Burnett County has been meeting and working with other counties in Northwest Wisconsin in an attempt to re-open our economies due to the differences between this region and southern Wisconsin.
County Administrator Nate Ehalt informed the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning that he has been in contact with several counties in the region. That group has been brainstorming on how to get their message to Gov. Tony Evers office, who recently extended the state's Safer-at-Home order through May 26.
He said the county could lose up to $250,000 in sales tax alone in Burnett County in 2020. Other counties across the region are anticipating losing 50% of sales tax in 2020 and possibly 2021.
“We can do more collectively than as a one or two rogue counties,” Ehalt said. “There is safety in numbers when dealing with local economies.”
He said there will be more information from these meetings to come over the next several months.
“We have to realize Burnett County could look very different over the next 12 to 14 months,” Ehalt said. “We will have difficult decisions to make and there is a long road ahead of us.”
Ehalt said that it's well known that populations and economies are different in Northern Wisconsin compared to Southern Wisconsin. He added there have been conversations across the state about where federal funds will go.
“In our state, we have the haves and have-nots and unfortunately we always fall in the have-nots with those who don't necessarily care about those in the Northern half of Wisconsin,” Ehalt said. “We continue to be frugal and prudent on how we spend our dollars.”
Taylor re-elected to County Chair
County Supervisor Don Taylor was re-elected as Burnett County Chair, a position he was first elected to in 2010.
Supervisor Ed Peterson was elected to first vice-chair of the county board.
There was a contested race for second vice-chair. Supervisors Donald Chell, Craig Conroy and Chris Sybers were nominated.
Sybers was elected to second chair by ballot vote. He received 13 votes, Conroy received 5 votes and Chell got the remaining 3 votes.
Three new Supervisors were elected earlier this month; Ramona Moody in District 4, Chuck Awe in District 8, and Jim Pearson in District 15.
Trails remain open
Forest Administrator Jake Nichols told the County Board that there are still “miles and miles of trails still open.” He added trails are being used by walkers and horse riders.
Burnett County Forest Trails are open to the public.
The county forest has also been open to turkey hunters during the spring.