|Wants some answers for golf course logging|
Letter to the Editor:
A very troubling project is going on in St. Germain that all taxpayers should be aware of. The town board has undertaken a project to rape the land at our golf course to help pay for two unbudgeted lawn mowers, to the tune of over $50,000.
Some background as I know it: last fall, some discussion was had about the need for two new lawn mowers at the course. They were not included in any budget or recognized in any long-range equipment replacement plan (if they have one).
The town chairman, Walter P. Camp, decided on his own that this need should be satisfied, even though Golf Course Committee meetings contained statements from superintendent Steve Spears that he could live without the mowers right now. Mr. Camp had a plan!He contacted one logger of his choice and asked him to get $30,000 from the golf course trees to be used to purchase the mowers. He stated he did not have to bid the project because the logger insisted he would make under $5,000 on the project.
Having served as St. Germain town chairman in the past, I?know any work over $5,000 must be put out for public bid. I never heard of asking a contractor or vendor what they would make on a deal and acting accordingly.
We never asked truck dealers what they would make on a trade for a new patrol truck. This appears to me to be a gross violation of Wisconsin’s public bid laws. What makes this more interesting is that after the project had been going on, the target number for the town magically increased to over $40,000.
Now, did Mr. Camp ask for the increased revenue or is the logger a poor estimator? Was the shortfall of nearly $20,000 for the mowers needing to be reduced? If the project was now going to net the town $40,000, wouldn’t the profit increase to take it over the $5,000 limit? (If his illogical interpretation of the bid law is correct, he found a logger who really likes St. Germain and worked for nothing.)
Can you imagine the cost of fuel, wages, insurance and trucking contained in a three- to four-week project? Did Mr. Camp require receipts for the timber sold to the mill on our behalf to be sure the logger is making under $5,000? All questions that beg for an answer.
The fact of this whole issue is that there never was anything in the budget for the mowers; the cost of the mowers was over $50,000; Mr. Camp was still short some $20,000 for the project; the bid laws were circumvented for this project; he handpicked one logger for the project, but he still proceeded with his plan! We deserve some answers about this project!
We have pictures of woodpiles containing trees under 2 inches in diameter, which is totally unacceptable for harvest. I urge everyone to ride out to Hermanson Road and see the devastation for yourself. You can now see all the
way into the golf course, where it was once blocked with a beautiful tree line.
You can also see along Highway 70 where the tree line has been chopped down.
This is, to me, total mismanagement of one of the finest courses in the North. This taxpayer property should have been preserved for future development or sale, not raped for the sake of two unneeded and unbudgeted lawn mowers.
Mr. Camp needs to explain this issue to the townspeople. It is our golf course, not his own little plaything.
|Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:02 PM|