This Week: Big Vote in Baileys, Earth Day, Vaccine Demand Slows

Baileys Harbor town residents will vote Tuesday on the proposal to buy the Nelson Hardware Store property next to the town marina. The town has reached an agreement with owner Gary Nelson to purchase the property for $1.95 million. All town residents have the opportunity to vote on the proposal at the town’s annual meeting at the Baileys Harbor Fire Station. Voters are asked to wear masks and distance at the meeting, which state statute requires be held in person. The annual town meeting is set for Tuesday, April 20, 6 pm, at the Baileys Harbor Fire Station.

Unlike a village board, which can make purchases such as the Nelson property on their own, towns must take the purchase to local residents for approval. In recent years voters in the Town of Liberty Grove approved the purchase of three parcels on the Gills Rock shoreline, while voters in the Town of Gibraltar said no to the purchase of the Redmann property. For more on the differences between town, village, and city government powers, read Debra Fitzgerald’s explainer here>>

Some basics on voting at the town meeting from Baileys Harbor Deputy Clerk Katie Virlee:

1.    Only qualified electors of the town may vote at a town meeting.  A qualified town elector is one who in general is a U.S. Citizen age 18 or over who has resided in the town for at least 28 consecutive days prior to the meeting.  

2. A qualified elector does NOT need to be registered to vote in order to vote at a town elector meeting. 

3. While an elector must be a town resident, he or she is not required to own property in the town. In other words, renters may vote.

4. Non-residents that own property in the town are not permitted to vote. However, the chair may allow non-residents to speak during the meeting. 

5. Remember, proxy voting and absentee voting are not allowed at town elector meetings.

Every Day is Earth Day

Thursday marks the 51st Earth Day, and commemorations will be taking place throughout the weekend in Door County. Join me at 6 pm Thursday for a virtual kickoff to a weekend of educational and experiential events, including a screening of Kiss the Ground, a climate documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson. More information on virtual and in-person activities here>>

On Sunday, Crossroads at Big Creek hosts Watershed Day, where learners of all ages can learn about watersheds through demonstrations, wetland tours, a “Hide and Go Seep” discovery hunt and other activities. More here>>

Bridge Closures Begin Tuesday

Bridge maintenance will be taking place in the coming weeks on all three Sturgeon Bay bridges. The spring maintenance on the Bayview Bridge, Michigan Street Bridge and Maple/Oregon Bridge takes place the weeks of April 19 and May 3. Details here>>

COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Slows

Door County Medical Center announced last week that it will discontinue mass vaccination clinics for the COVID-19 by the end of April. The hospital will continue to vaccinate people through smaller vaccine clinics, and will continue to administer second doses. The announcement does not impact the vaccine clinics offered by Door County Public Health. 

The move comes as demand for the vaccine has slowed. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports that 56.9 percent of Door County adults have now received at least one dost of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

In a statement the hospital waid “We want to help Door County do its part in reaching herd immunity by getting to at least 80%.  We want to urge you to make an appointment now if you have not received your vaccination.”

The hospital will be offering an on-site vaccination clinic at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Tuesday, April 20 and at Northeast Wisconsin Industries Friday, April 23.

The state issued a reminder Friday that any Wisconsin resident over the age of 16 can get the vaccine  free of charge. If you have health insurance, that insurance may be charged an administration fee, but it cannot be passed onto you. You do not need to show proof of residency or a valid state identification card to access the vaccine. The state said it has reiterated to vaccinators that ID and insurance are not required, and we will continue to follow up with providers. More information on what to do if you or someone you know has been turned away by a vaccinator can be found in this press release, which can also be found in Spanish.

Philanthropy Issue Now Available

The annual Door County Living Philanthropy Issue is now available throughout the county. This year’s edition highlights those who have stepped up to help neighbors throughout the pandemic year, but also looks at several organizations filling crucial roles in our community before and after COVID, including Sunshine Resources and the ongoing struggle to provide affordable, quality child care. The issue can be found on counters and newsstands throughout the county. Learn more about this year’s issue in Friday’s Door County Pulse Podcast here>>

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