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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Town Of Peshtigo Okays New Custom Fire Truck

Issue Date: June 23, 2022

After approval of the minutes at the Town of Peshtigo Board meeting on Tuesday, June 21, Chairperson Cindy Boyle asked the Board and the audience to acknowledge and take a moment of silence in memory of Town of Peshtigo maintenance employee Mark Pleshek and former Town Board Member and Marinette County Board Supervisor Don Pazynski who both passed away recently.

Another announcement was from Clerk Clarence Coble stating that the Board of Review open book board meeting is set for Tuesday, July 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the regular town meeting and the Board of Review will be present. The open book will be held one week prior on Tuesday, July 12 with time to be determined which is usually 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the exact time will be noticed in the June 29 edition of the Peshtigo Times.

Supervisor Cindy Baur advised that the signs for the Kowalski walking trail benches that were approved prior never got ordered. Baur said, "I asked Deputy Clerk Kayla Okins to get a quote for the signs and it was $48.25 and it was approved prior at $50 to $100 so the signs will be ordered and installed.

Supervisor Kayla Furton said, "Just an update on the Finance Committee, the Congressional Directive Spending Appropriations request through Senator Tammy Baldwin's office that she decided to move forward with her request of $5 million dollars to work towards long term safe drinking water for the Town. It is not a guarantee, but we will be moving that request forward.

In public comment, Town Resident James Goodman spoke in reference to the pedestrian danger near his home. Goodman said, "My address is Shore Drive, but which is now County Road BB and now is called Suicide Road. I was involved in the beginning when we were redoing this road and we had a wonderful proposal to have a walking trail on the road but it got voted out so now what we have is a narrow width to walk, ride bikes, walk their dogs and so on. When I go to my mailbox I have to step around and if a car wants to pass someone or if someone is walking, you have to stop your vehicle and wait for the other vehicle to go past and then can go around. My proposal is, and I know this is a county road, and I am hoping you deal with the County, that we need to take the West side of the road and increase it by four feet but not gravel. We need a four foot paved extension on that side of the road to get a safe walking roadway".

Resident Jennifer Friday discussed her disappointment that ARPA Fund Appropriation to replace their 30 year old Fire Engine did not make it onto the agenda for this meeting. There were 250 Town of Peshtigo residents that signed a petition requesting that the topic make it to the agenda and that the board consider appropriating $200,000 of ARPA funds for that very purpose. That is 250 voices that were ignored by Chairperson Cindy Boyle who was well aware of the petition prior to creation of the agenda. Friday said, "The ordinance allows for residents to make agenda requests on the Thursday prior to the board meeting and I did just that. On Thursday, June 16, I emailed my request at 11:22 a.m. and also brought a hard copy to the Town Hall when I attended the Fire Commission meeting at noon that same day. After listening to the presentation by the Fire Department I hope this board takes into serious consideration what at least 250 Town residents support by getting my request placed on a future meeting agenda". Friday will also be putting in a letter to the editor concerning this topic along with frustration of the process of a job posting for the upcoming vacant Treasurer position.

Mike Finger, Town of Peshtigo resident also spoke in support of the Fire Department saying, "I just want to make a comment on the wonderful job that our Fire Department does and I understand they want to purchase a new fire engine and I was hoping maybe some of these funds from the ARPA grant money can be used to help with the purchase of the truck. I just wanted to commend the fire department for the excellent job they do and I think we should help them out".

Resident Jim Wortner also spoke in public comment stating, "I have a question about Schacht Road, I went out and looked at the culvert and the town blocked it off. You hired someone for $2,700 to tell you which way the water flows, I told you and the County told you which way the water ran. Now you have two experts on the County Board that are road specialists and you are spending over $20,000 to find out what roads and culverts you need to get fixed, what is going on"?

Buck Nelson, resident, also spoke echoing Wortner's thoughts as to why the board approved a consulting firm from out of Town for over $20,000 when there are qualified people here. "You had John here and he was a real good person, he had that position for a long time. Why didn't you bring him in as a consultant? He had a plan in place for this year and a plan they working on for next year. I don't understand why you went out of the County to get somebody when the experts are right here that are qualified".

Joe Paoli and Rich Seils, of the Town of Peshtigo Fire Department along with Fire Chief Mike Folgert, provided an excellent presentation in support of the purchase of a Fire Engine providing all the specifications and pros and cons of the types of engines that are available of Custom at approximately $700,000 versus Commercial at approximately $550,000. Their objective is to replace their almost 30 year old 1994 fire truck they have now with the best and safest option for the town residents and businesses. With at least a two year build time, the process needs to be expedited. Folgert said, "I know this is a terrible time to be asking for money now, but we cant afford to delay this any longer. We need to start working now. As we develop this engine I told Paoli and Seils to keep in mind the intent to follow how our businesses have changed in the past 30 years, what we need in the next 30 years, keep in mind safety of the firefighters, efficient operation, construction and efficient design of the engine, the must haves versus the like to haves, the need to pump 1,500 gallons per minute, a red truck and stick to a fire engine, not a ladder or pumper truck. These two have a lot of knowledge and did a lot of homework in searching out the best option for the safety of the Town and the Residents".

In the end, the Board made a motion for approval of the Fire Department to move forward with the Custom type of engine. With $200,000 in current funds, $50,000 in the department budget and a possible $200,000 in ARPA funds that leaves approximately $250,000 left that the department and budget will need to come up with to fund the engine, which in part can be covered by fund raisers and donations.

In his report, Folgert advised there were 20 calls from May 17 through June 19 including five EMS assists, four vehicle crashes, six trees downed, power lines downed and or trees on power lines, two trees burning on power lines, one gas odor and one CO alarm and one transformer fire.

On the brighter side, the department received a $10,600 donation from Johnson Control (JCI)/ Tyco for the purchase of a new Rapid Deployment Craft and battery operated positive pressure fan. A $100 donation was received from Peshtigo Firefighters for the Fire Auxiliary and a $50 donation from Cans For Kids.

Annual hose testing for the department started on June 20 with 83 length of hose for a total of 4,150 feet tested so far. In special events, a Life Saving Award was presented to three firefighters and Unit Commendation Awards to five firefighters at a City of Peshtigo Council meeting for their efforts in rescuing three jet skiers from the Peshtigo River in May. On June 11, the department participated in the Veteran's and First Responder Appreciation Day at Badger Park. Fire apparatus was on display and they also conducted a gun raffle drawing.

In Buildings and Ground, Supervisor Tatem Schroeder announced a couple of dead trees were cleaned up and removed from the boat landing on Shore Drive. Harbor Road and Canal Lane, areas were leveled out and cleaned out.

In Roads and Ditches, Supervisor John Kowalski commented that a new culvert was put in on Rolling Hills for a new subdivision and there will be gravel being hauled in to get it to specifications. There was grading done on Kutz Road and Edwards Road needs repairs.

The priority with Delmar Consulting is the Old Peshtigo Road by Flame Road just past Rader Road. That whole stretch is broken down and is badly in need of repairs and it is getting to be time that we need to start getting bids for snowplowing.

In regards to the Schacht Road Equalizing Culvert, the town received the report from MSA Hydrology basically saying the same as what was originally discussed a while back at a board meeting by board members. Supervisor Schroeder removed herself from the board for that discussion since it was concerning her property. A culvert was put in to alleviate water on the opposite side of the road which led to her property being flooded, correcting one problem but creating another.

At a prior meeting Schroeder announced with owning a construction company they would do the work of removing the culvert at no cost to the town other than repaving the blacktop in that area. It was agreed upon that if an engineering company could provide a report of the flowage water and verify if that would be the proper way to correct the situation, then they could move forward.

Kowalski agreed that taking the culvert out would remedy the situation, but also stated, "The ditches have not been cleaned in probably 50 years and we cant clean ditches on private property without permission. We need to look into that also".

After further discussion a motion was made to put back to where it was by property owner removing culvert after verifying the owner has license and insurance and is allowed to do that and leave it up to the property owners on the other side of the road to put in culverts. Kowalski will also talk to the County on ditching options.

Furton announced that the second deposit of ARPA the funds in the amount of $419,000 was deposited. Furton also added, "In reference to newsletter printing, last year 2,400 newsletters were sent out at an amount of $2,383 and this year the quote is $2,500 including postage". Clerk Clarence Coble interjected, "The Peshtigo Time does a good job and gives us a bulk rate for postage. Other printers cannot compete with them. We looked at different places a couple years ago and no-one could beat or match their price".

With the Treasurer giving her resignation, the Town needed to post for a new treasurer and also with Coble retiring the end of the year in 2022, the town will need to post for a Clerk position also. The Deputy Clerk stated she is not interested in moving into the Clerk position.

In water news, Boyle announced that the EPA Water Chief, Rodeeka Fox recently announced the new standards for PFAS which used to be 70 PPT (Parts Per Trillion) combined PFOA and PFOS for safe water and the new HAL (Health Advisory Limit) will be .004 PPT for PFOA and .02 PPT for PFOS. Also, it was made aware that Trygve Rhude has been added as an additional committee member to the Water Committee

The next regular Town meeting will be held Tuesday, July 19 at 7 p.m., following the Board of Review Open Book Board meeting that is being held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


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