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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From Our Readers...

Issue Date: April 7, 2021

Dear Editor:

My name is Cari Josephson manager of The Longest Day program for the Alzheimer's Association, Wisconsin Chapter. I am writing to you to highlight and thank the incredible members of the Crivitz Cheerleading Program.

The team, along with coach Kellie Stumbris, recently held their annual Cheer Team Showcase for parents. During the Showcase, a 50/50 raffle was held in honor of one of the cheerleaders' grandparents, John Hensley. The raffle raised $130 which was donated to the Alzheimer's Association through The Longest Day program. This was incredibly touching and a wonderful way to honor John and to help others who are living with Alzheimer's or dementia..

The Longest Day is a DIY fundraising program where individuals take an activity they love and turn it into a fundraiser to honor a loved one or all who are facing Alzheimer's or dementia and raise funds to support the Alzheimer's Association. Participants from all over the world celebrate The Longest Day on summer solstice, June 20th.

If you'd also like to support The Longest Day with a donation, visit https://bit.ly/2PP5n8R. If you'd like to join the fight to end Alzheimer's and lead your own Longest Day fundraiser ,register at alz.org/TheLongestDay.

Thank you again to the Crivitz Cheerleading Program for their much appreciated support of The Longest Day!

Many thanks,

Cari Josephson

Manager, The Longest Day, Alzheimer's Association,

Wisconsin Chapter  





Editor:

PROTECT YOUR STATE LANDS NOW !!!

History Lesson:

The very same man who drilled multiple test holes along the Menominee River in Lake Township in 2002 has now applied for a Mineral Lease on 1,640 acres in Holmes Township, Menominee County, Michigan, through his new company Great Lakes Exploration, Inc. This man's discovery of minerals in Lake Township caused a start-up company from Toronto, Canada, named Aquila Resources, to come into our area with big pipe dreams of high-paying jobs and wealth for all.

For the past 19 years, Aquila has struggled to obtain the necessary permits from the State of Michigan and spent $100,000,000, mostly paying themselves six-digit salaries; and, still, they are struggling to obtain those required permits. What is even worse, Aquila manipulated the public into believing their fairytale and accepted millions of dollars for paper stock from our friends, families, neighbors and local citizens. As of today, Aquila stock is $.05 per share, and they continue to seek investors. Aquila was halted by the "Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada" (IIROC) when they recently tried to issue a $10,000,000 Appeal from additional investors.

And now, the same man who initiated the Aquila project is attempting to implement exploratory drilling in Holmes Township. We must STOP this Mineral Lease grant to Great Lakes Exploration, Inc. Those 1,640 acres of State land belong to the people of Michigan for hunting, snowmobiling, camping, hiking, and simply enjoying the peace and tranquility of the outdoors.

I believe in "Of the People, By the People, and For the People."

Please contact the Mineral Leasing Division of Michigan at: 517-284-5850;

Or write to: DNR-Minerals Management Section, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, Mich. 48909 or email Ken Babcock at: babcockk4@michigan.gov. Tell them you strictly oppose this lease application from Great Lakes Exploration, Inc., and request a Public Hearing! The deadline for public comments is APRIL 25, 2021. PLEASE DO IT NOW !!

Dale Burie, President

Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.





To the Editor,

I address my comments to all of those Trump haters who couldn't bear to live through another four years of an advancing economy, low unemployment, and increasing wages and instead looked forward to a change in the presidency led by a career politician who, after more than forty years in Washington D.C., could claim no more than a history of incompetence. Let me say at the outset, that I am neither a Republican or a Democrat, and have no political party affiliation. I am equally disgusted by the majority of members in both parties.

Please enjoy spending your stimulus checks which have been issued with the all too familiar method of bribery, typical of the prolific, wasteful spending of your elected representatives. The increase in your investment portfolios, IRAs and pension plans, which have grown handsomely since the financial debacles of 2007-2008, will shortly be coming to an end. America has now gone so far as spending your hard-earned dollars to now reinstate the Communist Party of China to its former glory by nullifying the Trump program of returning the manufacture of critical basic components of national independence to America. While our schools in large part have been closed for business since last year, we have found enough budget room to educate the illegal immigrants massing at our southern border by presidential invitation, but have not yet been able to educate our own children due to lockdowns.

Executive orders to stop pipelines, and attempts to reduce our independence on foreign oil will continue to cost valuable jobs and increase fuel prices. Electric cars may be fine, but we can't even keep ahead of chip manufacturing to enable car companies to put vehicles on the road. Who will make the batteries that run the electric vehicles? China?

Wake up America before it is too late! The old saying that "if the hole you are in is too deep, stop digging" remains true today. A trillion dollars here and there soon adds up to real money. Massive tax increases are just around the corner. If the government confiscated 100% of the incomes of the "rich", it would be a drop in the bucket compared to the national debt. All this after only three short months of Biden.

Dave Kipp,

Wausaukee





Dear Editor:

Significant concerns over Aquila Resources financial report

Aquila's 2020 year-end financial statement was just released. This report shows a negative working capital, a deficit; of -$760K.  This negative amount represents a reduction of -$1,360,000 in working capital for just the last 3-months of 2020. And, for the first 3-months of 2021 I believe this negative deficit has grown. The fact that Aquila received only $100,000 in 2021 from a company they've already sold in advance 85% of any silver and the first hundred thousand ounces plus of any gold they might mine suggests a deepening financial hole (pun intended) is imminent.

 Aquila's proposed mine site literally sits on the Wisconsin / Michigan border immediately adjacent to the Menominee River and next to Shakey Lakes County Park. Both States need to assure the public that thanks to the State of Michigan Aquila was allowed to punch 769 test drill-holes, over 134,000 meters (83.3 miles) into the areas drinking water, the areas Aquifer and groundwater! These test-wells remain open and not permanently capped. There is a 100% chance that if these holes are not abandoned in the proper method that pollution to our drinking and groundwater WILL RESULT.

 Aquila's published documents are in fact telling the world, including the States of Wisconsin and Michigan, of a negative financial situation that warrants a public audit into Aquila Resources financial resources. And, there must be a funded plan to abandon these test-holes (basically wells) properly in order to protect the area's drinking water supply and to make sure the taxpayers of the SOM don't get stuck paying for a Canadian company and the issues they may have created here.  

 Why am I so concerned?  Aquila financials states they have spent $102,536,788.00 (Over One Hundred Million dollars and there is no mine, no buildings, no fence; nothing other than these test-holes) as of December 31, 2020 and as of that same date shows a negative working capital of -$760,000.00. I believe those numbers dictate that EGLE must move quickly to secure monies in escrow and / or receive letters of personal financial guarantees from Aquila's management to assure there is ample money available to cover the costs of plugging the 769 holes (83.3 miles) they have drilled into OUR aquifer.

Thank you,

Tom Boerner





Dear Editor:

I feel it's time to give my take on some facts and information to all concerned with the rising cost of the City of Peshtigo's Water & Sewer utilities that they may or may-not be aware of. These are some facts and information that you didn't see listed in the negative, near threatening propaganda that BPM had provokingly peddled throughout the community with their postings in the newspaper and mailings to the homeowners in the City of Peshtigo. Because if this information would have been given, their smear campaign on the city wouldn't nearly have had the negative effect for which it was intended.

The wastewater treatment plant was purchased by City of Peshtigo when BPM was having financial trouble. The city contracted with BPM to operate the plant. The operating agreement expired in 2013. The City decided to bid out operation of the plant. The City also looked at operating the plant with our own labor. This option was found to be the most economical for all rate payers.

The wastewater treatment plant underwent a much needed partial rebuilt in 2012. A new user charge system was developed in 2013 by a professional engineering firm. User rates increased with the new user charge system for a number of reasons. The cost of the rebuild project as well as contributing money to an equipment replacement fund were two major costs that were new. We received funding at low interest rates as well as principle forgiveness for a portion of the project. A condition of receiving this help was to contribute money to an equipment replacement fund.

The sewer rates did not change until 2016 when the city auditors recommended an increase after reviewing the balance sheet which showed a considerably high deficit contributed from the non-increasing rates. The sewer rates then remained the same from 2016 to 2021.

In August of 2018, BPM alerted the City of their concerns about the sewer rates they were paying. In December of 2018, BPM requested a reduction of their sewer rates of approx. $65,000 annually and that the City guarantee these rates would not increase for 3 years. The City with the help of the consultant reviewed the user charge system and found the rates to be fair and equitable to all users. BPM did not provide any justification for the rate reduction request other than they thought they were paying too much! The City decided to deny BPM's rate reduction request. If the City would have approved the rate reduction request, all other users of the sewer system would have had their rates increased to balance the budget. This is a slippery slope because what will keep others from coming to the City and requesting a rate reduction just because they think they are paying too much? At the December meeting, BPM was presented the analytical date, methodology for the distribution of cost factors, expenses, user charges for sewer customers and the user charge schedule which explained not to recommend the rate reduction for BPM due to not meeting with the City's Clean Water Act Fund Loan requirements. I had told Mr. Koronkiewicz if he could bring in any data or information that would substantiate the reduction they were asking for before our next meeting I'd ask for a possible reconsideration for the rate change. I've yet to see any of that requested information. It wasn't long after that meeting that BPM decided to get back at the city with plans to spend millions of dollars building a new treatment plant to just save that $65,000 a year.

Meanwhile, as a good portion of the year went by and with the refusal of BPM to open up any further negotiations with the city, in walks PFAS.

The sewer rate increase in 2021 was necessary to account for the anticipated cost of bio-solid disposal due to the DNR request to hold our current bio-solids and not field apply based upon the PFAS levels found in the bio-solids. The DNR requested this hold in 2019 and has yet to develop a standard for allowable PFAS levels in bio-solids for land application. Currently there is over 2,000,000 gallons of bio-solids stored at the wastewater treatment plant. The City needs to dispose of some of the bio-solids soon before there is no more space left to store them. The estimated cost to dispose of one year of bio-solids is approximately $800,000 more than what we previously budgeted for land application. This is why the sewer rates were increased most recently. Hopefully this rate increase will be temporary, but until the DNR sets standards for PFAS it is not known how we will be disposing of bio-solids in the long term.

The city has tried to limit the user charges as much as possible while providing dependable sewer system service for ALL users. There are a number of projects at the wastewater treatment plant that have not been started because of the impact they would have on the rates.

More recently, the City has had numerous sewer overflows where the sewer crosses from the west side to the east side of the river. Due to the number of over flows and the age of the river crossing, the City decided that a new river crossing is required. The City has been working with BPM to establish a permanent sanitary sewer easement agreement since none could be found on record. The City has to either own the land or have an easement in order to receive principle forgiveness for the new river crossing project. The City had easement documents drafted in July of 2020 so the project could be bid and constructed in 2021. After the initial documents were drafted, BPM and their legal counsel made numerous revision requests over the course of months. It appeared in October of 2020 that everyone was satisfied with the prepared easements. Then on Oct. 25, 2020, the City received communication that BPM wanted extensive soil testing to determine if there is any contamination present in the easement area. They also stated that they may have other concerns with the easement agreements but the contamination must be resolved first. So once again BPM is hold the City of Peshtigo hostage by preventing from performing a critical sewer project that will affect the west side of the city for what it seems simply out of spite for not giving them a rate cut that they could not provide justification for except for the reason they wanted one. I know the city really wants to work with BPM but do they want to work with the city?

The City has now hired legal counsel to help resolve this situation since the current delay has already risked the City losing out on over $300,000 of principle forgiveness.

Thank you,

Michael Behnke

Peshtigo


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