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Windy solution proposed for rural Brown Co. roads

"We would like the money (the county gets from windmills) to come back and take care of our county roads out here instead of for Packer Stadium or something," Collins said. "A lot of (county tax revenue) goes to the city."..."They take our taxes but they don't return anything," Kittell said. He said road maintenance and police protection in the rural areas are poor.... "I told him we should get the money back," Collins said. "We have to put up with the windmills."

Brown County exec gets firsthand look at highway conditions

When Glenmore Town Chairman Don Kittell called new Brown County Executive Tom Hinz, he had no idea whether Hinz would take the invitation to drive around southern Brown County for half of a day.

Hinz accepted and joined Kittell and town of Morrison Supervisor Kevin Collins on a tour that focused on the poor maintenance of county highways in southern Brown County.

The town officials also presented an idea for funding county services in rural areas.

"We drove around for a while, we had a nice visit and (Hinz) wrote a few things down," Kittell said.

"I enjoyed the chance to come out and get to know those guys better and hear what they had to say," Hinz said. "To get out into the towns and know their problems is better than having someone come in here and tell me."

The idea for the grand tour came up in a discussion between Kittell and Morrison Town Chairman Todd Christensen. When Christensen couldn't make it, the newly elected Collins stepped in.

"The county roads here are so bad you can't rate them," Kittell said. "They are cracked, chunked, breaking up (and) no one is taking care of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Brown County exec gets firsthand look at highway conditions

When Glenmore Town Chairman Don Kittell called new Brown County Executive Tom Hinz, he had no idea whether Hinz would take the invitation to drive around southern Brown County for half of a day.

Hinz accepted and joined Kittell and town of Morrison Supervisor Kevin Collins on a tour that focused on the poor maintenance of county highways in southern Brown County.

The town officials also presented an idea for funding county services in rural areas.

"We drove around for a while, we had a nice visit and (Hinz) wrote a few things down," Kittell said.

"I enjoyed the chance to come out and get to know those guys better and hear what they had to say," Hinz said. "To get out into the towns and know their problems is better than having someone come in here and tell me."

The idea for the grand tour came up in a discussion between Kittell and Morrison Town Chairman Todd Christensen. When Christensen couldn't make it, the newly elected Collins stepped in.

"The county roads here are so bad you can't rate them," Kittell said. "They are cracked, chunked, breaking up (and) no one is taking care of them."

The tour included county highways NN, G, W, Z, PP and X to the Brown-Manitowoc County line.

"We showed him where the shoulders are breaking down," Collins said.

"You can take a blind man in your car and he could tell you when we cross into Manitowoc County because the road gets smoother," Kittell said.

"Their concerns are valid," Hinz said. "It comes down to how we prioritize our road issues and fund them. It was important to get the knowledge firsthand."

Kittell said he and Collins explained the lack of funding for service in the rural areas and offered a possible solution.

"We explained that there will be money from the windmills," Kittell said. "We would like it to stay where it is generated."

"We would like the money (the county gets from windmills) to come back and take care of our county roads out here instead of for Packer Stadium or something," Collins said. "A lot of (county tax revenue) goes to the city."

Under state law, the county gets revenue from wind energy farms, but the towns have to license and regulate the wind farms. Kittell and Collins said that money should go to roads and other county services in the rural towns hosting the wind farms.

"They take our taxes but they don't return anything," Kittell said. He said road maintenance and police protection in the rural areas are poor.

"They (urban communities) holler that everybody is paying for our services here, but we aren't getting much," Kittell said.

Collins said Hinz agreed with the condition of the country roads and said he would consider the request for county revenues from wind energy farms to come back to the rural towns.

"I told him we should get the money back," Collins said. "We have to put up with the windmills."

Hinz said he needs to determine what the actual wind energy revenues would be and then look at the county budget as a whole.

- Ed Byrne is the editor of the Wrightstown Post-Gazette.



Source: http://www.greenbaypressgaz...

JUL 22 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/10177-windy-solution-proposed-for-rural-brown-co-roads
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