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January 19, 2018

1/12/2018 7:27:00 AM
Plum Lake Town Board debates new snowplowing ordinance
Proposal would penalize misbehaving drivers
Evan J. pretzer/lakeland timesPlum Lake town chairman Will Maines, left, and supervisor Vernon Wiggenhauser listen as the proposed snowplowing ordinance is discussed.
Evan J. pretzer/lakeland times

Plum Lake town chairman Will Maines, left, and supervisor Vernon Wiggenhauser listen as the proposed snowplowing ordinance is discussed.

Evan J. Pretzer
Lakeland Times reporter

After tending to the long-running discussion with officials in St. Germain regarding ambulance services Tuesday night, the Plum Lake Town Board moved on to debate a new resolution which would penalize those who cause problems when plowing snow.

"What we're looking at right now is the creation of an ordinance for possible future snowplowing issues," town chairman Will Maines told the board. "We'd heard about it in the latest magazine from the Wisconsin Towns Association and thought we'd bring it up. Stuff like chain damage to mailboxes, plowing snow across town roads, etc."

Though supervisor Vernon Wiggenhauser and Maines were in favor of the matter, supervisor Gary Schmidt had skepticism, questioning how any ordinance would be enforced if passed into law.

"How would we see it is followed?" he asked. "If we don't have an enforcement action in this town, what would we do?"

In response, Wiggenhauser stated the first thing to do would be for the community to call the county sheriff to report violations, but this is not something which can be done.

Under state law, a county sheriff can not enforce a community ordinance unless put under a deal with a township to operate as a local official, something Schmidt already knew.

"They won't enforce a town ordinance," Schmidt said. "We would have to have a municipal justice and we don't, we're not going to start one for such a purpose."

Ultimately, Maines moved for the measure to be tabled for the time being and floated the possibility of simply reporting to the county in the event they chose to enact new policy in the future.

"They have jurisdiction over any public road in the county," he said. "What we could do is call them and then they'd come and deal with it. Now, if someone hit a mailbox, then we could develop a policy for handling that."

Evan J. Pretzer may be reached via email at evan@lakelandtimes.com.

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