All county and town roads (noted by a GREEN road sign) are maintained throughout the season. Private roads (BLUE road signs) and driveways are the financial responsibility of the individual property owners. Commonly, property owners sharing a private road will chip in to have the road maintained each season, either by the town or by a private snowplowing service. An ordinary driveway will usually cost around $350 for an entire season of plowing, with a 'tons-of-snow' clause written in after a certain number of plows to pay for additional plows in a heavy winter. If you plan on accessing your property, cabin or home during the winter, contract for your snowplowing early and continue it through the season...once a large amount of snow freezes on these remote driveways, it's very hard to move.
Yes....and no. Sometimes. In my experience, the best places to get cell phone reception seem to be on the west end of town, along Hwy W until you get to town. Hwy P is usually good, as well as Hwy K. I also find that service is generally not clear along B, in downtown Presque Isle, or near the PI Pub and our office; but if you go up by the ball diamond and stand on the bleachers it gets better. The cell phone service is in the process of being updated so look to an increase in reception. Some people have reported that their cell phones don't work at all in our area, some people have reported they never have a problem. Most year-round residents use Verizon for their cell phone service.
The mini-mart in town (Thoma's) carries a variety of foods & supplies, even some you might not expect. A good all-purpose stop to gas-up, get bait, grab the paper, get milk, pop, snacks and last minute lunch/dinner items, and a few produce & fruit items. You can also pick up excellent produce seasonally from Val at Stone Soup Gardens on Hwy W, just a few miles west of Hwy P. If you live on the west end of Presque Isle, the closest grocery store is a 10-15 minute drive to LaPorte's IGA on Hwy W in Manitowish Waters. Recently remodeled & expanded, I really like this store for the size, the produce, deli, bakery and liquor department that carries more than just Pabst Blue Ribbon, not that that's a bad beer. If you're on the east end of town, it may be faster to go to the BJ Marketplace in Boulder Junction. There is also a DO/PU dry-cleaning service here that will save you a trip to Minocqua or Ironwood, and they do deer processing.
If you need more than just a week's worth of food, or were hoping for a Wal- or K-mart, you will have to venture south to Minocqua or north to Ironwood, about a 35 minute drive. Each have at least two large grocery stores and a SuperWal-mart (Minocqua & Ironwood) or K-mart (Ironwood). Each has a theatre, although Minocqua's is larger, and several fast food places, pizza joints, restaurants, laundromats, beauty salons, banks, dentists, clinics, etc. Minocqua is a bit more "touristy" than Ironwood, with evening ski-shows, lots of shopping and a public beach, although groceries tend to be a bit pricier here and the traffic in the summer is NUTS. Ironwood, in the U.P. of Michigan, is actually more of a ski-hill town that gets fairly busy in the winter. There is shopping to be found in Ironwood, especially some very nice ski & activewear stores and a few nice antique shops, but your main attraction here is affordable groceries. However, if you're looking for specialty food items (such as gorgonzola cheese) you may not find them. Traffic is lighter.
Forrest Jukich is our zoning administrator for Presque Isle, and he can be reached at 715-686-2313. Although in most cases Presque Isle requirements will be the strictest, you also want to check with Vilas County for additional requirements. Jim Janet with Vilas county has hours in our Community Center on Tuesday mornings, or he can be reached in the Eagle River office at 715-479-3620. You will need approval from both town & county on any new project.