space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marinette Golfers Winners at Menominee/Oconto Falls Invites
* Peshtigo Boys Dominate Running Events
* M&O Softball - Peshtigo Claims Conference, Earns Fourth Straight Title
* M&O Baseball - Casper's Crew Adds Another Conference Crown
* Area Golf - Marines Finish Second at the NEC Mega Meet

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

County Faces $350,000 Unexpected Repair Bill

Marinette County Board’s Finance and Insurance Committee will meet in special closed session at 1 p.m. Friday, March 21 to consider any and all matters related to acts by businesses under s. 560.15 which, if discussed in public could adversely affect the business, its employees or former employees; to-wit: Anonymous Financial Complaints.

No other details were given in the meeting notice. The agenda includes the possibility of action after returning to open session. Finance and Insurance Committee members are Supervisors Melissa Christiansen, Kathy Just, Don Pazynski, Connie Seefeldt and County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder.

At the end of its regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 17 the committee went into closed session for the same purpose.

The big item at the March 17 meeting was authorization for Information Services Director Larry Schultz to spend up to $350,000 of unbudgeted funds to correct unexpected problems with the interconnected telephone/computer system that serves the County Courthouse, Law Enforcement Center, and Health and Human Services Building in Marinette.

After explanations by Schultz and Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison the committee authorized spending $347,000 for Cisco components including switches, cables, various types of modules and other items, along with installation and service agreements needed to restore the county’s communications/computer system to reliable operation.

There had been some problems for a week or so with telephone connections, but it apparently all came to a head last week, while County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder was on vacation.

Mattison told of trying to talk to a witness by telephone in preparation for a trial, but the phone kept kicking out as the conversation got going.

She was a bit nervous. She said on Tuesday she has a doctor testifying by telephone for a jury trial. She hopes the telephone to the courtroom does not fail.

In today’s world, we can’t operate without a phone or a computer, she declared.

Schultz had some people from CDW-G look into the problem and it was discovered that nearly all the switches are bad. CDW-G is a firm that provides computer and telephone components to the state and its municipalities in partnership with Wisconsin’s Bureau of Procurement Vendor Net System.

Mattison explained some years ago (in 2007), under the previous County Administration, switches for the computer/telephone system were purchased from E-Bay. Those switches did not hold up, she said. They should have lasted at least 10 years. Instead they began failing all at once, more than three years short of their anticipated life span.

Schultz at one point in the conversation showed two of the switches that actually have the same serial number. There may be more.

Mattison likened buying this type of equipment from E-Bay to buying a Rolex watch from a street vendor in Mexico.

Schultz said the Cisco representative offered him an excellent discount because of the problem the county was facing, but even so, the first set of components, to redo the system in the courthouse, will cost $200,000. He had to order on Friday, March 14 or wait an entire additional week to get the rapidly failing system fixed. He only had $80,000 in his budget for replacing switches.

Normally it is the Finance Committee that approves purchases of this type, and decides where the money will come from. Mattison explained the Executive Committee has authority to act in this type of emergency, but Schroeder, who heads that group as County Board Chair, was on vacation and couldn’t call a meeting.

But Schultz would lose that additional week if he waited, so he had already ordered the first $200,000 of components by the time the Finance Committee met on Monday. He said the components will be here before the weekend and installation can begin on Friday afternoon. He explained the work has to be done outside of business hours. Until then, the county departments will make do with a failing system.

There still is need for switches and other component replacements for the Law Enforcement Center and Human Services building.

Schroeder asked if Cisco is the only vendor that provides the Equipment Marinette County needs.

Schultz said the system is kind of standardized, and at an average of $24,000 per unit they are paying well below the state price.

Schultz said the switches hit by lightning last summer were already replaced, so these failures will not affect the courthouse video conferencing.

How much have we spent on this type of situation? asked Supervisor Connie Seefeldt, adding, It must be in the millions!

Finance Director Pat Kass wasn’t sure, but he didn’t think it was that much.

Schultz said the phones go robotic several times a day, and other times either the caller cannot be heard, or vice versa. They had engineers working on the problem before Cisco was called in.

To questions from the committee, Schultz said there is backup, and the county would never be without 911, but with the current situation, officers on the road could be without communication.

We need to get this done as soon as possible, Schroeder said. That computer and telephone system is the backbone of the courthouse. But he asked where the money could come from.

Kass said Information Services had $357,000 in its capital equipment fund at the end of 2013. He recommended using that, and capitalizing the expense to be charged back to other county departments over a 10-year period. he explained Information Services operates like an internal business that does not go on the tax roll directly but charges other county departments for the services it provides.

Is this what you want to spend it on? Seefeldt asked Schultz.

No, but we only had $80,000 budgeted to replace these, Schultz replied.

I feel kind of confident there will be no more major catastrophes, Schultz said when Pazynski asked if his crystal ball anticipated other significant problems in the near future. he repeated these switches were purchased from E-Bay, and lasted nearly seven years instead of the anticipated 10, so I guess we got lucky.

From a business perspective, we have no choice,Pazynski declared. Everyone else agreed, and motion to capitalize the expenditure from the IS funds as Kass recommended was unanimously approved. Kass said they in effect they were taking the cash and converting it into another asset to make it more productive.

Christiansen wondered about the Highway Department at Peshtigo and county facilities in Niagara. Schultz said with everything happening on Friday afternoon he didn’t have a chance to run up there. There could be one of the faulty switches at each location. The Pembine and Crivitz shops do not have them, and some areas still have good switches,Schultz said. Kass said if other switches do need to be replaced, that money will have to come from contingency. Pazynski felt if there are chances of more switches failing they should be changed now, when the rice is $13,000 to $15,000 each instead of the regular price.

In more ordinary business Kass reported he had invested some of the county’s $3.5 million reserves at 3.5 percent interest, some for four years at 2.7 percent, and some for five years on a callable basis at 2.85 percent, plus a one year CD at .8 of a percent. Kass said he has to make sure the county has funds available for times like this, when they need the $370,000.

Carryovers from 2013 being put into the 2014 included $11,000 from personal care equipment and materials were transferred for computer equipment purchased in December of 2013.

There was $13,870 left in Corporation Counsel’s account from the original $40,000 allocated for legal fees in the AFSCME case, and that was carried over to 2014. That case has been appealed to the state Supreme Court. The library account had a surplus of $67,000 that has been carried over for implementation of the WIPFLI study in 2014. Seefeldt noted the library system had money left because they had been unable to keep help, particularly at the outlying libraries. She hopes that problem will be taken care of with implementation of the wages recommended by WIPFLI.

Christiansen said she had a number of phone calls from people wanting information about the county’s health insurance, particularly in regard to deductibles and out of pocket costs. Kass said some things had changed and people weren’t notified.

We hired a consultant and we need to know exactly what he is doing, Seefeldt declared. That subject is to be on the committee agenda for its meeting at 1 p.m. on Monday,April 7.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
05-18-2016Sports
Marinette Golfers Winners at Menominee/Oconto Falls Invites

05-18-2016Sports
Peshtigo Boys Dominate Running Events

05-18-2016Sports
M&O Softball - Peshtigo Claims Conference, Earns Fourth Straight Title

05-18-2016Sports
M&O Baseball - Casper's Crew Adds Another Conference Crown

05-18-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-18-2016Perspectives
From our readers

05-18-2016Perspectives
From My Window

05-18-2016Obituaries
Morris Whiting

05-18-2016Obituaries
David L. Teteak

05-18-2016Obituaries
Ivan Ryan

05-18-2016Obituaries
Thomas W. Robison

05-18-2016Obituaries
Tony Rabas, Jr.

05-18-2016Obituaries
Harriet M. Pearson

05-18-2016Obituaries
Richard J. Netzer

05-18-2016Obituaries
Elizabeth H. Myers

05-18-2016Obituaries
Rev. Frederick Mueller 

05-18-2016Obituaries
Verna F. Minzlaff

05-18-2016Obituaries
Arlyn C. LaFortune

05-18-2016Obituaries
Virginia E. Harner

05-18-2016Obituaries
Scott G. Grady

05-18-2016Obituaries
James A. Durocher

05-18-2016Obituaries
Deacon Jim Dennison

05-18-2016Obituaries
Alexander J. Brisko

05-18-2016Obituaries
Harriet l. Bergfelt

05-18-2016Obituaries
Dorothy A. Anderson

05-18-2016Obituaries
Virginia M. Adams

05-18-2016Obituaries
Jed C. Barley

05-18-2016Obituaries
Leigh E. Konop

05-18-2016Obituaries
Karlene and Henry Keller

05-18-2016Obituaries
David D. Kasten

05-18-2016Obituaries
Ruby E. Ivens

05-18-2016Obituaries
James J. Hanna Sr.

05-18-2016Obituaries
Babe Doney

05-18-2016Obituaries
Gladys M. Davis

05-18-2016Obituaries
Elsie V. Bair

05-18-2016Community - Wausaukee
Residents Can Join Flea Market

05-18-2016Community - Wausaukee
Grand Opening of Goodman Historical

05-18-2016Community - Wausaukee
Legion Memorial Service May 30

05-18-2016Community - Wausaukee
Red Hots Dine at Red Brick

05-18-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Sponsors Summer Food Service Program

05-18-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Rescue Squad Lists Annual Presentations

05-18-2016Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam May 20th

05-18-2016Community - Crivitz
Seek Volunteers to Clean Up Park

05-18-2016Community - Coleman
Pound Car Show Seeks Venders

05-18-2016Community - Coleman
Recognition Night for Coleman Seniors

05-18-2016Community - Coleman
LCMC In Area Rummage Sale

05-18-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Choirs Get Good Rating at Fest

05-18-2016Front Page
Officers Remembered at Law Enforcement Memorial Service

05-18-2016Front Page
Jail Only Current Option For Marinette County Mentally Ill

05-18-2016Front Page
Rededicate Town Brazeau Memorial Field May 28

05-18-2016Front Page
Miron Will Have Two Separate Jury Trials

05-18-2016Front Page
Jail Crews Help Clean Up County Roadsides

05-11-2016Obituaries
Jodyn Walters

05-11-2016Obituaries
Patricia M. Wilcox

05-11-2016Obituaries
Alan W. Vollmer III

05-11-2016Obituaries
Dorothy B. Usiak

05-11-2016Obituaries
Jacob A. Thorne

05-11-2016Obituaries
Ernest R. Schroder

05-11-2016Obituaries
Janina Sabon

05-11-2016Obituaries
Barbara E. Paulson

05-11-2016Obituaries
Francis H. Nowakowski

05-11-2016Obituaries
Sylvia Markusen

05-11-2016Obituaries
Richard T. Lowery  

05-11-2016Obituaries
Loretta L. Hanson

05-11-2016Obituaries
John D. Elliot

05-11-2016Obituaries
Marcia G. Booker

05-11-2016Obituaries
Irene M. Plewka

05-11-2016Obituaries
Ann M. Klescewski

05-11-2016Obituaries
William J. Block

05-11-2016Sports
Area Golf - Marines Finish Second at the NEC Mega Meet

05-11-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-11-2016Sports
Area Track & Field - Marinette Boys Top Peshtigo Invite; Marine Girls Second

05-11-2016Perspectives
From our readers

05-11-2016Perspectives
From My Window

05-11-2016Sports
M&O Softball - Peshtigo One Step Closer to Title

05-11-2016Front Page
BAMC Breaks Ground For New $135 Million Hospital

05-11-2016Sports
M&O Baseball - Coleman Extends Conference Lead; Takes Down Wausaukee

05-11-2016Front Page
Closing Fieldhouse Pool More Expensive Than Other Options

05-11-2016Perspectives
9th Annual Ride for Homeless Vets May 21

05-11-2016Front Page
Parkinson Support Meeting May 19th

05-11-2016Front Page
Creative Flea Market Town of Peshtigo Style

05-11-2016Community - Wausaukee
Bailey Miller is Scholarship Recipient

05-11-2016Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Town Board To Meet May 11th

05-11-2016Community - Wausaukee
MI Board Meet May 12

05-11-2016Community - Crivitz
NWTC Provides Small Business Workshops

05-11-2016Community - Crivitz
Fishing Derby at Timberline June 25

05-11-2016Community - Crivitz
VFW Brat Fry May 15

05-11-2016Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Board Looks At Road Work, Building Project

05-11-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Pound Annual Rummage Sales May 20-21

05-11-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman High School Commencement May 28

05-11-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Monthly Meet May 16

05-11-2016Community - Coleman
2 Classes at Coleman Library

05-04-2016Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire, Rescue May 9

05-04-2016Community - Wausaukee
Change Pembine School Board Meet

05-04-2016Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Post 66 Plans Memorial Rites

05-04-2016Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Greenhouse 5th Annual Plant Sale

05-04-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Gun Show May 7

05-04-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz American Legion Names New Officers

05-04-2016Obituaries
Lori A. Wilson

05-04-2016Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Auxiliary Current Officers Remain

05-04-2016Obituaries
Morris W. Lange, Sr. 

05-04-2016Obituaries
Roger A. Kittson, Sr.

05-04-2016Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Meeting is May 5

05-04-2016Obituaries
Arlene E. Jaeger

05-04-2016Obituaries
Michael L. Gilligan

05-04-2016Obituaries
Jean A. Kanzenbach

05-04-2016Obituaries
Carmen M. (Shallow) Danks

05-04-2016Obituaries
Alberta L. Risner-Clute

05-04-2016Community - Coleman
Pastor David Navis Seated With Pound Village Board

05-04-2016Obituaries
Michael C. Cloutier

05-04-2016Obituaries
Gerald H. Chenard

05-04-2016Community - Coleman
Equity Park Craft Fair, Flea Market on June 18

05-04-2016Obituaries
Earl E. Bramschreiber, Jr.

05-04-2016Obituaries
William F. Baumler, Jr.

05-04-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Pound Annual Rummage Sales May 20-21

05-04-2016Obituaries
Dorothy A. Anderson

05-04-2016Obituaries
Delbert G. Zahn

05-04-2016Obituaries
Donald A. Witt

05-04-2016Community - Coleman
Coleman Legion Memorial Day Program May 30th

05-04-2016Obituaries
Gerald J. Williamsen

05-04-2016Obituaries
Virginia Wardecke

05-04-2016Obituaries
Suzanne M. Timock

05-04-2016Obituaries
Robert J. Taylor

05-04-2016Obituaries
Everett D. Stinehart

05-04-2016Front Page
Crivitz Fire Department Chosen For CBA/CRA Annual Awards

05-04-2016Obituaries
Earl Shallow

05-04-2016Obituaries
David L. Schingeck

05-04-2016Obituaries
John S. Ries,

05-04-2016Obituaries
James E. Reed Jr.

05-04-2016Obituaries
Ellsworth Luebeck

05-04-2016Obituaries
Hollis Lance

05-04-2016Obituaries
Margaret Kloida

05-04-2016Obituaries
Dorothy A. Holmquist

05-04-2016Obituaries
Frank J. Bretl, Jr.

05-04-2016Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-04-2016Front Page
Council Approves Design, Survey for Civic Center

05-04-2016Perspectives
From our readers

05-04-2016Front Page
Lena School Considers Europe Educational Trip for High Schoolers

05-04-2016Perspectives
From My Window

05-04-2016Front Page
Peshtigo School Ad Hoc Looks To Next Referendum Attempt

05-04-2016Front Page
Coleman Considers ATV Trails in Village

05-04-2016Sports
M&O Golf - Crivitz Wins Conference Nine Hole Match; Peshtigo Claims Annual Ryder Cup Event

05-04-2016Sports
Local Track Squads Compete At 66th Annual Oconto Falls Invite

05-04-2016Sports
Area Softball - M&O Heats Up as Second Round Begins

05-04-2016Sports
M&O Baseball - State Ranked Coleman Continues Conference Run

04-28-2016Sports
Marines Suffer First Set Back

04-28-2016Sports
Marines Win Mega Meet; Oconto Tops Crivitz Invite

04-28-2016Sports
Area Athletes Standout at Rosholt/Suring Invites

04-28-2016Sports
Peshtigo Stays Perfect to Pace Conference

04-28-2016Obituaries
Marian E. Smiltneck


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
The Obama administration is telling all U.S. public school districts to allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms "consistent with their gender identity". Do you agree?
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
© 2000-2016
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites