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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

home : news : news August 21, 2017

3/17/2017 7:29:00 AM
St. Germain red brick meetings begin March 25
Presented with a timeline, next phase in what to do with structure ready to go

Brian Jopek

The years long question over what to do with the red brick schoolhouse in St. Germain will continue March 25 with the first of several stakeholders meetings facilitated by Funktion Design Studios of Wausau.

In October, the town board approved a proposal from Funktion for a feasibility study of the town's community center and the red brick schoolhouse.

The cost of the study is $5,000 plus expenses.

The original portion of the school was built in 1941 and had an addition built in 1965.

It ceased operation as a school at the end of the 1997 school year and it was turned over to the town.

The school was used sporadically by the town for a few years.

"Now, for the last 10 years, zero," town chairman Tom Christensen said in October. "Zilch. Heat's off, the whole bit."

Since then, there have been different sides in town regarding the future of the structure.

"There's a lot of folks with a lot of strong feelings for that building," Christensen said. "So, if it's saved, it needs to have a real purpose."

Monday, he went over a proposed schedule Funktion provided, beginning with a stakeholders' session either on March 25 or April 1.

Town board members decided to go with a day long stakeholders meeting Saturday, March 25, the stakeholders to include groups such as the St. Germain Primetimers and Bo Boen Snowmobile Club along with several others.

Funktion staff will now prepare an agenda for that day and from there, using input from that meeting, would be scheduled to be at the three town board meetings in May, June and July, culminating in a presentation of conceptual drawings at the July 10 town board meeting.

Funktion, according to the proposed timeline, would have a final report sent to the town on July 28.

Fern Ridge property purchase

Voters in the town of St. Germain approved in November the purchase by the town of 38 acres of land the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources had for sale.

The town board approved Monday finalization of the purchase, the acreage containing a segment of a trail the Bo Boen Snowmobile Club uses as well as the Fern Ridge Trail.

The land is on the east side of State Highway 155 at Big St. Germain Drive.

At a town board meeting in September, Christensen said with its hilly terrain, it would be a nice piece of property for a mountain bike trail.

"It has all those dips and dos and things like that," Christensen said then.

With the purchase, the town will have a permanent easement on the deed.

Originally estimated by the DNR to cost $60,000, the town is purchasing the land for $48,000.

On other matters, the town board:

• Approved a request from the Vilas County Amateur Radio Club to stay overnight in the town's pavilion off of State Highway 70 June 24 and June 25.

• Approved the addition of the St. Germain Housing Authority to the town's insurance policy at housing authority expense. The cost is $500.

• Approved an animal control officer procedure for issuing ordinance violations. The town board had already previously approved the citations themselves but other items, such as warning tickets, followup letters and revised instructions for dog licensing were still needed.

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.

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