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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Middle Inlet Okays $5,000 For Fire Station Plan Specs

Issue Date: July 27, 2022

Unkept conditions at Evergreen Cemetery, expansion of the fire station adjacent to the town hall, and rules for the automated garbage collection service and the containers that go with it were main topics of discussion at the monthly Middle Inlet Town Board meeting on Thursday, July 14.

Town Chair Ron Wenzel said cleaning up after the June 15 tornado cost the town approximately $11,000. "The Fire Department did an awesome job," he added. He said Richlen came a day or two later to help with the cleanup, and the town is applying for help from he Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Fire Chief Jon Kleuskens reported Middle Inlet firefighters worked 87 man hours cleaning up after the tornado.

Kleuskens said the Fire Department is working with Walters Building on the planned fire station expansion, which they expect will cost $200,000 to $250,000. By unanimous vote the board authorized Kleuskens to have plans and specifications for bids prepared at a cost that is not to exceed $5,000.

Kleuskens said the Womans Club had donated two 2 nozzles to the Fire Department, and the Fire Department is purchasing an AED which will be located in the Town Hall.

Clerk/Treasurer Trish Schutte gave a brief update on issues that the GFL garbage man has been running into with the new roll out garbage containers for automated pickup. She said the containers must be put on the shoulder of the road, not in ditches; if the GFL garbage man moves your container he has put it where it needs to be so he can pick it up, and containers must not be placed too close to another container, building or old bin.

A notice on the town's web site states that residents who live on private road portions of Wasko Lane, Raven Road, Pines Lane and the end of Lake Mary Road will have dumpster containers placed for their trash and if they have picked up one of the individual roll-out garbage containers they must return it to the clerk at the town office. Anyone wanting more information may call Supervisor Don Van at 715-923-8690 or Schutte at 906-290-2305.

Each of the three board members has supervisory responsibility for a portion of town services and properties. As Town Chair, Wenzel is in charge of roads; Van oversees garbage and recycling issues, and Supervisor Chuck Stanek is assigned responsibility for handling handles issues connected with the town hall and cemetery, but it appears some decisions connected with cemetery maintenance are being made with him left out of the loop.

At last month's meeting Stanek said privately owned decorations had been removed from graves and thrown out, with no authorization from him.

At the July 14 meeting Stanek asked who had authorized Turf Pro, the contractor hired to maintain the cemetery, to spray Roundup around the bases of tombstones and grave markers instead of weed whacking. He said he had not been consulted, and declared the cemetery looks terrible, plants are dying, and grass has not been cut.

Stanek was not yet a member of the Town Board when Turf Pro was contracted for cemetery maintenance had been approved.

Mary Jo England, who lives next door to the cemetery, voiced strong objections to use of roundup, and to the general appearance of the cemetery. She had come to the meeting with an arm-load of 18-inch tall dried grass collected from the cemetery, and told the board she had seen the Turf-Pro workers spraying Roundup. She was concerned that shrubs and flowers people have planted on their grave sites were being killed, and concerned that the Roundup sprayed at the cemetery could migrate to contaminate groundwater and the well that serves her family's home. England said no one had ever used Roundup at the cemetery before in all the 48 years she has lived next door.

Others at the meeting also expressed displeasure with the appearance of the cemetery.

Wenzel stated that Stanek oversees the cemetery and said all issues should be directed to him. He felt the use of Roundup was probably authorized in the contract, and directed Stanek to contact Turf Pro if there are any issues with lawn care. Wenzel was a Supervisor on the town board when the contract was approved.

Stanek reported Dama Plumbing and Heating checked the boiler switch at the town hall, and the town is to contact them if there's a problem in the cold season.

In his road work report, Wenzel said graveling on Burnish Road is complete; ditching on Wayside Road should get done before asphalt is complete; tree removal will be done by Doug Nowak, who is insured, and roadsides will be mowed before Labor Day. Wenzel also stated Nowak had cleaned up downed branches around the Town Hall.

Wenzel advised the board that a property owner on Wasko Road is building a house with no permits and had been sent notification of a violation.

A bartender license was approved for Elaine Kanter to work at IDK Saloon.

A certified survey map for T and A Pennington was approved as presented.

During public comment at the end of the meeting, someone from the audience reported the culvert on Maple Beach Road north of Wayside Road has heaved up and needs to be fixed.

Another member of the audience asked if audits are still done. Schutte said they are. She said Auditor Joel Rennie is working on the 2021 audit, and audits are brought up at the Annual Meeting each year.


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