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Oak Learning Center teachers/naturalist wage increase

By Heather Graves
Correspondent

GREEN BAY – The city council unanimously approved an increase in wages of the teachers and naturalist who work in the Oak Learning Center program at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Alders approved an annual salary increase for teachers from $37,577 to $41,486 and a wage increase for naturalists from $14.75 to $18.53 per hour.

Earlier this year, the Green Bay Area Public School District increased the per-student reimbursement from $2,300 to $2,500 with the intention of using it to increase the salary of the teachers and naturalists in the program to make them more compatible with the school district employees of similar or equal positions.

“I think moving forward, we have had discussions with the school and I think those are going to continue, and what I hope in the future we will be able to add more and better salary and benefits to these positions,” District 4 Alder Bill Galvin said.

There are currently 74 students enrolled at Oak Learning Center.

Baird Park playground location

A request from Alder Barbara Dorff to consider a playground area separate from the Baird Elementary School playground is headed back to the Parks Committee for further discussion.

“Baird School, some land was swapped and now the playground that used to be on city property (before the construction of the new school) is now on school property, and for security reasons no one can use the playground during school hours,” Dorff said.

Placing a second playground on Baird isn’t ideal, so other options were looked at for a park to return to this area, including McKenzie Lane Park just south of Baird Elementary.

“That is undeveloped green area, and right behind a really large apartment complex,” Dorff said.

She said neighbors in the area that she spoke with were supportive of the idea.

“The money has already been allocated, it was intended to replace that playground equipment, so I would like to put that playground equipment in McKenzie Lane Park,” Dorff said.

Parks Director Dan Ditscheit said the park is home to a prairie restoration project, which is maintained by the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, and a storm water management pond public works manages.

“I would be in favor of placing a new playground in McKenzie Lane Park,” Ditscheit said. “And there is a lot of residential in the area with hopefully future residential expanding in that area. So I think it’s a good fit for that park, if the neighborhood is acceptable to it.”

Ditscheit said nothing would be installed until spring 2020.

“I’d rather we refer this back, we got the time, let’s make sure it gets fully noticed with the community and we get all the input,” said District 7 Alder Randy Scannell.

Walnut Street Bridge renaming

District 10 Alder Mark Steuer made a communication request at Tuesday night’s meeting for the Improvement and Services Committee to look into the possibility and feasibility of renaming the Walnut Street Bridge to the Bart Starr Memorial Bridge.

The Improvement and Services Committee should take up the item at its next meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.

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