Winter Storms Cause Town Plowing Issues Issue Date: December 22, 2021
The Town of Peshtigo Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 21 was completed in record time in anticipation of the Town Christmas party being held after the meeting.
Chairperson Cindy Boyle announced the annual Christmas party would be following the meeting and advised that everyone was welcome to attend.
In other announcements, it was stated if anyone is interested in being an elector for the 2022 - 2023 year, there are openings available. Those electors that have already committed were then approved by the board.
In his Building and Grounds report, Supervisor Jon Drees clarified why the roads in the Town and all over were so bad from the last winter mix storm the weekend of Dec. 10 and 11, being a snowplowers nightmare. Drees said, "This last storm put us in a bad situation with rain, sleet, heavy snow, wind and freezing temperatures. It had to be plowed a few times and with the variances of weather, the roads were slushy and then froze and left ruts and ridges".
Drees added, "Our policy was always not to plow until the snow stopped, but we need to rethink that and try to at least get the main traveled roads cleared first and not wait until after the snow has stopped. We received a lot of complaints of not salting. I suggest we need to start salting again and we need to keep our roads as safe as possible. In going forward, we need to be more aggressive with our plowing rules. The Town of Peshtigo have roads that are a lot more traveled compared to a lot of the other little towns in the area". Boyle added, "We have to keep safety a priority for our residents".
There was then discussion of having a direct line to the Town Hall that is also connected to the Deputy Clerk for the ability to put in an organized format to determine and organize road conditions and weather safety. If it is in an organized fashion, it will be easier to control.
Clerk Clarence Coble advised that people are plowing snow onto and across the road, Coble stressed, "It is illegal and against state statutes to push snow across a road or into the roadway. It is also against the Town Ordinance. When plowing, the snow has to stay on the property owners side of the road and cannot be pushed to the other side of the road". Drees added, "I checked with Town Constable Ed Dory to see if he can help monitor if he sees this is happening in the town and he agreed to do that. For first offense, the Constable will provide a warning and second offense the offender will be given a citation/ ticket".
Boyle then reported that the Water Committee is actively communicating and there will be a committee meeting on Thursday, Jan. 6, followed by a regular special board meeting. Supervisor Cindy Baur pointed out the sample of the PFAS warning sign was displayed on a table in the back of the hall. These signs will be placed in areas that have been infected with PFAS as a warning to the public. The sign is significantly larger than a normal warning sign making it more visible.
In her Recycling Center report, Baur asked if Recycling Center Foreman Paul McClain can be given the ability to purchase gas as a backup if employee Keith Swallow wasn't available. Baur added, "I am so grateful for the recycling center crew. They are so good to the residents and they all work together very well".
Supervisor Kayla Furton advised the Board that Bellin Health is requesting a one mile portion of Roosevelt Road to be blocked off on Saturday, April 30 for the Bellin 5K Heart Run and Kids Run. Furton stated, "Fire Department Chief Mike Folgert said the Department will block off traffic for that area and residents in the affected area will be notified ahead of time".
Baur advised there will be a Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Institute Virtual Conference in Summer of 2022 held through UW-Green Bay. The cost for the conference will be $500 per person attending. Scholarships may be available. Deputy Clerk/ Office Assistant Kayla Okins and Treasurer Kelsey Lossett are both aware of the conference. It was then approved to allow Okins and Lossett to attend if interested with the intent that they will also apply for the scholarship in hope of being awarded the scholarship. The amount was approved at $1,000 for both to attend incase they were not awarded the scholarship.
Supervisor Kristin Edgar then explained the formalities for approval of required documents to be able to move forward with the CDBG Grant that the Town is applying for including: Resolutions (Procurement Policy/Purchase Policy, Fair Housing) and Ordinances (Fair Housing residential Anti-Displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan and Statement of Assurances).
First needed was a motion to approve the Fair Housing Ordinance, followed by a motion for a Resolution to adopt the Ordinance. The Anti-Displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan and Statement of Assurances does not apply to the Town at this point, which refers to large apartment complexes and condominiums. Edgar said, "We will just approve as if and when". All approvals and motions were then made and approved to move forward with the grant process.
The final item was a discussion of approving a Public Comment Resolution and Sign In Sheet to retain the option of always having public comment at regular town meetings. Edgar stated, "This is to make sure there will always be public comment available at the meeting in reference to ordinances. This would also prevent the Chairperson from removing public comment from the agenda or meeting. It is always best practice to allow public comment in a regular open town meeting". Boyle added, "We need to take a closer look at this for the Board to review and email any changes or suggestions to Edgar. I suggest this be tabled and put on the Jan. 6 meeting for further review and discussion".
Chief Folgert reported on activity of the Fire Department for the past month. There were four EMS lift assists, two grass fires, seven vehicle crashes, two garage fires, one controlled burn, one multi vehicle versus train crash, two downed lines, one vehicle versus downed tree crash and one vehicle versus dump truck crash.
The fierce winter storm of Dec. 11 brought many calls due to the weather conditions including: vehicle with downed tree and lines, four other downed lines incidents, one utility pole fire, a downed tree with a stuck vehicle, tree sparking on lines and downed trees on Kozuzek Road.
Folgert stated all apparatus are operating as should be and they are prepared for cold weather winter operations. Probationary Firefighter Travis Plym completed required entry level firefighter training through NWTC. James Matthews attended Marine Firefighter awareness and operations training at the Shipyards in Sturgeon Bay and Darren Jacobson completed State Certification testing for Fire Officer One.
Unfortunately, Folgert announced that former Town of Peshtigo Fire Department Firefighter retiree, Bryan Peth passed away on Saturday, Dec. 11. Peth served on the department from 1971 until retiring in 2013. He also previously served as the Town Clerk, Town Constable and was a retired Wisconsin State Trooper. Private funeral services were held Tuesday, Dec. 21 in Stoughton.
Then, what everyone was waiting for, the meeting to be adjourned to move into the annual Christmas Party Potluck Celebration. The next board meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.
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