Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tom Tiffany's 'small' government winners and losers

[Updated] The GOP State Senator from Hazelhurst - - friend to iron mines and frac sand mines and foe of town and local resource and planning controls who has admitted that he recommended successfully the slashing of more than a dozen DNR science positions in the just-approved state budget -- has a July 31 e-update that highlights his winners and losers:

It seems that small government means plenty of budget cuts and the end of certain services to certain users:
"More flexibility has been established for road projects with the repeal of the state's "Complete Streets" statute. Communities will no longer be forced to build bike and pedestrian paths if they believe them to be too costly or unnecessary..."
But then, again, Tiffany loves seeing resources go to favored constituencies:

DNR Lands For Sale
The Department of Natural Resources is offering five state-owned parcels of land for public sale beginning July 16, 2015.

In June 2014, the Natural Resources Board approved 22 department-owned properties totaling approximately 1,400 acres for public sale. Of these 22 parcels, 15 were land-locked with no legal access from a road and marketed to adjoining landowners. The remaining seven parcels are accessible by a town road, and the first five of these properties are posted for bid through the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction. The bidding process for these five parcels will close Aug. 12, 2015 at 10 a.m.

The parcels available for purchase are located in Vilas, Sawyer and Lincoln counties, and range from five to 80 acres. Four of the five properties are forested, while one parcel has been used for agriculture purposes in the past. These parcels are part of the department's ongoing sale of surplus state-owned lands.

Land titles may transfer to the successful bidders subject to certain restrictions, including county snowmobile easements, DNR access easements, or "no development" requirements on certain portions of the property. Each parcel will be sold "as is," and it is the bidder's responsibility to determine the condition of the property and its suitability for any private use. Specific property information, along with maps and photographs can be found on the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction website.

This land sale program is being carried out by the Department in compliance with Wisconsin Act 20 which requires that the Natural Resources Board offer for sale at least 10,000 acres located outside of project boundaries by June 30, 2017. The sale of select department-owned lands will help resolve key boundary and access issues, realign land ownership with conservation partners and private citizens for more efficient management, and allow the department to work closely with partner and stakeholder organizations to meet common property and conservation goals.

The department's land sale policy was shaped by public comments received at five informational meetings held throughout the state in October 2013 and by comments received through the public policy page of the DNR website. The Natural Resources Board approved the final policy in December 2013.

Shooting Ranges Receive DNR Grants
Seven public and three private shooting ranges will receive a combined total of $803,822.25 in grant funding this year through the Shooting Range Grant Program. The recipients were notified on July 3, 2015.
Seven public shooting ranges located in Barron, Chippewa, Columbia, Dunn, Florence, Portage and Vilas counties will receive grants totaling $646,450.25. One of the seven is a new range that will be developed in Columbia County. Three private shooting ranges were given grants for a total of $157,372. These existing private ranges are located in Marathon, St. Croix and Sauk counties.
The shooting range grant program began in 2013. Shooting range grants are available to counties, cities, villages, townships, other governmental agencies or units, clubs or organizations, businesses or corporations and education institutions. Currently, grants are awarded every two years and recipients must pay a portion of the total project costs. 
Eligible project types include archery ranges, backstops and berms, target holders, restroom facilities, shooting benches, baffles, trenches, signs, gun racks, platforms, protective fencing and other items the DNR deems essential for a project. Most projects include improving the range to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, increasing safety aspects and developing shooting lanes for a variety of firearms. Indoor ranges may be eligible as well, including classroom, storage and restroom facilities.
Listed below are the grant recipients:
Public Shooting Range Grant Recipients
  • Barron County Maple Plains shooting range renovations
    Grand award $150,000
    Grantee share $50,000
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    Chippewa County-Cornell shooting range improvements and expansion
    Grant award $45,000
    Grantee share $22,270
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    Columbia County-Mud Lake shooting range development
    Grant award $375,000
    Grantee share $125,000
  • Dunn County
    Dunn County Land Conservation Division - Colfax shooting range renovations
    Grant award $6,000
    Grantee share $6,000
  • Florence County
    Florence County shooting range-Florence County forest rifle range improvements
    Grant award $31,177
    Grantee share $10,393
  • Portage County
    Dewey shooting range
    Dewey shooting range renovations
    Grant award $26,662
    Grantee share $8,888
  • Vilas County
    Boulder Junction shooting range renovations (phase 2)
    Grant award $12,611.25
    Grantee share $4,203.75
Private Shooting Range Grant Recipients
  • Marathon County
    Wausau Skeet and Trap Club-Wausau Skeet and Trap Club middle field skeet and trap house reconstruction
    Grant share $ 8,050
    Grantee share $ 8,050
  • St. Croix County
    Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club site range improvements (phase 2)
    Grant share $114,000
    Grantee share $114,000
  • Sauk County
    Sauk Prairie Trap and Skeet Club renovations
    Grant award $35,322
    Grantee share $35,32

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