TOWN OF DRAPER NEWSLETTER

December 2021

 

Seasons Greetings!

Have you checked out our website? www.townofdraper.com is the place to go for the town calendar, operating hours, board contact information, meeting agendas and minutes, news, notices and announcements. We have featured our local businesses and campground, which has resulted in many calls and emails from visitors planning their vacations here.

We are also on Facebook now! Town of Draper Wisconsin is our page, where you can find up to the minute announcements, weather advisories, local activities, news and other information that pertains to the Twin Cities. This page is maintained and moderated by Elizabeth Klein. You are welcome to share photos and stories about Draper!

The garbage drop off site hours are Saturday 9-12 and Weds 12-3. Bags may be purchased for 1.50 and 2.50 at the drop off site. The site will be closed on major holidays and when the temperature is below -20° F. Please make sure you are recycling the proper items by checking the fliers we have been handing out or the website links provided on the town website. There is a bulletin board at the gate which has legal notices and meeting agendas posted on it. You may also find these notices posted on the bulletin boards at the Town Hall and in the Draper Park.

Snow is falling- the Town of Draper maintains over 81 miles of roads with just 2 full time employees- main roads with the most houses and school bus routes are cleared first, and then the guys get to all the other roads as they work their way through town. Seasonal use roads are cleared last. If you need your driveway plowed, list of providers is posted on the town website: if you are a plowing contractor who would like to be added to this list, please contact the clerk by phone or email.

Draper Campground site improvements were started this fall- widening sites and moving/removing the large boulders at the entrances to the sites are underway after input from guests. The reservation program has been a success, with many happy campers and returning guests happy to know they have a spot reserved after a long drive. In addition, we now offer a weekly and seasonal rate to long-term guests. The shower house was updated with plumbing improvements, super cleaning, and new mats on the floors.

Work on town roads continues- you may have noticed some rough gravel roads in 2021: the gravel roads are being graded by a new operator who is undertaking a more intensive procedure which involves digging gravel from the ditches and placing in the center to recrown the roads. As a result, some roads will be rough at times with rocks and sod pulled up- it takes several passes with the grader and some time for this to settle back down. We appreciate your caution and patience while this is in progress.

The town purchased a Komatsu excavator in 2021 for ditching, moving boulders, pulling out beaver dams, clearing trees and digging culverts. The trailer to tow it arrived in Rice Lake last week and a hitch is being installed on the dump truck next week. Beaver trapping is being done by a Draper employee now and we had a successful year at a substantial savings to the Town- if you see beavers damaging a town road, please contact the town!

Draper was awarded a $55,000.00 County Highway Improvement Grant in 2019 to be used by 2025. The original project was going to be a section of Blaisdell Lake Road. Board concerns about widening the road at the Loretta Lake bridge resulted in revising it to rebuild a section of N. Clover Road up near the top end. The project is approximately $200,000 and will be placed out on bids in spring 2022. The Town has budgeted $55,000 for the project to match $55,000 in grant funds, with the remaining balance of $90,000 to be funded by a BCPL loan. *Note- the curve at the top of N. Clover Rd before Tower is in rough shape-unfortunately engineers' estimates to rebuild this small portion exceed $670,000.00 because it is built over swamp. Recommendations are to avoid pulverizing the base and just continue to gravel over it to keep it passable. For Draper to spend that amount we are looking at about 10 years of the road budget, or a huge loan on the levy that will drastically increase taxes in town. It may come to that but we are hoping to be able to keep the road passable without having to rebuild that section.

The Town received over $21,000 in ARPA funds, currently set aside for getting broadband internet to houses in the township in 2023-2024. This is a long-term project and involves work at the corporate, county and state levels. It is being overseen by members of the Draper Planning Commission.

The Draper-Loretta Volunteer Fire Department has several new members. Getting water to the scene is the number one challenge here, along with finding volunteers. Training credentials required to run a fire department include FF1, FF2, Pumper Operator Certification, HazMat, and ICS, and Fire Officer training. The laws have changed dramatically and like everything, it is getting harder to meet the standards expected by the state. If you or someone you know is willing to dedicate your time to the training classes and would like to join, please contact Paul Zmuda to come and sit in on a meeting or training exercise.

Fundraising for the Dave Heath Memorial Helipad project was very successful in 2021- we now have over $21,000 in the building fund. Thank you to everyone who donated this year and to the Draper Community Club who raised $7,500 for the project. We have applied for a large grant and are hoping to get enough funding to make it self-maintaining with radiant snow melt system and automatic lights that come on with a master switch so our limited first responders can easily operate the landing zone. Depending on the grant, the project will go out on bids in spring 2022.

Christmas wreaths may be placed in the cemetery- please remove by April 15th. Winter burials are available, please contact the Town Clerk to make arrangements with our sexton Nathan Bitney. Reminder- no remains may be interred by any party other than the Town of Draper sexton. There has been some confusion about this. Burials in a municipal cemetery must be done according to the bylaws and accurately recorded in the cemetery records. 

Property tax bills are on the way- the Town did not raise its portion of your taxes this year. The portion of your tax going to the Town of Draper is approximately 15% of your total tax bill.  An easy illustration of how much you are paying for Town of Draper services is for every $1,000 of your tax bill, you pay $150.00 to Draper.

You may examine your tax bill and property records online when they become available at Land Record Portal | Sawyer County, WI (sawyercountygov.org)

Due to Covid, no in-person collections will be done this year: please mail your check or money-order payment to Town of Draper Treasurer, PO Box 73, Winter WI 54896. (If you are splitting your payment, remember that the July payment goes to the Sawyer County Treasurer, not Draper.)  2022 dog licenses will also be available with a current rabies certificate. For questions about your tax bill or to arrange purchase of a dog license, please call Dee Dobilas at (715) 266-2524.

Last, we welcome Twin Cities Mercantile to town! An exciting new retail store is just opening on Cty M, south of the campground- featuring feed & seed type merchandise plus much more- everyday essential for cabin living in the Northwoods. Hours have been published in the Gazette and will vary over the winter until the store is officially open full time in spring 2022.

Wishing everyone a warm and happy holiday season!