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home : news : news May 24, 2016

6/24/2014 9:14:00 AM
Plan to vote on the Torpy shelter? Here's what you need to know
Public meeting Thursday, June 26
Meeting info:
A special meeting of town electors will be held on Thursday, June 26, at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Minocqua Center, 415 Menominee St., downtown Minocqua.

Minocqua electors on Thursday, June 26, will vote to approve – or not – construction of a new shelter in Torpy Park.

The proposed shelter has been a hot topic since May.

The size of the original shelter had been 56 by 96 feet, and would have required removal of up to 11 trees. Numerous citizens raised concerns about the shelter’s size and impact on trees, and more than 170 people attended a meeting about it in early May.

In response, the town and the Minocqua Lions Club, which is helping to pay for the shelter, scaled it down to 30 by 80 feet.

Under the revised design, just one tree would have to be removed, which experts say is in a state of decline.

The shelter would have a shingle roof and a pine-lined ceiling to match the existing historic pavilion. The ceiling in the central portion of the shelter would be vaulted, while the ceiling in the wings would be flat.

As part of its involvement in the project, the Lions Club would be allowed to use the shelter each year during Beef-A-Rama and could affix a logo to the shelter, according to town Chairperson Mark Hartzheim.

Electors on Thursday will also consider a resolution authorizing the sale of a portion of Torpy Park to the Minocqua Brewing Company for $10,000. The town is proposing the sale because parts of the brewery are encroaching into the park. The sale of the property would rectify the brewery’s encroachment, which at present is in violation of county ordinances.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Minocqua Center gymnasium.

Who is an elector?

The meeting on Thursday, in the gymnasium of the Minocqua Center, will be open to the general public, and non-Minocqua residents can attend but will not be allowed to vote.

Qualified Minocqua electors will have to pass through a checkpoint to verify their residency and to obtain ballots.

Hartzheim said that in most cases, the process of determining whether someone is an elector is fairly straightforward.

The technical definition of a qualified elector is someone at least 18 years of age who has established residency in the town for a minimum of 28 days prior to the day of the vote – Thursday, June 26.

While a qualified elector need not own land in the town, “just because you do own land here doesn’t mean you’re a qualified elector,” Hartzheim said.

“There’s two questions that will answer it for 99 percent of the people: Where do you vote, and where’s your primary residence?” Hartzheim said. “Those two catchalls pretty much will tell whether you’re a Minocqua qualified elector.”

One area of potential ambiguity, he said, entails snowbirds who spend more of their time in Minocqua but for tax purposes declare themselves as residents of a different state for tax purposes.

Qualified electors must hold their primary residence in Minocqua. That’s important, because people are allowed to declare just one primary residence.

Hartzheim said qualified electors do not have to be registered to vote or have voted in the town before, but that information can be useful.

Indeed, Hartzheim recommended that electors who are not on a poll list should bring a driver’s license or some other materials that indicate they are Minocqua residents.

Jonathan Anderson may be reached at janderson@lakelandtimes.com.

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