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Minocqua Property Owners Get New Signs Next Year

Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil

MINOCQUA – The Minocqua Town Board  recently  opted to have property owners pay a bit more for new address signs, with better looking posts, after selecting the second lowest bid from a local contractor for uniform signage throughout the township.

No matter which contractor they choose for the more visible address signs, Director of Public Works Mark Pertile urged them to push ahead with the project to increase response time by various rescue and public safety agencies. “I recommended moving forward with it because it benefits Oneida County (ambulance), public safety, fire department,” Pertile told the board. “You know the one life it saves by being able to find a property is important to our community members.” Pertile did recommend awarding the base bid to Lange Enterprises, Oconomowoc with the low bid of $127,355 for 5,154 uniform address signs on steel, painted posts. Lakeland Landscaping, Minocqua, had bid $138,900. The only other bid was from Electro Sign, Blaine, MN at $192,861. All three bids included installation for rural areas.

However, the board elected to go with the more expensive galvanized posts and stainless steel hardware. On Billy Fried’s motion, the board also selected Lakeland Landscaping’s bid of $142,000, which was still higher than the bid with similar alternates by Lange Enterprises. Even the best combination of alternates for Lakeland Landscaping would still see Lange some $2,500 lower than Lakeland Landscaping, said a Lange representative. At one point Lakeland Landscaping owner Tom Handrick reminded the board of his donations to the town. The base bid includes the 16x8-inch double-face signs and posts for rural areas. The sign will include the township name, fire number and street name. The estimated $26 cost per rural sign (less for “urban” single face signs that don’t need a post) will show up on property tax bills as an assessment after they are installed in the spring of 2018. However, the motion to approve depends on an opinion from town attorney Greg Harrold, who will research state statutes on whether the town has to take the low bid. · In another signage action, the board selected the low bid of Zilisch Asphalt of Wausau for $16,984 for pavement marking, such as parking stalls and crosswalks. Arrow Precision of Stevens Point had submitted the next lowest bid at $17,722. · Finally, the board approved two bids from Pitlik & Wick, Eagle River for pavement and other repairs on two roads: Baker Lake Road, $47,254 and Northern Road, $259,867. Mosinee-based American Asphalt had bid $296,687 for the Northern Road project. The town has $300,000 budgeted for roadwork this year. The board approved spending an additional $10,000 to cover both projects.

The town attorney informed the board and the owners of The Thirsty Whale, who were present, that state officials agree that the business continues to maintain its status as an over-the-water boathouse, and thus the owners are able to repair and rebuild the structure if damaged by wind or fire. Jay and Deanne Kidd had asked the board to sell them a small strip of town-owned land that connects to the structure so they could rebuild as riparian owners. They feared they could not do that without that action. Harrold, who has researched the issue extensively, said a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff person wants to physically measure the structure to get its dimensions on file in case the need to rebuild ever does arise. “They can rebuild exactly as it is today,” Harrold said, “but they could not enlarge (the structure).” Harrold also said any permits to repair or rebuild would need to have the town listed as the agent. Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim and the town attorney will work on a new, extended land use agreement for the Kidds. Harrold also suggested the Kidds could ask their local state representatives to draft a bill that would specifically allow them to rebuild. Although permission to sell them the land has been approved already by the electorate, Hartzheim opposes selling the town property because it would vacate a public right-of-way. The DNR would also have to approve the vacation, and historically has been very reluctant to do so because of the public’s right to access public water bodies.

In another town property issue, the board approved a land use agreement for Lakeland Area Mountain Bike Association (LAMBO) in order for the group to establish and maintain trails on town-owned property just south of the Island of Minocqua.

The board approved a resolution declaring a state of emergency from the April 9 storm. The resolution is needed in order to request funds from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund. The state funds can only be used by the town for its clean-up costs, and not to reimburse private landowners. Pertile said the town will likely incur between $20,000 and $25,000 in cleanup costs, including paying private contractors to pick up tree branches and other debris. Pertile also praised his crews for their hard work and long hours in tackling the clean-up. The board also approved a resolution allowing Pertile to apply for a state Stewardship grant to help pay for playground equipment at the 70 West Park Complex on State Highway 70 West.

The town has about $22,000 in donations, but the costs will be much greater than that. The grant requires a matching amount, either in labor or actual dollars, from the town if approved. Other board actions included establishing slow-no wake areas on Blue Lake and a preliminary subdivision on Malby Lake requested by Joann Richardson.

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