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Campers/Motor Homes Must Pay Permit Fee To Park In Middle Inlet

Issue Date: June 24, 2021

An ordinance adopted by unanimous vote of Middle Inlet Town Board at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, June 10 requires owners or occupants of campers, RVs, motor homes etc., or owners of the property on which they are parked to buy a $50 town permit and a Marinette County Sanitary permit prior to the units being kept on any property in the Town of Middle Inlet. If the property is unimproved, a $50 fee must also be paid to the town to obtain a fire number.

According to the town web site, town permits are to be obtained through Building Inspector Jane Meissner.

In a conversation after the meeting, Meissner said in the Town of Stephenson ordinance that she was told formed the basis for the new Middle Inlet ordinance, permits are required for any unit that will be parked on a property for more than four months, except that owners of each property with a dwelling are allowed to keep one camper/motor home there year round.

Meissner said anyone having a camper parked for year round must get approval from the county first. If it is a self contained, she advised marking a calendar when the wastewater system is emptied, so you can show proof, and if it is a port a potty, composting toilet, etc., keep track of maintenance and get it okayed through the county.

However, during discussion at the June 10 Middle Inlet board meeting, Town Chair Richard Wade said in response to a question from the audience that permits will be needed even for an overnight stay of friends or family from out of town, and they can be parked outside, even with a permit, only from May 1 through Nov. 30 each year. He said the ordinance was adopted because "a lot of people are taking up residences in them and we're putting a stop to all that." He also said the units can be kept on a property year round if they are placed inside a garage or other storage structure, even a temporary one.

The ordinance became effective with publication on Wednesday, June 16. It had been discussed by the board at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 3, and passed along to the June 10 regular meeting with a recommendation for approval. All board members were present for the June 3 meeting along with Clerk/Treasurer Patricia Schutte and five members of the public. According to the minutes the board went through the Town of Stephenson ordinance and agreed Schutte should write amendments to that ordinance for adoption at the June 10 meeting. Members of the public agreed with the proposed changes.

In other business at the June 10 meeting Wade reminded everyone to get a free fireworks permit from the clerk before shooting off any Fourth of July fireworks. He said shooting a fireworks display without a permit could bring a $200 fine, and added, "If we don't get any rain there won't be any need to get a permit because we won't be able to shoot them off anyway." The town will monitor current fire conditions with the DNR prior to issuing a permit, Wade said.

During his report, Fire Chief Jon Kleuskens also warned about the need to get a fireworks permit, and to keep fireworks displays safe.

At its meeting on Tuesday, June 29 Marinette County Board is expected to approve a Town of Middle Inlet request to allow limited ATV/UTV use on a portion of County X from Right of Way Road to Lake Mary Road. Wade said he had asked the Sheriff's Department to do an educational presentation on rules for the recreational vehicles. They had no one available for this meeting, but Sheriff's Department Recreational Officer Zach Albrecht will do an educational presentation on current ATV/UTV laws at the next Middle Inlet Town Board meeting, which will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 8.

Wade reported he had met earlier on June 10 with the DNR and the contractor in regard to the long delayed replacement of the culvert on Camp 5 Road, and declared, "This is the most progress we've made in three years!" He said the DNR will issue the two permits needed, and thanked adjoining property owner Mark Vanderzee for agreeing to let them place a temporary road through his property so traffic can get in and out while the culvert replacement is in progress.

The board also was to hold a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 23 for discussion and possible action on the Wayside Road asphalt project, the Camp 5 Road culvert replacement project, and disposal of electronics and appliances.

At the June 10 meeting, Wade reported mowing and brushing on town roads would start the week of June 20 and continue until completed. Once contractors are caught up with road projects the town will start with culvert replacements.

The Moonshine Hill Road East project is completed. Wade thanked Northeast Asphalt, Richlen Excavating, and Custom cutting, LLC "for a job well done."

At the start of the meeting bids had been opened and read aloud for the Wayside Road Project. They were from Scott Construction for $83,530 and Northeast Asphalt $93,946.60. Board voted to accept the low bid from Scott Construction. Work on that project is to start about mid-August, with any needed culvert replacement to be done first.

Work on a Wayside Road segment of about three quarters of a mile to the Pleasant Road intersection should start before the July 8 meeting, Wade said.

In an update on property maintenance ordinance issues, Schutte reported that Code Enforcement Officer James Boltz had called on the owners and she had sent letters regarding property maintenance giving the 30 day notice to comply. She said some had called her to say they were cleaning up their yards, and she appreciated that. If no improvements are made in 30 days citations are to be issued.

Supervisor Charles Stanek reported the septic system and drain field at the Town hall are being replaced, with excavation being done by Richlen Excavating. Schutte said the town hall has been rented a lot for events since the public gathering restrictions were lifted.

Stanek reported the cemetery is looking good, and Memorial Day services had been held there, even though no one knew about it in advance. The American Legion and VFW had put flags out.

Alcohol license renewal was approved for Kevin Hood of I Don't Know Saloon.

During time for public comment, Rich Wenzel stated there needs to be more signage on Wasko Road and County XX with brushing to be done to improve vision at the intersection

Richard Wenzel asked if the town had heard from its attorney regarding the restraining order against Stanek, and Wade said not yet. Stanek stated order says he can be here for town business, voting and town board meetings, and he had checked with authorities before running for town board. He explained as he had in the past that he had been asking the former clerk/treasurer for financial reports showing income - what money came in for the town and where it came from, and outgo - where it was spent or deposited, with balances shown. He said the former clerk's complaint that he was threatening her was false, but Judge Jane Sequin had granted the injunction sought by the town, and he quit requesting what he, as former clerk/treasurer, felt should be public information.

"Have I been threatening or harassing any of you?" he asked the other town board members.

"Not any more," Clerk Schutte replied.

Wade and Stanek both said they had talked with the District Attorney's office regarding the restraining order, and were told to talk to the Sheriff. Wade suggested Rich Wenzel should call the DA himself.

Stanek said at no time had he done more than submit written requests for information, and in fact he had filed a complaint with the DA for refusal to comply with open records laws before the clerk - with apparent backing from the town board - filed the harassment claim and the restraining order request.

Rich Wenzel said if the restraining order against Stanek wasn't going to be enforced, the town should get it reversed.

Stanek said he had investigated, and learned the restraining order could only be appealed for 30 days after the hearing, "".so I'll just have to live with it."

"We have 22 more months," Rich Wenzel responded, apparently referring to the two-year term as Supervisor that Stanek won in April, when he narrowly defeated incumbent Ron Wenzel. Results of that election were verified in a subsequent recount.

Also during public comment, Gary Kuchta asked what could be done about a bear that was harassing his neighborhood and Wade said he should call the DNR.

Once again the Lake Mary "no wake" issue was raised by a man in the audience who said the signs need to be changed to reflect the proper time for no wake. Currently, one sign says from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m., and the other says from 5 p.m. The lake is bordered by the towns of Middle Inlet and Wagner. The man declared both towns should have lake ordinances and hire a community officer to enforce them.

Wade said he would get with Wagner Chairman regarding these issues.  He also said at a meeting in 2019 property owners in the Lake Association had voted 6 a.m. as the no-wake start time, but actually, no one has authority to post a sign. Wade asked what had happened at the Memorial Day meeting of the Lake Association, and was told they voted to table it for another year.

From the audience, former supervisor Roger Lieck said in Oconto county seven towns had joined together to work with the DNR, Sheriff's Department, and a community officer to support town ordinances regulating lake use. The DNR provides them with a boat and helps them get grant money, he said.

A young man in the audience said the Association vote had favored the 6 p.m. no wake time, and said there are also signs at the lake asking fishermen to catch and release, but that has no enforcement either. He said one piece of advice the Lake Mary Association would like everyone to follow is to ""please be courteous and respect one another."

Wade said he would touch bases with the Town of Wagner chair and get his views on what they can or should do. 


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