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Minocqua Considers Inspections of Smaller Commercial Projects

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Minocqua will be among Lakeland towns enlisting the help of a building inspector to check whether contractors building or remodeling small commercial structures are following state building codes.

Rick Clem, who provides current residential inspection services for area towns, appeared before the town board Tuesday to outline the issue. He said the state only inspects commercial projects of 50,000 cubic feet or larger.

“A lot of buildings (under that) are not getting inspected,” said Clem, who added as an example that out-of-town electricians are doing commercial work in the area despite not being licensed to do that. “We are going to be really shocked on what’s going on. No one is inspecting anything.”

But, he said, his office won’t be inspecting projects that are minor, such as replacing a water heater or windows.

The board gave a first reading of a revised building code ordinance authorizing Clem to provide those additional services. The new ordinance will return to the board at a future meeting for likely adoption.

In other actions, the board approved designating Thoroughfare Road as an access road for local ATV/UTV owners to connect with Mid Lake Road in the town of Woodruff. This is for summer use only and will not appear on any official map of the Lakeland ATV Club, according to club president Corky Sheppard. A survey of adjacent property owners showed 14 in favor and three against the designation.

The board also ratified the agreement with the Lakeland Union High School board of education to provide a school resource officer for the 2021-22 school year. The school district will pick up the cost of the officer’s salary and fringe benefits on a full-time basis for the school year. Staffing that position will be officer Kaleb Punzel.

Continuing an on-going discussion the past few months, the board agreed to raise the maximum weight of boat, trailer and contents to 8,000 pounds on town boat landings. The current boat and trailer limit is 6,000 pounds. Director of public works Mark Pertile had lobbied the board to raise the limit to better match current users of the boat landings. Permits will be required for commercial use exceeding the new limits. The matter returns to the board at the Aug. 3 for adoption of the revised ordinance.

The board passed a resolution for alterations to Old Highway 70 and set a public hearing on the matter for Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.

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