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April 25, 2019

3/12/2019 7:30:00 AM
Land withdrawal gets green light for Oneida County landfill expansion

By Mario Koran

Of the northwoods river news

Oneida County last week took a step toward adding a new demolition landfill, a move that will require the county to give up forest land to replace what it takes.

On Wednesday, March 6, the Oneida County Forestry, Land and Recreation committee approved 22 acres of county forest to be withdrawn. The project still needs to obtain a conditional use permit and go to the public before it heads to the county board and Department of Natural Resources for final approval.

The new demolition landfill, which will be located just north of the scale office, will be the county's fourth.

Solid Waste Department assistant director Lisa Jolin expects its current site to be at capacity by summer and in the months ahead will have to be filled in and closed. Demotion sites can only hold 50,000 cubic yards, per DNR rules.

The land that the county will eventually cede has yet to be determined, but the DNR requires that it be comparable to what is taken for development - in this case, forest land.

An access road to the demolition site would follow 1,000 feet of a road the forestry department intended to build for logging, said Bart Sexton, a soil scientist and consultant on the project. The two departments may split construction costs on the shared piece of road.

The county will work the Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association to reroute a loop of the Washburn Lake Trail that the new landfill will cut through.

If anyone opposes the land swap, none showed up at last week's committee meeting.

"We haven't had anybody jumping up and waving their arms about this, so that's always a good sign," Sexton said.

Other items the committee tackled last week include:



Timber sales slow

Revenue from timber sales is down compared to the same time last year, a point that Forestry Director John Bilogan attributes to unprecedented snowfall that has made work difficult for loggers.

"Some guys are reluctant to take on new jobs because all the plowing that has to be done," Bilogan said.

The ebb in sales will likely continue through spring, when the long thaw and soggy ground limits access to timber. But Bilogan expects the market to rebound and demand to amps up come late spring and summer.



Keeping snowmobile trails open

Oneida County has about 600 total miles of snowmobile trail, roughly half of which run through private properties.

"For the most part, land owners don't get anything out of it. They might even get headaches if people litter or cause problems," Bilogan said.

That can make for a tenuous trail system, Bilogan said. If landowners cut off access to private land, a much larger piece of the network would be impacted.

One solution the committee floated - which would have to be approved by the state - would be to propose a tax incentive for private property owners who allow public access for motorized trails. A similar program already exists for landowners who allow public access for hiking, berry picking or hunting.

Mario Koran may be reached via email at mario@rivernewsonline.com.



Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019
Article comment by: Jeremy Monk

The reason no one is jumping up and down and waving their arms about this is because none of the neighbors to the north of the portion of county forest that is being proposed to be transferred were aware of this until after the March 6th meeting. This land fill site is not going to be just north of the scale site but so far north that the landfill will be easily visible and audible from the homes of adjacent property owners. This land fill will also be place very near to our wells and grossly infringe on the 1200 foot set back the DNR requires between this type of site and a private well.



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