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Powerline Funding Is Tough To Get     10/25/17

  One of the more contentious issues amongst Taylor County Board members is where to spend the money which is in the powerline impact fee account.  Two requests for funding were brought before the county board on Wednesday.  Supervisor Rollie Thums expressed his support of allocating $10,000 from the fund to help pay for a new American Legion Post building in Rib Lake.  Supervisor Mildbrand supported it because the building would be available for community use.  Supervisor Bub asked for clarification of what the money in the fund should be approved for.  It was explained that the fund is now earmarked for “The Public Good”.  Mr. Bub chuckled saying, "oh so that’s up to us to determine".  Supervisors Zenner and Krug expressed their opposition to funding the project for fear of setting a precedence of funding such facilities.  The vote to allocate $10,000 to the Rib Lake American Legion building received 7 no votes and failed by 1 vote as 2/3 of the majority needed to vote affirmative.

  The next request for powerline impact funding caused quite a stir.  The southern third of the Pineline Trail is being resurfaced.  The request was for $15,000.  Supervisor Bub indicated there was a lot of local support with individuals and organizations pledging over $11,000.  Supervisor Breneman asked why the funds weren’t coming out of the forestry account.  Forester Jake Walcisak indicated that the Pineline is a county park which comes under the buildings and grounds budget.  Supervisor Thums said that every cent in the Forestry department is public money and should be used to fund this project.  Clerk Bruce Strama said the reason the trail was designated as a park was so they could apply for grants.  Supervisor Soper proposed to substitute powerline funds with forestry funds but that measure failed.  Supervisor Bub offered a compromise with each fund paying half, $7500 from Forestry and $7500 from the powerline fund and the compromise vote was unanimously approved.  The total estimated cost of the Phase 1 portion of resurfacing 6.4 miles of the trail from Allman Street to Alfalfa Avenue is $125,840.  A grant from the DNR is paying for 80% of the expense.

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