Vilas County

Excess DNR Land Purchases Approved For Vilas County

Jul 7, 2017
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Purchase of DNR lands in the towns of St. Germain and Conover were approved by the Vilas County Forestry, Land and Recreation committee this week to secure a potential gravel source and to expand parking for a boat landing and picnic area on Hunter Lake.

These lands have been approved for sale by the Natural Resoures Board and are part of DNR's directive to sell 10,000 acres and to offer them to local units of government first.

Vilas Co. Facing Tough Road Repair Decisions

Jun 27, 2017
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The Vilas County highway committee faced the cost of road repair and construction during a recent meeting.

Road costs continue to be an issue not only for the state but also for county governments with limited resources and staff to effectively maintain public travel expectations.

The committee received plan proposals from highway commissioner Nick Scholtes who asked what level of service does the county provide and what level of service does the public want?

Vilas County forest timber sales approved recently   on 14 parcels covering 581 acres will produce $478,000 income which is similar to bids totaling $472,000 last year and is in line with the allowable cut in the county forest plan, according to forest administrator John Gagnon.

Gagnon said they have been struggling with aspen harvests in trying to split up stands to offer aspen every year. Young aspen stands are a preferred timber type for many native species such as deer and ruffed grouse.

Vilas DA Files Complaint Against BJ Town Board

Jun 7, 2017

A civil action against Boulder Junction town board members alleging they violated Wisconsin's Open Meeting law was filed in Vilas County court by district attorney Martha Milanowski.

Court documents indicate a complaint was received from Greg Walker of the Lakeland Times last February regarding a closed session held September 8, 2016. Milanowski requested Sheriff Joe Fath investigate the allegation and the complaint relies on his report indicating the town board went into closed session to discuss compesation over a public employee.

Vilas County Courthouse Security Debated

May 10, 2017

Security  for both employees and visitors to the Vilas County courthouse complex when the new $11 million addition is completed was debated by the county public property committee this week with different views expressed for a complete system at one public entrance or increased security for specific departments depending on their functions.

The state Wisconsin Fund program that provides financial assistance to replace failing septic systems faces elimination in the next state budget and the Vilas County Zoning committee approved a resolution supporting continuing the program. Vilas County Zoning Administrator Dawn Schmidt indicated over 41,000 residents have participated in the Wisconsin Fund including 66 in Vilas County. The program is funded by county septic system permit fees with $100 sent to the state for each sanitary permit.

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A policy for development and maintenance of recreation trails on Vilas County forest lands was adopted by the county Forestry, Recreation, and Land committee recently  to assure all trail proposals of any kind are treated in a similar fashion, comply with state statutes, the adopted 15 year comprehensive plan, and certification standards.

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The Vilas County forestry committee gave the green light Wednesday to apply for ATV funds for 10 miles of multi-use off highway trails that would improve connections to the developing RV Park by Torch Lake south of Conover while at the same time linking communities.

"We are shovel ready for ATV's from Eagle River north to Conover and can apply now for ATV maintenance funds," according to county recreation administrator Dale Mayo who said most of the trail would be on existing snowmobile trails.

Those funds would be a 100 percent grant from the Off Road Vehicle Counsel.

Vilas County Landfill Has About 10 Years Left

Feb 15, 2017
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Future expansion of the Vilas County Highway G landfill will depend upon finding other properties to replace acreage removed from the county forest along with both DNR and county board approval.

At a meeting Monday,  landfill community members were informed there are about 10 years left in the final cell and they need to seek additional land for future operations.

Vilas County Swears In New District Attorney

Dec 28, 2016

Vilas County has a new district attorney as Martha Milanowski was administered the oath of office by Judge Neal "Chip" Nielsen, III on Tuesday.

Milanowski, who served 16 years as the county corporation counsel, replaces Al Moustakis who was DA for 23 years and did not seek reelection.

Milanowski thanked many persons present for support and encouragement; especially her husband Gary, their three children, and her parents who braved the weather to see her take her next step in her legal career.

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One person has died in a Vilas county traffic crash.

The Sheriff's Department reports the crash just before 7:30 Wednesday evening on Sundstein Road near Eagle River. The driver of the pickup truck missed a 90 degree curve and struck a tree. The driver was the sole occupant and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The name of the driver will be released when family is fully notified.

The public is invited to hear the latest on the progress of the work being done by Great Headwaters Trails at their 6th annual meeting on August 17th.

The hour-long meeting will begin at 5:30pm in Conover’s Community Park. President of the Great Headwaters Trails, Jeff Currie says this meeting will be different than others in the past.


Less Money Makes For Tough Choices On VC Roads

Jun 22, 2016

Staff cutbacks combined with a reduction in road work, budgets, and what level of service should be provided on 200 miles of Vilas County highways was discussed by the county highway committee Tuesday.

Highway Commissioner Nick Scholtes said due to staff shortages mowing and crack sealing has been put off, only three miles of new pavement will be done this year, and the county could lose some discretionary state funds for work of state highways.

A Phelps woman has been found dead on a trail in Phelps and the Vilas County Sheriff's Department is calling the death 'suspicious'.

Sheriff Joe Fath reports a 9-1-1 caller reported finding the body on a trail behind apartments in Phelps. The body was identified at 47 year old Luann Beckman. She was last seen riding her bicycle Sunday afternoon about 4;30 p.m. Fath says state experts were called in to examine the scene and report a suspicious death.

Fath says the Sheriff's office, Coroner, District Attorney and Wisconsin Department of Justice are investigating.

Vilas County Tourism and Publicity

Travelers and others using mobile media devices will note a new Vilas County tourism website that has been redesigned with a number of new features.

Vilas County Director of Tourism and Publicity Cindy Burzinski says to stay in front of changing traveler needs, they wanted a new tourism website...

".....we found out that in the past year, over 50 percent of users to our site were using mobile devices. In order to make visitors at the website an impressive experience, we upgraded it to mobile-friendly and make it more eye catching...."