meeting on Monday, July 11, he presented quotes for three options available on lease from Reisterer and Schnell. Under the most likely option, lease payments for a lawn mower/snow blower with cab and a tractor with cab and lawn mower would be over $1,100 per month for 60 months, compared with the current monthly lease payment of $479.76. Board members felt they needed more time to study the quotes and consider the options, and Village President Terry Earley doubted they could get the addd $600 per month from this year's budget in any case.

Trustee John Homontowski wondered if having new and better equipment would cut down on the amount paid to Dan Risner for snow plowing services, but Fuelle felt that would not be the case.

Homontowski felt if Fuelle is going to be forced to remove snow from all of the Old Hwy. 141 sidewalks they would have to provide him with a snow blower with a cab. However, there was some doubt as to whether that is a responsibility of the village, even though in accord with decisions made when Old Highway 141 through the village was reconstructed they own the right of way on which the sidewalks are built. That issue also will be researched. There were comments from board members that it was unfair to require all other property owners in the village to remove snow from their walks, with only those along the old highway exempt.

After a bit of discussion, the board unanimously agreed to withhold any decision on the new equipment until a special meeting that they scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, following a 4 p.m. board member virtual training session at the Village Hall. In the meantime, Patz said she will research the sidewalk clearing issue.

Before the board made that decision, Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz and Fuelle reminded them that the village will be faced with paying 30 percent of the cost of an upgrade to the Village of Coleman Wastewater Treatment Plant, which also handles sewage from the Village of Pound. Engineering alone for that project has been quoted at $230,000, which would put Pound's share of the planning cost at about $76,000, before any construction is started.

Patz said Coleman has applied for a grant to help pay for the lift station, and it looks like they will get it.

As discussed at previous meetings, the board took formal action allocating all its remaining ARPA funds for water and sewer projects. Patz said they should have the other half of the $18,000 allocation soon. Trustee Mike Rogodzinski noted they have a major expense with the well project before moving to allocate the funds for any water and sewer projects as needed. The motion was seconded by Trustee Bethany Navis and unanimously approved.

Village President Terry Earley commented that water and sewer expenses account for the largest consumption of village money.

Fuelle said all of the remaining ARPA money will be needed to rehabilitate the well.

Patz reported she had issued two building permits in the past month, one for a fence and one for roof repairs. there were no license requests.

Fuelle reported the clean water infiltration into the sanitary sewer system has gone down. Clean water pumped daily averaged 18,000 gallons, while the daily sewer average pumped was 42,000 gallons. Repairing leaks in the system appears to be helping. Bacti samples are good. The storm sewer pipe by the apartments needs to be repaired.

Fuelle said the park has been extremely busy, with events held there nearly every weekend. He said the car show had gone well, and bad weather held off. He has been re-painting signs, and will be flushing hydrants on Monday, July 18 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Rogodzinski reported the fire department had two calls during the past month, one for a motor vehicle accident and one for a power line down on the road. He said all their apparatus is in good working order, and one hydrant is being repaired while the others are in good working order. The department had a $100 donation from the Knights of Columbus and their savings account earned 77 cents interest.

There were 15 firefighters present for the June meeting. They trained on dry hydrant use at a Bass Lake training session.

Primary elections are coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 9, and two of the Republican Party candidates with competition - Randy Miller for Sheriff and Carrie Brazeau for Clerk of Courts - addressed the board, giving brief speeches on their qualifications and goals if elected.

Brazeau, who lives in Coleman with her husband Richard, is a lifelong Marinette county resident. She and Richard have five children and one grandchild. She has been employed as a Deputy Clerk of Courts for Marinette County since 2015 and is currently designated as a lead worker by the current Clerk of Courts, Sheila Dudka, who is not seeking re-election.

Brazeau said she is passport clerk, and has worked in all six of the positions in the Clerk of Courts office and in all four courtrooms, "and my boss designates me as lead worker when she is not in the office." She formerly served as Juvenile Clerk and remains a member of the Wisconsin Juvenile Clerks Association.

She has a total of 22 years' legal experience. Brazeau said she volunteered to be trained in all six of the clerk of courts positions ""because I am the type of person who wants to learn as much as possible so I can be as helpful as possible," and concluded, "This is a job that I love tremendously".I wouldn't be seeking this position if I didn't."

Her handouts included a long list of attorneys, judges and elected officials who have endorsed her candidacy, including the Marinette County Republican Party, of which she is 1st vice chair. She encouraged voters to talk to anyone she has worked with in regard to her capabilities for the position.

Sgt. Randy Miller is one of two candidates to fill the Marinette County Sheriff position. Long-time Sheriff Jerry Sauve is not seeking return to office and will retire when his term ends in January.

Miller cited his many years in law enforcement, starting when he was hired as a full time patrol officer by the Antigo Police Department in 1995, after serving in the military since he enlisted at age 17. "I celebrated by 18th birthday on base at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., while training as a combat engineer with the National Guard, and it was the most memorable birthday ever," he declared.

He joined the Marinette County Sheriffs Office in 2004, and has been a Patrol Sergeant for over 16 years. He does arson investigations and is a member of the department's High Risk Review Team. While continuing in his full time position for the Sheriffs Office, Miller served for two years as part-time Police Chief for the Village of Crivitz. "I learned a lot in that short time on that job," Miller commented. He also was Water Patrol Officer for the Town of Stephenson and is certified as a firefighter with the Town of Grover Fire Department and is a part time Police Officer for the City of Peshtigo, filling in when needed.

Miller said he is running for the Sheriff position, ""because I care about the style of policing that we provide for the public"I want to be as approachable and as transparent as possible," he said.

He said drugs currently are the No. 1 problem for law enforcement in Marinette County. He fully supports the Canine Units, and hopes to eventually have at least four trained K-9 dogs working with officers in the department. Currently there are two K-9 officers working on the road and one in narcotics.

The Sheriff's Department is having a hard time filling jailer positions, Miller noted, and added that he recently filled in as a jailer and during that time he learned more about that aspect of the job.

Miller complimented Coleman Police Chief Ida Soletske, who also is contracted with the Village of Pound, and said if elected sheriff he will continue to partner with local law enforcement, and provide assistance to them whenever it is needed.

Sandra Lepinski, speaking from the audience, noted he had said drugs are the primary problem, and asked, "What about mental health?"

Miller replied the two are related, and added, "We do have a new Mental Health Court, but we need to do better at working with ADAPT." He said officers need to learn to identify programs that can help those with mental health issues get the services they need to keep them out of jail.

Lepinski asked if a mental health person goes along on arrests, and Miller said they do not. He added that officers do not have the training that a mental health person would have, and people are falling through the cracks. "Too often we keep them in jail for 72 hours and then release them, and they're back in a few days." He said law enforcement officers all across the country are now being trained in mental health, ""and I think we can do better."

Another person in the audience asked how they deal with drug addictions, and Miller said there are lots of programs, ""but they're not long enough, and they're not good enough." He added if they could resolve the addiction problem, they could resolve the recidivism problem. He added that Drug Court has been very effective, but he feels there is more that could be done to help break the drug addiction cycle. "Anybody can fall into addiction," he said, adding, "They are basically good people and we can't just cast them aside." He suggested more programs at the jail could help.

Trustee John Homontowski asked if the jail is open to churches for programming, and Miller said it is, and volunteers are welcome. They already have a chaplain program, headed by Rev. Archer Leupp, who assists when needed, and added, "I am open to anything that could help."

"If you're elected, we'll hold your feet to the fire," Lepinski told him.

"I have tough feet, and if I can't do it, I'll be the first to say get someone who can," Miller responded.

He had started his evening at the Coleman Village Board meeting, and immediately after his address and the questions that followed he left for the Beaver Town Board meeting, where he was also on the agenda.

The next Pound Village Board meeting is set for Monday, Aug. 8. Rogodzinski said he will be on vacation, and noted this will be the first regular board meeting he missed in four years as a trustee. He said if they need him for a quorum they should phone and he will participate remotely.


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