Notes from Liberty Grove

Welcome to the Notes from the Grove, providing Liberty Grove residents and
 visitors tidbits of information about goings on in town government.

• A special town meeting was held Nov. 17 to consider the proposed 2015 budget. Those in attendance were asked to vote on increasing the public works levy to $1,103,219.51. It was passed 105 to 20. The vote to raise the town tax levy by 35.44 percent for 2015 – or $518,159.63 above the levy cap – was yes 103, no 24. The final ballot was to set the total town tax levy for 2015 at $2,132,553,63, and resulted in 108 yes votes and 16 no votes. The budget may be found on the town website and copies are also available at the town office. Work on the budget began in June with the joint Board/Finance Committee meeting 12 times during the summer months. In addition a focus group was held and also four informational financial overview meetings plus a mailing to town property owners explaining the proposed levy override and budget.

• The board has approved the request of Door County North and Schramm’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Wisconsin (SAGBRAW) for use of town facilities on Aug. 4 and 5, 2015. SAGBRAW projects 350-plus cyclists to be in the Ellison Bay area to tour northern Door County and Washington Island. A presentation regarding a SAGBRAW event was viewed by the board prior to their approval. The SAGBRAW bicycle tour has been coming to Door County for the past 30 years, mostly staying in the Sturgeon Bay area. The average age of the cyclist is 53, while ages range from 8 to 78 years old. Past tour data indicates the average touring cyclist spends a minimum of $35 per day.

• The board has gone on record in opposition to the proposed harvesting of ash trees in the Door Bluff Headlands County Park. Damage to town roads, possible economic impact on tourism in Liberty Grove, honoring the heritage of property donated by landscape architect Jens Jensen, in addition to various options other than total “harvesting” were some of the concerns expressed. The board in previous action had passed Resolution 11-14 requesting to be included as part of the conversation regarding removal of ash trees in the park.

• The town is working with Door County Broadband on the proposed tower construction at the town gravel pit on Mink River Road. The tower would provide broadband service to a currently underserved area of the town. Dr. Russell Kashian of UW –Whitewater provided the town with a survey he conducted regarding the impact of broadband service on the extended stays of second homeowners in Liberty Grove. The work was done free of charge to the town and indicates a substantial economic impact if people stay longer and are able to use broadband from their residences.

• The board has approved changing the name of the IT Committee to the Technology Committee.

• The town office will be closed Nov. 26 and 27 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. On behalf of the board, administration and town crew have a Happy Thanksgiving!