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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Shoreland/Wetland Zoning Headed Back To Co. Board

At the Dec. 18 meeting of the Marinette County Board, supervisors voted to “refer Ordinance 363 back to the Land Information Committee to separate those sections currently in violation of state law and present same in revised ordinance to County Board at a later date.”

That referral was taken up by the Land Information Committee at a meeting Monday, Jan. 14 meeting. With little fanfare and even littler discussion, the Committee approved sending only Chapter 21.05(6) and 21.10(3c) of the Shoreland/Wetland Zoning Code back to the County Board for their approval. Specifically, they forwarded those sections related to non-confirming structures and substandard lots, along with the authorization to correct any grammatical or typographic errors found within these sections.

Land Information Director John Lefebvre commented that the words are identical to what was presented Dec. 18 at County Board, but these are the only two sections going back. The Committee was not resubmitting the rest of Chapter 21.

In other matters, the Committee received a presentation by Bart Sexton from Sand Creek Consultants in regard to a proposed project that would install an onsite leachate treatment system at the Marinette County North County Landfill. The County operated this small, five acre landfill northwest of Pembine back in the 80s and early 90s until it was closed down. Since that time, the County has been paying roughly $8,000 to $10,000 per year to have the leachate water pumped out of the landfill collection area and hauled to a treatment plant. This entails about 80,000 gallons of liquid per year.

Leachate is the fluid drained from or produced by a landfill that contains dissolved or entrained environmentally harmful substances that need to be removed lest it enter the environment. This process needs to be done yearly into perpetuity.

At last month’s meeting of the Committee, Lefebvre presented the idea of which Sexton was to speak, the installation of a solar-powered pump and multiple spray heads that would spray the leachate unto the landfill’s cap during the spring and summer months. The advantage of such a system would be that the leachate wouldn’t have to be pumped out, but instead would benefit the plants that are there or evaporate, and any remaining harmful materials to eventually work their way back into the capped landfill.

Sexton explained that having the sun power the system would mean electricity would not have to be run to site. It would spray at most a quarter of an inch of water per day onto the 0.75 acre cap, thus using between 60,000 and 80,000 gallons of the leachate per summer.

Sexton said he has spoken to DNR about the project and they are not generally opposed to the idea. Yet, Sexton explained that if the County favors this project, there is a lengthy and involved permitting process that would need to be followed. One of the things in the county’s favor is that the content of the leachate, as known now, does not contain high levels of anything that would kill the project.

A total cost of the project would be between $38,000 and $43,000 complete. This would include the solar panels, the pump, water pipes, and between 40 and 60 above-ground sprinkler heads. The only thing not included would be the suggested 7 foot fence around the spray site.

Since the spray system would only remove the leachate and groundwater during the summer months, leachate hauling would still have to be done during the rest of year, if needed. Taking all things into consideration, the project would have a payback period of about seven years, not including the fence.

Sexton said he was excited about the project because it could be the first municipal solid waste site using this system in the state. The key, he said, would be working through the DNR permitting process.

Committee members asked many questions on maintenance costs, spray head replacement, soil testing, monitoring, reporting, etc. Sexton answered all their questions.

Lefebvre suggested using the Land Information non-lapsing fund account to pay for the project and not touch the long-term care money the Landfill has set aside.

The Committee approved moving forward with work on the agreement development and funding of the project.

The Committee also approved a corrected Town of Peshtigo Board request to rezone parts of two parcels that were mis-numbered in their original request.

Lefebvre explained a Great Lakes Costal Flood Study and related Discovery Report being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In a nutshell, FEMA is gathering and reviewing data on all of the Great Lakes, their shorelines and the depths of the waters.

Of interest to Marinette County is the data on Green Bay and its shoreline. Apparently FEMA is trying to determine a 100 year still water high, base flood elevations, and a wave action effect line for these levels. Lefebvre said it appears they are trying to formulate a “perfect storm,” worse-case scenario flood event by determining how far inland the water would be taken. The expectation, of course, would be that the County would then have to adopt ordinances and regulate for such a scenario.

Compared to what could potentially come from this study and report, the changes in the Shoreland/Wetland Zoning proposals might end up seeming quite mild, especially since the bay level is so low right now. The results of the study are probably a couple of years away yet and will be monitored closely.

The Committee took no action on the study and report.

The Committee approved setting a Feb. 11 at 9 A.M., at the County Courthouse for a public hearing on a non-metallic mining reclamation plan located in the NE1/4 SE1/4 S23 T38N R20E, in the Town of Niagara. The site is close to Hwy 141 where Hwy 8 turns off to the east. A company is planning to restart an active mine that exists at that location. The only purpose of the Public Hearing is to talk about the reclamation aspects.

Committee approval was given to support a DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Control Grant application for Yellow Floating Heart. A private 1.7 acre man-made pond in the Town of Athelstane has been infested with several invasive species. The DNR and the County has previously gotten a grant to remove Hydrilla, an invasive plant, from the pond in the past. Now, Yellow Floating Heart has overtaken the pond.

The grant request is for $20,000, which would require a 25 percent match by the county. The plan to remove the invasive species would probably require dredging the top six inches of sediment from the pond to remove the imbedded seeds, and also treat the whole area with herbicide. There may be some concern, however, with damaging the pond liner since this is a man-made pond.

Yellow Floating Heart is an invasive species. It is the only infestation in the County. Doing this work may be the only chance to eradicate the plant from the area. The total project could cost up to $26,000. The county would make up their portion with manpower.

Lefebvre explained that the invasive plant probably came into the lake when the owner ordered water plants from out of state to populate the lake and the seeds of this were embedding in the soil. The Yellow Floating Heart has taken over the pond.

Supervisor Robert Holley expressed his opposition to the resolution because he felt the pond owner should be asked to help for this eradication costs. Holley ended up being the only one to vote in the negative, with the rest of the Committee voting in favor.

Meeting attendance approval was given for the appropriate people to attend the 38th Annual Kelly Lake Seminar for Plumbers, Certified Soil Testers, POWTS Inspectors and Septic Haulers to be held Feb. 7 at Romy’s Holiday Inn in Kelly Lake.

Approval was also given for Land Information Committee members and staff to attend the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association’s 60th Annual Conference in Wisconsin Dells from March 11-13.

Also approved was the Land and Water Conservation Division staff to attend the 2013 Midwest Manure Summit Feb. 26-27 in Green Bay.

The Land Information Director and GIS Coordinator will attend the Wisconsin Land Information Association 26th Annual Conference in Lake Geneva on Feb. 13-15.

The Committee gave approval to adjusting the 2013 Aquatic Invasive Species Grant budget to reflect a carryover of $9,664.27 for the Outlay Expenditures Account. Greg Cleerman, Conservationist, explained they are building an aquatic invasive species harvester. The project got delayed from 2012 because some of the parts were unavailable late in the year.

Supervisor Alice Baumgarten updated the Committee on the Jan. 11 Lake Michigan Land and Water Conservation Association Planning and Budget meeting held in Green Bay. She informed the Committee that the October meeting of the Association is slated to be held in Marinette. The Committee briefly discussed a location and some other possible plans for the meeting.

Supervisor Ted Sauve reported on a recent Wisconsin Counties Association Steering Committee meeting he attended. Part of the meeting covered the proposed mining bill that will probably come before the state legislature again this year.

Sauve mentioned that two diametrically opposed speakers addressed the Steering Committee on what a mining operation in Iron County would mean. The pro-mine speaker talked about how the project would add 3,175 construction jobs, 2,800 mine operation jobs, and 5,668 jobs connected to the mine project, including 1,400 onsite. For Iron County, the current average wage would jump from $34,200 to about $82,000 per year. And the mine would produce $1.4 billion in state and local taxes.

On the opposite side of the project was a representative of the Sierra Club. His comments were that all the taconite mines in the country are polluters. The natural resources at risk by this project encompass 3840 to 4320 acres of land and about a 1000 feet deep stretch of shoreline along 22 miles of shore. He spoke about the massive amounts of tailings and rock piles left by similar operations. He also claimed that the mining company has misled the public and that the Tribal Nations are opposed to the project as well.

Sauve also mentioned that any proposed mine, if allowed by the Legislature bill, would encounter a daunting and lengthy permitting process as well as probable lawsuits and anticipated public protests. If it goes through, though, it could have a major positive impact on the region and entire state as well.


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