Rhine board weighs lake issues

by Sabrina Nucciarone
Review Correspondent

RHINE – Elkhart Lake issues were among the items discussed by the Rhine Town Board at their Tuesday, Sept. 5 meeting.

John Schott, representing Elkhart Lake Improvement Association, reported comments of a general nature on the Shoreland Road initiatives.

Schott passed on hearsay that there are old water heaters welded together and buried in the creekbed of Waibel Creek, on the south side of Elkhart Lake. Waibel Creek feeds into Nuces Bay at the south side of Elkhart Lake.

Supervisor Frank Zimmerman responded that he was familiar with that project, saying 45 water heaters were used. He indicated that he may have old photographs showing the water heaters in the creekbed.

Voicing no opposition to the removal of the makeshift filter, with the suggested proposition of the extraction of the water heaters with no replacement dam or similar in place, Zimmerman cautioned, “we would rather not use the embankment of the road as a dam in order to hold the water back.”

To abate creek water passing through that area, Schott said that the culvert turns and goes northwest, and at this point may deviate on to private property.

Schott said that any proposed project information regarding Shoreland Road and Waibel Creek would be forthcoming. First, ELIA would have to figure out “how water is getting into the lake and how to remediate it.”

Schott said ELIA is also requesting an increase of funding from the town annually from $750 to $1,000 for ELIA activities. They include more policing on the lake, the suctioning of and weed removal in the lakebed, and water testing for the lake, Schott said.

Two conditional use permits recommended by the Planning Commission were passed unanimously.

The first was for Craig Tennies and Bernie Reichert, who intend to operate a dog training facility and kennel with the purpose of training dogs to bird hunt.

The board asked for clarification on the times the owner-trainers would be allowed to use guns, according to the DNR and general hunting rules. Specifically, the times that guns could be used during training would be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Additional conditions included that there be no more than 20 dogs at any one time, housed per American Kennel Club guidelines. Pick-up and drop-off times for dogs must be between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and there must be off street parking.

Though the hunting season for a particular species of bird may allow gun use earlier than the 8 a.m. start time, Town Attorney Paul Dirkse said that even though the dogs don’t know what time it is, the hours of gun use must be maintained so that neighbors “don’t have to wonder what the gunfire is.”

The second permit was for Joseph Koenig and Rhine Boarder Farm, a farm-based business that would raise heifers. Because this type of business has not operated previously in the town, the only comment from an unnamed woman in the audience was to ensure that there is sufficient contact information for all involved in that business, including Koenig.

Zimmerman was concerned about the public roads along the farm. He said if there are any problems created, based on hauling the animals, that the business be responsible for fixing the roads.

“I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just something I’m trying to address,” Zimmerman commented. “If the roads are wrecked, the county will fix them, but the farm will pay the bill,” he said.

With the farm being a first of its kind in the town, “It is a blueprint we can work off in the future,” Chairman Ron Platz said.

Joseph Bronoski requested a boundary agreement between the town of Rhine and town of Plymouth. Bronoski is considering a 14-unit duplex development near Road America, however the lot it straddles the two towns.

In a preliminary step, Bronoski requested that the internal boundary line be removed, at least on paper, for the purpose of removing restrictions on construction.

“The whole piece of land is restricted; one doesn’t have frontage, the other does not have the proper set back,” Bronoski said.

Bronoski had to address the town of Plymouth in a meeting following the Rhine meeting. The project is in a fact-finding, preliminary state and the board made no decision on the request.

The board approved the purchase of a used 100-foot ladder truck from the city of Bryn Mawr, Pa.

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