HAPPY NEW YEAR !
- Ground and Surface water contamination
- Budget shortfall caused by the closure of the Dominion Nuclear Plant
- Restructuring of Highway Department
- Decisions on the County Landfill
- Restructuring of the Human services area
- Passing a county ordinance changing winter spreading rules for all farmers.
- We've added additional staff to Land and Water Conservation Department to allow them to better monitor and review Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs) and to ensure adherence to NMPs and compliance with our ordinances.
- The DNR is working with our county in an unprecedented fashion. They have set up five committees to work directly with our County residents and board members with a goal of determining guidelines as to how to handle the overall ground and surface water issue in the county. It is envisioned the guidelines developed here can and would be applied elsewhere in the state.
- The DNR allocated $80,000 for additional well testing in Kewaunee County. This will allow for 800 wells to be tested across the county (320 wells tested this fall with another 500 being tested in the spring of 2016). This randomized testing should provide us with results that are more conclusive than we have ever had, and will also accurately pinpoint the sources of contamination.
- The County secured a $50,000 PSC grant which provides the County the funds to explore the feasibility of farmer cooperative on-farm hub and satellite manure treatment program. We have just begun this process and I would like to point out, the County will not be building any digesters in the county. The plan would call for local farmers to build and operate these digesters.
- We formed a Groundwater Task Force which has a goal of continuing to inform the county residents as to what is happening in regard to the groundwater and surface water in Kewaunee County.
- In addition to the work we have been doing with the DNR, we are also working in and unprecedented manner with NRCS and DATCP in efforts of improving our groundwater and surface water.
- Develop 5 Year Financial Plan, we’ve made it through 2016 but looking forward, our revenues will continue to decrease and expenses will continue to increase.
- Continue full effort to improve ground and surface water quality
- Maintain adequate County services to the public
- Continue to look for further efficiencies in the organization and other cooperative initiatives.
- With regard to the Kewaunee Harbor Project, do whatever we can at the county level to ensure we land a developer for that site.
- Continue to provide business loans using State of Wisconsin funds through our revolving loan fund.
- Highlight documented improvements to water quality in an effort to repair our image.
- Plan for revenue shortfalls in 2017 and beyond
- Assist in the success of 2017 Farm Technology Days.
- Find a solution to library charges from other counties.
- Engage with State Legislators for continued assistance at State level.
- Continue to ensure our government more accountable.
- Explore joint ventures and shared services with other municipalities both inside the county and outside the county (example, County Sheriff Dept managing Algoma PD)
I am sure you noticed a sizeable reduction in your real estate taxes 2016. I wish we could take credit for that, but unfortunately that is directly associated with the $452,000,000 valuation placed on the Dominion Kewaunee Nuclear Plant. So, Dominion is, currently paying very high taxes. I say currently as Dominion is challenging this valuation in court. Currently the initial court date is scheduled for November 2016. Even if it were settled at the Circuit Court level, because of the late scheduling of this challenge, you will more than likely realize the same kind of reduction of taxes in 2016.
Now, what if Dominion prevails and the Court decides the valuation was not correct? Carlton Township would be required to refund money to Dominion and that would trigger events that would require the County to collect those monies from the taxpayers who received a reduction of real estate taxes.