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Manitowish Town Board considers water patrol breathalyzer

August 16, 2019 by Abigail Bostwick

Next summer may see patrol pick up in the town of Manitowish Waters around its 10 monitored lakes. 

At Tuesday evening’s meeting, supervisor Bob Becker indicated a handheld, portable breathalyzer for their water safety patrol, including several mouthpieces, would cost the town around $900. 

“I think it can wait until next year,” he observed, indicating the season would be out before equipment arrives. 

A small first aid kit also was needed for the patrol boat and a decibel meter had been requested by some. 

“We don’t have an ordinance,” Becker said. “I think it’s something we ought to put in the budget for next year. 

Community member Mark Dessris noted state law has noise restrictions on boat exhaust, though not necessarily loud music. 

“What is the purpose?” community member Lynn Schroeder asked.

Becker noted boat patrol has come across a number of belligerent boaters. 

“It’s just a problem,” he said. 

With the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources already pulling boaters over at random, Schroeder felt the methods could “…chase people away.” 

The board indicated it would consider adding those provisions to the 2020 budget. 

The most recent boat safety patrol report resulted in no citations, two written warnings and under 100 verbal warnings, according to clerk Dana Hilbert. 

The town’s current boat patrol consists of one part-time woman. In correspondence, the board received a letter from an interested party — a police officer from the Waukesha area — in part time patrol at area lakes next summer. The current patrol is interested in full time hours next year, which would up the number of shifts which could be covered then, Hilbert said. 

Other news

In other business, the board: 

• Began discussion on future memorials.

“I think we have to come up with a system that is uniform,” chairman John Hanson said, suggesting bricks as one suggestion. “Obviously, we can’t keep putting benches all over the place.” 

• Reviewed a survey of Cherry Blossom Lane, recently found to not be in the town’s right of way. A survey will cost around $2,000. No immediate action was taken. 

• OKed additional fill for the airport and new fire station site. The whole process will cost around $9,000 and include removal of topsoil and fill. 

Bids for the new fire station are due Sept. 5 and consecution is expected to start shortly thereafter, Hanson said. 

• Authorized a new well for the new fire hall, as the old cannot be used at the former building. Some existing parts will be used from it however, offering a cost savings, Hanson relayed. The entire project will run around $6,450. 

Meanwhile, construction has already begun on the town hall addition, with completion expected before snowfall, Hilbert said. 

• Heard the airport’s two new hangar sites are paved and ready for use. 

“Everything is going pretty good,” Becker said.

• Learned a town culvert had been replaced and an area cleared near the airport for a community garden initiative, according to supervisor Mike Kramer.  


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