space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Langlois/Wagner Head Marine All-Conference Selections
* Jacobson Tops M&O Golf Squad
* Osterberg Earns Back-to-Back Player of the Year Awards
* Kotecki/Debriyn Share Most Valuable Player
* "FORE Their Future" Schedule Announced

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
06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane/Silver Cliff Host co. Council ACA

06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Town Board To Attend Sex Offender Meet

06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Prayer Conference at Athelstane Church

06-21-2017Community - Wausaukee
Part of Pike River, Freele Closed for Run

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Northeast Asphalt Gets Wagner Cold Mix Bid

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Train Derailment in Village Crivitz

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Ladies of Faith Charity Luncheon

06-21-2017Community - Crivitz
Village Brush Disposal Taken Through June 26

06-21-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Department Responds to Structure Fire

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Lions To Sponsor Movie June 29

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
Church Has Booth During Car Show

06-21-2017Community - Coleman
10th Annual Pound Car Show June 24th

06-21-2017Perspectives
From our readers

06-21-2017Front Page
Coleman Founder, Joseph Brault Day Big Success

06-21-2017Perspectives
From My Window

06-21-2017Front Page
Expect County Pay Plan To Cost $313,385 In 2017

06-21-2017Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Names Staudenmaier Vice Chair

06-21-2017Obituaries
Kenneth B. Prestine

06-21-2017Obituaries
William Pairon

06-21-2017Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is June 25th

06-21-2017Obituaries
Walter T. Multerer

06-21-2017Obituaries
Richard P. Kordes

06-21-2017Front Page
Big Day Of Activities at Crivitz Tuesday, July 4th

06-21-2017Obituaries
Raymond J. Kopish

06-21-2017Obituaries
Diana Gutmann

06-21-2017Obituaries
Arthur Godin

06-21-2017Obituaries
Kenneth J. Dinse

06-21-2017Obituaries
Faye L. (Harbick) Archambault

06-21-2017Obituaries
William M. Aman

06-21-2017Sports
Langlois/Wagner Head Marine All-Conference Selections

06-21-2017Sports
Jacobson Tops M&O Golf Squad

06-21-2017Sports
Osterberg Earns Back-to-Back Player of the Year Awards

06-21-2017Sports
Kotecki/Debriyn Share Most Valuable Player

06-14-2017Sports
"FORE Their Future" Schedule Announced

06-14-2017Sports
Peshtigo Youth Fishing Tourney Is Big Success

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee 5K Run/Walk July 1

06-14-2017Sports
Area Legion Teams Take to the Diamond

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
SC Auxiliary Discusses Aug. 12 Picnic, Parade

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
Building with Plants at Library June 28

06-14-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Legion, Aux. Holds Meeting

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Discussion on GMO Realities at Library

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Hosts Wrestling Clinic

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Honor Students for Coleman High School

06-14-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Lists Hirings, Resignations

06-14-2017Sports
Rangers' Playoff Run Ends in State Semifinal

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
PTSD Run for Recovery June 24

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
County W Work In Crivitz To Be Finished By July 4

06-14-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam is June 16

06-14-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz May Qualify For State Emergency Aid

06-14-2017Perspectives
From our readers

06-14-2017Perspectives
From My Window

06-14-2017Obituaries
Lorraine A. Woulf

06-14-2017Obituaries
Shirley A. Redmann

06-14-2017Obituaries
Margarete B. Pichler

06-14-2017Obituaries
Keith H. Miller

06-14-2017Obituaries
Francis Kordish

06-14-2017Obituaries
Charlene V. Heimke

06-14-2017Obituaries
William V. Handle

06-14-2017Obituaries
H. David Elmer

06-14-2017Obituaries
June D. Ziech,

06-14-2017Obituaries
Virginia R. Wehrman

06-14-2017Obituaries
Charles J. Stodola

06-14-2017Obituaries
Lowell D. Rice

06-14-2017Obituaries
Genevieve E. Mahoney

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kurt E. Lundgren

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kay L. Johnson

06-14-2017Obituaries
Doreen L. Hermsen

06-14-2017Obituaries
Ruth A. Harmer

06-14-2017Obituaries
Faye Iva (Parker) Larsen and Curtis Raymond Larsen

06-14-2017Obituaries
Ralph A. Eastland

06-14-2017Obituaries
Leonard Dudkiewicz

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kathryn A. Chevalier

06-14-2017Obituaries
Kenneth "Pete" Burbey

06-14-2017Obituaries
Jeanette A. Babik

06-14-2017Front Page
STORM CLEANUP

06-14-2017Front Page
Three Towns Could Qualify for Disaster Aid After Storms Cause Power Outages, Damage

06-14-2017Front Page
Business Owners Interested in Former Porterfield School

06-14-2017Front Page
Marinette Council Tables Resolution Regarding Proposed Back Forty Mine

06-14-2017Front Page
Pound To Settle Village Paving Issues In July

06-14-2017Front Page
Marinette County Forestry Approves $1,353,612 Sale

06-07-2017Obituaries
Sandra L. Weir

06-07-2017Obituaries
Crestamari L. Walters

06-07-2017Obituaries
Rowland P. Trepanier

06-07-2017Obituaries
Virginia Surk

06-07-2017Obituaries
Peter Staal

06-07-2017Obituaries
Lawrence L. Siebers

06-07-2017Obituaries
Juanita Picard

06-07-2017Obituaries
John G. Paitl

06-07-2017Obituaries
Richard W. Netzel

06-07-2017Obituaries
Roberta F. McKenney

06-07-2017Obituaries
Tara M. Dennis

06-07-2017Obituaries
Sandy Berth

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is June 19

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
Real Communication at Wausaukee Library

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire Auxiliary To Make Picnic Plans

06-07-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library Reading Program June 14

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
2 Crivitz Teams in State YES! Contest

06-07-2017Obituaries
Eldean I. E. (Sjoquist) Wilch

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Gun Show on June 17

06-07-2017Obituaries
Harold R. Wettanen

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Summer Hours

06-07-2017Obituaries
Nancy L. Polzin

06-07-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Unit Raffle Calendar Sale

06-07-2017Obituaries
Brenda L. Oleson

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Benefit Yard Sale at Beaver June 8, 9

06-07-2017Obituaries
Vallarie Krzych

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board June 12

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Elementary Students Read 100 Million Words During the 2016-17 School Year

06-07-2017Obituaries
Donald H. Klumb 

06-07-2017Community - Coleman
Live Music at CHS Classes Reunion

06-07-2017Obituaries
Agnes A. Johnson

06-07-2017Obituaries
Elorine C. Hubbard

06-07-2017Front Page
Lemery Brothers Bond Through Storm Chasing

06-07-2017Obituaries
Harriet E. Beffa

06-07-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-07-2017Front Page
Peshtigo Accepts Grants, Plans Old Hammes' Building Demolition

06-07-2017Front Page
Village Coleman Approves Sex Offender Ordinance

06-07-2017Front Page
Marinette Council Awards Sale of Notes for New Rec Center

06-07-2017Front Page
Sex Offender Ordinance Passes Pound Town Board

06-07-2017Perspectives
From My Window

06-07-2017Sports
WIAA STATE GOLF

06-07-2017Sports
Cougars Repeat As Division 3 Boys State Champions

06-07-2017Sports
Wausaukee Makes Fourth State Appearance

06-07-2017Sports
Coleman & Niagara Bow Out in Sectional Finals

05-31-2017Sports
WIAA State Track & Field in LaCrosse This Weekend

05-31-2017Sports
24 Area Athletes Head to State Meet in LaCrosse

05-31-2017Sports
Wausaukee Last Area Team Left Standing

05-31-2017Sports
Four Area Teams Advance To Regional Final

05-31-2017Obituaries
Mary Lou Sommerfeldt

05-31-2017Obituaries
Mavis L. Patterson

05-31-2017Obituaries
Dolores K. Morstad

05-31-2017Obituaries
Faye L. Melka

05-31-2017Obituaries
Debbie Delfosse

05-31-2017Obituaries
Susan L. Bunting

05-31-2017Obituaries
Kevin C. Anderson

05-31-2017Obituaries
Julie L. Vinson

05-31-2017Obituaries
Earl J. Skenandore

05-31-2017Obituaries
Shirley M. Ness

05-31-2017Obituaries
Victor P. Stankevich Jr.

05-31-2017Community - Wausaukee
Seek Volunteers for Goodman Music in Park

05-31-2017Obituaries
Linda Stimac

05-31-2017Obituaries
Rose M. Senn

05-31-2017Obituaries
Yvonne Rhude

05-31-2017Obituaries
Michelle M. Lentz

05-31-2017Obituaries
Robert Race

05-31-2017Community - Wausaukee
GMO Realities Talk at Library

05-31-2017Obituaries
Rita M. LaPlant

05-31-2017Obituaries
Peter V. DeRossi


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think President Trump being tough with North Korea is the thing to do?
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