By Lee Reinsch
DE PERE – The city is eyeing security cameras for the city hall/public safety complex this year.
At the Tuesday, Jan. 21, meeting, the De Pere Common Council approved moving $50,000 out of the city’s unassigned reserve fund into the capital improvements fund for the cameras, as the item did not make it into the 2020 budget late last year.
City Administrator Larry Delo said the cameras would potentially serve a number of functions in addition to providing general security to the complex, which includes De Pere Fire Rescue Station No. 1, the De Pere Police Department and City Hall.
“We intend to make it so (police officers) can do live viewing of city hall from their squads on the system,” Delo said,
He said periodically there are people who come to the police department after hours in distress – such as in cases of domestic violence – and ring the buzzer at the front door.
While the building does not remain open 24 hours, the vestibule does.
Cameras would make it easier for someone inside to assess the situation.
Delo said it’s common and even assumed now that public buildings, especially public safety buildings, have exterior cameras.
“People come here and do a variety of things, such as exchange things from Craigslist, because the police department is thought to be a safe zone,” he said. “The interpretation is that if it’s a public building, owned by the city, that it has security cameras on it, and we just don’t have that. We want them to be safe places, and we don’t want to give people a false impression.”
Delo said the city IT department will work with other departments on needs and then the project will go out for proposals.
Electronic poll books also didn’t make it into this year’s budget.
Along with funds for security cameras, the council voted to transfer $40,620 from the unassigned reserve fund to the general fund for 21 e-poll books, including five units for each of the four polling stations in De Pere plus one for the centralized vote count.
The resolution states “the public will greatly benefit from increased election efficiency gained through using electronic poll books rather than the traditional paper logs.”
Odds and ends
The council approved the selection of a bid of $23,800 by Cedar Corporation for consulting work related to environmental cleanup site investigation, as required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, of a city-owned parking lot on South Broadway at Perrot Square.
Last fall, the site was found to be emitting hazardous chemicals including volatile organic compounds, arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metals.
The council also approved a $4,000 donation from the William Cuene Memorial Fund to the De Pere Fire Department.
Cuene died last month at the age of 87.
He served on the De Pere Fire Rescue for 28 years, in the roles of firefighter, lieutenant, captain and acting chief.
The council also approved a $3,000 donation from De Pere Christian Outreach to the De Pere Police Department for its K-9 program.