space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Conference Play Begins for Area Squads
* Badgers Claim Early Supremecy in M&O Play
* Area Grapplers Take to the Mats
* Peshtigo Bowlers Off to Good Start
* Bighead Carp Caught on Lower Wisconsin River

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

Residents Urge County To Save $2 Million, Beauty Of Hwy. BB

Many residents along County BB (Shore Drive) in the Town of Peshtigo have been quite vocal in their opposition to Marinette County Highway Department’s plans to enforce a road right of way of 66 feet and add ditches and culverts as part of a $3.5 million reconstruction project for the 4-mile stretch of road from University Ave. at the Marinette city limits to Pond Road. Current plans would force residents to remove trees, gardens, fences, decorative features and in a few cases buildings.

Three of them were vocal again during time for public comment at the start of the Marinette County Board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The issues became major concerns for BB residents after letters went out in August from Highway Commissioner Robert Palonen informing 99 property owners they have encroachments that will have to be moved. The first letter gave a deadline in mid-May of 2014, and did not advise of any right to object.

After the town board at its meeting on Sept. 17 hired Attorney David Spangenberg to advise residents of their rights, at least 33 property owners sent letters to the Highway Department stating their objections.

One or more produced deeds showing the county only owns 44 feet of road right of way where BB abuts their property.

Town Chair Herman Pottratz has referred to the plans as a scorched earth policy. Another resident speaking at the Marinette County Board meeting said the clear cutting planned for their residential road will leave it looking like a plucked chicken.

Pottratz has been particularly critical of a change from a prior plan that would have cost $1.5 million to complete and that he feels would satisfy everyone. That plan called for simply resurfacing the road and adding three-foot paved paths on either side for bicycles or foot traffic. It left the ditches unchanged. The current $3.5 million plans, designed by Robert E. Lee after Palonen came on as Highway Commissioner, call for raising the road bed, widening it, and adding ditches and culverts. It does include the three-foot paved paths along each side of the road that residents had asked for. Trees will need to be cut and utilities will need to be moved, mainly because of the new ditches.

Pottratz maintains the ditches are not needed. He and numerous other residents say there has never been a drainage problem in the sandy soils of the area.

He and County Board Supervisor Don Pazynski, who represents the entire County BB area, have been upset that Palonen has been inflexible and refused to allow encroachments of even a few inches. Some of the fences, plantings, trees and decorations, including a large stone arch driveway entrance, have been in place for more than 40 years will have to be moved if the current plans are enforced.

Palonen has consistently maintained that by state law the county road must be built to the state’s county road standards, which require a cleared 66-foot right of way.

The previous plans for a $1.5 million project were designed by former Highway Commissioner Mark Desotell, who is a certified engineer, but there have been arguments that the design was under engineered.

All those concerns were expressed on Wednesday, Oct. 9, when a number of property owners who had received encroachment letters attended the Highway Committee meeting and asked that the county rethink its plans. There was mention of lawsuits that could arise if trees and plantings were removed from property that did not in fact belong to the county.

After that meeting a second letter went out from Palonen moving the deadline date for removal of encroachments from May of 2014 to Nov. 30 of this year. Again the letters requested removal of the encroachments and offered no advice on right to object.

The committee by a 3 to 2 split vote, with Supervisors Shirley Kaufman of Marinette and Russ Bauer, Town of Peshtigo, opposed, had approved the new deadline. Palonen told the committee he planned to have highway crews begin cutting trees and removing stumps along the right of way the following week.

However, that did not happen. At the next Highway Committee meeting, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, the work plans, and apparently the deadlines, were reversed. The committee by three to two vote authorized Palonen to suspend all planned utility adjustments, tree cutting and stump removal on the project until all encroachment and right of way issues have been resolved.

At the Oct. 23 meeting, Kaufman and Bauer voted against the motion to suspend, while Supervisors Mel Sharpe, City of Peshtigo; Joe Policello, Middle Inlet, and Russ Bousley, Dunbar, committee chair, voted in favor. Bauer and Kaufman have opposed the $3.5 million plans, but were concerned that improvements to BB may now be put off indefinitely. BB residents for years have been asking the county to repave the road and add the paths along side it, although many now are voicing objections to the plans for ditches and culverts.

Three town residents expressed their concerns to Marinette County Board during time for public comment at the start of the Tuesday, Oct. 29 meeting. Several other residents attended but did not speak.

First to the podium was Jim Kollross, a BB resident who called for replacement of Palonen as Highway Comissioner. We are continually finding difficulty trying to negotiate with him, Kollross said, and speaking with employees of the Highway Department we have discovered the Road Committee is wasting taxpayer dollars. He was critical that Palonen, who reportedly lives in Abrams, is allowed to take a county owned vehicle back and forth to work, and declared, Marinette County should reconsider having a nonresident as Road Commissioner!

Next up was Pottratz, who repeated his contentions that what started as a $1.5 million project now has ditches and culverts that are not needed. Those ditches, he said, will decrease safety of the road, cost taxpayers $3.5 million, and destroy the scenic beauty and rustic quality of the road. He said 99 property owners were notified that they have encroachments, and many are unhappy about possibly having to move them.

That is a beautiful road, Pottratz declared. He said property owners all along the highway maintain the roadsides beautifully, just as they do their yards, mowing right up to the gravel shoulders. Some have been doing that for half a century.

He said the road was last improved 40 years ago, and is basically still in good condition except that the blacktop is crumbling. It doesn’t need a total rebuild, he said. Just put on some new pavement and add the 3’ paths on each side and that would make everyone happy, he urged. I’m sure the county has better places to spend that extra $2 million.

Noting the Highway Committee has been divided on BB issues, he asked the entire County Board to become involved in the decisions.

Last up was Lori De Witt Davidson, who has been appointed repeatedly by County Board since 1991 to represent Marinette County on the NWTC District Board of Directors.

Davidson said she has lived on BB for almost 50 years, and has never seen a drop of water along the roadsides, and neither have her neighbors. She and her husband own other properties along the reconstruction area of BB and have never seen water collected there either, she added.

I bike on this road, I walk on this road, and I have never seen a drop of water in any ditches!

No ditches...No culverts...Do not raise the road, she urged. She said the county should save the $2 million difference between the $3.5 million project the Highway Commissioner wants and the $1.5 million road the residents, who pay the bills, want. Spend that money somewhere else, that’s real money! she repeated.

She added that her neighbors are very intense in their opposition to what is planned for their road.

I used to want the bike path... I used to want the walkway...I don’t any more. It’s too much! she declared.

She said the county needs to listen to the property owners, the people who live there, the people who pay the taxes.

Instead of our beautiful rustic road we’ll have a highway that looks like a plucked chicken, Davidson said, referring to plans to cut the trees and bushes that shield many homes along the road from passers by.

I know you’re good, thinking people...Think about it, she told the board.

Davidson said she had gone with a neighbor to speak with Palonen about the BB issues, and picked up a ho-hum attitude...he’d been through all this before.

I hope he isn’t in the business of disregarding the wishes of the property owners, Davidson added.

She concluded, Just resurface the road and find somewhere else to spend the $2 million.

Later in the meeting the board unanimously approved a $55,022 three-way contract with Meade & Hunt to design a new bridge and approaches over Little River on BB, but only after several questions were answered by Palonen. The contract includes Marinette County, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Meade & Hunt.

First to object was Supervisor Robert Holley, who felt $55,000 was an excessive amount of money for engineering that bridge.

The residents don’t want it, and I don’t want it, Bauer said of the plans for BB. Now that the project is postponed, he asked, How can you design a bridge when you haven’t decided on the road?

Palonen said the bridge will be built either way, and will fit the road regardless of the final design.

Didn’t we just put some money into that bridge in the last two years? asked Supervisor Tom Mailand. He said the county had done a study at that time, which he felt should still be good.

Palonen said if that was done, it was before he became commissioner.

Supervisor Al Mans asked who decides the bridge needs to be rebuilt, and Palonen explained every few years all bridges are inspected, and those in the worst condition become eligible for funding.

Highway Committee Chair Russ Bousley noted the county does not select the engineers, the state does.

Palonen explained reconstructing the bridge is jointly funded by the state, county and federal governments, with the county paying only 20 percent of design and construction costs. Under the grant programs, counties must hire an engineering firm and cannot do their own engineering. The state handles the entire project, except that the county puts out an RFP for a design consultant and selects the two highest ranked responses, which are then submitted to the state and the state then negotiates with them for the design and contract.

Supervisor Gilbert Engel asked if the $55,000 is the amount Marinette County pays, or if the county pays 20 percent of that, and was told the county pays 20 percent, so design cost to the county will be just over $11,000.

The only other speaker to address the board during public comment time was Supervisor Ted Sauve, who serves on the NEWCAP Board of Directors. He showed impressive photos of The housing development under construction on Water Street behind Marinette Middle School, mainly to serve the influx of Marinette Marine employees. The project is being built with NEWCAP, HUD and WEDA funds, he said. There is to be a ribbon cutting ceremony in February or March.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
12-06-2017Sports
Conference Play Begins for Area Squads

12-06-2017Sports
Badgers Claim Early Supremecy in M&O Play

12-06-2017Sports
Area Grapplers Take to the Mats

12-06-2017Sports
Peshtigo Bowlers Off to Good Start

12-06-2017Obituaries
Carleton H. Warnecke

12-06-2017Obituaries
Sandra Rust

12-06-2017Obituaries
Laurie A. O'Connor

12-06-2017Obituaries
Mel L. Last II

12-06-2017Obituaries
David M. Kostreva

12-06-2017Obituaries
Mary Koehne

12-06-2017Obituaries
Karen J. Deau

12-06-2017Obituaries
Theresa Boettcher

12-06-2017Obituaries
Kathleen M. Wood

12-06-2017Obituaries
Mildred H. Winkler

12-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School Holiday Concerts

12-06-2017Obituaries
John A. Wilson

12-06-2017Obituaries
Donald C. Reiter

12-06-2017Obituaries
Gary Keller

12-06-2017Obituaries
Kim M. Jones

12-06-2017Obituaries
William C. Holmes

12-06-2017Obituaries
Dorothy M. Butler

12-06-2017Obituaries
Peter C. Brown

12-06-2017Obituaries
Charles W. Boshan

12-06-2017Obituaries
Nancy Palenica

12-06-2017
Neil J. Ondracek

12-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Church Free Dinner, Movie

12-06-2017Obituaries
Gerald Lesperance, Jr.

12-06-2017Obituaries
James D. Kohn

12-06-2017Obituaries
Rick G. Klimek

12-06-2017Obituaries
Terrance R. Ingram

12-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board Meeting Dec. 13

12-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Ranger Booster Club Fundraiser is Feb. 10

12-06-2017Community - Crivitz
21 Crivitz Students at Education Fair

12-06-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Services, Free Dinner Dec. 24

12-06-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Christmas Float Made by Those with Disabilities

12-06-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Christmas Dinner

12-06-2017Community - Coleman
Founders of Coleman Cancer Event Raise Over $75,000

12-06-2017Community - Coleman
Swede Town Shed Damaged by Fire

12-06-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Hosts Senior Citizens

12-06-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Board to Discuss Two Overnight Student Trips

12-06-2017Front Page
Open House at New PCM Credit Union

12-06-2017Front Page
Lock, Gryzwa Will Not Seek Re-Election to Peshtigo Council

12-06-2017Front Page
Peshtigo Town Board Okays $925,412 Budget

12-06-2017Front Page
Marinette Firemen To Expand EMS Coverage

12-06-2017Front Page
Pound Parade Dec. 9, Special Meet Dec. 11

11-29-2017Sports
Bighead Carp Caught on Lower Wisconsin River

11-29-2017Obituaries
Frances T. Weimer

11-29-2017Obituaries
Donald Simonet

11-29-2017Obituaries
Bernard Pranica

11-29-2017Obituaries
John E. Pardee

11-29-2017Obituaries
Joan Paque

11-29-2017Sports
WIAA & Kwik Trip Resumes "Road Team of the Week"

11-29-2017Obituaries
Thomas Maye

11-29-2017Obituaries
Gerald Lesperance, Jr.

11-29-2017Obituaries
Deanna D. Koller

11-29-2017Obituaries
Ross F. Kies

11-29-2017Obituaries
Norman Jensen

11-29-2017Sports
Badgers Beat Rangers in OT

11-29-2017Obituaries
Paul G. Hoffman

11-29-2017Obituaries
Floyd W. Herson

11-29-2017Obituaries
Rose P. Hein

11-29-2017Obituaries
Connie A. Gustafson

11-29-2017Obituaries
Nancy I. Grun

11-29-2017Obituaries
Carl Francis

11-29-2017Obituaries
Rita R. Fitt

11-29-2017Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Felix

11-29-2017Obituaries
Lawrence Eichhorn

11-29-2017Obituaries
Larry P. Eatherton

11-29-2017Obituaries
William Doyen, Sr.

11-29-2017Obituaries
Robert E. Brown

11-29-2017Obituaries
Daniel W. Cloutier

11-29-2017Obituaries
William Caley

11-29-2017Obituaries
Helen M Bezio

11-29-2017Obituaries
Cheryl L. Aldrich

11-29-2017Sports
Marines Hold on for Tight Win in Peshtigo

11-29-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

11-29-2017Perspectives
From My Window

11-29-2017Community - Wausaukee
Ranger Booster Club Fundraiser is Feb. 10

11-29-2017Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Board Hears Wausaukee School Report

11-29-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Church Free Dinner, Movie

11-29-2017Community - Wausaukee
796 Shoebox Gifts Collected for OCC

11-29-2017Community - Crivitz
Special Olympics in Crivitz Starts Dec. 3

11-29-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Village Board Approves Upgrades

11-29-2017Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Hosts Vintage Snomo Show

11-29-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Continues Discussions To Update Zoning Ordinance

11-29-2017Community - Coleman
Gift Baskets Topic at Library Dec. 6

11-29-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Youth Wrestling Sign Up

11-29-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Dec. 4

11-29-2017Community - Coleman
Senior Club To Meet on Dec. 4

11-29-2017Front Page
The Wall That Heals Coming to Crivitz Aug. 30 - Sept. 2

11-29-2017Front Page
Airplane Tampering Allegations Draw Objections, Responses

11-29-2017Front Page
Committee Recommends Keep Chicago Court Name

11-29-2017Front Page
Wausaukee Tax Rate Unchanged From 2017

11-29-2017Front Page
Marinette City Budget Public Hearing Nov. 30

11-22-2017Obituaries
Dolores Behringer

11-22-2017Obituaries
Mildred J. Berman

11-22-2017Obituaries
Mason S. Ermis

11-22-2017Obituaries
Phyllis E. Gretzon

11-22-2017Obituaries
Amina Hambrick

11-22-2017Obituaries
Suzanne Hansen

11-22-2017Obituaries
Evelyn B. Holl

11-22-2017Obituaries
Joan M. Johnson

11-22-2017Obituaries
Brian H. Jossart

11-22-2017Obituaries
Theodore B. Knutson

11-22-2017Obituaries
Donald Lewandowski

11-22-2017Obituaries
Barbara J. Parrett

11-22-2017Obituaries
Charles P. Sindberg

11-22-2017Obituaries
Kathleen E. Selby

11-22-2017Obituaries
William R. VandenBloomer

11-22-2017Obituaries
James Wirtz

11-22-2017Obituaries
Linda Woulf

11-22-2017Sports
Bucs Dominate Roadrunners With Strong Second Half

11-22-2017Sports
Majewski's Career High Pushes Lakeland Past IIT

11-22-2017Sports
DNR Assessed Lakes and Rivers Remain Healthy

11-22-2017Sports
Cavaliers Thankful to Enter Win Column

11-22-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

11-22-2017Perspectives
From Our Readers

11-22-2017Perspectives
From My Window

11-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is Nov. 27th

11-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Town Wausaukee Sets $449,623 Tax Levy

11-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Labor of Love Family Collection

11-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Hosts Turkey Trot Nov. 23

11-22-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Passes Budget Revisions

11-22-2017Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Christmas Dinner

11-22-2017Community - Crivitz
Christmas Tea at Crivitz Dec. 9th

11-22-2017Community - Crivitz
Christmas in Bethlehem at Crivitz Church Nov. 25

11-22-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman FFA Off To a Fast Start

11-22-2017Community - Coleman
Town of Pound Considers Possible Cheese Factory

11-22-2017Community - Coleman
Gift Baskets Topic at Library Dec. 6

11-22-2017Community - Coleman
12th Annual Christmas Bazaar, Craft, Vendor Sale

11-22-2017Front Page
County, Town, State Working To Improve Internet Service

11-22-2017Front Page
Wausaukee Faces Problems With False WWTP Testing Reports

11-22-2017Front Page
Former Hammes Garage Site Is Now A Vacant Lot

11-22-2017Front Page
Nogalski Reports On State Of Cemetery

11-22-2017Front Page
Peshtigo Tree Lighting Ceremony at Triangle Park

11-15-2017Sports
2017 Nine-day Gun Deer Season Opens Saturday, Nov. 18

11-15-2017Sports
WIAA State Football This Week in Madison

11-15-2017Obituaries
Eugene C. Sobeck

11-15-2017Obituaries
Dorothy M. Perkins

11-15-2017Obituaries
Ronald J. Lindgren

11-15-2017Obituaries
Sharon E. Heitkemper

11-15-2017Obituaries
George G. Garbell

11-15-2017Sports
Menominee's Playoff Run Ends

11-15-2017Obituaries
Jody L. DeHut 

11-15-2017Obituaries
Daniel W. Cloutier

11-15-2017Sports
Bulldogs Beat Foxes

11-15-2017Obituaries
Donald L. Champagne

11-15-2017Obituaries
James L. Bogusz

11-15-2017Obituaries
Ursula Whiting

11-15-2017Obituaries
Phyllis Turner


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should President Trump cut back on the amount of tweets he makes?
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
© 2000-2017
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites