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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Middle Inlet Fire Department Starting Cold Water Rescue

Middle Inlet Fire Chief John Coddington informed the Town Board at its meeting Thursday. Jan. 9 that lack of fire numbers on properties along Trellis Lane caused firefighters problems on a recent callout. He said the only numbers visible were small ones on a mail box, but none that were easily readable to identify the fire site.

Firefighter Jim Swanson wondered if there was a town ordinance requiring fire numbers and was told there was not. He commented once firefighters see the flames it may be too late.

This led to a discussion of the difficulty for all emergency services, including fire department, rescue squad and Sheriffs Department, in attempting to respond to a call for help at an address they cannot identify.

Clerk/Treasurer Charles Stanek said there is a lack of fire number signs on Trellis Road and Sweetheart City in particular. He noted one of the new double-sided signs costs $50, with post and installation included, which he said is “cheap insurance”. He personally installs the signs, but signs requested right now will not be installed until spring. The town pays $36 for each sign without post or installation, Stanek added.

Coddington said fortunately on the call he referred to the problem was a smoke detector battery that needed replacing. He said the home owner told him she will replace the batteries, and obtain a fire number just as soon as possible.

The Fire Department has been laying plans to organize a cold water rescue unit, a project that soon will become a reality. The board authorized the Fire Department to spend up to $5,320 for a “banana boat” with a deployment case and harness and Snow Tow Shield from Rapid Deployment Craft. Cost is $4,500 for the boat itself, $120 for shipping and $700 for the Snow Tow Shield.

Coddington had discussed the purchase with the town board last month, and was to get bids, but said this vessel, designed to travel on ice and through the woods with use of the Tow Shield, is only available through a dealer. The dealer they are working with covers the entire Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan area.

The rescue raft, which can travel on water or ice, and through the woods with the Town Shield, comes with two paddles and the oxygen bottles, hoses necessary to fill it, and a 5-year guarantee.

Coddington said Middle Inlet is getting a deal because he currently has six firefighters going through the cold water rescue training at the dealership in Pembine, and company representatives will come to Middle Inlet to train other firefighters.

Coddington told of a hunter in the Town of Lake who recently fell out of his tree stand and their rescue units didn’t have the equipment they needed to get him out safely.

Supervisor Tony Magerowski reported Northwoods Coalition Recycling Center has not been collecting enough recyclables to satisfy DNR requirements. The DNR wants 115 pounds per resident and the coalition average is only 32 pounds. Each community involved will need to put more effort - and investment - into promoting recycling and report what they are doing to the DNR. The board decided to put signs in business places and send out a mailing. Stanek noted many Middle Inlet weekenders take their recyclables home with them to put out where they have pickup at home. Magerowski said Middle Inlet was meeting the quota when they had roadside collection for recyclables, but people don’t want to store it and haul it in,”It’s just human nature.”

Stanek said they can get property owner address labels printed at the courthouse and get the flyers from the coalition, so the only cost of mailing will be the labels, postage and envelopes.

“It isn’t urgent, but it should be done in the first six months of the year,” Magerowski said.

Stanek reported the polling place audit by the state government Accountability Board found three deficiencies in accessibility for handicapped persons. One was location of the flag, which the inspectors felt might pose a problem for visually handicapped persons. He moved the flag. Another was the coat rack, where they might hit a head on a hanger, so there will be bumper guards installed, and the third was there is no bumper guard around the water bubbler near the rest rooms, so those will need to be installed. Stanek said he will make the guards for just the cost of materials, “to make the people in Madison happy.” He felt cost might be about $15.

The hall caretaker asked about finish for the hardwood floor, which she felt isn’t as shiny as it was. Supervisor Roger Leick said he spoke with the person who installed the flooring and was told he sees no problem with it, and it has a lifetime guarantee. “If it doesn’t hold up, he’ll put in a new one,” Leick said.

Town Chair Richard Wade reported as soon as the rush of tax time is over Stanek will draft a letter for the owners of several “problem properties,” to be mailed after the town attorney looks them over.

Wade reported a complaint from a resident because the Christmas star wasn’t up this year, and assured everyone it will be up next year.

Leick said he spoke with Building Inspector Jane Meisner and she will be submitting reports on building permits issued on the Monday before each monthly meeting.

The board unanimously agreed to approve a resolution accepting the last 194.43 feet at the west end of Trudgeon Road as a town road. It has been used and maintained as a town road for years, and the town has been receiving gas tax on it, Stanek said, adding it is even paved. However, the person who owns property at the end of Trudgeon Road wants to develop a 2-acre lot there and learned the road actually stops 195 feet before his property line. The county Zoning Office will not approve the certified survey map, which shows the property as landlocked. The situation can be corrected if the town board approves a resolution accepting the road, which they expect to do at their February meeting. There will be no problems as the same person who wants to develop the lot owns the 40 that the road crosses. Stanek noted any road that has been used and maintained as a town road for more than 10 or 20 years becomes a road. He recalled in the past a property owner at the end of Maple Beach Road tried to cut people off from the boat landing, but was unable to do it.

Wade reported a stop ahead sign on Wasko and XX was replaced, as was a stop sign at Maple Beach Road and Elinor Drive.

He said snowplow operators have done a good job so far this year, and evidently the new plow wing helped a lot.

Stanek reported a thank you letter hs been sent to Everett and Thomas Bell for a $200 donation to the fire department.

In financial reports for the month, Stanek stated vouchers of $219,903 included the January tax settlements, of which $108,000 was paid to the Crivitz School District. Magerowski was surprised it is that much, and Stanek said that is just a small part. About $800,000 of taxes collected on Middle Inlet properties goes to the school district, “the biggest part of our tax bill,” Stanek noted.

Stanek reminded the board of upcoming Wisconsin Towns Association meetings. The meeting at Carter on Friday, Feb. 21 is closest.

Stanek’s financial reports show at the end of December the town’s money market account totaled $327,158.43; General Checking had $500, Cemetery Savings totaled $10,940.30, Fire Department Savings came to $12,682 plus a $30,000 CD, Town CD remains at $10,000 and the Cemetery CD remains at $27,000, bringing the town’s total assets for the period to $418,281.44.


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