space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Michigan DNR Funds Fight Invasive Species
* Area Wrestlers Bring Home 9 State Medals
* GIRLS BASKETBALL WIAA TOURNAMENT - Peshtigo Falls In Regional Final
* M&O BOYS BASKETBALL - Crivitz Beats Peshtigo In Overtime
* 11 Area Wrestlers Head To State

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Hope To Find Compromise For County BB Controversy

In hopes of finding an amicable solution to the controversy surrounding the reconstruction of county Hwy. BB and its accompanying bike/walking paths, Town Chair Herman Pottratz announced at the Town Board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15 that he has set up a special meeting for affected residents at Little River Country Club at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24.

“We’re not trying to stop the project,” Pottratz declared. “We’re just trying to get rid of the ditches, which are not needed!”

County Board Supervisor Don Pazynski, whose district includes the entire project area, also expressed hope that compromises can be achieved and that a suitable solution can be found.

Major issues are the deep ditches to which Pottratz objects and requirements that encroachments must be removed, even those that have existed for as much as fifty years, and some that extend only inches into the right of way claimed by the county. Complicating matters are some surveys that show different property lines than those claimed by the county. Project engineers are looking into the validity of those surveys.

Residents of the area for several years have been seeking improvements to the road, and asking for a bicycle/walking trail along the roadside. That request hs been accommodated in project plans.

The $3.5 million County BB project area extends west from the Marinette city limits to Pond Road in the Town of Peshtigo. There are about 200 improved parcels directly fronting on Co. BB in the project area and 99 of these have some encroachment in what the county claims as its 66 foot right of way. There are over 300 total residences in the project area served by County BB when those living in subdivisions off the county highway are included.

As currently planned, the repaved and reconstructed road will have an 11 foot drive surface plus a three foot walking and bike path for each lane. State regulations demand five feet width for official bike and foot paths, so that portion of the road is reportedly not getting state aid.

Pazynski said the three foot paths are a compromise that seems to please everyone, and he hopes other compromises can be achieved as well.

Letters went out from Highway Commissioner Ray Palonen to 99 affected property owners on Sept. 9 advising they had to remove all encroachments by March 14 of 2014. There was no mention of an appeal process, and this lack was noted at the Highway Committee meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Palonen said the letter was a request to remove encroachments, not an order.

Subsequently, at its September meeting, the Town Board hired Atty. Dave Spangenberg to advise owners of these properties of their rights to oppose the removal orders, and at least 33 of the 99 residents notified sent objection notices.

At the Oct. 9 Highway Committee meeting Palonen asked to have the encroachment deadline removal advanced to Nov. 30 of this year and the committee approved the request.

Later that day letters went out to the 99 property owners stating:

“The purpose of this letter is to inform you Marinette County will begin construction activities on CTH ‘BB’ Between University Drive and Pond road in the spring of 2014. As a result, your property was identified as having an encroachment within the county right of way that must be removed to allow for construction.

“Encroachments are those objects that belong to the property owner but are located within the county owned right of way and may include but not be limited to fences, landscaping, light poles, roadside obstructions such as large decorative mailboxes, and private utilities. The county right of way has been marked with painted wooden lathe to aid you in determining the location of the county owned right of way.”

The letter goes on to say after careful consideration the county has revised the date, and all encroachments must be removed by November 30 to avoid conflicts with construction related activities. It adds,”This letter does not constitute an order, rather it is a request to voluntarily remove privately owned right of way encroachments.” The letter again did not provide information on objections or appeal processes. It states trees and brush within the county right of way will be removed by the county, and anyone unsure of the location of county right of way should contact the Highway Department.

Copies were sent to County Administrator Ellen Sorenson, Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison and highway committee members, but not to Supervisor Pazynski, who had asked that copies of all correspondence connected with the BB project be sent to him, and not to County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder, who also is treasurer for the Town of Peshtigo.

Upset with lack of a copy for him, Pazynski wrote to Palonen, “You sent a second correspondence, dated Oct. 9, to residents of County BB regarding right of way infringement. Again, you did not include me as a recipient. As the elected supervisor of this district I insist upon being included in all such correspondence. I should not have to repeat this request in the future. Secondly, I wish to inquire what your procedure will be if a resident cannot or will not vacate the right of way by Nov. 30 as stated in your correspondence.

In his response, Palonen apologized for failing to keep Pazynski informed, and wrote:

“The procedure of moving forward is that residents that do not voluntarily remove encroachments by Nov. 30 will receive an order mailed by certified letter from the Highway Department to remove their encroachment within 30 days (provided the Highway Committee directs that to take place).

“Residents that contest the encroachment will then be able to send a denial letter stating they deny they have an encroachment, which will then force the issue to be addressed by a judge.

“If a judge then issues a judgment to remove the encroachment, then the county can physically remove the encroachment and bill the town for the cost of removal. The town can then add the cost to the property owner’s property tax if they so choose,” Palonen’s letter went on.

“In addition, there seem to be two or three parcels that are anomalies in that they do not match the right of way dimensions for the rest of the project. The design engineer is currently doing research to determine the cause, but they believe there was a mistake made by a surveyor many years ago,” he continued.

Encroachments need to be removed to allow for utility adjustments/relocations and to allow the contractor to begin their work early next spring. The county needs to cut trees and remove stumps and the utility companies need both the trees and stumps removed to complete their work prior to contractor beginning their work.”

“All of these activities are interdependent upon the other so as we discussed at the highway committee meeting, if the right of way/encroachment/tree issues are not cleared up very soon I believe the likelihood of the project being constructed and completed in 2014 will be very small. The Highway Committee will then need to make a decision with regard to the future of the project,” Palonen’s letter concluded.

Pazynski said he does not want to see the project delayed, but he also does not want the scenic beauty of County BB destroyed.

At the Oct. 9 meeting the Highway Committee learned at least two of the properties have surveys that differ from those of the county. Palonen confirmed he had known of this, and said the project engineer is working on it. He believes they will find the old survey was in error.

“I am dismayed to learn the county Highway Committee did not verify the right of way measurements they are attempting to enforce,” Pazynski declared. “I trust the Highway Committee will resolve this difficulty as quickly as possible, rather than delay the project more than it has already been.”

“However, should they choose to delay rather than to solve the problem they will create a public relations nightmare that will focus public opinion upon the inept manner by which this project has been handled to date.

“A flexible right of way interpretation would have respected that this a residential area with a “scenic road” designation - not some remote rural area. Flexibility would have eliminated the problems that we are now facing.

“Population density and traffic volume dictate special consideration for the wishes of the taxpayers served by this project, rather than the dictatorial attitude projected thus far. We have come to the point where the Highway Committee has to realize this and be more attentive to the wishes of the taxpayers. After all - taxpayers are paying the bill,” Pazynski continued.

“I’m hoping county officials can meet with the citizens affected in the very near future and work out an amicable solution. I don’t want this badly needed project to be delayed unnecessarily,” Pazynski added, indicating he would help set up a meeting. That was before he learned that Pottratz had already set up the meeting on Oct. 24.

Pazynski said he will be there. He said the people of his district elected him to represent them, and it is his responsibility to do so. He is pleased that he got the highway department to put into writing that they will go back and blacktop all the driveway aprons that were blacktopped to start with, also got in writing in writing that mail boxes taken down will be placed by the homes and temporary clusters of mail boxes will be put up to serve until the construction is done, after which the removed mail boxes will be restored to their places.

The Peshtigo Times news report of the Oct. 9 Highway committee meeting noted that encroachment removal request letters had gone out to 99 affected property owners, and on that basis said one third of the owners affected had raised objections.

An unidentified correspondent who is obviously well informed has raised some issues with last week’s report on the Marinette County Highway Committee meeting correctly objected to that data. The news article stated one third of the residents objected, but did not specify that it was one third of the property owners affected by the removal notices who objected.

There are in fact approximately 200 properties fronting directly on BB in the project area, and a total of more than 330 improved properties served by that road, including those living in subdivisions, cul de sacs and on dead end roads.

Of the 200 properties directly on BB, 99 owners received the encroachment notices, so the 33 denial notices came in fact from one sixth of the property owners affected, not one third as stated in the Peshtigo Times last week.

“A small, outspoken minority is trying to stop the project along with the help of Herman Pottratz (Peshtigo Town Chair) and his Town of Peshtigo Supervisors,” the anonymous letter states, and then asks how much taxpayer money Pottratz is spending to represent “a few residents who have infringed or encroached into the right of way.”

The letter mentions attending the April 3 presentation at Little River, where the question was asked if any land would have to be purchased to complete the road project and both Robert E. Lee and the Marinette County representative indicated that the current right of way was sufficient, and then asks why the town allowed people to build or encroach on the right of way.

Pzynski said In defense of the property owners with encroachments, that many have been there for years, before current road widths were established. One resident told him they had measured from the center of the road before building their fence and built accordingly. Subsequently, when lines for the road improvements were laid out location of the road was changed slightly and now a part of their fence is over the line.

Pottratz said there also is the issue of adverse possession, in that a large percentage of the owners have been maintaining their properties, including the ditches, for 20, 30 and even 40 years. There is legal precedent for them to claim ownership under specific conditions. Pottratz said Spangenberg will attend the Oct. 24 meeting and will answer questions there, but will not provide specific legal advice for differing individual situations. In his letter to property owners Spangenberg advised that they should retain their own legal counsel if they believe they have legal issues.

The project, as originally designed by former Highway Commissioner Mark Desotell was given an estimated price tag of $1.5 million, but then was put on a back burner because the department was badly over budget. After Palonen took over the Highway Commissioner’s job, decision was made that the project design was insufficient and it had to be redesigned and that new design, prepared by Robert E. Lee, carried a $69,000 price tag, and a new estimated cost of $3.5 million, to which Pottratz has consistently objected.

One of Pottratz’ main objections has been to proposed deep ditches he maintains are not needed given the sandy nature of the soil. He said the ditches present safety hazards of their own to motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and will prevent property owners from mowing and maintaining the right of way in front of their properties as they have always done. The county will not be able to maintain them as well, Pottratz said, and predicted the Town of Peshtigo will see an extremely scenic route turned into another unkempt roadside, maintained to a small degree at county expense.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
03-04-2015Sports
Michigan DNR Funds Fight Invasive Species

03-04-2015Sports
Area Wrestlers Bring Home 9 State Medals

03-04-2015Sports
GIRLS BASKETBALL WIAA TOURNAMENT - Peshtigo Falls In Regional Final

03-04-2015Sports
M&O BOYS BASKETBALL - Crivitz Beats Peshtigo In Overtime

03-04-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-04-2015Perspectives
From our readers

03-04-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

03-04-2015Obituaries
Norman Smith

03-04-2015Obituaries
William E. Henes

03-04-2015Obituaries
Robert E. Heinz

03-04-2015Obituaries
Kathryn J. Froelich

03-04-2015Obituaries
George W. Frank

03-04-2015Obituaries
Thomas Christensen

03-04-2015Obituaries
Vincent Aman

03-04-2015Obituaries
Josephine O. Wiltzius

03-04-2015Obituaries
Gary S. Tanguay

03-04-2015Obituaries
Thomas R. Stevens

03-04-2015Obituaries
Caroline C. Stansfield

03-04-2015Obituaries
Patrick J. Recla

03-04-2015Obituaries
Guy E. Provo

03-04-2015Obituaries
Henry F. Pecor

03-04-2015Obituaries
Benjamin J. Johnston

03-04-2015Obituaries
Ellen M. Olson

03-04-2015Obituaries
Connie M. Ohlfs

03-04-2015Obituaries
Alice Mueller

03-04-2015Obituaries
Paul A. Lidwin

03-04-2015Obituaries
Donald A. Lange

03-04-2015Obituaries
Gertrude LaLonde

03-04-2015Obituaries
Frances Kwiatkowski

03-04-2015Obituaries
Anita R. Johnson

03-04-2015Obituaries
Martin P. Hischke

03-04-2015Obituaries
Clarence Castonia

03-04-2015Community - Wausaukee
Card Party at Wagner Mar. 7

03-04-2015Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 Meeting Mar. 7

03-04-2015Community - Wausaukee
Winners in SC Card Parties

03-04-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Watch Group Wine and Beer Tasting Nov. 7

03-04-2015Community - Crivitz
Free Meals at Crivitz Church

03-04-2015Community - Crivitz
T/Stephenson Board Holds Special Meeting

03-04-2015Community - Crivitz
LNRB Meets Mar. 12

03-04-2015Community - Crivitz
Loomis Legion Post, Unit Meetings Mar. 4

03-04-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Sells Land to New Store Owner

03-04-2015Community - Coleman
Library Trunk Show March 19

03-04-2015Community - Coleman
New Church In Pound Opens Easter Weekend

03-04-2015Community - Coleman
Photo Collection at Library Apr. 14

03-04-2015News
Battle Ready at Holy Family

03-04-2015News
Seek Crafters for Spring Show

03-04-2015News
World Prayer Day March 7

03-04-2015News
KC Breakfast Here March 8

03-04-2015Front Page
Honor Barbara Johnston On Her 100th Birthday By Mary Ann Kulberg Wadsworth

03-04-2015Front Page
Colburn Back On Council, City To Appeal DWD Rule

03-04-2015Front Page
Prisoner Board Cost Oconto County $304,000 In 2014

03-04-2015Front Page
Marinette Council Denies Request to Vacate Alley

03-04-2015Front Page
Pound May Have Buyer For Land In TIF District

02-25-2015Sports
11 Area Wrestlers Head To State

02-25-2015Sports
Buccaneer Men Win WCC State Tourney

02-25-2015Sports
Niagara Finishes Season With Win In Wausaukee

02-25-2015Sports
Rangers Capture Conference Crown

02-25-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-25-2015Perspectives
From our readers

02-25-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

02-25-2015Obituaries
Betty J. Zabel

02-25-2015
Lawrence F. Seefeldt

02-25-2015Obituaries
Dr. Fred J. Schuette

02-25-2015Obituaries
Anne E. Martin        

02-25-2015Obituaries
Mary Ellen Herrild

02-25-2015Obituaries
John E. Hansen

02-25-2015Obituaries
John W. Golla

02-25-2015Obituaries
Michael L. Franklin

02-25-2015Obituaries
Melvin H. Dettman

02-25-2015Obituaries
Raymond L. Berg

02-25-2015Obituaries
Donald Bell

02-25-2015Obituaries
Robert L. Ward

02-25-2015Obituaries
Emil Steier

02-25-2015Obituaries
Glenn K. Smoot

02-25-2015Obituaries
Helen M. Shevy

02-25-2015Obituaries
John E. Schroeder

02-25-2015Obituaries
Walter Schaal

02-25-2015Obituaries
James L. Perry

02-25-2015Obituaries
Darleen J. Neuens

02-25-2015Obituaries
Mary Lerich

02-25-2015Obituaries
Olga Kopatz

02-25-2015Obituaries
Violet D. Hinkfus

02-25-2015Obituaries
Sally A. Frank

02-25-2015Obituaries
Marge E. Frank

02-25-2015Obituaries
Tammy L. Finendale

02-25-2015Obituaries
Donald W. Edlebeck

02-25-2015Obituaries
Violet I. Dodd

02-25-2015Obituaries
Robert Bizjak

02-25-2015Obituaries
Frances Kwiatkowski

02-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Blood Drive Gets 51 Units

02-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Lions Bowling Tourney Dates

02-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Order Roses from Wausaukee Lions

02-25-2015Community - Wausaukee
Luncheon Speaker at Presbyterian Church

02-25-2015Community - Crivitz
Hunter Education Class Starts Mar. 31

02-25-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Water Rate Phone Hearing Mar. 25

02-25-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Blood Drive March 5

02-25-2015Community - Crivitz
Orientation for Badger Staters

02-25-2015Community - Coleman
Senior Club To Meet March 2

02-25-2015Community - Coleman
Middle School Students of Month

02-25-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board March 2

02-25-2015News
Oconto Church Fish Fry Feb. 27

02-25-2015News
Hunter Education Class Starts Mar. 31

02-25-2015News
Men’s Wild Game Dinner March 7

02-25-2015News
MCC Athletic Club Fish Fries

02-25-2015Front Page
PRESENT CHECK

02-25-2015Front Page
County Board Favors First Step To Ending Airport Partnership

02-25-2015Front Page
Oconto Co. Board Salutes Retiring Finance Director

02-25-2015Front Page
Sheriff: Prisons Full, State Will Ask Counties to Help

02-25-2015Front Page
City Still Seeks Sponsors For Ball Field Name Rights

02-19-2015Sports
9 Cougar Wrestlers Qualify For Saturday Sectional

02-19-2015Sports
Rangers Remain On Top Of M&O

02-19-2015Sports
Peshtigo Flawless in M&O

02-19-2015Sports
Deadlines to Remove Ice Fishing Shelters

02-19-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-19-2015Perspectives
From our readers

02-19-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

02-19-2015Obituaries
Charles M. Zinther 

02-19-2015Obituaries
Lawrence L. Walli, Jr.

02-19-2015Obituaries
Jeffrey D. Teske

02-19-2015Obituaries
Donna M. Sopkowicz

02-19-2015Obituaries
Gerhardt Rusch

02-19-2015Obituaries
Lois Rehn

02-19-2015Obituaries
Carol Prestin

02-19-2015Obituaries
Harris J. Hubert

02-19-2015Obituaries
Mary J. Grandaw

02-19-2015Obituaries
Larry J. Goral, Sr.

02-19-2015Obituaries
Norita A. Gifford

02-19-2015Obituaries
Melvin L. Brunette

02-19-2015Obituaries
Deborah L. Wilde

02-19-2015Obituaries
Rosemary A. Sutek

02-19-2015Obituaries
Gary E. Limberg

02-19-2015Obituaries
Laurie A. Kinziger

02-19-2015Obituaries
Rosemary Johnston

02-19-2015Obituaries
Charles H. Jessel Sr.

02-19-2015Obituaries
Robert Heckel

02-19-2015Obituaries
Helena Hanysz

02-19-2015Obituaries
June R. Gering

02-19-2015Obituaries
Roger O. Durocher

02-19-2015Obituaries
Doris M. Durocher

02-19-2015Obituaries
Brooke Kay Benoit

02-19-2015Obituaries
Ronald R. Bajczyk

02-19-2015News
Moose Lodge Sets Feb. 21 Fundraiser

02-19-2015News
Lions Members Selling Roses

02-19-2015News
Goodman Fire Dept. Dinner is Feb. 21

02-19-2015News
Antique Show at Moose Lodge Apr. 11

02-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Lions Bowling Tourney Dates

02-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Auxiliary To Offer Scholarships

02-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Buys Tender Truck, Seek Recycling Center Help

02-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Town Buys Tractor, Action on Road Bans

02-19-2015Community - Crivitz
Hunter Education Class To Start


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you agree with the Governors proposed budget cuts to the UW system?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2015
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites