Town of Wrightstown closing in on broadband grant application

Brian Roebke photo
Supervisor Jesse Juedes (left) ran last week’s Town of Wrightstown meeting in the absense of Chairman Bill Verbeten, who attended the meeting virutually along with Supervisor Ron Diny. Also pictured are Treasurer Jeanette Roskom and Clerk Donna Martzahl, connecting with the two men not in the room.

By Brian Roebke
Faster internet is getting closer to reality in the Town of Wrightstown.
Jeremiah Gustafson has 85 percent of the broadband internet expansion grant application to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for the town completed and Josh Davies of Ideal Technologies is confident in the process.
“We’re working on the final pieces that he didn’t have answers to,” Davies said.
There is a two-year time limit from the time the grant is awarded to have the work done.
Applications are due Dec. 1 but there’s not a set time for approval.
Davis estimates less than 12 months for it happening. There are 100,000 ft. of fiber, running for an 8-10 mile square area that covers 302 properties, including 14 businesses and 288 households.
Town Chairman Bill Verbeten noted many people are excited about this but he cautioned it’s not going to happen quickly.
Regarding the landfill and community digester, it appears to be a race as to whether Ideal or the county gets fiber to Greenleaf faster.
Whatever party gets there first is probably who will service the landfill and digester.
The town approved a resolution in support of Ideal’s application.
Related to this, town officials approved the use of an abandoned well on town property at the corner of Breckenridge Road and Highway 96 as the central office for the internet operation.
The building has a good location and offers expandability. Ideal Technologies is willing to rent the building with an option to purchase. Davies asked if the town could help with the $700 utility permit as part of the grant process, but the town is more open to offering an inexpensive lease for the building.
“It is well needed, but it is only benefitting a small portion of the town,” Supervisor Ron Diny said.
Martzahl received an application payment from Advance Construction for the Mallard Road Bridge for $524,961.87. The town is withholding 5 percent of the completed work because a top layer of blacktop needs to be laid. The town has already paid out $25,581. With the payment application, the total paid is $563,570. They will collect $281,785 from the state, $140,892 from the county, and the town will be responsible for $149,892.
The town must pay the total before it recoups money from the state and county, so it may need to take a short-term loan from the sanitary district.
Zoning Administrator Rick Gerbers has had an inquiry on the lands on Birch Creek Court where a sanitary sewer district is being removed. Verbeten suggested the town hang onto the property until the sanitary district is completely dissolved.
The board approved an emergency petition for the repair of the Rosin Road Bridge, since supervisors didn’t feel it was safe to delay the work until next year.
The conservative high estimated cost is $25,000. The town needs Brown County permission before they have the work done.
Jesse Duquaine received a Conditional Use Permit for a dog kennel boarding and grooming facility on Apple Creek Road. He is allowed two dogs outside at one time, no day care, and no breeding of dogs with the intent of selling them.
The planning commission would like to revisit the CUP in two years if there are complaints during that time.