Weekly meeting recap
DE PERE CITY COUNCIL
Council approves rezoning for a parcel on Scheuring Road
Council approves rezoning for a parcel on Scheuring Road
The board unanimously approved a rezoning request for a parcel at 1360 Scheuring Road, just northeast of the intersection with American Boulevard, to allow for a proposed drive-in/fast-food restaurant.
The project is surrounded by multi-family zoning to the north, business park to the south, the city water tank and multi-family zoning to the east and business to the west.
In 2002 a Walmart/Menards planned development district (PDD) was set up, on the northern two-thirds of the parcel, and made drive-in or convenience food businesses allowable on the northern two-thirds of the site.
The proposed plan includes a 2,460-square-foot Starbucks with a two-lane drive-thru window.
The board also gave its unanimous consent to a 104-lot and four outlot final plat of the Waterview Heights Fifth Addition in the 2400 block of Lost Dauphin Road.
City to pick up tab for balls for adult softball leagues’
Those playing in De Pere’s adult softball leagues will see a little financial relief this summer.
The De Pere Common Council voted unanimously (with Alderperson Devin Perock recusing himself due to a conflict of interest) Tuesday, May 3 to supply balls to the four adult leagues, saving teams more than $100 in ball costs.
Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Marty Kosobucki said it will be an added expense to the city of about $2,000, could be paid out of team proceeds this year and budgeted for in subsequent years.
“Bellevue’s league is an over-50 league, the teams pay about $500, and balls are included,” resident Chris Laron, who plays in three other leagues besides De Pere, said. “In Allouez, it’s about $480, and balls are included. And in Ashwaubenon, it’s $300 for a team to play and balls are supplied. Here in De Pere, it’s about $622, and balls are not supplied. That adds to about $168 in expenses to the team.”
Trespassing ordinance adopted
Prompted mostly by what Village Administrator Alex Kaker described as a few incidents last summer, the Village Board unanimously decided to give its law enforcement personnel more flexibility when dealing with trespassers on rail cars within village limits.
The state statutes related to trespassing on railroads, which were adopted at the board’s May 2 meeting, give officers the opportunity to issue citations as opposed to taking offenders to jail.
The move, Kaker said, gives officers more discretion.
Previously, trespassers caught on railcars would be taken to the county jail or given a warning.
The newly-adopted statutes will now give officers the option and ability to issue municipal citations for such violations, putting offenders in front of Judge Kevin Rathburn, who oversees the Suamico Area Joint Municipal Court, serving the communities of the Village of Suamico, Town of Chase and Town of Little Suamico, instead of circuit court downtown.
“I think there was some activity last summer,” he said. “I wouldn’t say there was a spike (in rail trespassing), but they saw that it was happening and they (local law enforcement) wanted to make sure they had options.”
DE PERE SCHOOL BOARD
Board organizational meeting
The De Pere School Board held its organizational meeting Monday, May 2, ushering in its three newly-elected board members: Adam Clayton, Chad Jeskewitz and Brittony Cartwright.
The board also named officers and selected committee members.
David Youngquist was named president for a second term; Doug Seeman was selected as vice president; Dan Van Straten was again chosen as clerk and Jeff Mirkes was selected as treasurer.
The finance committee will consist of Mirkes, Jeskewitz and Clayton.
The curriculum and instruction committee will comprise Van Straten, Cartwright, and Youngquist. Van Straten, Jeskewitz, and Seeman make up the personnel committee.
The board opted to keep salaries for board members at its current level, with the board president receiving $3,600 per year, officers receiving $3,400 per year and general members receiving $3,200 per year.
BELLEVUE VILLAGE BOARD
Parks, recreation and forestry department annual report
Director Adam Waszak walked the board through the 2021 Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department annual report when it met April 27.
“Big picture really, what we’re doing is to improve the quality of life here in Bellevue, and that’s our goal,” Waszak said. “Our parks division, not a whole lot has changed through 2021. The one thing I would add is you know that 326 acres of park land, we will be adding 12 additional acres with the completion of the Crystal Cove apartment complexes. He said following a down year – 2020, when things were shut down, numbers were limited and facility rentals were low – the village’s parks department rebounded in 2021.
“Our capacity for rentals did meet our five-year threshold, so that’s a five-year average,” Waszak said.
He said looking at numbers – 75 to 82% of the time that park shelters and the community center are available, they are rented.
“So there is that need in the community for those spaces,” Waszak said. “So as we look at reinvesting in our park system, and growing our park system, it’s something to keep in mind that those enclosed facilities are needed here within the community.”
He said the rental and uses of the village’s sports facilities have also rebounded in 2021, after seeing a significant decrease in 2020.
As far as village-operated recreation activities – Waszak said 6,700 different people have participated in events and programs in 2021.
“Our larger community events – those attendances kind of dropped off,” he said. “And the same thing with our senior programs.”
However, Waszak said those, too, are beginning to rebound and are expected to be up in 2022.
As far as the forestry division, he said the village’s tree canopy grows in both size and quantity every year, and 2021 was no different.
“Our total tree inventory currently of public trees that we are tasked with maintaining has been around 5,400,” Waszak said. “And it is continuing to grow. Of the 421 trees planted in 2021, about 160 of those were new inventory trees.”
He said nationally, Bellevue stacks up well with villages of similar size.
Waszak said each year, the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) sets benchmarks to better measure how departments are meeting the needs of its citizens.
“For 2021, the NRPA’s average had 3,600 residents per playground, here in Bellevue we have 2,000,” he said. “9.9 acres of parkland per 1000 residents, here in Bellevue, we’re at 20. The average partner agency has 8.2 full-time staff for every 10,000 residents, here in Bellevue, it’s 2.5. The average partner agency spends $88 per capita per resident, here in Bellevue it’s $41.”
Waszak said these numbers are kind of what you make of them.
“Every community is different,” he said. “The one thing I take from this is our residents have access to parks. That is huge. And we’re doing so in a financially responsible way, which is very important, as well.”
Citizens Academy graduation
The most recent graduates of the village’s Citizens Academy were recognized at the board meeting.
The multiple-week program is intended to educate participants in the structure and function of local government – each night focusing on one element of local government, including law enforcement, fire protection, public works, budget/finance, community development and parks/recreation services.
“Thank you very much everyone that’s here that has put in the time to come and learn more about the Village of Bellevue,” Village President Steve Soukup said.
Press Times Editor Heather Graves, Staff Writer Josh Staloch and Correspondent Lee Reinsch contributed to these briefs.