space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Winter Team Tournament Sportsmanship Winners
* Crivitz Boys, Suring Gals Top Triangular
* M-O Standouts Selected To Football Foundation Team
* Peshtigo Scholarship Golf Outing Slated
* Suring Struggles In Dual Meet With L-C, Collect 6 Total Wins

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Residents Urge County To Save $2 Million, Beauty Of Hwy. BB

Many residents along County BB (Shore Drive) in the Town of Peshtigo have been quite vocal in their opposition to Marinette County Highway Department’s plans to enforce a road right of way of 66 feet and add ditches and culverts as part of a $3.5 million reconstruction project for the 4-mile stretch of road from University Ave. at the Marinette city limits to Pond Road. Current plans would force residents to remove trees, gardens, fences, decorative features and in a few cases buildings.

Three of them were vocal again during time for public comment at the start of the Marinette County Board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The issues became major concerns for BB residents after letters went out in August from Highway Commissioner Robert Palonen informing 99 property owners they have encroachments that will have to be moved. The first letter gave a deadline in mid-May of 2014, and did not advise of any right to object.

After the town board at its meeting on Sept. 17 hired Attorney David Spangenberg to advise residents of their rights, at least 33 property owners sent letters to the Highway Department stating their objections.

One or more produced deeds showing the county only owns 44 feet of road right of way where BB abuts their property.

Town Chair Herman Pottratz has referred to the plans as “a scorched earth” policy. Another resident speaking at the Marinette County Board meeting said the clear cutting planned for their residential road will leave it looking “like a plucked chicken.”

Pottratz has been particularly critical of a change from a prior plan that would have cost $1.5 million to complete and that he feels would satisfy everyone. That plan called for simply resurfacing the road and adding three-foot paved paths on either side for bicycles or foot traffic. It left the ditches unchanged. The current $3.5 million plans, designed by Robert E. Lee after Palonen came on as Highway Commissioner, call for raising the road bed, widening it, and adding ditches and culverts. It does include the three-foot paved paths along each side of the road that residents had asked for. Trees will need to be cut and utilities will need to be moved, mainly because of the new ditches.

Pottratz maintains the ditches are not needed. He and numerous other residents say there has never been a drainage problem in the sandy soils of the area.

He and County Board Supervisor Don Pazynski, who represents the entire County BB area, have been upset that Palonen has been inflexible and refused to allow encroachments of even a few inches. Some of the fences, plantings, trees and decorations, including a large stone arch driveway entrance, have been in place for more than 40 years will have to be moved if the current plans are enforced.

Palonen has consistently maintained that by state law the county road must be built to the state’s county road standards, which require a cleared 66-foot right of way.

The previous plans for a $1.5 million project were designed by former Highway Commissioner Mark Desotell, who is a certified engineer, but there have been arguments that the design was “under engineered.”

All those concerns were expressed on Wednesday, Oct. 9, when a number of property owners who had received encroachment letters attended the Highway Committee meeting and asked that the county rethink its plans. There was mention of lawsuits that could arise if trees and plantings were removed from property that did not in fact belong to the county.

After that meeting a second letter went out from Palonen moving the deadline date for removal of encroachments from May of 2014 to Nov. 30 of this year. Again the letters “requested” removal of the encroachments and offered no advice on right to object.

The committee by a 3 to 2 split vote, with Supervisors Shirley Kaufman of Marinette and Russ Bauer, Town of Peshtigo, opposed, had approved the new deadline. Palonen told the committee he planned to have highway crews begin cutting trees and removing stumps along the right of way the following week.

However, that did not happen. At the next Highway Committee meeting, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, the work plans, and apparently the deadlines, were reversed. The committee by three to two vote authorized Palonen to suspend all planned utility adjustments, tree cutting and stump removal on the project until all encroachment and right of way issues have been resolved.

At the Oct. 23 meeting, Kaufman and Bauer voted against the motion to suspend, while Supervisors Mel Sharpe, City of Peshtigo; Joe Policello, Middle Inlet, and Russ Bousley, Dunbar, committee chair, voted in favor. Bauer and Kaufman have opposed the $3.5 million plans, but were concerned that improvements to BB may now be put off indefinitely. BB residents for years have been asking the county to repave the road and add the paths along side it, although many now are voicing objections to the plans for ditches and culverts.

Three town residents expressed their concerns to Marinette County Board during time for public comment at the start of the Tuesday, Oct. 29 meeting. Several other residents attended but did not speak.

First to the podium was Jim Kollross, a BB resident who called for replacement of Palonen as Highway Comissioner. “We are continually finding difficulty trying to negotiate with him,” Kollross said, “and speaking with employees of the Highway Department we have discovered the Road Committee is wasting taxpayer dollars.” He was critical that Palonen, who reportedly lives in Abrams, is allowed to take a county owned vehicle back and forth to work, and declared, “Marinette County should reconsider having a nonresident as Road Commissioner!”

Next up was Pottratz, who repeated his contentions that what started as a $1.5 million project now has ditches and culverts that are not needed. Those ditches, he said, will decrease safety of the road, cost taxpayers $3.5 million, and destroy the scenic beauty and rustic quality of the road. He said 99 property owners were notified that they have encroachments, and many are unhappy about possibly having to move them.

“That is a beautiful road,” Pottratz declared. He said property owners all along the highway maintain the roadsides beautifully, just as they do their yards, mowing right up to the gravel shoulders. Some have been doing that for half a century.

He said the road was last improved 40 years ago, and is basically still in good condition except that the blacktop is crumbling. It doesn’t need a total rebuild, he said. “Just put on some new pavement and add the 3’ paths on each side and that would make everyone happy,” he urged. “I’m sure the county has better places to spend that extra $2 million.

Noting the Highway Committee has been divided on BB issues, he asked the entire County Board to become involved in the decisions.

Last up was Lori De Witt Davidson, who has been appointed repeatedly by County Board since 1991 to represent Marinette County on the NWTC District Board of Directors.

Davidson said she has lived on BB for almost 50 years, and has never seen a drop of water along the roadsides, and neither have her neighbors. She and her husband own other properties along the reconstruction area of BB and have never seen water collected there either, she added.

“I bike on this road, I walk on this road, and I have never seen a drop of water in any ditches!”

“No ditches...No culverts...Do not raise the road,” she urged. She said the county should save the $2 million difference between the $3.5 million project the Highway Commissioner wants and the $1.5 million road the residents, who pay the bills, want. “Spend that money somewhere else, that’s real money!” she repeated.

She added that her neighbors “are very intense” in their opposition to what is planned for their road.

“I used to want the bike path... I used to want the walkway...I don’t any more. It’s too much!” she declared.

She said the county needs to listen to the property owners, the people who live there, the people who pay the taxes.

“Instead of our beautiful rustic road we’ll have a highway that looks like a plucked chicken,” Davidson said, referring to plans to cut the trees and bushes that shield many homes along the road from passers by.

“I know you’re good, thinking people...Think about it,” she told the board.

Davidson said she had gone with a neighbor to speak with Palonen about the BB issues, and picked up “a ho-hum attitude...he’d been through all this before.”

“I hope he isn’t in the business of disregarding the wishes of the property owners,” Davidson added.

She concluded, “Just resurface the road and find somewhere else to spend the $2 million.”

Later in the meeting the board unanimously approved a $55,022 three-way contract with Meade & Hunt to design a new bridge and approaches over Little River on BB, but only after several questions were answered by Palonen. The contract includes Marinette County, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Meade & Hunt.

First to object was Supervisor Robert Holley, who felt $55,000 was “an excessive amount of money for engineering that bridge.”

“The residents don’t want it, and I don’t want it,” Bauer said of the plans for BB. Now that the project is postponed, he asked, “How can you design a bridge when you haven’t decided on the road?”

Palonen said the bridge will be built either way, and will fit the road regardless of the final design.

“Didn’t we just put some money into that bridge in the last two years?” asked Supervisor Tom Mailand. He said the county had done a study at that time, which he felt should still be good.

Palonen said if that was done, it was before he became commissioner.

Supervisor Al Mans asked who decides the bridge needs to be rebuilt, and Palonen explained every few years all bridges are inspected, and those in the worst condition become eligible for funding.

Highway Committee Chair Russ Bousley noted the county does not select the engineers, the state does.

Palonen explained reconstructing the bridge is jointly funded by the state, county and federal governments, with the county paying only 20 percent of design and construction costs. Under the grant programs, counties must hire an engineering firm and cannot do their own engineering. The state handles the entire project, except that the county puts out an RFP for a design consultant and selects the two highest ranked responses, which are then submitted to the state and the state then negotiates with them for the design and contract.

Supervisor Gilbert Engel asked if the $55,000 is the amount Marinette County pays, or if the county pays 20 percent of that, and was told the county pays 20 percent, so design cost to the county will be just over $11,000.

The only other speaker to address the board during public comment time was Supervisor Ted Sauve, who serves on the NEWCAP Board of Directors. He showed impressive photos of The housing development under construction on Water Street behind Marinette Middle School, mainly to serve the influx of Marinette Marine employees. The project is being built with NEWCAP, HUD and WEDA funds, he said. There is to be a ribbon cutting ceremony in February or March.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
04-24-2014Sports
Winter Team Tournament Sportsmanship Winners

04-24-2014Sports
Crivitz Boys, Suring Gals Top Triangular

04-24-2014Sports
M-O Standouts Selected To Football Foundation Team

04-24-2014Sports
Peshtigo Scholarship Golf Outing Slated

04-24-2014Obituaries
Gene L. Weed

04-24-2014Obituaries
Richard E. Strzyzewski

04-24-2014Obituaries
Mark and Phyllis Schaefer

04-24-2014Obituaries
Norma J. Rafkind

04-24-2014Obituaries
William Pfeiffer

04-24-2014Obituaries
Larry J. Pansch

04-24-2014Obituaries
Adelaide H. Karbon

04-24-2014Obituaries
Tadeusz Hycki

04-24-2014Obituaries
Rudolph E. Gross

04-24-2014Obituaries
Edward C. Caylor

04-24-2014Obituaries
Barbara A. Baumgartner

04-24-2014Obituaries
Betty Arnovitz

04-24-2014Obituaries
Randall C. Vieth

04-24-2014Obituaries
Mary E. Schuchart

04-24-2014Obituaries
Roberta Schneider

04-24-2014Obituaries
David L. Reed

04-24-2014Obituaries
Rudolph A. Messar

04-24-2014Obituaries
Sharon F. McPherson

04-24-2014Obituaries
John H. Kriegl

04-24-2014Obituaries
Colin J. Kinziger

04-24-2014Obituaries
Susan M. Homa

04-24-2014Obituaries
June E. Hoerres

04-24-2014Obituaries
John W. Gustafson

04-24-2014Obituaries
Shirley A. Giese

04-24-2014Obituaries
Joyce M. Ertl

04-24-2014Obituaries
Mary C. Conklin

04-24-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-24-2014Perspectives
From our readers

04-24-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

04-24-2014News
Lions to Clean Hwy. 180 Apr. 26

04-24-2014News
Beecher Blood Drive April 28

04-24-2014News
Golf Tournament Helps Honor Flight

04-24-2014News
Loomis Historical Meet at Crivitz

04-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Plan Workshop At Goodman Library

04-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Beecher Voters Approve Contracts, Equipment Fund

04-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Pembine Annual Meet Acts On Spring Clean-Up Donations

04-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Town Wausaukee Okays Variances, Weight Limits

04-24-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Auxiliary Discuss Poppies, Elections

04-24-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Village Board Trustee Seat Open

04-24-2014Community - Crivitz
Grace Lutheran Church Hosts Celtic Service

04-24-2014Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Electors Act On Wages, VFW Memorial

04-24-2014Community - Coleman
School Board Elects, End School Year June 6

04-24-2014Community - Coleman
Squad Gets Donation

04-24-2014Community - Coleman
Village Pound Is Tree City USA

04-24-2014Community - Coleman
Oconto School $5 Million Fire

04-24-2014Front Page
Coleman School Board OKs New Sound System For Gym

04-24-2014Front Page
Town of Lake Not to Erect New Building

04-24-2014Front Page
Grant For Menekaunee Harbor Clean Up Project

04-24-2014Front Page
TAD, Drug Court May Be Realities By Aug. 1

04-24-2014Front Page
2 Injured In Crash Near Middle Inlet

04-17-2014Sports
Suring Struggles In Dual Meet With L-C, Collect 6 Total Wins

04-17-2014Sports
Bulldogs Bounced By Marinette 7-6

04-17-2014Sports
Marines Play To A 6-6 Tie Against Oconto

04-17-2014Sports
Crivitz Ends Coleman's Winning Streak

04-17-2014Obituaries
Gloria R. Young

04-17-2014Obituaries
Maribeth Wunderlich

04-17-2014Obituaries
David W. Walker

04-17-2014Obituaries
Larry V. Pravechek

04-17-2014Obituaries
Gerald W. Polasky

04-17-2014
Dr. Randall W. Lewis

04-17-2014Obituaries
Alice A. Lentz

04-17-2014Obituaries
Hazel A. Krueger

04-17-2014Obituaries
Robert N. Kregel

04-17-2014Obituaries
Darrell N. Frisque

04-17-2014Obituaries
Claude E. Finnell

04-17-2014Obituaries
Eva A. Danz

04-17-2014Obituaries
Charolett Burton

04-17-2014Obituaries
Louis Bergles

04-17-2014Obituaries
Hazel A. Becker

04-17-2014Obituaries
Frank E. Partl

04-17-2014Obituaries
Ronald L. Nicklaus

04-17-2014Obituaries
Dean C. Krueger

04-17-2014Obituaries
Hans D. Krause

04-17-2014Obituaries
Wally E. Klatt

04-17-2014Obituaries
Colin John Kinziger

04-17-2014Obituaries
Ellsworth J. Johnson

04-17-2014Obituaries
Roy J. Jacques

04-17-2014Obituaries
Ruth M. Henschel

04-17-2014Obituaries
Harold A. Grandaw

04-17-2014Obituaries
Roxanne Geyer

04-17-2014Obituaries
Raymond A. Fechter

04-17-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-17-2014Perspectives
From our readers

04-17-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

04-17-2014News
SHS ‘56 Class Gathering Apr. 25

04-17-2014News
Gillett/Suring Clergy Cross Walk April 18

04-17-2014News
Grover School Takes Old Shoes

04-17-2014News
Lena KC To Hold Card Parties

04-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Hymn Sing at Wausaukee

04-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Lions to Clean Hwy. 180 April 26

04-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Discuss Picnic

04-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Seeks Planning Members

04-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Easter Egg Hunt April 19

04-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Easter Recess at Crivitz School

04-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church To Host Marian Day

04-17-2014Community - Crivitz
T/Stephenson Acts On DNR Lease, Road Bids

04-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman High School Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance

04-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board April 21

04-17-2014Community - Coleman
Lioness Raffle at Jiz’s Apr. 27

04-17-2014Community - Coleman
Pound Woman’s Club Announce Coming Events

04-17-2014Front Page
Marinette’s Main Street to Get More Beautification

04-17-2014Front Page
Malke is Peshtigo’s First Woman Mayor

04-17-2014Front Page
Schroeder, Just Again To Lead County Board

04-17-2014Front Page
BB Residents Keep Yards, Get 2-Foot Bike/Hike Paths

04-17-2014Front Page
SAVE 10

04-09-2014Front Page
Gov. Walker Signs Drug HOPE Bills In Marinette

04-09-2014Front Page
County Board to Reconsider County BB Project April 15

04-09-2014Front Page
Flood Alert For Porterfield Area

04-09-2014Front Page
Peshtigo Persons of Year Banquet April 13

04-09-2014Front Page
Marinette County Dispatch Gets 6,232 Calls in March

04-09-2014Sports
Peshtigo, Wausaukee Look To Rule M-O Softball

04-09-2014Sports
Second Place Finish In Shot For Huberty

04-09-2014Sports
Tough Opener For Marines, Fall Twice

04-09-2014Sports
Bulldogs Looking To Display Track Skills

04-09-2014Perspectives
From our readers

04-09-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

04-09-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-09-2014Community - Wausaukee
Winners in Final Benefit Card Party

04-09-2014Community - Wausaukee
Lions to Clean Hwy. 180 Apr. 26

04-09-2014Community - Wausaukee
“Let Me Be Frank” in Wausaukee Apr. 23

04-09-2014Community - Wausaukee
Hymn Sing at Wausaukee

04-09-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Library Culver’s Contest

04-09-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Teacher Receives Award

04-09-2014Community - Crivitz
National Library Week at Crivitz

04-09-2014Community - Crivitz
Rebel Grace Competes Again at Launchpad

04-09-2014Community - Coleman
Brazeau Fire Dept. Fundraiser April 12

04-09-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board to Meet

04-09-2014Community - Coleman
Lioness Raffle at Jiz’s Apr. 27

04-09-2014Community - Coleman
North East Riders Host ATV Course

04-09-2014News
Animal Shelter Raffle May 3

04-09-2014News
Town Lake Sets Special Meeting

04-09-2014News
Legion Commander’s Dinner is April 12th

04-09-2014News
Lena FFA, Alumni Host Rabies Vaccination Clinic

04-09-2014Obituaries
Betty J. Walters

04-09-2014Obituaries
Lydia Squier

04-09-2014Obituaries
Mavis Rogge

04-09-2014Obituaries
John B. Orlando

04-09-2014Obituaries
Ronald J. Noack

04-09-2014Obituaries
Dorothy J. Lindner

04-09-2014Obituaries
Virginia M. Lange

04-09-2014Obituaries
Fred Jaeger, Jr.

04-09-2014Obituaries
F.H. Jabas

04-09-2014Obituaries
Janie Marie Hanner

04-09-2014Obituaries
Thomas Nelson Haag

04-09-2014Obituaries
Donna M. Fournier

04-09-2014Obituaries
Roger Erickson


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should the United States be doing more to stop Russian expansion?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2014
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites