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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Wagner Board Getting Prices For New Cottage Lane Bridge

Issue Date: September 27, 2018

Replacement or reconstruction of the Cottage Lane Bridge in the Town of Wagner is again being considered by the Wagner Town Board. After some discussion at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12, board members asked Clerk Linda Wilke to get some cost quotes to help them reach a decision. Wilke said she has been doing that, and will report to the board at its next meeting, which is set for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Cottage Lane has been barricaded on each side of the creek for over a year due to washouts and failing culverts. Due to cost of replacing the bridge, the previous board had decided to dead end the road on each side of the creek. At the board's August meeting current Town Chair Kurt Konell appeared to fully support that action, despite strong objections repeatedly voiced by several Cottage Lane property owners.

One of those property owners, Atty. Bill Everson, threatened to sue if the board refuses to repair or replace the bridge and reopen the road. Several members of Everson's family, including his parents and at least two siblings, own properties on either side of the bridge. Everson cited laws on road closings and said these formerly close neighbors are now required to drive four and a half miles to exchange visits.

Konell at that August meeting indicated the issue was closed, but it was on the agenda again for the September meeting, and apparently will be discussed again in October.

Other Cottage Lane action at the September meeting involved lowering the curve speed limit to 25 miles per hour between Hwy. 180 to the bridge as had been requested in August.

Present for the 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 meeting in addition to Konell and Wilke were supervisors Mollie Arthur and Ed Delfosse, Animal Control Officer Jerry Micksch, Fire Chief Thomas Arthur, Treasurer Linda Larochelle, and numerous members of the public.

The board was advised that the Historical Society has purchased security cameras for the Town Hall and two of them are up and running. Security cameras that had gone missing from the town dump/recycling center were discussed in August, and at the September meeting the board approved a motion to purchase replacements.

Authorizing ATV/UTV use on all town roads has been approved by the board, but just how to get it done legally has been an issue. Wilke told them the ordinance approved in November of 2014 must be revoked, and they could reinstate a a previous one if they wished. However, she is working on wording of a new ordinance to support the board's previous dec ision to again allow ATVs and UTVs on town roads. The Sportsman's Club has offered to help pay for the necessary signs, Wilke said.

The board approved a contract to buy propane from Country Visions for the season at their quoted price of $1.38 per gallon.

There had previously been discussion on having the town books audited, but action was put off pending information on cost. Wilke said Certified Public Accountant Brad Walters had told her they may only need someone to look over the books rather than pay for a full audit. She was told audits should be set up on a three-year cycle.

After some discussion on hiring a municipality lawyer the board decided informally to continue using the services of Atty. Kim Coggins on an as needed basis as they have in the past. Board members expressed preference for having a locally based legal advisor.

Town equipment and town vehicles continued to be stored on the property of former Town Chair Lynn Hickey and her husband, Jim Hickey, who was the town's public works director before she resigned her chairman's position in May of this year. Lynn Hickey previously has assured the board that continuing to have the town equipment stored on their property is not a problem and there is no hurry to get it off. After discussing that issue again at the September meeting the board again took no action and the equipment and vehicles are still stored on the Hickey property.

Another issue recently has been compensation paid to William Labunski for cutting grass at the town hall. He had maintained at a recent special board meeting that he was not being paid what he had been promised. Wilke said she had paid him what the minutes prescribed, and if the board had approved a different agreement before she became clerk she was unable to find it in town records.

Labunski subsequently resigned, so the town currently is seeking a new groundskeeper.

At the September 12 meeting Labunski again raised the issue of his pay. He told the board his compensation was for rental of his equipment, but Wilke had paid it to him as a wage, so he ended up with payroll taxes deducted. Motion to correct this as requested by Labunski was made by Arthur, seconded by Delfosse and approved.

The board unanimously approved paying expenses for LaRochelle to attend a meeting of the Marinette County Unit of Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA) on Thursday, Sept. 27 in Wausaukee as well as two-day WTA training session for town treasurers.

Current Public Works Employee Wayne Voight reported he has been busy brushing roads, painting the shed at the dump, sealing the ramp, and filling Ball Park Road.

The board approved hiring Town & Country Tree Service, approved payment of bills as presented, approved minutes and treasurer's reports, and was advised that the animal control officer had received no calls.

During the past month the Wagner Fire Department responded to two calls through the Mutual-Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), and one lift assist request. They had 96 training hours. They were to have a pump test on Sept. 17 and hose testing on Oct. 8, and was one of eight departments that worked together on a training exercise that involved burning down a house.


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