Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
More candidates continue to announce their intention to seek local office. The deadline has passed for nomination papers, and the paper continues to cover a few each week. For the Lincoln County Board Stanley Vaughn would like to hold the seat representing the Town of Rock Falls for another two years; he has held that seat for the last three terms and is currently vice-chairman of the law enforcement committee. Richard Vandre would like to represent the 14th district that covers part of the west side of Merrill. Vandre is a member of Ironworkers local 383 and is a former trustee of that group. The city council has three veteran aldermen announcing as Delyle Bohse, Stanley Frisch, and Patrick Nugent all are seeking to retain or regain their seats on the Common Council.
The crowded mayoral field continues to fill pages. Jean Rogers is running ads in this week’s paper covering her qualifications. The current alderman is one of three people seeking the top spot, and in a related article Rogers explained to local schoolchildren how she will be a 40 hour a week mayor and does not have other businesses to run, unlike her opponents. Dick Baumgart has announced that former Mayor Patrick Nugent will serve as his campaign chairman, at a meeting with the Business and Professional Woman’s Club at Gallela’s Cork and Dyne. Baumgart cited the lack of leadership and ineffective council as holding back the city. Baumgart pointed to an efficiency study which began at the request of former Mayor Nugent and now lays idle with the council refusing to even consider the results of the study. Baumgart noted a potential land development on the north west side of Merrill was voted down by the council, a development that could have added 17 homes but the alderman could not make up their mind on lot sizes.
The Lincoln Board of Supervisors made the decision to not do anything this past week. A heated debate before the board on the future of Pine Crest Nursing Home was in effect tabled until after the spring election. Current space issues are preventing the nursing home from being run in an efficient manner. One proposal is to take the original building and turn it into county office space and then expand the facility to the east to ease crowding. One of the proposed expansion areas would be a wing dedicated to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The cost for that wing is expected to be around $2.5 to $3 million dollars, but the amount would be offset by the $7.91 per day that Medical Assistance pays for the care of those individuals. Supervisors from Tomahawk called into question the necessity of Lincoln County operating a nursing home. They feel the tax burden from the nursing home should be the dealt with by a private business, not the county. Supervisor Robert Weaver noted the decision to build the nursing home was made and approved by the entire county board and they should stick with those intentions.
How dry are you? According to the State of Wisconsin pretty darn dry. Wisconsin experienced its second driest year in the last 100 years. No three year period of drought has been drier than the 1987-1989 stretch according to the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company. So far in 1990 the snow pack is normal.
A community wide effort to fund the expansion of the T. B. Scott Library is officially underway. The Board of Trustees announced the capital fund drive this past week. The plan calls for a 14,000 square foot expansion of the library. An extensive study on the future of the library concluded that all stakeholders wish that the building remain in its current location and total cost of improvements and expansion are expected to reach $3.5 million dollars. Merrill’s library dates back to a bequest from T. B. Scott of $10,000 upon his death in 1886 to establish a library. The library first opened in 1891 and was housed in the former city hall building. A separate library was completed in 1911 that was funded by a grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. An addition, known as the adult section was completed in 1969.
The race for the county board is heating up. Of the 22 districts 13 will face an opponent this spring with two districts requiring a primary election. In district three James Swanson failed to file his nomination papers leaving that ballot without a candidate. In district 8 former Sheriff Ron Krueger is alone on the ballot but Ed Mux has declared himself a write-in candidate for that post. Several townships will see races for the boards and several contests are shaping up for spots on the Merrill Common Council.