Town of Peshtigo discusses costly audit report

By: 
Lynette Brosig

PESHTIGO – After the formalities and agenda approvals, the Town of Peshtigo Tuesday, May 21, meeting started with public comment with one resident from Wendel Johnson who spoke highly about the Kowalski Walking Trail burn and Keith Swallow. 

200 plant plugs were planted on Saturday, May 25, and the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition will be meeting at the trail on Monday, June 10, at 10 a.m. 

In announcements, Chairperson Jennifer Friday acknowledged the donation of a new AED for the Town Hall from the Bellin Foundation and Treasurer Jodi Maney attended QuickBooks training.

Friday added from last month’s meeting the proper procedure to call in littering is to send in the license plate number, vehicle description and personal description to the law enforcement non-emergency number. Friday said she posted a notice to the town website regarding the Adopt-A-Highway program and application which prompted an email from a town resident suggesting that she contact the Marinette County jail to ask if inmates could do the litter clean up.

Sheriff Randy Miller stated to Friday that he had intended to check into the inmates to assist with pickup, but they are already short staffed; however, he is hoping to have someone out there soon. 

Friday added that the DNR and Tyco updates are on the website for anyone to view; superfund designation was in March of 2022 as a result of a petition by Cindy Boyle and Jeff Lamont, which took two to three years to get a designated determination. In contacting the EPA about the superfund, it was stated that they haven’t done any testing but are hoping to do more this summer; however, it will still take about two to three years for results. 

Friday commented, “For the $1.667 million dollar lawsuit, the town is still in litigation and there can only be one government entity with a lawsuit and there are several people in a lawsuit at this time.”

Trainings for the Fire department included Chief Folgert attending Pipeline Safety CORE Exercise, Chief and Lieutenant Paoli attended active shooter/rescue task force training at Wausaukee High School. Firefighter Justin Walk completed his State Certified Firefighter one and Hazardous Materials Operations certification testing; Jordan DeForge, Cienna Grawey and Max Heckel also completed State Certified Firefighter two certification testing. 

In other personnel, Max Heckel was promoted to active firefighter status. An applicant has been conditionally hired pending results of pre-employment medical testing and a physical exam. Hose testing has been taking place. Several grants have been applied for and free smoke alarms are still available for installation in the Town of Peshtigo. 

Marinette County Representative for the Town of Peshtigo, David Buechler then gave an update to the residents regarding the May 8 Infrastructure Committee meeting.

An advisory motion was made at the annual town meeting to conduct an audit of the last five years. The last completed audit was in 2019. In securing several quotes on the cost of an audit at this point in time, cost would be approximately $11,000 per year for the past five years of 2019 through 2024 with a total cost of $55,000. 

Resident and former Treasurer Marsha Rettke mentioned, “In 2019 Vilas Schroeder wanted an audit before he left. It is expensive and they don’t dig as deeply as you might think they do.” 

There was a discussion on Cyber Security insurance with a decision for the board to do some risk analysis and bring it to the board at a future date.

Board of Appeals Chairperson Wayne Gerondale resigned, leaving two openings of Chairperson plus an alternate, due to Amber Lynwood stepping down, with her new role as Constable. 

An Ad Hoc Committee update was provided by Friday and Treasurer Jody Maney for the CDBG-CV Town Hall improvement project with a $467,488 bid from GPS. The Department of Administration approved the request for sole source procurement exemption and approved the town to move forward with awarding the bid. MSA is working on an amendment to the Department of Administration (DOA) to request additional funding in the amount of $182,000, which is the difference between available funds and the bid plus a 20% contingency for possible overages. The board discussed awarding the bid contingent on receiving the additional funding and anything less than the $182,000 additional available funds will go back to the board for further discussion. 

An Ordinance/Policy Review Committee was given by Chairperson Friday and Vice Chairperson Jimmer Wortner stated that chapter one was completed and chapter two will continue with the next meeting on Thursday, June 6. 

In Buildings and Grounds, Joy added that the boat dock located at the end of Harbor Road is owned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Swallow is working with the DNR to see if the town can work with the DNR for them to put in a floating dock. 

Recycling Center Tim Bergeson announced that employee Paul McClain resigned from the RC Center. A motion was then made to authorize Bergeson to hire an employee at his discretion with a maximum rate of $19 per hour. 

Coble also announced that the center did receive their yearly $8,300 grant.  

Work for Roads and Ditches will include culvert replacements on Old Peshtigo Rd. and Hale School Rd. There will also be blacktop repair by Harbor Rd. and tree cutting on Right of Way Rd., Rehms Rd., Krause Rd. from Hwy BB to Dahl Rd. and Dahl Rd. to Hwy BB. 

Also discussed was logging trees. A quote was received between $10,000-15,000 for removal of big trees and chips. Land owners can take the wood but must be removed within a week. It was approved to go forward with this project and hire additional part-time workers for Roads and Ditches. 

Upcoming meetings include the Regular Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 18 at 6 p.m.

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