Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
Lincoln County has agreed to disagree with the City of Merrill over the purchase of a downtown city lot for a future elderly housing complex. The city and county both agreed that the parking lot at the corner of East 1st Street and Scott Street is the most ideal spot for the new high rise complex but before the city gave the lot to the county to build the complex, it demanded the county reimburse them $60,000 for what they had invested in removing the houses there and paving the property. The Lincoln County Board agreed to purchase the lot from the city, but efforts to give the city $35,000 for the property stalled and the resolution ended up passing with only the county designating the Scott Street site as the future building project’s home. A special meeting to discuss the cities position on the matter turned just as controversial as the matter itself. Six council members petitioned the city to hold the meeting prior to the County Board meeting on Monday night but as soon as the group sat down Alderman Jean Rogers called for an immediate adjournment saying the city had not properly noticed or posted the meeting or its agenda. Alderman Anita Gebert backed the request but a move by Alderman Ellsworth Plautz to suspend the rules and continue the meeting anyway passed, continuing the meeting, at least for a few moments. County Supervisor Baumgart told the group they were moving too quickly as he had introduced a resolution to his group seeking to reimburse the city for the land. That led Alderman Rogers to move to adjourn the meeting, a vote ended in a 4-4 tie with Mayor Ralph Voigt casting the tie breaking vote ending the meeting a half an hour after it began. Prior to adjourning, Alderman Gebert questioned where the council was going to come up with $100,000 for a new downtown parking lot if they gave the lot away.
In briefs: Dr. Lester J. Bayer announces in an ad on page five that he is now associated with Dr. Yusof Ahmad at his office at 1029 E. Main St. The pool is open for the summer. Park and Recreation Superintendent Dennis Donohue announced that opening week attendance at the pool was 2,542, the largest week tally since the pool opened. Lifeguards this year are Mary Ravn, Julie Gegner, Kris Finanger, Vicki Block, Sue English, Mark Anderson and Jeff Eckerle. Donohue also announced that lifeguards will staff Ott’s Park later this week. Attorney Steven Seeger has announced he will seek the post of Lincoln County District Attorney. Seeger is running on the Republican ticket, he lives on West Main Street in Merrill.
The Merrill Bluejay baseball team ended play in the WIAA State Tournament falling to eventual state champion Appleton West 5-4 during play at Wausau last Thursday. Bill Helmuth coached the team whose members included Doug Grisa, Steve Walsh, Bill Boyd, Steve Imhoff, Erik Finanger, Jay Manthei, John Zuelsdorff, Al Detert, Dave Burrow, Tom Lutzke, Tom Weckwerth, Fred Krueger, Dan Stiver and Dave Wendorf. Team manager was Tim Mueske, assistant coaches were Roger Wendorf, Scott Ackley and Phil Borchardt and bat girls were Reghan O’Day and Mary Beth Gryskiewicz. The Jays ended the season with a 15-4 record, Steve Imhoff had an 8-1 record on the mound.
A group of parents gathered this morning to wave goodbye to the Marching Jays of Merrill Senior High School who are heading out for Winnipeg, Canada for an international marching band competition. Three buses transported the students and the chaperones on the 1,500-mile journey along with a semitrailer full of equipment. The band booster club has been saving for three years for the group to travel to the competition which will see the Jays compete with 18 other bands from both the United States and Canada. (Bet they do well, stay tuned)
The Lincoln County Board voted on Tuesday to replace their attorney after another law firm bowed out of the counselor role. The county had been contracting with the law firm of Russell-Tlusty but attorney Jay Tlusty told the board that his firm would resign as the legal counsel as of the end of this month. Tlusty pointed out that they are not insured by the county for their work and Richard Olson, an attorney at the firm who was handling the work for the county, has resigned. Tlusty suggested the county instead contract with Tomahawk attorney James Runyon which the board later voted to do. Runyon was previously the Corporation Counsel in Marathon County. The previous county lawyer Mike Ravn resigned to seek other employment in January. (I bet he does well, too)
A man who helped many families through their grief now finds his own family struggling after his sudden death. Milton R. “Milt” Wistein died on Monday at the Wausau Hospital Center. Wistein owned and operated the Wistein Funeral Home on East Third Street in Merrill since purchasing the Krueger Funeral Home from his former boss Norbert Krueger in 1975. Wistein is a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Army and was one of those that landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Prior to coming to Merrill, Wistein graduated from Milwaukee Mortuary College and worked at the Ballhorn Funeral Home in Sheboygan. His funeral will be tomorrow morning at St. Francis Catholic Church where he was a member, friends may call at his funeral home tonight until 9 p.m. Wistein is survived by his wife Doris, sons Tom and Jerry and daughter Mary.
Never too busy to speak with his constituents, State Senator Roger Breske sat down with business owners on the south side of the Center Avenue bridge project to speak about the issues they face after the main traffic artery feeding their area has been shut off. Most in attendance agreed that the main contractor is doing a great job building the bridge, but the subcontractors who are working on the roads leading up to it have not been as kind. John Gerbis of Good Samaritan Health Center reported a subcontractor has twice struck the main gas line leading to the hospital and the last time was not even able to estimate a time when the main would be repaired. Merrill View Motel owner Tom Miller pointed out his clients are tourists and when they see the road closed sign they just turn away. Breske promised to continue these meetings as the project goes on; he is going to help with signage and promised the paving on the south side of the bridge will be complete in July which should help ease traffic flow.
If you are looking for a bite to eat on the north side of the bridge in the meantime, the Italian U-Boat opened its doors this past week on East Main Street. Owner Andre Galella notes his work at his parents’ restaurant the Cork and Dyne and his own pizzeria prior to opening the U-Boat. Hours will stretch until 3:30 a.m. on weekends for the bar rush crowd and shift workers.
Cindy Kimmons has been appointed as the Clerk of Courts of Lincoln County. Judge J. Michael Nolan made the appointment filling the vacant post until the fall election in November.