County board votes to create new courthouse security position, possible forestry headquarters
By Craig Marx, Editor
The Langlade County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday morning, and above all approved a new courthouse security position along with support for a potential new forestry headquarters.
Sheriff Bill Greening took the floor in place of Chief Deputy John Schunke to announce a $15,000 grant provided by Aspirus for mental health services in the Langlade County Jail. The board recently approved the county’s request for extended service and treatment of mental illness in the county’s jail system.
“This is a service that was much needed and very overdue,” Greening said. “This is an ongoing grant request too. We’ll apply every year – some years we may get it, some not. I think it is a program that is working well and I am very appreciative of the hospital board for this grant.”
The grant was extended from $11,000 to $15,000 at the request of the service providers to help with the cost of prescription drugs used in inmate mental illness treatment.
The opening resolutions of Tuesday’s meeting were combined into one, seeking to allow Cirrinity Broadband of Wittenberg to expand into the White Lake and Crestwood areas of Langlade County. After refinement of the resolution’s wording – omitting “school” from the “expansion to White Lake School area” – the dual resolution passed 21 to 0.
In accordance with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), BG and Associates was selected with a 20 to 0 vote to become the administrator of the CDBG housing authority. Langlade County will be the main administrator in a nine-county region for the CDBG, which provides maintenance for low income housing.
Greening took the podium once again to discuss the creation of a full-time courthouse security position, with funding provided by an increase in the tax levy for the Langlade County Sheriff Department.
“I’d like to make it clear that this is not just a courtroom position but a courthouse security position,” Greening explained. “We would have a uniformed officer on duty there while the courthouse is open during business hours. Currently, we’ve been using part-time deputies for the security position, and while this new position would not help us immediately with our staff shortages, I think it’s long overdue.”
The sheriff also noted the fragility of certain situations at the courthouse that arise from time to time that a full-time deputy could potentially counteract.
“Even when court is not session, there are other hearings going on in the building. Situations often get emotional, and having a uniformed officer there to alleviate those situations would really help,” Greening added.
The board approved the creation of the new position unanimously, 21 to 0.
The last resolution on the agenda dealt with the acknowledgment of support for a joint city-county proposal to place the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Forestry Headquarters in Langlade County. The division headquarters is currently located in Madison.
While no construction or financial plans have yet been conceived for the project, the board was to vote on its general interest in seeing the forestry headquarters located here in the Northwoods. Angie Close, executive director of the county’s Economic Development Corporation, noted the multiple benefits that such a headquarters would have to both the city and county.
“There would be a large potential for local candidate hiring here, between 10 to 60 jobs,” Close said, “while a headquarters here would be closer to the source.”
If eventually selected, the county’s DNR Forestry Headquarters would administer all forest land north of Highway 10 in Wisconsin. The support resolution passed 21 to 0.