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Town of Lake Not to Erect New Building

A new public works building will not be erected in the Town of Lake this year, residents learned at the Tuesday, April 15 annual meeting. Several citizens suggested that winter road plowing be contracted out, which they believe would lessen the need for the town to maintain a fleet of trucks.  Citizens also voiced concerns about the condition of the town’s 62 miles of roads, and some asked the supervisors to develop an action plan that would allow for some of them to be rebuilt or at least resurfaced.

Three estimates for a proposed new town garage with a wash bay for trucks came in between $781,000 and $999,560.  Misunderstand-ings between supervisors and a consulting architect led the Board to believe that the building could be constructed at a cost of $354,000 to $465,000. 

Town Chair Lyle Cherry stated that the State of Wisconsin has many requirements for these vehicle storage and maintenance buildings. The wash bay would allow the town to take better care of its fleet of trucks, which tend to rust quickly because of all the sand and salt they carry for winter road maintenance. 

Kenneth Marcusen asked if there might be an additional expense in having such a wash bay if salty water from washing the trucks could not go into a septic system and would need a holding tank.

Others questioned why the need for a new maintenance building and a fleet of trucks when the winter snowplowing could be contracted out at a lower cost to the town. Several residents reported the Town of Middle Inlet had contracted out winter plowing and salting and was very happy with the results. Less wear and tear on the trucks, they believed, would eliminate the need for a new building and allow the vehicles to last longer.

Several citizens encouraged the supervisors to form long term plans to improve at least some of the town roads. Cherry said many of the towns roads were built in swampy areas and the oldest parts of the roadbeds include logs from 19th century log roads. He also statedthat it costs between $100,000 and $120,000 to resurface one miles of road, while rebuilding the roadbed underneath that mile would add another $100,000 to the cost.  The town’s annual budget of $558,519 makes this a big challenge.

Cherry asked for a show of hands from the four dozen or so residents the meeting about the possibility of raising taxes to pay for a bond issue for the rebuilding of some roads. Many residents favored the idea. Supervisor Linda Tarmann cautioned the group, telling them that the state has a set of requirements to be met before a town can hold a referendum on raising taxes. Cherry promised the group that the supervisors would begin the procedures to have another town meeting later this year.

Clerk/Treasurer Penny Chaikowski reported the town’s total 2013 revenues came to $593,121.10, while it spent $558,519.08. The town’s only debt comes from the purchase of a new small tractor. The town’s Fire District used less than half of its 2013 allotment, and the remaining $12,000 was placed in the District’s savings account to help pay for future equipment purchases. The contribution to the Crivitz Rescue Squad has yet to be paid. Property taxes brought in $376,400.69 to the town, $3,482.84 more than in 2013.

Chaikowski also said town’s new website should be much bigger and more functional within the next month or so.

Cherry called the 90 minute meeting to order at 7 P.M.  Chaikowski, Tarmann, and Supervisor Travis Mueller joined him at the head table.


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