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July 26, 2019
Wisconsin's 12th Senate District contains communities in Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano, and Vilas Counties.

Committee Assignments:
  • Joint Committee on Finance
  • Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry Committee (Chair)
  • Elections, Ethics, and Rural Issues (Vice-Chair)
  • Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development
  • Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
Storm Update

This past weekend, several parts of Wisconsin were hit by severe weather. In Northcentral and Northeastern Wisconsin, it was some of the most powerful storms we’ve seen in 20 years. In many areas, the damage was extensive. Hundreds of thousands of people across the state were without power – many for several days. 

Utility workers were quick to respond and worked tirelessly to restore power as fast as possible. We are lucky to have such dedicated workers and they deserve our thanks. 

After the storms hit, Governor Evers declared a State of Emergency that directed all state agencies to help in the response and recovery effort. It also allows the Wisconsin National Guard to assist as well. 

The Governor surveyed the storm damage in Northern Wisconsin on Monday. I joined him in Mountain and Pickerel and appreciate him coming to Langlade County. Afterwards, I met with town officials in the town of Schoepke. 

The Wisconsin Army National Guard was also in Langlade County on Monday helping to provide water for those in need. Thank you to both the Governor and the National Guard. 

I would also like to thank Wisconsin Emergency Management, first responders, County Emergency management, and everyone who has taken time to help with the clean-up efforts. After seeing some of the damage it is very inspiring to see everyone pitching in to help each other. 

It’ll take time to clean up and rebuild, but we’ve already made great progress so far. I will continue to send updates out as they become available. Please contact my office if you need assistance. 
Senator Tiffany's July Storm Response
 
The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center also shared this update on Thursday afternoon:

Wisconsin Emergency Management continues to monitor and support power restoration and debris removal operations still underway in the state, following powerful storms over the weekend that produced at least 16 tornadoes and straight-line winds in multiple counties.

As of Thursday afternoon, it was estimated about 8,000 utility customers were still without power in the state. WPS reported about 5,000 customers in Oconto and Langlade County, 1,000 WPS customers in the Stevens Point/Plover/Waupaca area, and 1,000 near Rhinelander are waiting for service to be restored. Dairyland Electric Cooperative reported about 1,000 customers in the Polk, Burnett, and Barron county areas were still without service.

Multiple state agencies have staff and other resources out in the field assisting with local recovery efforts, including the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Corrections.

The state continues to work with county and tribal partners to collect damage estimates. Residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211 to report damage done to private property. Property owners can also contact 2-1-1 for information on volunteer assistance that may be available in their area.


Estimated Public Damages

The preliminary estimate for public sector costs associated with the storm is about $2.3 million.
Many counties have not yet reported any of their costs to the state, and these numbers are
expected to fluctuate as cleanup and assessment efforts continue. Most of the costs incurred so
far are for emergency protective measures and debris removal.

STATE AGENCY RESPONSE

Wisconsin National Guard
The Wisconsin National Guard has engineer assessment teams operating in Polk, Barron, and Langlade counties. Debris clearance teams from the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard are supporting efforts in Polk and Barron Counties on Friday. A 400-gallon water trailer was delivered Thursday to Barron County.

WI Department of Administration
DOA offers disaster recovery assistance to local units of government for housing rehabilitation, public facility/infrastructure repair, and business assistance utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Application information for the Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) can be found at the following link.

Department of Corrections
A strike team made up of DOC staff and inmates is currently assisting Langlade County with a woodchipper through Saturday. Two inmate chainsaw teams will assist with debris removal operations in Barron County on Friday and Saturday.

WI Department of Natural Resources:
The DNR currently has staff working in Barron, Langlade, and Oconto counties. Most of those personnel are working on debris removal operations. DNR Forestry is working with Barron and Polk Counties to assist with coordinating and supporting volunteer cleanup operations planned for this weekend.

WI Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
DATCP is warning property owners to be on the lookout for traveling contractors, who may try to take advantage of the situation. Affected property owners are being urged to seek trusted contractors for repairs and to be leery of "storm chasers" that come knocking at your door with aggressive sales tactics.

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
The OCI issued a release on Wednesday urging affected property owners to document damage to their property and to not make any repairs until they have talked to their insurance agent. Keep any receipts for repairs that are done.

Team Rubicon
Currently mobilized in Langlade County with two teams conducting damage assessment and two teams cutting debris. Team Rubicon is working off the list of damages reported to 2-1-1.

 
Senator Tiffany speaking to Tom Metcalfe, president of We Energies and WPS, in Langlade County.
Workers Comp Premiums
 
Great news for employers in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance approved an overall 8.84% rate decrease for worker's compensation premiums for businesses, effective Oct. 1, 2019. This is the fourth consecutive year in which worker's compensation rates have declined in Wisconsin, following a 6.03% decrease in 2018, an 8.46% decrease in 2017, and a 3.19% decrease in 2016. Adding the reductions up, that is over 25% since 2016,  The latest reduction in premiums is expected to result in an annual savings of about $173 million for Wisconsin employers.

Worker's compensation rates are adjusted annually by a committee from the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB). The committee analyzes and submits a rate recommendation to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) for final approval. While the overall rate will decrease by 8.84%, the impact will vary based on type of work performed.
Towns Association Meeting

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to address the Marathon County Town's Association meeting. Thank you for the invitation to discuss the recently passed state budget. I will be working to make sure towns get their fair share of transportation funding. 
Senator Tiffany addressing the Marathon County Towns Association
Stem Cell Seminar

On July 31st, local orthopedic surgeons will be holding a stem cell seminar in Minocqua. 

Dr. Kevin Tadych will be discussing how Regenerative Medicine/Stem Cells can help get people back in action. They are able to treat Orthopedic Conditions such as, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tendon/muscle/ligament strains and tears, bursitis, as well as chronic inflammatory conditions - Crohn's Disease, Psoriasis, Lymes Disease and more! 

They do both intravenous and direct injections into the problematic area. 

Dr. Tadych is a Double Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, and Sports Medicine Physician, with a degree in Molecular Biology.

The seminar will take place July 31st, 6:30 - 8:30 PM at The Waters of Minocqua. You will need to call (888)444-2873 to reserve a spot.

 
DNR Master Plan

I'd like to share a message from Florence County:

Anyone who loves tubing the Oxbow, fishing or camping at the Pine River Flowage, healthy forest management and green energy, we need your help!!!

Please attend a public open house next Tuesday, July 30th from 5pm -7pm at the Wild Rivers Interpretive Center lower level conference room at 5628 Forestry Drive, Florence, WI or comment online per link below.

The Wisconsin DNR just issued their final draft of a new 15-year Northeast Sands Regional Master Plan. The WDNR added content aimed at removing the green energy producing Pine River Dam which will eliminate the Pine River Flowage where many people have enjoyed fishing and camping since the dam was built in 1919. The plan also states that local public promotion and tourism... “has created further challenges in balancing use and protection, particularly in the stretch of the lower Pine River known as the Oxbow.”

Does this indicate future “use restrictions” for our popular Pine River Oxbow tubing trips? It also proposes a new State Natural area on 1,650 acres in the Savage/Robago Lake area as an example of special native plant communities. WDNR proposes reducing forestry activates to “Old Growth” management. This forest has been sustainably managed for 100 years, so these special communities were created by excellent forest management, not Old Growth management.

The Master Plan pdf link is here

The comment period is open through August 21, 2019. Please provide input using the online public input questionnaire. Or contact WDNR Head Planner Yoyi Steele at yoyi.steele@wisconsin.gov or 608-266-3568 with concerns and questions about the draft plan.

There is a 2nd open house on Wednesday, July 31 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in Crivitz at the Crivitz Community Center, Multi-purpose Room, 901 Main Avenue, Crivitz, WI.
District Events
Date Event Location
July 24-28 Langlade County Youth Fair Antigo
July 25-28 Midsummer Bluegrass Music Festival Manitowish Waters
July 26-28 Dirt City Duel Lena
July 26-27 St. Mary's Summer Festival Tomahawk
July 26-27 29th Annual Polish Heritage Days Armstrong Creek
July 26-28 Northwoods Art Tour Across the District
July 27-28 Phelps Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament Phelps
July 27 Forest Fest Eagle River
July 27 Kentuck Day Festival/Car Show Crandon
July 27 Ride for Rescue Crivitz
July 27 Blues Fest St. Germain
July 31- Aug 3 Antique Outboard Motor Show Tomahawk
August 1-4 Oneida County Fair Rhinelander
August 2-3 Pig in the Pines: Bacon, BBQ & Bands St. Germain
August 2-3 Presque Isle's Oktoberfest in August Presque Isle
August 2-3 Electronic Recycling Event Merrill
August 3 Laona Community Soup Laona
August 3 Annual Phelps Fireman's Pig Roast and Picnic Phelps
August 3 Deerbrook Rumble Motorcycle Ride Gleason
August 3 Lakewood Arts and Crafts Show Lakewood
August 3 Normal Park Craft Festival Merrill
August 3 Wabeno Art & Music Festival Wabeno
August 3 15th Annual Car, Boat, Motorcycle, and Tractor Show Three Lakes
August 3 40th Annual Super Run Laona
August 3-4 Annual Arbor Vitae Firemen's Picnic Arbor Vitae
August 4 Fireman's Picnic Presque Isle
August 4 Sayner/Star Lake Street Fair Sayner
August 6 National Night Out Aurora
August 8 - 11 Vilas County Fair Eagle River
August 10 Best Fish Fry Cook-Off Boulder Junction
August 10 SEE ME TRI Triathlon Woodruff
August 10 Ride with Leinie Land O'Lakes
August 10 - 11 Oconto County Fair Gillett
August 14 - 18 Lincoln County Fair Merrill
August 22 - 25 Marinette County Fair Wausaukee
August 23 - 25 Florence County Fair Florence
Contact Me:
Mail: Senator Tom Tiffany, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707
Phone: (608) 266-2509  Fax: (608) 282-3552
Email: sen.tiffany@legis.wisconsin.gov
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Copyright © 2019 Office of State Senator Tom Tiffany, All rights reserved.


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