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Referendum discussed for Shullsburg casino
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SHULLSBURG—A referendum determining public support of the proposed Lac du Flambeau casino and hotel was discussed by the Shullsburg City Council last week.
Mayor Tom Lethlean said he was asked by the Lac du Flambeau tribe to ask the city council if they would consider holding a second referendum to determine public support or opposition to the casino gaming facility and hotel proposed for Shullsburg. A similar referendum held in 2003 showed 87 percent approval of the project, although the federal government did not grant final approval for the tribe to move forward.
City clerk Marsha Einsweiler said the city expense would include publication of notifications of the election and programming the voting machine. She didn’t know exactly how much that would add up to.
The council discussed potential dates for the referendum: Nov. 6 general election or one of the spring elections. Lethlean said the tribe was also taking a vote on Sept. 4 with its own referendum to determine tribal support for the project.
The council tabled the decision of when to hold the referendum until they find out if and when tribal members can hold a public hearing in Shullsburg. Lethlean said he would find out that information before the Aug. 15 meeting.
In other news, the council had a second reading of the public nuisance ordinance revisions and will take action on those changes at the Aug. 15 meeting. Alderman Dan Spillane had several concerns with the ordinance, especially with enforcement.
“I hope we’re not missing the point here,” alderman Jim Paquette said. “My opinion is… 90 percent of the people in this town would like the yards cleaned up and 10 percent want to leave the dirty, messy yards as they are. I think those people expect us to act on the ordinance and do what the majority wants.”
Alderman Carl Ballard said the people are the ones who voted the council into office and they can vote them out of office if they don’t like how they handle situations.
During the council meeting Wayne Gehrt and his daughter Nancy proposed to pay for all of the costs of the wading pool construction as it is presently designed. In the proposal presented to the council, Wayne Gehrt said he will pay for all materials used in the construction of the project. Labor would be the responsibility of the city of Shullsburg. Wayne Gehrt wants the project completed before Dec. 31, 2012.
The council voted in April to move forward with the project estimated to cost $55,000 contingent on the two donors, Wayne Gehrt and an anonymous donor, agreeing to the project. Gehrt proposed the project in December 2011 and said he’s disappointed that it’s August and they haven’t even turned a shovel of dirt yet.
Plans were approved at the state level. A project manager would be needed for the project to move forward. The council unanimously voted to accept Wayne Gehrt’s proposal for the pool.