For the week of March 4, 2022
GREEN BAY CITY COUNCIL
Bungert appointed city attorney
The City Council approved the appointment of Interim City Attorney Joanne Bungert as the new city attorney for Green Bay.
Bungert assumed the interim role in November after former city attorney Vanessa Chavez left for a similar position in Iowa.
Bungert has been with the city since 2014, when she was hired as an assistant city attorney.
In 2017, she was promoted to deputy city attorney.
City Council President Jesse Brunette abstained from the vote.
Marijuana fine reductions
Alderpersons agreed to reduce the cost of fines for consuming and possessing 28 grams or less of marijuana, in a private space, to a $0 forfeiture with court costs of $61.
Anyone caught publicly consuming any amount of marijuana could be fined between $1 and $500.
Community service could be issued in addition, or as a substitute to a fine.
Anyone under the age of 21 caught with marijuana, either privately or publicly, will face an initial fine of between $100 and $200, and increase with subsequent offenses.
Again, community service could also be issued.
Previously, the maximum marijuana possession fine was $500 dollars, plus court costs – typically totalling $691.
SEYMOUR CITY COUNCIL
The future of the city’s clerk-treasurer position is being planned for with Lori Thiel planning to retire in a couple of years.
“We’re taking steps now to a succession plan, to bring in that person’s replacement,” Sean Hutchison, city administrator, said. “That person will be training alongside Mrs. Thiel.
The position’s salary will be raised from $55,000 to $60,000, and the city plans on eliminating the job of police records assistant, as well as an administrative assistant position.
“So, we’re combining roles,” Hutchison said, “to bring more efficiency to the city and in doing so, reducing some costs as well.”
ALLOUEZ VILLAGE BOARD
Ambulance rate increase
Village residents will be paying more for an ambulance ride beginning April 1.
As part of its 2022 budget, the City of Green Bay increased rates for ambulance response, increases which have already been adopted by the neighboring village of Bellevue, to offset the rising cost of service.
According to Green Bay Metro Fire Department, the increase is based on a rate survey of ambulance services in the region, conducted by the billing company Lifequest Services.
Based on the study, a flat-rate of $1,400 was recommended for all ambulance trips to the hospital.
“So these rates would only be affected for commercial and for private pay, it would not affect Medicare or Medicaid.” Assistant Chief Ryan Gibbons said. “So, for example, on the ALS1 rate, the rate proposed is $1,400 and the current Medicare reimbursement rate is $458.67 and Medicaid is $345.74. That’s the only part we can bill those patients.”
The motion to adopt the increase passed on a 4-1 vote with Trustee Matthew Harris casting the dissenting vote.
“The proposed rates are being set based on what other communities are charging,” Harris said. “What is the cost to do the work? How do we know whether or not those projected revenues are covering those costs, or if they’re substantially surpassing what the costs are?”
Design exceptions granted for Webster Avenue project
A request by General Capital Acquisitions, LLC, to have certain design requirements waived for its planned construction project on a mixed-use development at 1905 S. Webster Ave. was approved 5-0 at the Village Board’s March 1 meeting.
The exceptions, which clear the way for the two-building development to move forward with design and planning, will allow for an extra floor, an exemption to the 15’ setback from the street requirement in addition to ground floor occupancy requirements.
HOWARD VILLAGE BOARD
Water tower repairs approved
The Village Board voted Monday, Feb. 28, to approve a low bid of $17,250 from L&T Painting for a miscellaneous water tower repair project, because of changes in Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) code as it relates to water tower design and construction requirements for safety.
Director of Public Works Geoff Farr said when the code changes go into effect, existing water tower facilities can end up in noncompliance.
“During the last sanitary survey, the DNR identified this as a deficiency, as far as the venting on Tower No. 3 (along Cornell Avenue),” he said. “They required that that be corrected by December 2023, so we’re at least a year ahead, which is nice.”
Farr said the price quotes the village received included adding the vent on Tower No. 3, removing a ladder cage around the ladder to allow for the safe evacuation of employees, should an injury occur on or in the water tower, along with adding rigging lugs for climbing.
When asked about a cage preventing people from falling off a ladder while climbing a tower, Farr said that was the idea for cages when they were installed.
“But, if you’re climbing properly, you’re actually attached to the ladder by a climbing apparatus, so you can’t fall off,” he said. “But, (the cage) does prevent rescue, so that is a problem.”
BELLEVUE VILLAGE BOARD
Denial of development district reconsidered
The Village Board scheduled a public hearing for March 9 to reconsider its action from last month when it voted 3-2 to deny a planned development district (PDD) request.
Trustees denied a request Feb. 9 by Mark Denis for a PDD to deviate from the minimum setback requirement for hard surface on property he owns at 2421 Monroe Road.
Interim Village Administrator Andrew Vissers said the board approved a certified survey map in January for the 9.98-acre parcel, which currently contains McDonald’s, to create three smaller lots to allow for future development.
Because of existing agreements between the property owner and McDonald’s, Vissers said a setback reduction from the necessary 5 feet to 3 feet was requested along the eastern property line of the future Lot 1.
He said the village isn’t opposed to development coming to Bellevue, but the process Denis should have pursued was to seek a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Vissers described the PDD request as a “pseudo variance” to bypass the governmental body created to handle this matter.
Trustee John Sinkler, who voted to deny the PDD, asked Feb. 23 for the request to be brought back for reconsideration.
Acting upon the advice of the village’s legal counsel, Terence Bouressa, the board agreed to schedule a second public hearing March 9.
In other action, the board awarded the Josten Park tennis court resurfacing contract to Pro Track and Tennis, Inc., for a cost not to exceed $73,000, which includes an option to section off a portion of the existing courts to create a dedicated two-court pickleball area.
The cost to complete this option totals $57,000, while the inclusion of an Armor Crack Repair System for the court surface will cost another $19 per lineal foot, which village staff estimated 400-450 lineal feet of cracks will need to be repaired as part of this project, totaling another $7,600 to $8,550.
WEST DE PERE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Handling material objections
The School Board approved a revision to the district policy for handling objections of library/curriculum materials when it met Feb. 23.
As part of revision, wording was added to specifically state, “Questioned items will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.”
In instances when an objection is presented in writing to the superintendent, the policy calls for a selection committee to be formed by the director of curriculum to review the questioned material to determine whether the materials’ used by the district should be reconsidered, with the committee’s decision “reported to the superintendent for final disposition.”
A complainant not satisfied with the committee’s decision upon receiving its disposition would have the right to appeal within 30 days.
The policy revision states the appeal committee’s decision would be considered final, if supported by at least a two-thirds majority, while failure to secure that level of support would result in the matter being forwarded to the board for final resolution.
COVID-19 policy modifications
The board modified its COVID-19 guidelines to reflect U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations at its Feb. 23 meeting.
When the 10-day rolling average of positive cases in a classroom or school-wide meets or exceeds 2.5%, board members agreed to reduce the number of days masking would be required from 10 to five.
Nurse Michelle Neumann informed the board the district’s number of positive COVID-19 saw a significant decrease in February after a surge in cases in January.
As of Wednesday, March 2, 17 students and zero staff members were out for COVID-19- related reasons.
Staff hires, wage increases approved
After meeting in closed session Feb. 23, the school board approved a series of personnel-related matters.
Justinn Heraly, an alternative education teacher in the district, was hired as high school associate principal, starting the 2022-23 school year.
The board also approved the hiring of Bob Neuville as the district’s technology coordinator, effective April 11.
Applying a 4.7% Consumer Price Index to all employee classifications, in an effort to offset inflation, was approved by board members.
An increase in the wage structure of special education aides, starting in the 2022-23 school year, was also approved.
ASHWAUBENON VILLAGE BOARD
Virtual meetings changes approved
Ordinance changes related to holding virtual/remote meetings were approved Feb. 22 by the Village Board.
Though virtual and remote attendance of board, committee and commission meetings has been allowed in the village since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Village Manager Joel Gregozeski said the ordinance change puts future decisions on virtual attendance at the discretion of the village president.
The adopted language states virtual meetings and remote attendance “are only authorized when the village president determines that health, safety, welfare, family or work circumstances warrant a virtual meeting or remote attendance.”
Those who wish to attend “by telephone or other electronic means” must notify the village clerk at least 48 hours in advance.
The village president would then decide whether to grant those requests at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Gregozeski said, however, virtual or remote attendance will not be allowed for closed sessions, because of the difficulty to maintain a confidential and secure environment in a remote setting, and the village president would have to consult with the village attorney as to whether a member will be allowed to remotely attend a meeting that includes a quasi-judicial hearing, where it could be difficult to participate without being present in-person, such as when physical evidence is presented.
The board’s action also included starting its regularly scheduled meetings on the fourth Tuesday of the month a half hour earlier at 6 p.m., starting in June.
Pond restoration contract approved
The board backed a staff recommendation Feb. 22 to approve the low bid of $644,307.98 from Peters Concrete Company for Plymrock Pond, Glory Pond and Shady East stream restoration construction contract.
Village Engineer Steve Birr said Plymrock Pond was previously a private stormwater pond Midwest Expansion donated with adjacent land to the village to enlarge and treat a larger watershed area.
He said Glory Pond, built in the late 1990s south of Glory Road, is in need of maintenance.
Birr said the Shady Streambank Stabilization Project involves stabilizing a small portion of the Dutchman Creek tributary crossing over Shady Lane.
He said bidding all three projects together was done to get a better price from the contractor.
“Peters Concrete has done several ponds for us in the past years, so we don’t have any reservations about working with them,” Birr said.