There's thirty-five thousand dollars in the new state budget for a wind sled.
But don't call it state budget pork. Bayfield School Superintendent Linda Kunelius says it's school transportation but was never supported by state funds because it's not a school bus route.
The windsled, she says, is vital in getting fifteen to twenty students across two and a half miles of Lake Superior so they can attend middle and high school during certain times of the year.
The sled also transports Bayfield teachers and daily lunches to La Pointe for the twenty students who stay on Madeline Island for elementary school.
The windsled is a necessity because there are certain times of the year when the ice isn't thick enough to drive on but too thick for the ferry. The sled is similar to one of those swamp boats in Florida. (To get a good idea of what they look like and how they're built, go to http://www.windsled.com/ )
But this one is covered and heated for the students. It carries about fifteen people at a time. And it's expensive for the small school district to operate. But it's now covered in the state budget.
The windsled is used in January and again in late March or early April when the ice starts melting. It's one of three used by the two hundred and thirty people who live in the Madeline Island town of La Pointe.
They use it for emergencies, commuting to work on the mainland and daily mail delivery. Things, Kunelius says, people living on the mainland take for granted.