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Lake Holcombe Town Board; Yard waste disposal site open for business

By Ginna Young

Just in time for fall leaf disposal, the Town of Lake Holcombe yard waste site is officially back up and running, as reported at the town’s regular board meeting Oct. 8. The DNR had previously said the site needed to be moved or closed down, as it did not meet their specifications.

The site will be open Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, through Nov. 7, to allow for leaf and small brush disposal – unless copious amounts of snow are on the ground.

“Hopefully, we’ll keep it open that long,” said chairman Brian Guthman.

Once work was completed to the original directions provided by the DNR, the initial inspection cost was $550 and the town has been informed there will be an annual $165 fee to operate the site. The DNR will also continue to make sure the site is run correctly.

“We had to move a lot of materials around out there,” said Guthman, adding that the time and labor cost about $5,500. “We still have to do some seeding out there and that kind of thing…so that we don’t have run-off.”

Per direction from the DNR, only branches and limbs 3 inches in diameter, or smaller, will be accepted, and must be unloaded by hand, not dumped out, even with a trailer that lifts up. After the trailer or bags are unloaded, people must rake leaves/grass to evenly spread them out at the site.

That rule will be enforced, as in the past, people have not only brought leaves out to the site, but rocks, plastic bottles, cans and even gas grills. There will also be no keys handed out, nor will the keys in existence work, as the site must be manned.

Guthman says he hopes everyone will follow the rules set down by the DNR, in order to keep the site open for business.

There is also a new ballot box stationed at the front of the Lake Holcombe Town Hall, for casting absentee ballots. If anyone doesn’t want to mail them in or appear in-person to vote, residents can drop the ballots off, even on the day of the Nov. 3 election.

Also reported, was that the “Welcome to Holcombe” sign that was to be installed by the Lake Holcombe Improvement Association (LHIA) at the north end of town on State Hwy. 27, has fallen through. The person who was willing to have the sign on their land, backed out of the deal.

“He wanted to have permission to take it (sign) out, basically whenever he wanted to,” said Guthman. “They (LHIA) are working with someone else up there, to see if they can put it up there yet, but for right now, that is not a go.”

During the meeting, the board agreed to donate Road to Recovery money to Lake Holcombe School, for expenses that exceed CARES Act funds to help respond to COVID- 19, as the town received more than $16,000 “We’re not going to spend [it], not even close,” said clerk Tracey Larson. “We can give the rest of our money to Chippewa County, or we can also donate it to the school (as a reimbursement for what they have already spent).”

“I’d sooner keep it local, than give it to the county,” said Guthman. “It’s going to get spent either way.”

Doug Olson, supervisor, said that’s why he brought up the “donation,” as he is sure the school has come into many unexpected expenses not covered by the CARES funding. Guthman agreed there are many things the school has needed to combat the pandemic and make sure the school population is safe as they learn in-person.

Also discussed, was the annual contract with the Chippewa County Humane Association, with the almost $1,200 fee based on the town’s population. Larson suggested looking at the Rusk County Humane Association, to see if they would be better suited to work with the town.

“We visited that issue last year, but for some reason, we decided it would be more advantageous to stay with Chippewa County,” said supervisor David Staudacher.

Until more information is available, the decision was tabled until a later meeting.