MARINETTE — The COVID situation hasn’t slowed down the County of Marinette. According to the County Board of Supervisors, Marinette County is still operating at 100%, and possibly even more because of the pandemic.
County Administrator John Lefebvre presented information on a new way the state is tracking COVID cases, not just in Marinette County but in all of Wisconsin. He informed the board that the Wisconsin Department of Public Health has released an interactive map tool to help map and track confirmed COVID cases county to county.
While this tool may be helpful to keep track of confirmed cases, Administrator Lefebvre reminded the board that there are many undocumented and unconfirmed cases throughout the state.
A possible proposal of a county-wide mask requirement was shot down due to the resources required to enforce such a proposal. The board chose to not make a ruling — instead leaving it up to individual businesses to decide on their own mask policies and requirements.
The board will continue to evaluate the mask situation on a day-by-day basis and if cases continue to rise, the issue might be revisited at a later date.
The renovations of the former Marinette County Jail is set to be finished on time, on Oct. 31.
The board voted to accept a bid to furnish the new building which will hold the Energy and Economic Support offices. The whole building has been renovated into modern offices with only small hints of what the building was originally.
The meeting introduced the new Development/Tourism Director Jennifer Short.
Facilities and Parks Director Marty Keyport and Assistant Director Bev Ruether updated the board on the department’s creation and updating of various social media platforms for the county parks. These new platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, will help the Park’s Department communicate with the public more directly and help promote the parks as tourist spots.
Keyport and Ruether also informed the board that the department is considering adding UTV trails separate from campgrounds and that it is discussing adding some new signage that will help inform residents of the difficulty of certain trails and what accommodations are present on certain trails and parks.
Land Information Director Greg Cleereman was next to present. Land Information is currently in the midst of many projects.
The Resource Center is in the process of getting a Green Roof that will have plants and soil. A green roof is said to improve water quality and increase resiliency against storm events by absorbing water instead of it running off into a storm drain.
Land Information has also received a grant to help fight the invasive and destructive Eurasian watermilfoil present in many lakes in the county. The grant will be used to install temporary curtains in the lake that will help contain the herbicide that is being used to kill the watermilfoil. By installing the curtains, the department will save money by using less herbicide, which will also lessen the chance of native plants being affected by the removal.
It has also started monitoring Lake Noquebay’s nutrient levels. The lake’s phosphorus levels are rising for the first time in years and Land Information believes that the rising levels are from the groundwater or sanitation systems surrounding the lake. They have begun the testing of water sources around the lake to determine the source.
All proposed ordinances and motions passed by large majorities.