EAGLE RIVER - The City of Eagle River wants to reduce its involvement with the Olson Memorial Library.
The city council, on Monday, voted unanimously to give the library property to another local town if it wants it.
The Eagle River City Council disagrees with the library's board and foundation on whether they need to get design bids for the library's remodeling project.
That project includes an addition that would double the size of the library.
The library's board hopes to buy the renovation plans designed by Jeff Visner of Design/Build by Visner.
Board members say professional projects like designs don't need to be bid out.
The foundation got more than $2.5 million in donations based on those plans.
"Our major donors donated on the plan that we showed them which was Design/Build by Visner and they are becoming increasingly unhappy that with the fact that we are now looking for other designs," said Library Board of Trustees president Laurie Stoegbauer.
But the city council says they need to take bids for the project.
"The city has been torn by this decision. We have the opinion of two attorneys that tell us we need to bid the entire project. The trustees and the foundation believe they have the ability to control some of this project. We're not going to go against the advice of our attorneys. We want the library to go forward so for the sake of no longer having that split, we've decided to step back," said Eagle River City Council member Jerry Burkett.
The library board will now approach the towns of Lincoln, Washington, Conover, Cloverland, St. Germain, and Arbor Vitae to see if they'd like to take over ownership of the property. Those towns are part of the joint library system.
"We're optimistic. They've all been very supportive and the City has been very supportive in the past. They have supported our library for years," said Stoegbauer.
If another town decides to take the library, the City of Eagle River would still be a contributing member of the joint library system.
The library serves about 14,000 people.
Stoegbauer says the library will seek bids for the construction.
The city clerk/treasurer will no longer serve as the library's fiscal agent as of August 15th, meaning the board may need to find a new owner and fiscal agent by then.
The city council, library board, and library foundation members all agree giving the property over to a town would be a good step.
They say they all want the library project to move forward.
RHINELANDER - A large open lot on Rhinelander's east side could soon fill in with a chain restaurant.
Cory Moritz-Hoffmann and her husband hope to build a Pizza Ranch next to Kwik Trip on Eisenhower Parkway. The pair of former Pine Lake firefighters got the idea about six years ago when they first went to a Pizza Ranch in Iowa.
They considered pursing a franchise then, but it was more than they could afford at the time. About two years ago, the Hoffmanns contacted an investor and saw an opportunity to turn their dream into a reality.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
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