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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Recycling Materials by Athelstane Residents Less Than Average

At the Athelstane Town Board regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. members in attendance were Chairman John Dobratz, supervisors Bill Jose and Harold Tesch Jr., Clerk Janice DuChateau, and Treasurer Greg Reinhardt along with 19 members of the public.

Athelstane resident Earl Cummings approached the board with a request to purchase a 35 acre section of land. The section of land in question is owned by the town of Athelstane and is located between Perch Lake Road and County A&C.

Cummings, who currently owns land adjacent to the 35 acre parcel, stated that he became interested in the land when he became aware that the town was having the land surveyed for logging. Cummings stated if the board was interested, he would pay for an appraiser of the board's choosing and pay the appraised price for the land. Cummings added if he purchased the land, he would like to speak to the logging company about not having the area logged or only logging it to a limited degree.

Cummings also informed the board that there was a 16 foot discrepancy between a survey conducted around 1984 and the one that was just completed. The earlier survey shows the 16 foot area as belonging to where as the current survey shows it as belonging to the town. The board advised Cummings to look into this further.

Dobratz responded he was “not fond of the idea” of selling the land, but that it would have to be decided by the electors during either a special meeting or during the town's annual meeting. Tesch responded that it would have to be a special meeting due to the fact that the logging is set to occur in the spring before the annual meeting.

A member of the audience inquired as to whether Cummings had participated in the illegal road system that had been constructed on the land. Cumming replied, “Did I participate? Yes. Did I mow the grass? Yes. Did I cut down trees? No.” Cummings went on to state the paths on the land were used by many town residents as walking paths and that he didn't want to take the land from the town, he wanted to purchase it. Cummings asked the board to consider the idea and let him know.

During the meeting, the board approved the treasurer’s report. Treasurer Greg Reinhardt stated checks for the next month cannot exceed $34,673.83. “It's going to be nip and tuck, but if we don't have any emergencies we'll slip by,” he added.

The fire department reported 19 members were present at the two meetings held by the department during the month. Two members had responded to call on Nov. 26 to a house fire in Amberg that resulted in the death of a two-year-old child. Chairman Dobratz stated the fire was a real tragedy.

The Recycling Coalition expressed concern over the weight of materials recycled per capita for the Town. Prior to the Dec.10 meeting, a representative from the DNR informed the coalition that the average amount of recycled materials per resident should be around 100 lbs. The current average weight for materials recycled in Athelstane is 34 lbs. per resident.

The coalition plans to contact GAD, the refuse and recycling collection service to check how many residents use GAD services. Reinhardt asked whether or not the fact that many residents do not reside in the area year round was considered. The representative from the coalition said he would look into this further. The Highway Department reported three trucks had broken down in the last month, but all have been repaired.

Two members of the recycling department and a member of the janitorial staff for the Town Hall received a 25 cent per hour raise. There was some discussion whether or not to raise the pay of the town crew, but the board decided not to increase the crew's pay. Dobratz stated, “They already make at least $4 or $5 more an hour than other towns.”

The board discussed a previous amendment to Town Ordinance #20 that dealt with the term for the municipal judge. Prior to this amendment, the ordinance read, “Municipal Judges are elected at the spring election for a two year term.” The term has now been amended to four years, with elections for this position being held on even numbered years. The amendment to this ordinance is pursuant to Wisconsin law.

The Board announced the names of the election officials for the 2014-15 year. Ardena Retzlaff and Celia Miller will serve as election inspectors, and Kathryn Richison, Michael Adrian, Tina Barnes, Rene Price and Lenore Elias will be poll workers. It was also announced Athelstane will receive an additional $3000 of TRIP money because Goodman turned down the funds.

Other business conducted during this meeting included the approval of the agenda, bills and checks and minutes from meetings held since the last regular board meeting.


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