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Cost Jumps For Minocqua’s Uniform Address Sign Project

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MINOCQUA – The Minocqua Town board has awarded a contract to Lange Enterprises of Oconomowoc for uniform address signs for every real estate parcel in the township. But a two-year delay in awarding the contract has resulted in a $50,000 price increase.

Lange’s was the low bidder as it was back in May 2017 when the town decided not to award the contract due to a lack of a bidder’s certificate from all three bidders. But Lange’s $198,000 bid for material and installation is roughly $50,000 more than it was back then.

Since then, material and labor costs have risen, said Director of Public Works Mark Pertile. The only other bid this time was from A&H Co., of Minnesota, at about $320,000.

Some 5,150 rural signs will be needed; measuring 16x8 inches, double faced. An additional 1,500 signs for urban areas will be ordered. Work will start this spring with most signs installed before winter returns. While the town will initially pay the bill, the cost (about $35 per sign) will show up on real estate owners’ property tax bill as a special charge, said Town Clerk Roben Haggart.

The board unanimously approved an updated ordinance to allow the Minocqua Water Ski Club to perform and practice their ski jumps and other acts without running afoul of state boating laws. Supervisor John Thompson worked on the changes with a state Department of Natural Resources warden.

Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim has said the water exhibition permit applies only to the enrolled members of the water ski club and not former members or family members. Anyone violating the ordinance should be reported to the DNR wardens or the town’s boat patrol, he said.

The board gave a first reading to a town ordinance placing additional restrictions on lake aerations systems in wintertime. It would require anyone using a lake aeration or water pump to post “Open Water” signs with reflective letters at least six inches tall. Any open water created by their use could not go further than 30 feet lakeward from the structure. The town could also shut them down if it believes the operation creates “an unreasonable risk of exposure to injury” for recreational users such as snowmobilers.

Finally, the board was unanimous in its opposition to portable storage facilities being used as accessory structures (garages or storage sheds). Currently, the county doesn’t prohibit shipping containers, portable on demand storage (PODS) and even buses and mobile homes as accessory structures. The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee is asking towns for their opinions on allowing such structures and if so, it may require a permit.

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