ONEIDA COUNTY - Realtors in Oneida County say directional signs on major roads boost business and help home seekers, but some residents and the Minocqua Town Board say otherwise.
"They don't like to see these signs popping up on the back roads at every intersection off the premise from a listed property. It becomes a bit of clutter, it becomes an eyesore to people. Especially people get real sensitive in their own neighborhoods," said Mark Hartzheim, Minocqua Town Chairman.
Right now an Oneida County ordinance does NOT allow these signs. The Northwoods Association of Realtors is petitioning the Oneida County board to allow GENERIC arrow signs on major roads.
"The directional signs are pretty important for realtors up in this area...What our association is proposing is that we create a non-branded arrow sign and we would only put one at a major intersection so it wouldn't get cluttered up with 5, 6 different signs," said Sandy Ebben, a manager with First Weber Group Rhinelander.
Minocqua Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim says allowing realtors an exception to post signs, is a slippery slope, and other businesses will want to follow suit.
The realtors say their business is different, and the signs aren't permanent. The Oneida county board will discuss the sign ordinance at their meeting August 6th.
TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk School District will need to make big budget cuts in the next year. The district will need to cut more than $500,000. Rising transportation costs along with declining enrollments challenge many Northwoods School Districts.
“We have a lot of issues in Northern Wisconsin that many districts in the state of Wisconsin don't have,” says Cheryl Baker, Tomahawk School District Superintendent. “For instance in the Tomahawk School District there's about 425 and I'm rounding that off, square miles of terrain that has to be covered everyday two times a day to pick kids up, to bring them to school, and to take them home.”
“That cost is our cost,” says Baker.
The school district does not plan to cut any electives. Instead they are moving from an 8 to a 7 period day.
“We're moving from an 8 period day to a 7 period day purely for economic reasons,” says Baker. “In other words had we not gone to the 7 period day for next year we would have had to of cut entire classes, electives, and or start cutting down teachers full time positions.”
The school district will also need to cut its full time social worker.
RHINELANDER - Warm temperatures and lingering snow on roofs doesn't make for a good combination. Around 3 this afternoon the weight of the snow on the roof of the Elbo Room caused major damage to the building.
The awning to the building fell down onto the Brown Street sidewalk. It's important to remember to how dangerous heavy snowfall left on roofs can be this time of year.
“Well with this heavy snowfall this winter there's a lot of snow load with warm weather today the snow melting it created a lot of weight and it can damage structures with all the weight from the snow,” says Josh Schmitz, Rhinelander Fire Deptartment Deputy Chief.
No one was injured in the collapse. The fire department is not sure when cleanup will begin.
Rhinelander intersection could get a permanent stop sign
RHINELANDER - Drivers might need to get used to a stop sign at one intersection in Rhinelander.
The City Council held a public hearing to decide if the temporary stop sign on Davenport and Sutliff should stay.
The stop sign was put up at the three-way intersection during a construction project last summer.
"We put up a temporary stop sign because we had the closure on Kemp, and we sent all the traffic this way," says Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn. "Once we had the stop sign up, a lot of people in the community started voicing support for keeping it."
Members of the community voiced their support for or against the permanent stop sign at the public hearing.
"People who live on the west side over here go straight through, it slows them down a little bit by having to do a stop sign," says Oborn. "The people on Sutliff that have to make a left or right turn, they really favor the three-way stop sign here because it makes it a lot safer for them."
The permanent signs could be in place in the next couple of weeks if the council approves the move.
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