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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo City Council Gives Ok To Police Pumping For Purpose

Issue Date: February 16, 2022

City of Peshtigo held a Special Common Council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 10 to take care of some unfinished business that needed to be approved.

Alderperson Katie Berman made a motion to approve the agenda item of Peshtigo Police Pumping for a Purpose fundraiser that Berman spear headed but didn't pass it through Council prior to some of the planning stages that were already in progress. The event is being held on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all three gas station locations in Peshtigo including Krist Oil, The Store and Peshtigo Shell.

Alderperson Debbie Sievert commented to Berman, "I know you talked about this awhile ago and it is a wonderful idea and for a great cause, but none of us knew any details. Nobody seemed to know anything about it. You had everything all printed out and everything done. Didn't you need any help"?

Berman answered, "I think I have everything under control. There is not a real lot to do, I am just waiting on some slips". Sievert then asked," Did anyone on the committee help you with it"? Mayor Cathi Malke interjected, "Actually at the last meeting is when it was first discussed". Sievert replied, "I know it was mentioned but I didn't realize how far along you were with this until the last Council meeting. Berman replied, "Clerk/ Treasurer Tammy Kasal did a lot with the insurance. It wasn't necessarily something I was working on as an Alderperson as it was just as a community project or community service work, so the police could get out and see a different cross section of the community. The opportunity presented itself to help these kids. None of the cost is coming out of the police budget, I am taking care of all of that". Malke reminded Berman, "Just so you know when you are an Alderman, you need to run things like this through the committee, thus that is why we are here today".

Berman said. "I have some volunteers on board and a couple more that I need to call". Peshtigo Police Chief Fred Popp added "We were hoping for five officers, but with two leaving we only have three or four officers participating. I have reached out to the Sheriff's Department and also to the Marinette Police Department. Sheriff Jerry Sauve said he will give us full support and I am awaiting an answer from Marinette City Police Chief John LaCombe".

Berman announced she received a letter from Krist Oil Company in Iron River and they are going to match dollar for dollar all donation slips that are sold in their store.

Berman added, "People can still pump gas themselves if they choose or they can have the officer pump their gas for them. There will also be runners for cash transactions that will go in and pay and bring back change to the customer".

With all donations received, 100% will be given to the family of Kody Klimek and Vega Ellis to assist with medical bills, gas and support for their families. Both children are battling forms of cancer. If you are unable to participate in getting your gas at one of the three gas stations, please keep the Klimek and Ellis families in your thoughts and prayers.

Peshtigo Fire Department Chief Chuck Gardon spoke on behalf of the Fire, Lighting and Building Committee in reference to an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) that was signed in March of 2020 but there were updates to the MOU by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Gardon said, "It reflects a few minor changes to the document that was previously signed in March of 2020. The updates included increasing the rate of pay for reimbursement back to the Fire Department and the City, it was clarified better of what described burning is and there were some small wording changes from the State Attorneys. When it came in, we did send it to our legal department and our legal council approved everything, but basically it is the same MOU we received in March 2020 with just a few minor changes. This is more for the rural departments because they deal with this more than we do in the city but they still want new MOU's signed from all departments in the State of Wisconsin".

Gardon then explained "We never request any payment for the initial attack which is an hour or less. We do that because we get an extra 10 points when we apply for the FFP grant from the DNR, so we mark the box that talks about the extended period of time and that is what we get reimbursed for. The City would then get $15 per hour, per man that we would send on a fire call for the DNR. Also if we have to use one of our engines, the DNR also allows $100 for anything over an hour. It is not $100 per hour its just the $100 for setup. We have very few grass fires in our city and the DNR doesn't have jurisdiction in a city like they do in the rural areas so that is why there is an automatic call in our rural areas for the DNR right away. So basically it would be the city going to assist the DNR in any type of scenario like that".

Lori Tonn then brought up the idea of offering a free two-night camping stay at Badger Park Campground in appreciation of our Veterans and Frontline Workers for the second weekend in June from Thursday, June 9 through Sunday June 12. Last year we were at a 30 to 35% occupancy which isn't a real busy weekend. We would block out about 75% of the campground and the other 25% would be for regular campers that are normally seasonal campers at that time.

We would be looking for donations for food, music, etc. Sievert asked if they don't camp are they still able to attend the activities. Tonn replied Yes, the camping will be free as well as Saturday, which will be the event for veterans and frontline workers.

Tonn would be responsible for booking the reservations. Both Veterans and Frontline Workers would need to show identification for the free camping and activities to assure that they are eligible for the camping and celebration.

A conversation was also discussed if the cabins would be included as well or not.

Mayor Cathi Malke commented, "I would encourage the cabins to be available for any of our Veterans or Frontline workers that don't have a camper but would like to camp and participate. It would help them feel like a part of the event. Since the Pandemic started, the City of Peshtigo has been in the forefront of supporting our Veterans and Frontline workers by offering free camping for the last two summers, so this is just a continuation to show our appreciation that the city does have for EMS who gets up at 2 a.m. to come to our doors and fire department, police department, healthcare workers, etc. I just think it is a wonderful thing".

It was decided to offer the cabins for those that may be elderly, or have a large family or for someone who may not have a camper but still want to participate in the camping event portion of the celebration. Tonn will have discussions and interview those requesting a cabin to choose the best fit due to the limited amount of cabins available. It was then approved to move forward with the celebration.


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