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Common Council learns of dangerous drug identified in the city
Boscobel City Hall

BOSCOBEL - The Boscobel Common Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 5 where members of the council and the public met both virtually and in person for the meeting.

One important update heard by the council came from the Boscobel Public Works Department. It was explained in the meeting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working with communities to eliminate lead service lines. 

The DPW workers of Boscobel recently had a meeting with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to discuss the matter. It was noted by the DNR that the suggested short term solution for the lead service line situation was to put phosphate in the water system to coat the pipes to prevent lead from leaching into the water.

However, Boscobel’s water is naturally hard which has coated the pipes already over time with mineral deposits, making the issue with the few remaining lead service lines not as serious as the lead was not seemingly leaching in dramatic amounts.

However, the city has decided that it would propose an ordnance requiring the replacement of these service lines, to better allow for funding to come through.

It was noted during the presentation that passing an ordinance surrounding the lead service lines would make it easier for the city to apply for grant monies to get the lines replaced.

At this time it is believed that there are three lead service lines that remain in the city needing replacement. The service lines are anticipated to cost between $3-4,000 for replacement, which would be covered by the grant money. Extra money had been budgeted in the potential grant to be able to cover the costs for additional lines should they be discovered.

The council heard an astonishing update from Boscobel Chief of Police Jaden McCullick as well.

It was shared in the meeting that the Boscobel Police Department had went out on a call that they thought was initially a Domestic Violence related call. However, they quickly discovered that it had additional elements of a narcotics and methamphetamine abuse situation as well.

McCullick reported that the department discovered a “large amount of fentanyl” noting that it was enough to “probably kill half of the county.” 

It was reported that the bust was made at the home of a known drug abuser and that there were also children at the home. It was further explained that the drugs they found also contained a “designer drug” known on the streets as “Grey Death” and is something that has never before been seen in the area.

According to Wikipedia, “Grey Death” refers generally to a potent mix of synthetic opioids, with samples being found to contain heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and the designer drug U-47700.

“It’s the stuff that when you hear about a grain of sand would be enough to kill ya,” noted officer Travis Dregne.

Members of the council expressed audible gasps upon hearing the update from the Police Department and had many questions about how the substance was handled.

Dregne explained to the council that upon first seeing it, the officers who responded had thought it was heroin, except it was an ashy grey color.

“We treated it like heroin,” Dregne explained. “We were very careful and cautious with handling it.”

It was noted that the drug is  commonly found in areas like Florida, and it is not thought to have been actually produced here in the Boscobel area but it found its way here because it is cheaper than other narcotics and takes only a small amount to achieve the effects that users desire. 

The Department officials also noted that in the past, the drug most frequently  seen in the area was marijuana. However, they are now more likely to find narcotics or meth in the community.

In other council news:

•UDAG loan to Brent and Kim Drake for the purchase of Tall Tails was approved

•The Park Board agreed to cover the cost of maintenance and utilities for the ice skating rink

•New doors at the pool were approved

•An update on staffing changes for the Public Works Department was heard

•Street Closing for the Classics Cruise was approved.