By Shereen Siewert

Police and parks officials in Wausau say they are receiving reports of a man posing as a parks employee at various boat launches demanding boaters pay launch permit violation fees.

The man looks for people who fail to pay the boat launch permit fee, waits for the vehicle owner to return, then demands they pay a $50 violation fee directly to him.

“This individual is not employed by the Parks Department and anyone who has this individual approach them should not give him any money directly,” a post on the Parks, Recreation and Forestry page reads. “They should contact either the Wausau Police Department or Marathon County Sheriff’s Office at 715-261-1200.”

Both agencies are aware of this unidentified individual and are attempting to locate and identify him.

All Parks Department Employees will drive official county vehicles and they will not demand money from individuals. If a launch pass violation is observed by staff, they will issue a notice to the offending party. That notice does have a fine associated with it. The fine is only paid by the individual putting the fine in the provided envelope and placing it in either a pay tube at the boat launch, paying the fee at the Parks Department Office in Wausau, or mailing the fee to the parks department within 10 days.

Money should never be given directly to an employee at the boat launch.