Meeting for a hastily called emergency meeting Saturday, the Lac du Flambeau town board accepted a proposal from the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to re-open Annie Sunn Lane, Center Sugarbush Lane, East Ross Allen Lane and Elsie Lake Lane for 90 days. 
The roads have been closed since Jan. 31 when tribal road department personnel placed barricades because easements on tribal land tied into the roads have been expired for a decade or more. 
At Saturday's meeting, town chairman Matt Gaulke, after reconvening the open portion of the meeting following a nearly hour-long closed session, made a motion to accept a proposal from the tribe “with modifications” to re-open the roads for 90 days for $60,000.
The 90 day period is expected to be utilized for meetings between tribal officials, town officials and others involved in the situation, including possibly property owners, to come to a long-term agreement. 
Gaulke said the $60,000 would come from the town’s road budget for 2023. 
“The budget shall be amended,” he said. 
After the unanimous vote, Gaulke asked if any of the approximately 20 people in attendance had any questions and there was a question about the modifications he mentioned in his motion. 
Town supervisor Gloria Cobb said it was “minor wording” having to do with working “together for a long-term solution.”
“There’s a modification that neither party’s legal rights are compromised by this agreement and there’s one area where its inclusive in adding the town of Lac du Flambeau in it,” she said, adding those items will be “redlined to the agreement” the town received and sent to tribal attorney Andrew Adams. 
As far as a timeline for the agreement to take effect and the barricades removed, Cobb said that would happen "as soon as it's agreed to by the tribe and the payment goes."
Telling those at the meeting she’d like to see things happen “today or tomorrow,” she also said the tribe “has their process they have to go through for approval.”
“They may need full council approval on that,” town supervisor Bob Hanson said. 
The proposal was sent to the town by the tribe Friday afternoon. 
Gaulke said the proposal now will “probably be” emailed back and forth between town attorney Greg Harrold and Adams leading up to tribal council consideration but the $60,000 check was ready. 
"The check, if necessary, I'll hand deliver," he said.
As for subsequent meetings during the course of the 90 days, Gaulke said he would like to get meetings “set up with the tribe itself to sit down and start going through this.”
The question of whether or not the individual property owners along the four roads  would have an opportunity to be involved in the meetings. 
“That would be up to the tribe at this point, I think,” Hanson said. “We’re gonna be on their turf and meeting in tribal council chambers and it’s their call as to whether or not anyone else is allowed in, I believe.”
“Could I ask you guys to at least propose it?” Lac du Flambeau resident Dennis Pearson asked. 
“We can and there have been times when the landowners met ... came in and met with the tribe with concerns,” Cobb said. “That is always an option.”
“I’m saying as part of the solution long-term,” Pearson said. 
“Right,” Cobb told him. 
The first of the meetings between the town board and tribal officials was to take place today. 
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected]