Vilas County

A practice of the Vilas County zoning office on advising homeowners who want to “wreck and rebuild” their home within the shoreland setback area by totally tearing down the present structure and rebuilding has been officially endorsed by the county zoning committee as policy.

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A Sunday morning fire in Conover destroyed a home.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department reports responding to county road "S" shortly before 11:00 a.m.

When emergency units arrived, the home was fully engulfed. The owners, Eric and Sarah Wallock were not at home and no injuries were reported among firefighters.

The fire remains under investigation.

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“We are ready to turn the new space over to Vilas County,” courthouse addition project manager Eric Engstrom of the Samuels Group reported “and are looking at the date of August 24th.”

They will start meeting with county departments set to move into the $11 million addition focusing on the second floor which will be completed first. Final landscaping is underway with paving of the entry location and east exit. All visitors and staff will be using the new main entrance for the next couple of months.

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The Vilas County Public Property committee selected a private firm, Per Mar, to provide courthouse security starting in 2018 for an estimated cost of $35,000 and will recommend to the county board there be one non-lethal security officer position, one main public entrance, and not to include an x-ray search at this time.

Per Mar has an office in Wausau and currently provides courthouse security for three counties. The second firm interviewed was Wisconsin Lock & Load out of Green Bay who favored an armed security person. Lock & Load cost was estimated to be $42,00. 

Two firms were interviewed by the Vilas County Public Property Committee with a view to providing courthouse security beginning in 2018.

While no decision has been made on the level of security for courthouse visitors, a secure entrance has been designed into the new $11 million addition. Individual courthouse office security issues have also been discussed with no plans.

Interviewed were Per Mar Security Services of Schofield who indicated they currently provide unarmed security at three Wisconsin counties . . . Outagamie, Trempealeau, and Monroe.

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?

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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
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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
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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.

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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
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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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