DE PERE BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS
Wilson Park survey results
De Pere residents want a mix of activity and beauty at Wilson Park, according to the results of a survey gathered by the De Pere Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
The information was presented to the Board of Park Commissioners when it met May 26.
Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Marty Kosobucki said 211 people participated in the survey – with 58.77% saying they would like to see space for active recreation, such as a basketball court, outdoor fitness circuit, volleyball court, outdoor ping-pong or pickleball.
The remaining 41.23% said they would like to see areas for passive recreation — things like a garden display, paths, a gazebo, small stage, and places for reflection and relaxation.
And almost 87% agreed the park should have security or lighting.
Some other findings:
• 43% listed a playground among their top three preferences, with over half (24%) ranking it as No. 1.
• 34.4% ranked having a basketball court in their top three, with 13.17% ranking it No. 1.
• 39.05% ranked flower or plant gardens in the top three, with 19.5% ranking this No. 1.
• 35.55% ranked picnic tables in their top three, with 10% ranking them No. 1.
• 17.88% ranked sandpit volleyball courts in their top three, with 7.25% ranking them No. 1.
Wilson Park will be spotlighted in a new self-guided history walking tour hosted by Definitely De Pere and the De Pere Historic Preservation Commission.
Via an app through the Definitely De Pere website, users will be able to read about and see historic photos for each site on the tour.
Among the landmarks is the large iron Gettysburg Address plaque at Wilson Park.
Donated by Congressman James F. Hughes, Jr., it originally stood at Nicolet High School, but was moved to Wilson Park after the school was torn down.
De Pere Alderperson Jonathon Hansen said other sites on the tour include:
• The St. Norbert College historic district
• The old St. John’s Lutheran Church/Cassandra Voss Center (311 Grant St.)
• The old St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church/Dudley Birder Hall (400 Grant St.)
More information available at deperedowntown.org/walking-tours.
In other business
Commissioners voted to recommend the city accept an $800 donation from the Optimist Club of De Pere to sponsor children’s entertainers Mischief & Magic at the first two beer garden events June 28 and July 26.
They also voted to approve a $300 donation from De Pere Men’s Club.
The board also approved a donation of money for playground equipment at Kelly Danen Park from the First Congregational Church.
The amount has yet to be determined.
WEST DE PERE SCHOOL BOARD
The West De Pere School Board began its May 25 meeting with a moment of silence to remember and honor the victims of the school shooting in Texas just the day before.
It was followed by an impromptu concert from the Westwood Ukulele club, made up of about 30 fourth graders, which performed a song for the School Board.
Based on class size limits, student-teacher ratios and enrollment projections for the next school year, board members unanimously decided to not accept any new open enrollment students in grades 4K-12.
Superintendent Dennis Krueger said it follows suit to similar years, as the district has seen substantial growth within their own boundaries, making it impossible to accept students from outside the district.
There were no shake-ups with board leadership – with each previously elected officer being reelected to respective roles – Jenni Fuss as board president, Joe Bergner as vice-president, Barb Van Deurzen as clerk and Scott Borley as treasurer.
The committee and representatives stayed the same as well, and the Board voted unanimously to keep the same legal and audit firms.
They also voted unanimously to keep The Press Times as their official paper, and to keep Chase Bank as their financial depository.
BELLEVUE VILLAGE BOARD
Utility extensions approved
Much of the Village Board’s two-hour meeting May 25 was spent discussing two requests regarding the extension of water and sewer utilities under the Bower Creek Area Agreement.
Under the Bower Creek Area Agreement passed in 2003, the Town of Ledgeview provides utility services to the Bellevue properties in the area covered by the agreement.
Requests for water and sewer utility extensions must be approved by the Village Board and submitted by the Village of Bellevue to the Town of Ledgeview before any work can move forward.
The first request came from the owner of Parcel B-317, who requested water and sewer utilities be extended to reach the property in anticipation of future development.
The request sparked tension among the board, as the extension has the potential to impact additional property owners in the area beyond just the one making the request.
“There is a reason why it comes before this board,” Trustee Dave Kaster said. “If it was just a yes or no, it wouldn’t come in front of us. It would be automatic. So everything is not always on autopilot. And I know everybody was like, ‘I’ve got no choice.’ Bull. You’ve got a choice… I’m not interested in running sewer and water to nowhere, and extending it just for the mere fact that this neighbor across the street has to hook up. I have no interest in that.”
The extension could be run only to the property where the request originated, but that property is nearing the end of Ledgeview’s area of service under the Bower Creek Area Agreement and Community Development Director Andrew Vissers said talks with Ledgeview indicate that they would likely extend the service all the way to the end of the area, beyond Parcel B-317.
“The likelihood is the terminus of this extension would stop at some point in time along the (requester’s) property, and in talking with the Town of Ledgeview, they wouldn’t leave a 20-foot or 40-foot or 100-foot section,” Vissers said. “They’ll just finish it off. Just get it done in one project, because every time you mobilize, you add additional costs, especially for even a small project.”
The hiccup in the request is if water and sewer utilities are extended beyond Parcel 317-B, other property owners (who have not requested utilities) would have no choice but to hook up to the public systems and be subject to special assessments to cover the cost of installation.
“I do empathize that homeowners are not in a position to choose,” Trustee Jackie Krull said. “But also I understand that it’s inevitable at some point that everyone will be on public service.”
Potential future development in the area means that a transition from private systems to public services will likely happen eventually – it’s just a matter of when.
“The investment has to be made at some point either by the existing homeowner now,” Krull said, “or during the sale process when the new owner will have to connect.”
After much discussion, the extension request was approved 3-2 with Krull and Trustee Adam Gauthier opposed.
“The village placed a condition to extend (sewer and water) only to a certain point (with this request),” Vissers said. “If Ledgeview doesn’t accept that, then the Village Board would withdraw the request for extension. The likelihood under that scenario is that it would come back in front of our Village Board. If approved per the Village Board condition, then a special assessment hearing would be scheduled as the cost of the extension would be assessed back to benefitting property owners.”
The second request for a water and sewer utility extension under the Bower Creek Area Agreement would bring services to the developing Blue Skye Pointe area.
This request was much less contentious as the only properties impacted are owned by the requesting party and no financial burden or mandatory hook-up would be imposed on any other property owners.
The motion passed 4-1, with Kaster opposed.
The board voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing the borrowing of no more than $4,880,000 and the issuance and sale of general obligation community development bonds.
The proposed bonds will finance the costs of public infrastructure improvements made in Tax Incremental District No. 1.
Those bonds will now be open to bids, which will be considered at a future board meeting.
Staff Intern Kat Halfman, Intern Janelle Fisher and correspondent Lee Reinsch contributed to these briefs.