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Allouez board discusses help for local businesses

By Rich Palzewic
Staff Writer

ALLOUEZ – The Allouez village board met virtually Tuesday, April 21, to discuss ways to help local businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are all aware of the situation we are in, how it’s affecting our local businesses and how it’s affecting the economy,” said Trevor Fuller, planning and zoning administrator. “We are looking at how we can help local businesses here in Allouez, whether it be monetary assistance or though some other measure.”

Fuller said a recent roundtable discussion included four businesses, two of which were forced to close under Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order.

“We hope this information gathering will help the village and refocus our efforts,” he said. “We also hope it can be a means of communication and dialogue between businesses in our community.”

Fuller said other municipalities like De Pere, Green Bay and Oshkosh have offered assistance to local businesses.

“The monetary amounts vary, but some are for $10,000,” he said. “It would be a loan, but some of the other municipalities are letting the payments be deferred for a year.”

Board president Jim Rafter said the two businesses which closed – a dog groomer and a hairstylist – want to get back to work.

“We made them aware of the programs we have,” he said. “I think the businesses appreciated the meeting, and we plan to do others. We have been told something is going to happen at the state level – they’re going to come out with guidelines on how they are going to help. One thing we are doing, and need to keep doing, is being an advocate for our business owners to connect to anyone who can help. When people have questions, they need to know where to go to help reduce frustration. I hope the idea spreads and we can reach more businesses.”

In other news, trustees James Genrich, Christopher Sampson and Matthew Harris were recognized for being re-elected to the board after the April 7 election.

“We would have loved to do this in person and celebrate, but I’d like to congratulate each of our trustees for winning their elections,” said Rafter. “More importantly, I’d like to thank them for their continued service to our community,”
Rafter said the elections in Allouez went well with no glitches.

Chris Clark, the parks, recreation and forestry director, gave an update on a resurfacing project at Kiwanis Park on East River Drive.

“We got quotes for resurfacing the tennis courts at the park for pickleball,” said Clark. “We are looking at putting six pickleball courts on the court structure. We received four quotes, with Valley Sealcoat having the low bid at $19,912. The cost is within our budget – we had budgeted $25,500 for this project. In addition, we received a $6,000 grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation. We are hoping to get the project rolling by mid-summer.”

Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis and can be played indoors or outdoors.

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