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Oneida County Landowners Ordered to Pay $34,959 for Causing Road Fill to be Placed in Wetlands and on Lakebed, and for Constructing a 336 Foot Pier and Platform Without a Permit

 

RHINELANDER – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has been granted a default judgment concluding its lawsuit against Zbigniew and Dorota Kretowicz, Illinois residents who violated Wisconsin's waterway and wetland protection laws at their Oneida County property.

 

According to the complaint filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, Mr.and Mrs. Kretowicz purchased land on Neptune Lake that they knew could not be accessed by the easement recorded to serve it because the easement crossed wetland and lakebed. DNR advised Kretowiczes to acquire an upland easement, but they did not. Town of Monico resident Rudy Pederson placed approximately 80 yards of gravel fill in the wetland to create a 16 by 200-foot road for the Kretowiczes. Kretowiczes then constructed a cabin and a 4 by 336 foot pier crossing the wetland and vegetated lakebed to reach the lake from their building site. The pier extends 40 feet into Neptune Lake, and ends with a 18 by 32 foot platform in the lake. Since Neptune Lake is classified as an Area of Special Natural Resource Interest, an individual permit is required for piers. A permit was also required for the wetland and lakebed fill. No permits were sought or obtained.

 

After the DNR learned of the violations, Mr. Pederson cooperated by promptly removing the roadway fill. The Kretowiczes, on the other hand, failed to work with DNR or the Department of Justice, and they failed to respond when the lawsuit was filed.

 

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Mark A. Mangerson found that the State's request for $25,425 in forfeitures was reasonable and proportional to the violations. Mandatory court costs and surcharges bring the total judgment to $34,959.75. Judge Mangerson also ordered Kretowiczes to either obtain a permit for their pier and platform within 30 days, or remove the structures within 60 days.

 

Assistant Attorney General Diane Milligan represented the State.