The Taylor County Board met Tuesday (Sept. 17). They adopted a resolution of appreciation to Brad Ruesch for his years of service. In addition to his involvement on about 300 timber sales, his contribution to the creation of the county snowmobile trail system, and acquisition of the Pine Line Trail system, the group chuckled when the resolution thanked Mr. Ruesch for supplying chocolate to associates.
The board unanimously approved purchasing the 70 by 70 foot airport hangar from Hurd for $75,000. It was estimated the hangar was constructed for $300,000 in 1998.
The board passed an amended resolution requesting that the money returned from the Bureau of Aeronautics be deposited in the airport improvement fund. Supervisor Zenner amended the resolution to funnel $200,000 to the highway department for paving projects instead of going to the general fund. Lester Lewis indicated the funds originally were intended to be returned to the general fund. Larry Brandl indicated that the county spent between $900,000 and 1 million dollars on land acquisition for the runway expansion project. The amended motion to transfer $200,000 of the returned funds to the highway department passed with 4 no votes.
The board approved a resolution regarding the management of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The resolution expresses concerns about the diminished amount of timber harvests. It indicated that last year, less than ½ of the timber required to maintain forest health was harvested. The resolution requests the U.S. Forest Service change their policy to maximize the health of the forest and to harvest at least 80% of the annual allowable timber.
The board unanimously approved a revised shoreland zoning ordinance to be in compliance with state regulations.
There was considerable discussion regarding a request from the Village of Rib Lake to utilize powerline impact fees to pay repair costs of $38,525.00 for improvements needed at the Rib Lake Senior Citizen center. Lester Lewis expressed his opposition indicating the impact fees were intended for recreation and environmental projects. Supervisor Fuchs indicated he felt that the center provided recreation for senior citizens so he was in favor of the request. Dave Krug indicated that if the county provides funding, the amount should be matched by the requesting entity. Supervisor Bizer amended the request to provide matching funds of up to $20,000. The amended resolution passed on a 13 to 4 vote.
The Taylor County forest annual work plan passed unanimously. The plan is expected to offer timber sales on 450 to 500 acres of forest land.
Lastly, the county board heard an update on the remodeling of the Perkinstown Winter Sports chalet. Mr. Ludwig indicated the project should come in under the $100,000 budget. The project entails an enlarged chalet, improved parking, and maintenance to the existing structure. Work should be completed on time for the upcoming winter opening date.