Crawford County Board

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On hand for the Crawford County Community Fund grant awards were, front row, from left: David Robertson (village of De Soto); Tamera Kepler (village of Soldiers Grove); and Jeanne Rutter and Sherry Quamme (Crawford County Tourism). Standing: Sharon Murphy (Crawford County Community Fund Board Chair); Eric Frydenlund (retiring Crawford County Community Fund Board member); Cheryl Mader (Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin Board member); and Miriam Simons (village of Gays Mills – Swimming Pool). (Photo by Barb Daus)


Crawford County’s 

delinquent tax properties up to date

County Community Fund awards four grants

By Ted Pennekamp


Real Property Lister GiGi Collins gave a presentation to the Crawford County Board at its regular meeting Tuesday morning about the delinquent tax property sale held Nov. 28 at Kramer Auction Service of Prairie du Chien. 

Collins said that 16 properties were sold at the auction for a total of $281,500. The delinquent taxes on those properties totaled $161,177.59, not including penalities, interest or foreclosure costs. 

Collins told the board that the county is now caught up regarding delinquent tax properties. She also said that it is unlikely that the county will need to have similar large property auctions in the future.

Dale Klemme of Community Development Alternatives of Prairie du Chien gave a presentation to the board about applying for $194,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for continuing with clean-up efforts on the Kickapoo River in the county. 

Previous clean-up efforts have cleared approximately 75 percent of the river within the county of numerous log jams and debris. Klemme said that the $194,000 grant would be used to clean up the remaining 25 percent of the river in the county, which roughly runs from the dam at Gays Mills to north of Soldiers Grove.

The Community Development Block Grant program is administered by the state of Wisconsin.

The County Board members in attendance all voted to approve of having the Land Conservation Committee submit the final application for the grant.

Brad Niemcek, chair of the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Trail Committee, asked the County Board to grant an easement for the trail where it would pass through a portion of the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Gays Mills. 

The County Board approved of granting the easement as long as it met the satisfaction of the Crawford County Fair Board. 

Niemcek said fundraising for the proposed trail is going quite well with approximately $10,000 raised so far. Once the Gays Mills section of the trail is established, it is hoped that other communities along the Kickapoo River from Wauzeka to La Farge and beyond will join in the effort to extend the trail along the full length of the Kickapoo River Valley. The trail will be a non-motorized scenic venue for hiking, bicycling, cross country skiing and the like.

In further business, representatives of the Crawford County Community Fund presented various grants during the County Board meeting. A reception followed in the adjacent room of the County Administration Building.

Silent Sports-Tourism Development received $640 for signs associated with canoe landing markings along the Kickapoo River.

The village of De Soto received $1,500 in support of the playground equipment project for Cottonwood Park. 

The village of Gays Mills received $2,000 to support the expansion of the “learn to swim” program at the Gays Mills Swimming Pool.

The village of Soldiers Grove received $1,500 to be used for a feasibility study for an assisted living facility.

Community Fund Chair Sharon Murphy told County Board members that with the awarding of the grants at Tuesday morning’s meeting, the Community Fund has now awarded just more than $24,000 since its inception in 2008. 

“The original challenge that we accepted in 2008 was a $25,000 gift,” said Murphy. “Already projects in our community have received nearly the equivalent of that gift, and we will be able to continue to give grants because our endowment has grown to over $100,000.”

Murphy also acknowledged the work of Eric Frydenlund on behalf of the Community Fund. Murphy said that an anonymous donor challenged the county to match a $25,000 donation in 2008 and Frydenlund was instrumental in securing those matching funds to get the Community Fund started. Frydenlund also served for several years as chair of the Community Fund Advisory Board.

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