Township signs attorney agreement
By Jane Myhra
The Little Wolf Town Board rescinded the six-ton weight limit on Baldwin Road was by at a special meeting Tuesday, March 7.
The weight limit on Baldwin Road ran from North Water Drive to the town line.
“So the sign will be removed,” said Town Chairman Al Moede.
The board had held a public hearing concerning weight limits on Baldwin Road. Public input at the meeting was in favor of a weight limit, so signage was posted.
Another public hearing was held Jan. 24 concerning rescinding the weight limit.
At this time, Moede said rescinding the weight limit will “avoid future time spent on this ordinance.”
In the winter 2016 town newsletter, Moede stated:
“Due to concerns of deterioration of these roads, and after a public hearing on the matter, the town board decided to put a weight limit on Baldwin Road to limit the truck traffic that uses Baldwin Road and North Water Drive. This action resulted in a lawsuit by American Asphalt and the owners of the Thiel Pit.
“The members of the town board have no desire to stop operations at the Thiel Pit. The board’s goals are simply to protect the quality of our roads and quality of life of our town residents.”
In other business, the board approved a retainer agreement for an attorney “to assist the town with upcoming litigation with American Asphalt and Waupaca County.”
After meeting in closed session on Feb. 15, the board rejected an agreement offer from American Asphalt.
Moede gave the following reasons for the rejection:
• There are no limits placed on the traffic, doing nothing to alleviate the heavy traffic.
• The board questions the authority of American Asphalt to enter into the agreement, based on the operator permit being in the name of Waupaca County. Why is Waupaca County not part of the agreement?
• The board cannot put the taxpayers on the hook for repairs for damages if the agreement is breached.
• The board will not contract away its authority to govern its town roads.
• There are no guarantees the asphalt plant will be fixed to satisfaction, to alleviate the ill effects.
Moede explained the situation further in the winter 2016 newsletter:
“The Waupaca County Highway Department has … applied for a new reclamation permit to expand the pit even farther, listing itself as the ‘operator’ of the pit, when in fact, other than purchasing materials from American Asphalt, the highway department really has no operations or workers in the Thiel Pit.
“Waupaca County taxpayers, including residents of our township, remain at risk of having to pay to reclaim a pit that has been mined by a private company for years. This could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I feel that we need to stand up for the rights and powers of our township to protect our roads and the welfare of our constituents. “The board has taken steps to attempt to ensure that operations at the pit are in compliance with all state and local laws.”
Since the township’s newsletter was printed, the Reclamation plan for the Thiel Pit, including a large expansion, has been approved by East Central Regional Planning Commission of Wisconsin.
According to Town Clerk Jackie Beyer, the name on the Reclamation Plan is American Asphalt. The operator permit, however, remains in the name of Waupaca County.