For the week of April 15, 2022
By Press Times Staff
Green Bay School Board
COVID-19 protocol changes approved
The School Board unanimously approved changes to its COVID-19 protocols when it met Monday, April 11, including discontinuing its requirement of a negative test before returning to school, effective April 18.
Director of Communications Lori Blakeslee said students and staff will no longer be required to test for COVID-19 in order to return to school or work when symptomatic.
“So, right now, if you are experiencing symptoms, you have to test negative before you can return back to school or work,” Blakeslee said. “That would no longer be required. We will no longer be contact tracing. We’re still encouraging students and staff to stay home and test for COVID-19, whether an antigen or PCR test, if they’re sick. We’re also still asking our students and staff that if they do test positive for COVID-19 to either contact the school nurse, or Heidi Neverman at the district, so we can continue to track those COVID-19 cases.”
District Nurse Kristen Johnson said the district has seen a significant decline in positive cases since the Omicron surge after winter break.
“Omicron was quite prevalent in January,” Johnson said. “We saw over half of our cases within the district between students and staff in the month of January alone. At that point, our highest number of students out that were positive was around 550, staff was probably about 175 in one particular day. Those were just positive cases. That’s not even those that are out waiting for test results in quarantine. This morning, when we logged on, we had 58 students that were in quarantine waiting to test or just home ill, not testing. We had one positive this morning. We had three staff that were out quarantining, and only one staff that was positive. And those numbers have held very, very steady, really since before we even took masks off. So I’m very excited about that. It seems, you know, just in the community itself, our numbers have continued to decrease.”
Board approves pay increase for remaining staff
The board approved a 4.7% pay increase for district technical and professional staff, managers, administrators, plumbers, executive assistants, support staff, clerical, food service, maintenance, monitors and trade staff – a continuation of the increases approved by the board on April 1.
The increase was passed unanimously, and will go into effect July 1.
The board approved the cost of living increase in part to remain competitive.
Vanden Heuvel’s board service recognized
School Board President Eric Vanden Heuvel was recognized as he attended his last regular School Board meeting Monday, April 11.
He was elected to a three-year term in April 2019, serving as board president the last two years.
Vanden Heuvel announced late last year he would not seek reelection.
He was acknowledged by members of the community – both online and in-person – as well as members of the school board and district staff.
“Eric is the real deal,” State Rep. Kristina Shelton said. “You never know what will happen when you decide to run for office… and COVID-19 presented tremendous challenges that were beyond anything any of us could ever imagine… I know that your service does not end here. You will move on to something else that will continue to shape this community in ways that we can’t even imagine here at the board table.”
Shelton, a former Green Bay School Board member, presented Vanden Heuvel with a citation from the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Howard-Suamico School Board
District says goodbye to Ford, Potts
Teresa Ford and Jason Potts attended their last Howard-Suamico School Board meeting as board members Monday, April 11 after losing their seats in the April 5 election.
Ford served on the board for 17 years.
“It has been a real pleasure, these last 17 years,” she said. “I have been truly honored to be supported by the district in so many ways. I started my service on the board with the intent of hoping to provide additional support and voice for the staff at the board table. So I have been very proud that the staff has supported me all these years as well.”
Potts served one, three-year term on the board.
“I’m also thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve the district over the past three years, and I’m proud of the work I did as a school board member,” he said before directly addressing Superintendent Damian LaCroix. “Our teachers and students need you to hear their concerns and be willing to stand in the gap and protect them against policies that would harm our most marginalized students or hinder our teachers from performing their duties with excellence.”
A plan is moving forward to relocate the only single-room schoolhouse still standing in the state from 2220 Riverside Drive in Howard to Ancestry Acres off Velp Avenue near Suamico Municipal Services.
The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the Tremble School by the Howard-Suamico Historical Society (HSHS), setting in motion the relocation of the building tentatively scheduled for the third week in May.
Representatives from HSHS informed the board that funding is in place for the physical relocation of the schoolhouse, which was built in 1916 at a cost of $3,200 and decommissioned in the 1960s.
The school’s first teacher, Genevieve Farley, was paid $47.52 per month.
More details will be released soon.
Assistant Superintendent of Operations Michael Juech updated the board on upgrades happening to several district schools thanks to the 2021 voter-approved referendum.
After much planning and preparation, the first tangible items of the future upgrades are taking shape as two classrooms at Bay View Middle School and two at Forest Glen Elementary are trying out new furniture, helping the district decide which pieces to use in upcoming remodels through a furniture pilot program.
“The kids are giving us really good feedback, there’s stuff they like and they don’t like,” Juech said. “They haven’t been afraid to share.”
HOWARD VILLAGE BOARD
Cardinal Lane speed limit
Director of Public Works Geoff Farr spoke to the board Monday, April 11 about concerns regarding the speed limit on Cardinal Lane (County Highway EB).
Currently, the speed limit on Cardinal Lane is posted at 35 miles per hour.
Trustee Ray Suennen requested staff to ask the county if they would consider lowering the speed limit in this area on Cardinal Lane.
Farr said the county would consider the village’s concerns, but was not particularly supportive of a change, citing a lack of accidents and visibility problems on the roadway.
He said there are a number of factors to be considered when reviewing speed limits – one being setting a reasonable speed so that the majority of roadway users (85th percentile) will comply with the posted speed limit.
“We want to set the speed as high as possible so that it’s convenient for the traveling public,” Farr said. “Also in mind, (making) sure that things are safe, following standards and no particular visibility or accident situations.”
He said only three accidents occurred on Cardinal Lane in the past three years, and none were speed related.
The board discussed the topic, but no action was taken.
Cottages at Hidden Creek expansion
The board unanimously approved a preliminary resolution declaring the intent to exercise special assessments upon Rainbow Court, Oliver Lane, the plat of The Cottages at Hidden Creek 1st Addition and the plat of Century Estates 1st Addition in connection with the Cottages at Hidden Creek expansion.
The board also awarded the contract for the project’s utility construction to Peter’s Concrete for $786,773.80, and the contract for project’s road construction to KCG Excavating for $640,132.50.
Awarding of both contracts is contingent on attorney review.
David Wiese, director of community development, reviewed the process for development notifications with the board at the request of Trustee Maria Lasecki.
Wiese said Class 2 development proceedings require two newspaper publications over consecutive weeks at least seven days before a meeting, in addition to a mailed notification to property owners within 300 feet of the development at least 10 days before a meeting.
He said all Class 2 developments require a public hearing.
Class 1 development proceedings require only one newspaper publication, at least 30 days before meeting.
Wiese said if the property is zoned properly and a project is a permitted use, only a site plan approval is required.
He said in Howard, the Plan Commission has final approval authority for site plans, and neighbors are not required to be notified.
DE PERE CITY COUNCIL
Certified survey maps approved
The De Pere City Council gave the green light April 6 to four certified survey maps in line with recommendations from the Plan Commission.
The maps include sites:
• At 2208 Blue Stem Lane, about 0.3 miles east of De Pere city limits, in the Town of Ledgeview.
The proposed plan involves dividing the lot, on which a two-unit residential building already stands, into two residential lots with a zero-lot-line structure, meaning it has a setback from other lots on two sides and a shared or conjoined space in between the two lots, which are currently one lot.
De Pere doesn’t permit zero lot-line structures, but Ledgeview does.
• In the 2300 block of French Road, northeast of the intersection of French Road and Lawrence Park, about 0.2 miles east of city limits, in the Town of Lawrence.
The proposal is for the land to be divided to create one residential lot and two commercial lots, with plans for more division of the residential lot.
• At 3550 and 3551 Wayne Lane in the Town of Ledgeview, located north from the intersection of Wayne Lane and Heritage Road, for a planned neighborhood.
The proposal includes dividing the land into three residential-use lots.
• In the 3300 block of Heritage Road in the Town of Ledgeview, the board unanimously approved a revised preliminary and final extraterritorial plat of Grande Ridge Estates First Addition.
The plat consists of four outlots and 75 lots.
In January, the plan commission gave their unanimous approval to an earlier draft of the preliminary plat, which the Common Council approved Feb. 1.
Since then, the plan changed and subsequently went through the city’s approval process again.
All four proposed certified survey map sites are located within the municipalities’ sewer-service district.
In other business, the board approved
• A $22,500 contract with Vierbicher & Associates for grant administration.
Last year, the Wisconsin Community Block Grant Special Project Fund awarded De Pere a $1.5 million grant to transform a building at 525 N. Tenth Street into a senior living/affordable housing development.
The grant included an extra $22,500 for administration and reporting of the grant money. Vierbicher was one of five firms that submitted proposals for the project.
• The Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry’s grant application to the Wisconsin DNR for a $5,000 recreational boating facility construction grant for Perkofski Boat Launch.
Director Marty Kosobucki said his department is looking to renovate the third of three boat docks, including repairing damage to its frame and replacing the wood skirting and decking with planks made of recycled plastic.
After that’s done, he said their attention will turn toward the two fishing piers at the launch.
• An agreement with SmithGroup, Inc. to add to the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and West Downtown Vision Plan.
“It will be part of the comprehensive plan, but this is sort of a pivoted approach we are taking as a community,” Dan Linstrom, director of development, said. “This will also be used to establish the area development plan as it becomes more and more important to create a game plan for post Southern Bridge construction.”
Press Times Editor Heather Graves, Staff Writer Josh Staloch, Correspondent Lee Reinsch and Intern Janelle Fisher contributed to these briefs.