Trygve Rhude - Letter to Editor

Lean forward, Town of Peshtigo Elections

I have lived in the Town of Peshtigo my entire life and there has never been an election more important than the one coming up on April 4th.  The town has been put into an awful situation with one of the worst ground -water contamination cases in the state of Wisconsin’s history. PFAS will be affecting the Town for many years to come.

The current town board has been fighting a battle they never envisioned having to take on.  The responsible party, Johnson Controls, Inc./Tyco  (JCI/Tyco) will do whatever they can to protect their best interests.  Thus the town must work its way through the extremely complex situation it finds itself in.  Under the leadership of Chairperson Boyle the town board has been battling goliath with heroic strength. The amount of moving parts to this problem include a lack of state and federal regulations, state of Wisconsin DOJ lawsuit filed against JCI/Tyco for failure to report the “incident” and address fully the extent of the contamination, the Town suit against JCI/Tyco for reimbursement of costs associated with the contamination, future source of clean drinking water, etc.  With no state or federal regulations for drinking water coming from individual ground water wells it makes things even harder to fight.  Chairperson Boyle has not only been fighting for clean drinking water for all the town’s residence but fighting for state and federal regulations setting ground water standards for PFAS and its many derivatives. 

Unfortunately this battle will not be fully addressed for years to come. I spent 30 years as a citizen member of the Menominee River Area of Concern clean up before the Menominee River was removed from a federal list as one of the 43 worst contaminated sites on the great lakes. This arsenic contamination was caused by the same company that is now responsible for the towns PFAS contamination. Fortunately things are moving much faster on the current PFAS contamination. For the long term future of all town residence this issue needs to be addressed methodically and patiently, Chairperson Boyle has been doing just that.

Along with this PFAS contamination issue that no other town board has had to struggle with the current town board under Chair Boyle’s leadership has been able to take care of all the day to day business the town is responsible for.  Not only have they been able to do that they have moved the town forward by improving its technology including an updated town web site, improved the recycling centers operation and bottom line, created an accurate and up to date road/culvert inventory, and created greater public participation by including town residence on committees and commissions.  You will soon see improvements in the town hall including a new roof and a long term capital improvement planning committee has been formed in order to move the town into the future.

We have a town board that has a lot of work to complete; this is not the time for change.  Please support Chairperson Boyle as well as board member Baur and candidate Schroeder in the upcoming election.

Trygve Rhude
Town of Peshtigo Resident



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