At the January 10th meeting of the Town of Bell Board, the topic of the Siskiwit River Protection and Access was updated.
A group of citizens have formed “Friends” of the Siskiwit River Protection and Access, to put together answers concerning the Siskiwit River Protection and Access project. The Bayfield Regional Conservancy(BRC) has received a letter from the DNR that the grant from Knowles-Nelson stewardship program has tentatively been awarded to them to support the acquisition of the two adjacent parcels in the Town of Bell for conservation and public recreational purposes. The Town of Bell and Bayfield County Boards also received a letter dated Dec. 21, 2016 from the DNR about the tentative award and stating that the Boards can adopt a resolution in support or opposing land acquistions funded by the Stewardship program. The resolution for or against this grant will be nonbinding and the Department is required to consider the resolution, if it is received in 30 days of receipt of the letter. The DNR has been informed that the Town of Bell board does intend on sending a resolution to them either supporting or opposing the BRC land acquisition through the DNR stewardship program. The Bayfield County board has also informed the DNR that they intend to send a resolution, after hearing the town’s position. The DNR has given an extended deadline of February 28th, 2017, because of being notified of the intent to file a resolution.
Lazorik proposed having several more town hearings to gather more information about the grants, costs and how this transaction happens, where people can talk and the electors can vote. He talked about the board giving input to the DNR, about the DNR stewardship grant being tentatively awarded to the BRC. The date set for the public hearing is set for Wednesday, February 8th at the Town of Bell Community Center at 7:00 p.m.. A representative from the DNR will be present to discuss what the transaction is and to answer any questions. The town board resolution to the DNR would be based on the vote of and letters received from the electors on recommendations regarding the BRC land acquisition through the DNR stewardship program. The letters must be received by the Feb. 8th public hearing. On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at the regular town board
On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at the regular town board meeting, the town board will vote to send a resolution either supporting or opposing the grant. Lazorik asked people to write down any questions that they have for the DNR and to submit them. He will then provide the list of questions to the DNR by email and that they will answer them. Information is available on the BRC website. Erica Lang, with the BRC will have copies of the project description and people can contact her with questions. Information about the project proposal will be available on the town website. A Q & A form is in the process of being created.
The Siskiwit River Protection and Access request to rescind supporting resolution was tabled until next month.