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home : news : oneida county November 24, 2015

1/20/2014 4:35:00 PM
Employee wages, county property on Tuesday's meeting docket for county board

The Oneida County Board of Supervisors today, Tuesday, Jan. 21, will consider two major issues – employee wages and county property – but whether any formal action will be taken is not clear.

The board is scheduled to discuss a proposed plan to restructure pay and health benefits for most county workers. No decision is expected yet on the restructuring plan, but supervisors could vote to temporarily freeze wage increases for county employees until March. 

The freeze would buy time for county officials to finish tweaking the revised compensation plan and submit it to the board for a vote – action that could come as soon as February’s regular county board meeting.

The board is also expected to consider an offer to purchase the former Wisconsin Public Service building in downtown Rhinelander. Businessman Michael Boyd has offered to buy the county-owned building; Boyd and county officials have not released specific details of the offer.

However, Boyd said in December that his offer would be contingent on the county leasing back part of the building to house offices for the county’s UW-Extension and land and water conservation staffs, which are located in the basement of the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

Leaders of those departments have said the airport location is small, awkwardly designed and difficult for the public to find. They said last year that they would be interested in moving into the former WPS office – a 9,100 square-foot building less than a block away from the county courthouse.

Some supervisors have said the former WPS site should instead be bulldozed into a parking lot for county workers.

Notwithstanding the board’s review of the offer to buy the former WPS building, supervisors are also expected to debate whether the UW-Extension and land and water conservation departments should remain at the airport or if one or both of the offices should move.

The county board meeting will be held in the board room at the Oneida County Courthouse, 9:30 a.m., Rhinelander.

Jonathan Anderson may be reached at janderson@lakelandtimes.com

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