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Allouez village board discusses vehicle purchase, ordinance issue

By Rich Palzewic
Staff Writer

ALLOUEZ – The Allouez village board discussed several items at its virtual meeting last month, including the purchase of a new bucket truck, the problems associated with residents parking on the street during street sweeping and the opening of village hall and other public buildings.

New vehicle purchase

Chris Clark, director of parks, recreation and forestry, requested authorization from the board, which it approved, to purchase a new bucket truck to replace the current 1996 model being used.

“Because this was approved for budgeting in 2020, it’s time to start planning for this,” he said. “It takes 12-14 months for the truck to be built, so we wouldn’t have it until next year around this time.”

Clark said the quotes came back slightly higher than anticipated, with the lowest bid being $206,120.

“Unfortunately, our current bucket truck only brings about $7,000 in blue-book value,” he said. “We can normally expect 15 years of use from such a vehicle, so it has greatly out-lived its life. We’ve done a great job keeping up with the maintenance to get extra life from the truck.”

Jim Rafter, board president, said the village doesn’t have a problem with the higher-than-anticipated cost, which will come out of the equipment replacement fund.

Parking problems

The village has an ordinance stating cars shouldn’t be parked on the street from April 1 through Nov. 15 on residents’ respective garbage days to allow the village to street sweep.

“It’s virtually impossible to enforce this ordinance because we don’t have the personnel to go up and down every street and ticket cars parked there,” said Brad Lange, village administrator. “We can’t guarantee the street sweeper will be out on the designated days, either. We have limited police resources, and I don’t think it would be a good use of their time to enforce this. We have the authority to issue tickets, but I don’t think it’s that big of a problem to do an all-out blanket to issue parking citations.”

Lange said once the first parking ticket would be issued, it could come back to haunt the village.

“Every one of those people would show up in one way or another to the board trying to get it resolved,” he said. “Personally, I can’t forgive any parking tickets – only the judge can.”

Sean Gehin, public works director, also spoke on the issue.

“From a storm-water point of view, the ordinance is worth it,” he said. “The parking restriction is a key component of the street sweeping. It’s not a perfect system, but to remove the pollutants from the street, we have to be able to sweep from curb to curb. If we wouldn’t have the ordinance, we’d be taking a step back. Our storm-water system is regulated by the (Wisconsin) Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Gehin said 207 tons of material are removed from the streets of Allouez every year.

Rafter suggested a warning first before a potential ticket might be issued.

Other board members said the village has done lots of educating on the matter, so maybe the only other way to enforce the ordinance is through citations.

Rafter encouraged residents to make sure they do their part in not putting debris (leaves, grass clippings, garden waste, etc.) into the street to begin with.

Other news

Hannah Spindler has been hired as the water utility clerk after serving as an intern.

The June 12 movie in the park and June 18 Pooches and Pints events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other movies in the park scheduled for July and August were not yet been canceled when the meeting took place.

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