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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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County Board Again Asked To Consider Committee Revamp

Marinette County Board will hold its final scheduled meeting of 2017 starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Agenda includes discussion and possible action on a petition asking that the full County Board be given an opportunity to discuss and debate structuring and duties of the standing committees.

The petition was signed by 17 supervisors of the 30-member County Board. They have attempted previously to get this item to the full board floor but were stymied by the Executive committee, which is made up of board officers and committee chairs, generally the more senior County Board members. A look at these changes was proposed earlier in the year by Board Chair Mark Anderson but voted down by the Executive Committee.

If County Board approves as expected, County Courthouse office hours will be longer and slightly more user friendly than in the past. Effective Jan. 1, courthouse hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Previously the offices closed at 4 p.m. The extra half hour is now feasible because most county employees are on 40-hour work weeks rather than 35 hours that were in place years ago.

County Administrator John LeFebvre's monthly report is expected to include at least brief mention of restructuring of the County Extension office, including relocation of the UWEX offices from third to first floor of the courthouse, where it will be adjacent to the Land Information Department and offices of Land and Water Conservation personnel.

After long and intense debate at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Ag and Extension Committee approved both the relocation of the UWEX offices and naming of Land Information Office Director Greg Cleereman as Department head for UWEX. UWEX educators are provided to the county through a contract with the state, which is also on the agenda for approval at Tuesday's meeting. Support staff for them is provided by the county, at county expense, and it is these one and a half positions that will now be supervised by Cleereman.

Previously Ag Educator Scott Reuss had been department head for the UWEX personnel in Marinette County. Statewide, the UWEX program is going through some major changes and the state is no longer providing administration for the county offices.

Both the UWEX department head issue and the office relocation were approved by four to one votes of the Ag and Extension Committee on Tuesday, Dec.12, with Supervisor Cheryl Wruk (committee chair) opposed and Supervisors Josh Anderson, Penny Chaikowski, Tom Mailand and Ted Sauve in favor.

New and improved software will be coming to the Sheriff's Department and Marinette City Police if the board approves an agreement with Spillman Technologies for purchase of a Public Safety software package and three years of extended support as recommended by Finance and Law Enforcement Committees at meetings on Monday, Dec. 11, after explanations from Information Services Department Head Kevin Solway. Total cost of the software package is $907,488. Of this, $190,550 is to be reimbursed by the City of Marinette over a three year period, bringing Marinette County's final cost to $716,938.

Near the start of Tuesday's meeting County Board and others attending will view an economic development CD featuring POLICOM Corporation President William H. Fruth, with an introduction by Dan J. Peterson, President and CEO of Stephenson National Bank and Trust and member of the Marinette County Association for Business and Industry Board of Directors. The board had identified economic development for the county as one of the goals it will be pursuing.

County Forest and Parks Administrator Pete Vilas will give a presentation on the recently completed update to the county's Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

The board is expected to approve appointment of Suzanne Hinch as Child Support Director.

Approval is also expected for resolutions amending composition of the Comprehensive Community Services Coordination Committee as recommended by the Health and Human Services Committee, as well as agreements regarding independent contracts and the state revenue contracts with Health and Human Services for 2018

The 2018 agreement with Elderly Services is up for approval, as is acceptance of a cooperative Transportation Grant for approximately $132,935 for the year. Both agreements are subject to approval by Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison.

Law Enforcement Committee recommendations to be considered include the 2018 BayCom Service Agreement with Marinette County Dispatch at a cost of $18,367.83; a non-exclusive Tissue Recovery Agreement between the County Coroner and RTI Donor Services Inc., at no cost to Marinette County, term of agreement ending December 31, 2020, and the 2018 Inter-Governmental Contract Agreement between Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and Marinette County for 2018 Child Support Enforcement. Again, all are contingent upon Corporation Counsel's approval.

Personnel Committee recommendations being presented for approval of the full board include creation of a Mechanic I/II position and eliminating an Equipment Operator I position for the Highway Department, effective immediately; creating an Administrative Assistant I position to be located at the Job Center, effective immediately, and approval of a cell phone agreement through which instead of having county provided cell phones a number of employees will receive stipends for use of their own personal cell phones.

Changes to the county's Personnel Policies and Procedures manual affect employment and hiring for interim management positions; benefits and longevity, life insurance and classification plans affecting limited term employee positions.

A Building and Property recommendation to rent office space to the UW-Extension for the Area Extension Director is on the agenda for approval, but action may be withheld pending results of a meeting of corporation counsels in counties all across the state held Tuesday, Dec. 12 to discuss UWEX contacts under the new state system.

Easy approval is expected for a request from from CASA of Brown County to use vacant office space in one of the county facilities at no charge. CASA of Brown County partnered with Marinette County a year or so ago to establish a CASA program here. Trained CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children who are under a Child in Need of Protection and/or Services court order until the court case is closed and they have found a safe and permanent home. Judge James Morrison has hailed the program as "" an extremely positive community response to helping our most precious resource, kids."

Board approval is also expected for:

*Purchase of three 2018 Chevrolet Impalas from Ewald Chevrolet Buick for a total cost of $71,776.50;

*Purchase of 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan SE from Ewald Chevrolet Buick at a cost of $23,175.50;

*Purchase of 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan SE from Ewald Chevrolet Buick at a cost of $23,175.50, (This vehicle replaces one destroyed in an accident. The county will receive insurance reimbursement.)

*Renewal of the Wireless Telecommunications Equipment Service Agreement with New-Cell LLC (d.b.a. Cellcom) for an additional two year term, subject to a reduction in the minimum number of accounts from 125-100 accounts;

*Purchase of liability insurance coverage with a $25,000 deductible, excess workers' compensation, and property insurance, subject to various deductibles, through Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation;

*Purchase of bond schedule insurance through Aegis Corporation;

*The 2018 Sales and Use Tax Agreement between Wisconsin Department of Revenue and Marinette County;

*Educator Staffing contract with the UW-Extension for 2018;

*Purchase of LightHouse software totaling $20,000, Installation and Training Agreement totaling $4,000, Software Maintenance Agreement totaling $15,435 and Master Computer Software License Agreement as part of a Trimin software electronic recording module for the Register of Deeds office, as recommended by the land Information Committee;

*A Forestry and Parks Committee recommendation for an aspen cutting project with Frank's Logging to improve ruffed grouse habitat for $375 per acre, for an approximate total cost of $24,750. A grant from the Ruffed Grouse Society Grant is to pay $16,000, and Marinette County Forestry will pay the remaining $8,750 from the Wildlife Habitat Fund.

After adjournment, County Supervisors and Department Heads will hold a social luncheon at the Best Western Riverfront Inn. Those who attend will pay their own tabs.


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