space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* —— July 24-26 —— AIM Pro Team Walleye Challenge In Oconto
* —— August 18 —— Coleman Booster Club Sets Kickoff Banquet
* Sports Exams To Aid Area School Districts
* —— Little League—— Peshtigo 12's Claim Tournament Title; 10's Finish Second
* Marinette Notches M&M Win

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

County Faces $350,000 Unexpected Repair Bill

Marinette County Board’s Finance and Insurance Committee will meet in special closed session at 1 p.m. Friday, March 21 “to consider any and all matters related to acts by businesses under s. 560.15 which, if discussed in public could adversely affect the business, its employees or former employees; to-wit: Anonymous Financial Complaints.”

No other details were given in the meeting notice. The agenda includes the possibility of action after returning to open session. Finance and Insurance Committee members are Supervisors Melissa Christiansen, Kathy Just, Don Pazynski, Connie Seefeldt and County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder.

At the end of its regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 17 the committee went into closed session for the same purpose.

The big item at the March 17 meeting was authorization for Information Services Director Larry Schultz to spend up to $350,000 of unbudgeted funds to correct unexpected problems with the interconnected telephone/computer system that serves the County Courthouse, Law Enforcement Center, and Health and Human Services Building in Marinette.

After explanations by Schultz and Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison the committee authorized spending $347,000 for “Cisco” components including switches, cables, various types of modules and other items, along with installation and service agreements needed to restore the county’s communications/computer system to reliable operation.

There had been some problems for a week or so with telephone connections, but it apparently all came to a head last week, while County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder was on vacation.

Mattison told of trying to talk to a witness by telephone in preparation for a trial, but the phone kept kicking out as the conversation got going.

She was a bit nervous. She said on Tuesday she has a doctor testifying by telephone for a jury trial. She hopes the telephone to the courtroom does not fail.

“In today’s world, we can’t operate without a phone or a computer,” she declared.

Schultz had some people from CDW-G look into the problem and it was discovered that nearly all the switches are bad. CDW-G is a firm that provides computer and telephone components to the state and its municipalities in partnership with Wisconsin’s Bureau of Procurement Vendor Net System.

Mattison explained some years ago (in 2007), under the previous County Administration, switches for the computer/telephone system were purchased from E-Bay. “Those switches did not hold up,” she said. They should have lasted at least 10 years. Instead they began failing all at once, more than three years short of their anticipated life span.

Schultz at one point in the conversation showed two of the switches that actually have the same serial number. There may be more.

Mattison likened buying this type of equipment from E-Bay to buying a “Rolex” watch from a street vendor in Mexico.

Schultz said the Cisco representative offered him an excellent discount because of the problem the county was facing, but even so, the first set of components, to redo the system in the courthouse, will cost $200,000. He had to order on Friday, March 14 or wait an entire additional week to get the rapidly failing system fixed. He only had $80,000 in his budget for replacing switches.

Normally it is the Finance Committee that approves purchases of this type, and decides where the money will come from. Mattison explained the Executive Committee has authority to act in this type of emergency, but Schroeder, who heads that group as County Board Chair, was on vacation and couldn’t call a meeting.

But Schultz would lose that additional week if he waited, so he had already ordered the first $200,000 of components by the time the Finance Committee met on Monday. He said the components will be here before the weekend and installation can begin on Friday afternoon. He explained the work has to be done outside of business hours. Until then, the county departments will make do with a failing system.

There still is need for switches and other component replacements for the Law Enforcement Center and Human Services building.

Schroeder asked if Cisco is the only vendor that provides the Equipment Marinette County needs.

Schultz said the system is “kind of standardized,” and at an average of $24,000 per unit they are paying well below the state price.

Schultz said the switches hit by lightning last summer were already replaced, so these failures will not affect the courthouse video conferencing.

“How much have we spent on this type of situation?” asked Supervisor Connie Seefeldt, adding, “It must be in the millions!”

Finance Director Pat Kass wasn’t sure, but he didn’t think it was that much.

Schultz said the phones “go robotic” several times a day, and other times either the caller cannot be heard, or vice versa. They had engineers working on the problem before Cisco was called in.

To questions from the committee, Schultz said there is backup, and the county would never be without 911, but with the current situation, officers on the road could be without communication.

“We need to get this done as soon as possible,” Schroeder said. “That computer and telephone system is the backbone of the courthouse.” But he asked where the money could come from.

Kass said Information Services had $357,000 in its capital equipment fund at the end of 2013. He recommended using that, and capitalizing the expense to be charged back to other county departments over a 10-year period. he explained Information Services operates like an internal business that does not go on the tax roll directly but charges other county departments for the services it provides.

“Is this what you want to spend it on?” Seefeldt asked Schultz.

“No, but we only had $80,000 budgeted to replace these,” Schultz replied.

“I feel kind of confident there will be no more major catastrophes,” Schultz said when Pazynski asked if his crystal ball anticipated other significant problems in the near future. he repeated these switches were purchased from E-Bay, and lasted nearly seven years instead of the anticipated 10, “so I guess we got lucky.”

“From a business perspective, we have no choice,”Pazynski declared. Everyone else agreed, and motion to capitalize the expenditure from the IS funds as Kass recommended was unanimously approved. Kass said they in effect they were taking the cash and converting it into another asset to make it more productive.

Christiansen wondered about the Highway Department at Peshtigo and county facilities in Niagara. Schultz said with everything happening on Friday afternoon he didn’t have a chance to run up there. There could be one of the faulty switches at each location. The Pembine and Crivitz shops do not have them, and some areas still have good switches,Schultz said. Kass said if other switches do need to be replaced, that money will have to come from contingency. Pazynski felt if there are chances of more switches failing they should be changed now, when the rice is $13,000 to $15,000 each instead of the regular price.

In more ordinary business Kass reported he had invested some of the county’s $3.5 million reserves at 3.5 percent interest, some for four years at 2.7 percent, and some for five years on a callable basis at 2.85 percent, plus a one year CD at .8 of a percent. Kass said he has to make sure the county has funds available for times like this, when they need the $370,000.

Carryovers from 2013 being put into the 2014 included $11,000 from personal care equipment and materials were transferred for computer equipment purchased in December of 2013.

There was $13,870 left in Corporation Counsel’s account from the original $40,000 allocated for legal fees in the AFSCME case, and that was carried over to 2014. That case has been appealed to the state Supreme Court. The library account had a surplus of $67,000 that has been carried over for implementation of the WIPFLI study in 2014. Seefeldt noted the library system had money left because they had been unable to keep help, particularly at the outlying libraries. She hopes that problem will be taken care of with implementation of the wages recommended by WIPFLI.

Christiansen said she had a number of phone calls from people wanting information about the county’s health insurance, particularly in regard to deductibles and out of pocket costs. Kass said some things had changed and people weren’t notified.

“We hired a consultant and we need to know exactly what he is doing,” Seefeldt declared. That subject is to be on the committee agenda for its meeting at 1 p.m. on Monday,April 7.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
07-17-2014Sports
—— July 24-26 —— AIM Pro Team Walleye Challenge In Oconto

07-17-2014Sports
—— August 18 —— Coleman Booster Club Sets Kickoff Banquet

07-17-2014Sports
Sports Exams To Aid Area School Districts

07-17-2014Sports
—— Little League—— Peshtigo 12's Claim Tournament Title; 10's Finish Second

07-17-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-17-2014Perspectives
From our readers

07-17-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-17-2014Front Page
Plan Guitars For Vets Chapter in Marinette Area

07-17-2014Obituaries
Gerald Wedin

07-17-2014Obituaries
Marian L. Payette

07-17-2014Obituaries
Betty K. Mikus

07-17-2014Obituaries
Theresa M. Krulatz

07-17-2014Obituaries
Glenn E. Johnson

07-17-2014Obituaries
Joseph Hyland

07-17-2014Obituaries
Peter P. Hendricks

07-17-2014Obituaries
Violet Jessie Frehr

07-17-2014Obituaries
Terence Crowley

07-17-2014Obituaries
Orville "Pat" Cappaert

07-17-2014Obituaries
Mary L. Wyman

07-17-2014Obituaries
Glenn A. Rietz

07-17-2014Obituaries
Francis M. Lemansky

07-17-2014Obituaries
Frances K. Last

07-17-2014Obituaries
Kenneth S. Kososki

07-17-2014Obituaries
Lorraine M. Knitter

07-17-2014Obituaries
Rochele Jaskolski

07-17-2014Obituaries
Helen Huss

07-17-2014Obituaries
Adeline M. (Cloutier) Evancheck

07-17-2014Obituaries
Kathleen M. Ebben

07-17-2014Front Page
Menominee Commissioners Walk Out of Airport Meeting

07-17-2014Front Page
Peshtigo Hires Principal, School Secretary To Retire

07-17-2014Front Page
Bob Schwartz Benefit At Equity On Aug. 2

07-17-2014Front Page
2014 Logging, Heritage Fest A Huge Success

07-17-2014News
Menekaunee Sets Old Timers Picnic July 26

07-17-2014News
Marinette Co. Fair Raffle Tickets Available for Sale

07-17-2014News
Crivitz Blood Drive Aug. 4

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
VBS at Wausaukee Church July 21-25

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire Auxiliary Finalize Picnic Plans

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire/Rescue Auxiliary Picnic Aug. 9th

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
WHS Athletes Physicals July 29

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Motorcycle Ride for Crivitz Rescue Squad

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
MI Fire Dept. Picnic, Open House Aug. 9

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Loomis Legion, Unit Fun Day is July 26

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam July 16

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Brazeau Emergency Services Picnic, Wrestling July 26

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Church VBS July 21-25

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board July 21

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Dept. 19th Annual Parade, Picnic

07-10-2014Front Page
Two Injured In Car, Motorcycle Crash

07-10-2014Front Page
Committee Shaves $40,000 From $1.08 Million Projects

07-10-2014Front Page
Drug Units Arrest 2 In Meth Investigations

07-10-2014Front Page
Marinette Plan To Consider Waterfront, Historic Zoning

07-10-2014Front Page
Coleman Board Okays Property Cleanup Study

07-10-2014Sports
Marinette Notches M&M Win

07-10-2014Sports
Sports Exams To Aid Area School District

07-10-2014Sports
MYBI Players To March In July 13 Parade

07-10-2014Sports
Peshtigo Rallies Past White Lake

07-10-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-10-2014Perspectives
From our readers

07-10-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-10-2014Obituaries
Jerome Wontor

07-10-2014Obituaries
Catherine M. Wheelock

07-10-2014Obituaries
John J. Wertelusky

07-10-2014Obituaries
Marvin L. Wagner

07-10-2014Obituaries
Debra A Vandenberg

07-10-2014Obituaries
Pastor Kenneth C. Schlueter

07-10-2014Obituaries
Robert Reed

07-10-2014Obituaries
Edgar W. Raess

07-10-2014Obituaries
Gregg S. Meser

07-10-2014Obituaries
Warren C. Manske

07-10-2014Obituaries
Joan C. Lutri

07-10-2014Obituaries
Inez A. Kulick

07-10-2014Obituaries
Delores Junco

07-10-2014Obituaries
Cora G. Erickson

07-10-2014Obituaries
Agnes Clark

07-10-2014Obituaries
Pauline M. Barribeau

07-10-2014Obituaries
Gladys Stiglitz

07-10-2014Obituaries
Melvin G. Sovinski

07-10-2014Obituaries
Alice E. Nieft

07-10-2014Obituaries
John R. Maves

07-10-2014Obituaries
Arnold Martin

07-10-2014Obituaries
Robin S. Luedtke

07-10-2014Obituaries
Marilyn LaCoursier

07-10-2014Obituaries
Cecelia M. LaChapell

07-10-2014Obituaries
Rochelle Ihander

07-10-2014Obituaries
Rob Holman

07-10-2014Obituaries
Larry J. Hohol

07-10-2014Obituaries
Annette M. Blumreich

07-10-2014Obituaries
Constance E. Besaw

07-10-2014Obituaries
Nancy L. Bartels

07-10-2014News
Suring Auxiliary Rummage Sale

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
NWTC Tech Camps for Youth

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire/Rescue Auxiliary Picnic Aug. 9th

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Weather Topic of Library Program

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Legion Participates in Church Service

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
“Miracle for Mike” Benefit is July 12

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Fire Dept. Picnic/Open House Aug. 9

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
“Lego Movie” is Featured July 10

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Church Bible Soccer Camp July 14-18

07-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Legion Auxiliary Invitation for Members

07-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Band To March in July 19th Parade

07-10-2014Community - Coleman
Food Pantry Open July 16

07-03-2014Sports
WIAA Limits Contact During Season

07-03-2014Sports
Vintage Mods To Appear At UPIR Track

07-03-2014Sports
Most Fireworks Are Illegal In Wisconsin State Parks, Forests

07-03-2014Sports
Peshtigo Residents Attend International Snowmobile Congress

07-03-2014Sports
Riverside To Offer Golf Experiences With Packers

07-03-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-03-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-03-2014Obituaries
Dorothy L. Watson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Phillip J. Tjernagel

07-03-2014Obituaries
John J. Shaffer

07-03-2014Obituaries
Shirley J. Neuman

07-03-2014Obituaries
Pearl Moudry

07-03-2014Obituaries
Dale H. McClellan

07-03-2014Obituaries
Rosemary Kolaszewski

07-03-2014Obituaries
Gerald L. Johnson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Fred Jensen

07-03-2014Obituaries
Genevieve A. Hein

07-03-2014Obituaries
Allen J. Engebretsen

07-03-2014Obituaries
William Disjardin

07-03-2014Obituaries
Olga H. Deckert

07-03-2014Obituaries
Lonnie J. Corbeille

07-03-2014Obituaries
Leonard Birr

07-03-2014Obituaries
Helen C. Augustine

07-03-2014Obituaries
James E. Yunowich

07-03-2014Obituaries
Anna Wirtz

07-03-2014Obituaries
Mary Wendt

07-03-2014Obituaries
Ellen K. Sweeney

07-03-2014Obituaries
Patrick W. Smiltneek

07-03-2014Obituaries
Dr. Thomas J. Shepro

07-03-2014Obituaries
Juanita M. Johnson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Doris Jansen

07-03-2014Obituaries
Jerome D. Horen

07-03-2014Obituaries
Barbara A. Hommel

07-03-2014Obituaries
Patti F. Hermann

07-03-2014Obituaries
Allison L. Helgeson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Charlene F. Beck

07-03-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth M. Barlow

07-03-2014News
Garden Walk is July 19

07-03-2014News
Historical Society Meeting July 7th

07-03-2014News
Family Fest at Goodman Park July 5

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Logo Contest for 2015 Centennial

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Library Program July 9 on Food

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Collect 49 Units in Blood Drive

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board To Ok Propane Contract

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
Town Stephenson OWI Target Area

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
VFW Brat Fry at Crivitz July 3

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Meeting July 10

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
MI Board To Meet July 10

07-03-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board July 6


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Is the president responsible for the border crisis we have in America?
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