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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Council Approves TID, To Hold Public Hearing on Permit

Issue Date: July 7, 2022

On Tuesday July 5, the Peshtigo City Common Council met with a full slate of agenda items to deal with. Agenda items included a request from Randy Miller, Marinette County Sheriff's candidate to address the board, a request from Travis Schroeder to appeal a decision made by the Plan Commission for a Conditional Use permit for a home occupation, approve a UDAG loan to CRM Corporation in Peshtigo for $200,000 and discuss the city's current ordinances on ATV/UTV usage in and around Badger Park.

The council also discussed the Parks and Recreation purchases, T.O.P. Dog Park Rules and Regulations, Badger Park construction updates, UDAG loans, and the addition of a Tax Increment District 2.

With the upcoming primary election for Marinette County Sheriff on August 9 fast approaching, candidate Randy Miller addressed the Council and those in attendance about himself, his experience, and his mission should he be elected sheriff. Over 27 years ago, Miller began his work in policing, after completing a four-year degree in criminal justice. His experience ranges from serving as an officer in Antigo, as a patrol officer in Marinette, a deputy and patrol sergeant in the Marinette County Sheriff's office, an interim chief of police for the Village of Crivitz, and a part-time position with the Peshtigo police department.

In 2001, Miller traveled to New York to help with the 9/11 recovery efforts and mentioned this because of "the climate that we're in today." Miller remarked that "In the immediate area the police have a lot of support, but in the past two years police have been villainized." If elected sheriff, Miller's aim is to "build support and partnerships with the community and other departments to solve issues in our county."

Miller cited various issues facing the county such as an increase in drug traffic, recruitment and retention for employees??especially those in the jail, increased need for safety in schools in the wake of various school shootings throughout the nation, and recidivism in the county jail to prevent offenders from reoffending through prevention and education programs.

Tensions were high at the Council meeting when Travis Schroeder, who was previously denied a Conditional Use Permit by the Plan Commission to assemble, disassemble, and sell firearms from his home on N. Wood St. came before the Council to explain his desire to receive Permit approval. Angel Wink, a neighbor, voiced her concerns about any approval of the permit. She stated that families in the neighborhood who deal with CPS and have a child with special mental health issues are concerned about Schroeder's ability to sell guns out of his home. Wink also commented that "there are at least two other neighbors who would like to voice their concerns about the issue."

Schroeder responded that he will be "federally regulated by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) and will be required to do a thorough background check" on any person desiring to purchase a gun from him. Schroeder is federally regulated to meet these requirements through his Type 7 Federal Firearms License (FFL) so that he can buy, sell, and repair firearms. Further, Schroeder has confirmed that his home is secured by cameras, the firearms will be stored in a safe only accessible to him, and there is a fence around his property.

Another of Schroeder's neighbors spoke up in his defense, arguing that Schroeder is following all the federal requirements for this permit and therefore should be granted the Conditional Use Permit. Alderman Chris Rohde dispelled rumors about the pending approval about the idea that the residential area will be rezoned to commercial if Schroeder is approved, but Rohde confirmed that this is incorrect. The area will remain zoned as residential.

The Council has decided to hold a public hearing on July 19 at 6 P.M. for neighbors to ask questions and voice their concerns about this issue before deciding on the permit.

Marinette County Sheriff's deputy Lee Posusta spoke to the Council about ATV/UTV usage in city parks and the growth in ATV usage which might lead to future considerations about ATV ordinances. The existing ordinance which bans ATV/UTVs from city parks, the Peshtigo School District, and cemeteries, ATV/UTV usage in and around Badger Park and campground has been prohibited. The Council has decided to send it back to the Parks & Rec committee for further review.

An Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) was approved for CRM Corporation, Melvin and Nancy Hanneman III for a loan in the amount of $200,000 contingent upon a shared first position on all business assets and personal guarantees. Further, the Plan Commission recommended to council approval of a Tax Increment District 2 so that taxes for city, county, and school systems within that taxation district will be made accessible for the city to utilize. The Council moved to approve the creation of Tax Increment District 2 as a result of this recommendation.

Parks and Recreation was authorized to purchase two new mowers at the cost of $6,000 and "okayed" the purchase of a commercial weed trimmer. Additionally, Parks and Rec. committee heard an update on the Park's bathrooms and showers, summer employee's duties, and the Badger Boardwalk Playground project.

The Fire, Lighting, and Building committee report asked the council to approve the updated T.O.P. Dog Park Rules and Regulations. The changes were approved by the council unanimously before they moved into Closed Session per WI S.S. 19.85(1)(e) to deliberate the purchasing of public properties. When the Council readjourned into Open Session, no action was taken during of the Closed Session.


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