New Oconto Co. Supervisor, Karl Kallestad Takes Oath
Karl Ballestad of Oconto was sworn in at the beginning of the Thursday, Feb. 21 meeting of the Oconto County Board of Supervisors. Ballestad will represent the countys 11th District, which is comprised of part of the City of Oconto and part of the Town of Oconto. The seat became open earlier in the year upon the death of Supervisor Edward P. Young.
Prior to Ballestad taking the Oath of Office, administered by County Clerk Kim Pytleski, the Board of Supervisors voted 29 to 1 to confirm the appointment by Board Chairman Lee Rymer. The sole negative vote was cast by District 8 Supervisor Vernon Zoeller.
Rymer announced later a slight reshuffling of some board members to replace Young. Ballestad was appointed to the Public Property Committee. Wayne Leiterman, District 4 (part of Little Suamico), was appointed to the Economic Development/Tourism Committee. Doug McMahon, District 26 (Suring and Town of Maple Valley), was appointed to the Joint Committees of Finance/Insurance and Technology Services and Robert Reinhardt, District 12 (part of the City of Oconto), was appointed to the Mar-Oco Joint Solid Waste Committee.
In other matters, the Board approved a re-numbering of the resolutions passed at the January Board meeting. Each year the resolutions are supposed to start over at #1, followed by a dash, and then the year. Clerk Pytleski asked for the redo because she forgot to do that and just continued on with the 2012 sequential numbering. Thus, resolutions #91-95 last month have been renumbered resolutions #1-5 for calendar year 2013.
The supervisors approved the county entering into an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to provide grant funds of $22,433, and possibly up to $30,000 if available, to cover part of the costs of preparing a farmland preservation plan for the County. The work would be performed over the two years of 2013 and 2014. The resolution further directed the County Finance Department to create a tracking account to document the countys expenses as part of the countys 50 percent match.
Approval was granted for the Solid Waste Subcommittee to purchase a new 2013 Seven Passenger Grand Caravan SE from Chrysler World for a price of $21,273, plus the cost of title and license. The current vehicle, a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander van, will be purchased by the Countys Technology Services Department for $5,000. The Solid Waste Subcommittee received approval to budget $15,000 for the vehicle in 2013 Recycling Budget. The resolution did not specify the source for the additional $1,273, plus title and license, not covered by the budget and the sale of the old vehicle. A Board member asked that a local meal delivery organization be considered for future used vehicles from the county that become available.
With the Countys previous decision to join the Northwoods Consortium for the administration of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing program, the Board approved the contract from Northwoods forming the consortium. Northwoods is made up of the counties of Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano, Taylor and Vilas. Each of these counties was asked to approve this contract. The resolution also named County Clerk Pytleski as the contract person for the county and named County Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann to represent the County on the consortium.
An agenda item listed as Resolution #10 regarding the purchase of a Panic Button Alarm System was withdrawn from the agenda because the county is still exploring another option that may allow the same emergency ability with much less cost.
Approved was the bid from Faith Technologies to replace the current Courthouse Access Control System with a system called Pass Point. The technology allows automatic door access by swiping an authorized identity card. The Public Property Committee had authorized $35,000 in the budget to replace the current system. The bid from Faith Technology came in at $40,385. The extra $5,385 will be taken from the budget set aside to restore the courthouse clock.
The bid from Faith Technologies was not the lowest bid received for this project, but it was preferred because it was discovered that lower bids had many other hidden costs that would ultimately make the system more expensive. The Faith product did not require the purchase of another server, nor did it require the purchase of an additional software operating system to run it.
Approval was given by the Board to add three module software packages to the Countys Dispatch software program, which will improve and make public safety operations more efficient. The total cost of the three packages comes to $36,513, and will be split between the Sheriffs Department ($25,236) and the Land Records Department ($11,277).
The first module, called Spillman Sentryx Geobase, will upgrade the current classic version to the server-based version and thus allow the LIS/GIS staff to update the maps immediately and thus offer more precise map locating for officers and dispatchers.
The second module, called Spillman Rip and Run, will allow more instant and detailed information for fire and rescue to be sent by dispatch. The program also offers an interface to Third Party software which is already used by local fire and rescue operations. According to a Memorandum of Understanding with the fire and rescue organizations in the County, the cost for the annual maintenance of the program will be covered by these organizations starting the second year.
The third module is called Badger TRACS to Spillman Interface. This module will interface with the TRACS program used by the Sheriffs Department. The module will transfer department data entered into the TRACS program, which is a Traffic and Criminal Software program, directly into the Spillman software thus eliminating the need to retype and re-enter the data.
A final resolution approved by the County Board was for the purchase of two new Cisco UCS C-240 servers for a total cost of $21,745.60. The units will be placed into the Countys virtual environment. The approved low bid was from CDW-G of Appleton. The money for the equipment had been included in the Technology Services 2013 budget.
Under Committee and Department Reports, Board Chairman Rymer announced he reappointed Donald Buhrandt of Mountain to the Crooked Lake Area Lakes Protection and Rehabilitation District Commission, for a term that expires March 30, 2015.
Supervisor Rose Stellmacher updated the Board on the recent activities of the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC). She pointed out a new 2013 Oconto County Discovery Guide had been placed on the desk of each supervisor.
Interviews for the new Tourism Coordinator/Administrative Assist have been finished and the position should be filled shortly. Stellmacher thanked Ann Maletzke of Mountain for filling in on a temporary basis.
The OCEDC and UW-Extension had jointly submitted two grant applications to the Department of Tourism to help fund the Master Walleye Circuit and AIM Tournaments in Oconto this spring and summer. It was recently announced that a grant of $6,500 was received.
Two Connect Communities applications were submitted to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, one for Gillett and one for Oconto Falls. Word was recently received that Gillett has been selected to participate in the program.
The OCEDC will be working with a UWGB planning graduate on grant for a feasibility study for the old hospital in Oconto. In connection with this, meetings have been held about a possible project involving a blight elimination/housing project in Oconto.
The Fishing the Midwest with Bob Jensen episode filmed last May, which included a feature on Oconto, was aired on the Fox Sports Network in January. Stellmacher said she would be receiving a DVD copy of the show shortly.
The OCEDC continues to work with the WEDC, EDA and Bay-lake Regional Planning Commission on various projects in the county. Two applications from county businesses will be acted on in an upcoming meeting.
Stellmacher also reported the OCEDC will begin the staff the County Satellite office a couple of days per month beginning in March.
Prior to the close of the meeting, Clerk Pytleski reported that Voter Turnout for the Tuesday primary election in the county totaled 1,820, or about 6 percent of the voters. Also, the Land Information Department passed out complimentary copies of the 2013 Oconto County Plat Book to each supervisor.
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