Among the St. Germain special town board agenda items for Nov. 24, was approval for the town to give permission to ChoiceTel to apply for a 50-50 grant for a fiber optic system in the town.

Fiber optic cables are capable of bringing reliable high-speed internet to homes and businesses.

ChoiceTel was optimistic that the town would secure the grant for work to begin in spring 2021, when equipment would become available. St. Germain’s share of the cost of the project would be $598,925.

A fiber optic system is an attractive amenity which could support present residents and business operations as well as draw in new people and businesses. Supervisors backed the program because it would provide high-speed fiber optic service to every property in St. Germain.

Motion to accept the proposal was brought forth by Town Chairman Tom Christensen, seconded by Supervisor Brian Cooper and carried unanimously by those present. Supervisor Ted Ritter was absent from the meeting.

Laura Hayes of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also presented Wildland Urban Interface, an introduction to Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP), which the St. Germain town board had already resolved to join.

While Wisconsin’s wildfire risk varies from area to area, St. Germain is located in one of Wisconsin’s highest risk areas.

The CWPP would prioritize wildfire risk reduction projects, grant funding for projects and aid in the development of good working relationships between fire departments, emergency managers, public land managers, local officials and the community at large.

St. Germain’s yard waste facility is a function of the program, but chipping on the site is no longer eligible for grant funding. However, curbside chipping may still be paid for in a grant program.

Neighborhood yard waste cleanup and chipping may be carried out to benefit the neighborhood and the town in general. Common area brush cleanup also is a possible funded program which yields cleaner looking neighborhoods.

Supervisor Cooper is the chairman of the town’s Community Wildfire Protection Committee. Towns with a CWPP are given priority funding for prevention and restoration. Other neighboring communities such as Boulder Junction, Conover and Land O’ Lakes have already enrolled in the Community Wildfire Prevention Program.