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Chairman's Corner

December 7, 2023

 

It is hard to believe that another year has already passed us by. I hope that this correspondence finds you all healthy and preparing for the holiday season.

The Town Board has once again been able to meet the goals set out for the year by ensuring the budget is adhered to and the roadways have been kept in as good (or better) shape than any township in the area. The roadway service contracts awarded to Pankratz Excavating in the past few years have allowed the town to keep roads open and clear if there are any problems that suddenly happen, such as culvert collapses or roadway washouts and the like. The town is fortunate to have a local company so readily available to provide the township immediate service.

 

The township needed a new Zoning Administrator and Larry Gilbertson showed interest in the position and was appointed by the Board effective January 1,2023. He has been doing an extremely good job handling residents' questions and providing them with the necessary paperwork and information for building. He can be reached at 715-676-3996.

The township is also fortunate to have a Deputy Clerk/Treasurer position to assist both Jill Wrensch and Lisa Anderson. Our treasurer suffered a medical emergency this summer and Deputy C/T Lori Zahradka was thrown into action to ensure the town's financial reports and accounts were handled without any delay. A task that she has taken on with Lisa and Jill's assistance, she has been a great asset to the Board. Jill does an amazing job as Clerk and both the Clerk and Treasurer positions are vital to the Township conducting business effectively. Thanks to all these ladies for their dedication.

 

The Crooked Bridge project on Fairhaven is complete. After over 32 years of the bridge being "temporarily closed" a new structure was completed in November and the roadway is now open to traffic from Patton to Cary Rock Rd. This almost $700,000 project was completed with a Federal Grant with 80% being funded by the Government. The remaining 20% is covered by all four entities that are serviced by the bridge- Clark Co. and Lynn Twp and Wood Co. and Rock Twp. The expense of the bridge for Rock will be approx. $35,000. The southern roadway is still a narrow passage, but construction to widen the road will be taking place in 2024. I have submitted a grant for this project, and we will know in early Feb. If we have been successful in obtaining the available funding. The Highway Grant selection committee for Wood County selected our project as number 1 with highest priority for funding.

 

The Fire Department has new leadership with Bob Reed as Chief, and there is a great sense of pride that has become noticed not only by the board and residents of the town, but neighboring township departments as well. New members are being signed up, and the training and response from the department has increased, much to the satisfaction and relief of all involved. The members attended a Farm Rescue training seminar and were awarded a Four Gas Detection Meter for their participation. This unit can detect air deficiencies in an area for added homeowner safety and increased safety for the Fire personnel.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Fire Department, contact Bob Reed at 715305-7465 or any of the members.

 

The Fire in the Park Fundraiser was a complete success and well attended. Residents and visitors stated how nice it is to have a get together with good times and food shared. The monies raised from this effort will go to help fund the Park shelter with much needed electrical upgrades and lighting, as well as the Fire Department purchasing needed equipment. Rob Zahradka has taken over maintenance of the park and has been a great asset as well, keeping things looking good and ensuring the grounds are always presentable.

 


The Town hall will be getting some electrical upgrades this year as well. It is recognized as an emergency storm shelter and if the need arises, it must be open to the public. Currently, the generator for the building needs to be manually set up and started to provide power to only a portion of the building. The board has decided that an emergency back-up generator needs to be installed in case of any type of power outage. The generator will automatically start and power the entire facility, being fueled by LP to ensure that it is continually available in case of emergencies. If an emergency arises, a member of the fire department or board will be available to open the town hall for residents to take refuge.

The Zoning Restructuring Committee is still intact and will be continuing their work on the zoning requirements once the county has completed work that is necessary to bring the Township into State compliance. Many factors must fall into place to correct the deficiencies that are currently in our zoning ordinance. Public meetings will be held to inform residents of changes and options for zoning prior to it being enacted.

I would like to take this opportunity to Thank the Board Members for their dedication to the Township. The business of handling township issues does not just happen at monthly meetings. Phone calls are received at all hours of the day/night and your elected board is always available to answer the call. Contact numbers for all board Township positions are listed on the township website townofrock.com and posted at Chairman's Corner Board.

 

I have said it before and will say it again it is my pleasure to serve as your Chairman and I appreciate the confidence that you as residents have shown us in keeping this township a great place to live. Wishing you a safe and prosperous 2024.

 

Pete Winistorfer, Chairman 715-937-8788

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