In the News
Bayfield County Newsletters
Snow Plowing Service Available
The Town of Eileen offers snow plowing service for town residents. If you are interested in having us plow for you this winter click here to open the 2021-2022 Town of Eileen Snow Plowing Contract.
About Bayfield Peninsula Energy Alternatives Group
Bayfield Peninsula Energy Alternatives (BPEA) is a group of citizens that includes representation from the Towns of Barksdale, Bayfield, Bayview, Eileen and Washburn. We are volunteering our time to study this project, in order to shape the decision of how best to meet the needs of the Bayfield Peninsula for generation and transmission of electricity. We are focusing on several aspects of the issue:
• Is there a viable alternative to running a 64-foot second set of power poles along a new stretch of right-of-way requiring clearing 50 ft. of property?
• Is there a possibility of utilizing 21st century technology that would allow for something other than above ground transmission lines?
• If it is necessary to have transmission lines, what are the options for routing the line so that it has the least effect on private property owners, does not disturb sensitive land such as trout streams, and maintains the natural beauty of our landscape?
• Is there a renewable source of energy generation for Bayfield Peninsula?
What Got Us Going
The impetus for this group came from a relatively small group of concerned citizens responding to Xcel Energy’s Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project after they received a brief flyer in the mail from Xcel to those who live on the proposed line. In late August, 2017, we became aware that Xcel was making a request to the Bayfield County Board on August 29, 2017 to grant them easement for a transmission line that would run through 7.5 acres of County forest land. We had only a few days’ notice about this meeting and we quickly got the word out to our friends and neighbors that it would be important to go to that meeting to express our concerns. There were 20+ people in the audience that night and many made comments to the Board during the Public Comment part of the meeting. Xcel Energy had a public meeting planned the following day in the City of Washburn, after this Board meeting requesting approval of the easement through County Forest land.
The primary message was a plea to the Board to delay the approval of Xcel’s request for easement until we have time to understand the project and make public comments. The result was a delay in the decision until the next meeting Bayfield County Board meeting on September 19, 2017.
The concern was this: Xcel had not provided adequate notice or information for citizen input on this new transmission line and it appeared to be on a fast-track for approval by the County. Approval by the County would have allowed Xcel to go ahead and submit their plan to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC), effectively making it difficult for the local governmental bodies and citizens to have any say in the project before it went to the PSC. Not only did we not understand the project, but we hadn’t been given time to formulate questions and concerns around the fact that a 25-mile right-of-way was going to be carved through our townships and literally our yards.
BPEA is communicating regularly with representatives from Xcel Energy, Town governments, the County Board and Cheq Bay Renewables in order to come up with the best solution for meeting the needs for reliable, clean energy for the Bayfield Peninsula and surrounding areas.
All meetings are open to the public and we need other concerned citizens to help us with this effort. We use our website to convey information to anyone interested in this project.
Visit: http://bayfieldenergyalternatives.org/ for more information.
Road Weight Restrictions
The Town of Eileen has a year around 24 ton weight restriction on all of our paved roads with the exception of State Farm Road which is a 40 ton road. No town gravel roads have this year around weight restriction. However, during spring breakup both paved and gravel roads have a 10 ton limit.
The town passed an ordinance 3 years ago to protect these paved roads, many of which only have one inch of asphalt. The paved roads included are Wipperfurth, Carlson, Colby, Sickich, Highland, Woodland, Gilles, and Terwilliger. In addition, there is a bridge on Colby Road with a permanent 35 ton weight restriction.
Commerce remains a priority in the town. Therefore, free permits are issued by any town board supervisor for overweight loads. A phone call to a supervisor can usually get you a permit in an hour or two. Along with the permit, we may direct the time of day and the route to be utilized. Multiple day permits can also issued.
Please click here for supervisor names and phone numbers.
The Town of Eileen has been advised by legal counsel that it has no legal authority to pass a moratorium ordinance, since this is a zoning function and Bayfield County does all zoning for the Town.
Town of Eileen 2015 Summer Picnic
Great Lakes Visitor Center Impacts Local Economy
Originally conceived in the 1980s, constructed in the mid-1990s, and open to the public in 1998, the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center just outside of Ashland, Wisconsin showcases the natural history of the Lake States and provides educational, interpretive, and community programs for its visitors. Regularly attracting nearly 125,000 visitors a year, this Center serves as a conduit for outdoor recreation in the region and provides significant economic impacts to local businesses, supports local jobs, and helps improve the vitality of host communities.
To read the complete Economic Impact Study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Madison, click here.
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Awards Contract for Renewable Energy Improvement Project at Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
ASHLAND, Wis. (August 04, 2015) – The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has awarded a $2 million contract to create a more sustainable, economical and responsible Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. The entire project is a Capital Investment Project valued at $2.4 million with the remaining funds supporting additional contracts and partnerships.
The contract was awarded to PDSI, Inc. a Small Business Administration 8(a) certified disadvantaged business, in Pontiac, Michigan.
“This project is an investment in a 17-year old building which is iconic in its architecture and has shown to be an engine of sustainable economic input for the greater Chequamegon Bay Region; producing five to six million in spending each year from visitors alone,” said Paul Strong, Forest Supervisor, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The center will become a showcase of energy efficiency and alternative energy production. New educational exhibits will interpret energy savings, efficiency and alternative energy production in relation to carbon emissions and their effect on the natural environment.
The project will increase the use of renewable energy at the center through photovoltaics; and decrease energy and water consumption by addressing the building envelope, upgrading the existing mechanical systems and replacing plumbing fixtures to low flow.
“This work will ensure that the center walks the talk for sustainability by reducing energy needs and producing much of its own energy,” said Strong.
Work is anticipated to begin early this fall.
“The center will remain open during construction. To ensure the safety of our visitors, the public may occasionally experience limited availability of some services. We will do our best to minimize these impacts as much as possible,” said Jason Maloney, Center Director, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Funding for the project is through the Capital Improvement and Maintenance program, which supports the health and safety of all Forest Service infrastructures. Part of the focus of the program is on reducing the agency’s carbon footprint by reducing critical deferred maintenance and making our facilities more sustainable.
“The sustainable practices that will be demonstrated at the Visitor Center will reduce the annual costs of operating the building. This is especially true when both energy savings and reduction in carbon emissions are considered,” said Strong.
This project fits into the Forest Service’s Strategic Energy Framework, which sets direction and proactive goals for the agency to significantly contribute to national energy security, environmental quality and economic opportunities through sustainable land management, energy production and conservation. It is also in accordance with the Forest Service’s Sustainable Operations Program.
The Center is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and operated through partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin-Extension, and Friends of the Center Alliance Ltd. It remains open to the public at no charge with opportunities for visitors to experience human and natural history of the Chequamegon Bay region in the building and on the 180-acre grounds.
For more information about the Center and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest please visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/CNNF, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CNNF002, and/or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CNNF002.
Ashland Chamber of Commerce
Washburn Chamber of Commerce
Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability
UW Extension for Dairy Management
Town of Barksdale
Town of Eileen Trash and Recycling Service Through BASWD
Formation of the Bay Area Solid Waste District (BASWD)
As the open landfills for refuse were banned, communities had to seek alternative ways of disposing their garbage and rubbish. In November of 1989 a formative meeting was held by the chairmen of the Towns of Bayview, Eileen, Barksdale, Washburn and Pilsen to meet the needs of their communities in lieu of their open landfill practices. Fred Janz of the Town of Barksdale chaired this and subsequent meetings from which the Bay Area Solid Waste District was organized. Each town was assessed a percentage of $30,000 based upon the respective town's valuation for the purpose of construction at the new waste site and for purchasing a waste compactor.
Land at the Town of Barksdale became the site for the B.A.S.W.D. Cement slabs were poured and an office/storage building was erected. The new site was modeled after the one in Boulder Junction, WI which the chairmen had previously visited. Soon it became apparent that a second compactor and a container for recyclables were needed to keep up with the demand for storage space. Later on a container for paper and cardboard was also added on the site. Contracts were signed with the Chequamegon Waste Service of Ashland to empty the containers.
In the fall of 2013, BASWD went to "single stream recycling" in which all recyclables are commingled at the compactor site. There is still no charge for paper, but all recyclables and trash must be placed in bags purchased from the site to help pay for the operations. BASWD is largely funded by DNR grants and bag sales to residents.
Thanks to the Town of Bayview for providing this information