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County Board approves land purchase
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Calling it an outstanding investment for future generations—both financially and aesthetically—the Langlade County Board of Supervisors today approved the purchase of over 2,300 acres of prime forest from the Plum Creek Land Company.

Action on the resolution came on an unanimous vote, following years of planning and many months of negotiations.

“They don’t make a lot of these properties anymore, as they say,” County Forest Administrator Eric Rantala said. “There is very nice timber on this property, wood that we can start harvesting this spring.”

The tract is located in the town of Langlade in the northeastern section of the county, contiguous to other county lands. It carries a total price tag of $3.952 million, or $1,680 per acre, which is less than the appraised value.

Half the cost will be financed through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund, which awarded the county a grant of $1.92 million. The remainder will be borrowed from the county’s undesignated general fund and repaid through timber sale revenue on the parcel.

Corporation Counsel Robin Stowe said the purchase made sense on several fronts.

“I can’t think of a better investment,” he said, noting that the county is receiving minimal returns on its undesignated funds through traditional means. “We’re going to reap the benefits for years to come through timber sales and recreational opportunities.”

Closing on the property is tentatively slated for mid-February.

In other business, supervisors approved base wage and cost of living agreements for the courthouse, professional, highways and corrections and dispatch unions as well as elected officials including the sheriff, register of deeds, coroner, county clerk, treasurer and clerk of court.

The package is for .5 percent for 2014, retroactive to Jan. 1.

After extensive discussion, supervisors agreed to designate North Central Health Care Center as the agency to apply for and administer the coordinated services statewide expansion funds for 2014.

The center, which serves Langlade, Marathon and Lincoln counties, will act as the lead agency in establishing the program, which seeks to align necessary care across agencies such as social services, medical assistance and the health care center for those in need.

The county is seeking a grant of $62,000.

Supervisors also agreed to provide matching funds for bridge and culvert aid to the towns of Upham and Wolf River. Upham will receive $45,833 to replace culverts on Forest Road at Black Oak Creek and the East Branch of the Eau Claire River and Mill Road over the East Branch of the Eau Claire. Wolf River will get $45,707 to replace the bridge on East Hollister Road over Nine Mile Creek.


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Logging in the Langlade County forest.
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