Brown County to take over drawbridge operations
By Heather Graves
BROWN COUNTY – County board members passed a resolution at their meeting Wednesday, Aug. 21, to take over responsibility for drawbridge operations in downtown Green Bay.
The move follows a request from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that the Brown County Highway Department take over management of the bridges over the Fox River.
The resolution approved the addition of five drawbridge tender positions to the department’s table of organization at the expense of the state.
The positions are year-around but vary on responsibilities depending on the time of the year.
Bridge tenders will operate the bridges mid-March through mid-December, and perform winter maintenance on state highways the remainder of the year.
All three bridges will be operated by one bridge tender from the Walnut Street bridge tower with the help of cameras on each bridge.
The county is expected to take over bridge operations by the end of the year.
A communication from District 21 Supervisor Alex Tran, that was originally received and placed on file, is heading back to the Executive Committee – this time in ordinance form.
The communication was regarding fairness and the abuse of power in county board government, specifically standing committees.
Tran’s communication proposed a handful of changes, including limiting the time a supervisor can serve on a standing committee, as well as limiting a supervisor’s term as a committee chairperson of a standing committee.
The item came before the executive committee at the Aug. 12 meeting and the committee voted to receive the communication and place it on file.
The topic generated some, at-times heated, discussion at the county board meeting Aug. 21.
Because it was not in resolution or ordinance form on the agenda, the board was not, by its own rules, allowed to pull the item and vote on it.
District 18 Supervisor Aaron Linssen requested Corporation Counsel to draft the ordinance because of past situations of an issue being killed at committee level.
“Unless we are going to also include a motion to also draft an ordinance, it means nothing to just send it back to committee,” Linssen said.
Whether or not supervisors agree with the proposed change is at this time unknown, but a majority agree they would like the chance to vote on the issue as a full board, and not just have the issue get stuck at the committee level.
Supervisors Patrick Buckley and Dave Kaster voted “no” on referring the item back to committee.