Vilas County Board of Supervisors

Vilas Courthouse Costs Exceed Firm Cutoff Target

Jan 26, 2017

After cutting parts of the Vilas County courthouse two story addition last month, the county board restored the cuts costing taxpayers another $650,000 and voted separately on $163,000 in security upgrades that were included in the original bid documents.

The action raised the courthouse addition from the original "not to exceed $10 million" to $11,263,000 with the added $813,000 monies coming from the general fund, estimated to be near $8 million.

An attorney with seven years experience as a Corporation Counsel in Adams County, Jack Albert of Wisconsin Rapids, will be offered the position of Vilas County Corporation Counsel.

That position is is expected to become vacant when current Corporation Counsel Martha Milanowski is likely elected District Attorney next month. After the primary election, Milanowski is unopposed.

Two resolutions and one ordinance were the only agenda items of interest at the regular June 28 meeting of the Vilas County board of supervisors is what may be the shortest meeting in recent memory.

An ordinance amending Chapter 26 having to do with allowing ATV's and UTV's on nine-tenths of a mile of Highway E in the town of Phelps was adopted on a vote of 16-5. It will allow access between South Shore Road and Caskey Lane to Blong Road and West Shore Road.

A vote last month by the Vilas County Board to borrow nearly $11 million dollars to improve the Vilas County Courthouse has been canceled.

Earlier this year, the state of Wisconsin told Vilas county it had enough cases that a second judgeship could be added. Two months ago, Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen told the board it was getting more difficult to keep up with the caseload he has to hear. Tuesday, after lengthy debate, the county board said they would go along with the idea of another position if the state would let them have a little time.

Tonight the Vilas County Board will debate how to approach a move to open county roads and land to All-Terrain Vehicles.

Last month before a packed house at the Arbor Vitae town hall, the board altered a nearly ten-year old land use plan banning ATV's on county roads and property to allow for them in land use planning.

But a resolution before the board tonight(8/26) will ask for another advisory referendum to be held November 4 with the straightforward question "Shall ATVs/UTVs be permitted to operate on Vilas County-owned lands and roadways?"

In 2004, Vilas county voters said they did not want the county to allow ATV trails on county lands and forests. Two years ago, the town of Phelps approved an ordinance allowing the ATV's on town roads, but needed approval by Vilas county to use county road "A", a key route. The county board rejected Phelps' request then.  Recently the town board approved a similar request as the one two years ago and again forwarded it to Vilas county.

One of two Vilas county committees has approved the town's request and sent it onto the other.

Vilas county government

Ron De Bruyne, a 20 year veteran of the Vilas County Board of Supervisors, was elected Tuesday morning to lead the board as chair for the next 12 months. Mark Rogacki was elected first vice chair.