Weekly Meeting Recap
Green Bay City Council
Council approved fence for police parking lot
The Green Bay Police Department parking lot will soon have additional security.
City Council approved using $148,100 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to install a fence around the unsecured parking lot, located at 307 S. Adams St. in downtown Green Bay, at its Tuesday, June 7 meeting.
District 9 Alderperson Brian Johnson proposed postponing the project until the ad hoc facilities committee reconvenes to discuss further options as it pertains to potential future plans of a potential new city police department.
Police Chief Chris Davis said while he appreciates looking to the future, the safety concern an unregulated parking lot imposes on officers and staff supersedes that.
Davis said the department houses critical infrastructure, vehicles and resources that are left unprotected every day.
“We went forward with this proposal, and I stick with this proposal, really because it’s a fairly serious issue,” he said. “I realize there’s a lot of energy around new facilities for police and I certainly support that and appreciate it very much. But that future is so uncertain, and this need is so glaring and real, and that’s why we recommended moving forward with this particular project. Not having secure parking for a police facility, and I have seen it, because I come from a place that doesn’t have secured parking for all of their police facilities, we are at risk of some really big issues.”
District 2 Alderperson Jim Hutchison said there should be no reason to delay the project.
“I understand the business sense of that, but I see no reason for delaying this action. $148,000 out of these funds to put this fence in around the police department – it’s absolutely called for, and it’s called for now. This is how we support our local police officers. This is a concrete way to do it.”
Johnson requested that staff potentially seek other options other than the eight-foot fence with slats that is planned.
“That is a really unwelcoming design and style structure that is in the heart of your downtown,” he said. “I would just ask if staff would maybe take a look at some alternative options. I mean, that is an awfully large, quite frankly unappealing fence. So again, consider some other options that provide the safety metrics.”
Pedestrian and bike plan project
Alderpersons also approved utilizing $1.6 million in ARPA funds from the Capital Needs and Organization Priorities category to be used for the Pedestrian and Bike Plan project.
The two-part project includes the installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (or RRFB) systems throughout the city, as well as the replacement of all school speed limit 15 when children are present signs, both aimed at creating a safer walk and bike plan throughout the city.
There is a possibility the project could pass through a Green Bay School District referendum in November.
Staff said that if the project is approved through a referendum, then whatever funds dispensed at that point will be reallocated to the ARPA fund balance and can be used on other projects.
Baird Creek parkway neighborhood association creation
The City Council unanimously approved the creation of Green Bay’s newest neighborhood association.
The Baird Creek Parkway Neighborhood Association will serve residents of the City of Green Bay in the neighborhood bounded by the west side of Lost Ridge Court; the north side of Sage Drive, Thyme Place, Artesian Way; the east side of Burgundy Court, Traders Point Lane, Moon Valley Drive; the north side of Newberry Avenue; the east side of Alpine Drive; the north side of Deckner Avenue up to Edmund Drive; and the south side of Remington Road.
The resolution states the association’s mission is to: “enhance the quality of life in our community by bringing together neighbors, promoting community awareness, keeping our neighborhood a safe and desirable place to live and to keep residents informed about important issues in the city and the neighborhood.”
Allouez Village Board
Eagle Scout recognition
The Village Board approved two resolutions at its Tuesday, June 7 meeting, officially thanking the Boy Scouts of America for their service and partnership with the Village of Allouez; and Eagle Scout Josiah Feldhausen for his work designing and constructing an educational kiosk near Heritage Hill Pond.
Temporary patio approval
The board voted unanimously to again allow businesses to establish temporary outdoor patio areas.
Such temporary outdoor patio areas were permitted in both 2020 and 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t think the effects of COVID are done,” Village President Jim Rafter said. “Things are still different. We’d like to think we’re all back to normal, but I like the idea of allowing businesses to try and get a leg up, because they haven’t been made whole for sure. They’re still catching up. They’re doing what they can. And I would say, for one more year, I would allow it.”
Director of Planning and Community Development Trevor Fuller said the concern with temporary patios are two-fold, with both safety concerns and equity concerns from businesses who have invested in permanent patios as potential issues.
“It’s primarily a safety thing,” he said. “But then there’s also a certain equity point. We have had other businesses invest quite a large amount of money in patios and permanent patios.”
Ultimately, the board approved temporary permits for 2022, however, Fuller said it isn’t a blanket approval.
Businesses wishing to establish a temporary patio still need to apply individually and go through the proper steps.
ARPA funds discussion
Some discussion was had by the board regarding American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and proposed projects for what those funds will be used for.
Village Administrator Brad Lange presented the board with an updated, more detailed list of those projects at Tuesday’s meeting.
No action was taken, but further, more in-depth discussion and possible action is tentatively planned for a future meeting in mid-July.
Howard-Suamico School Board
Change in student leadership
Bay Port senior Rohan Gala, who served as a student representative on the Howard-Suamico School Board for two years, attended his final meeting Monday, June 6.
Gala was recognized by Dr. Jill Underly, the State Superintendent of Schools, for his years of service and dedication as he represented district students on the School Board.
Gala said his role as student representative has given him an opportunity to expand leadership qualities while learning more about the educational system.
He will graduate on June 12.
Taking over the role is current sophomore Madeline Thoreson, who will serve alongside junior Cara Wreen as the student representatives for the 2022-23 school year.
Wreen is in the second year of her two-year term.
Superintendent contract approval
After meeting in closed session to conduct a performance evaluation of Superintendent Damian LaCroix, the board reconvened into open session to take action where it unanimously approved the superintendent contract.
The contract will be finalized June 15, and more details will be available at that time.
LaCroix has been with the district since July 2005.
He was named State Superintendent of the Year in 2017.
Suamico Village Board
Speed limits changes discussed
Speed limits on two village roads were a main topic of discussion at the Monday, June 6 board meeting.
The roads up for discussion were Hidden Lake Lane in its entirety of a half mile, and Northwood Road from Whippoorwill Drive to 3485 Northwood Rd.
Residents were requesting that the speed limit on Hidden Lake Lane be reduced from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour, and from 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour on Northwood Road.
Village Administrator Alex Kaker said both requests had been previously presented to the Public Health and Safety Committee, which declined to take any action to lower the speed limits.
Kaker said 85 percentile traffic surveys had been done – which is the most widely accepted matrix according to the Department of Transportation – council members questioned whether it should be the only matrix used.
Notable factors, such as the geometrics (curves and hills) and previous accidents, should also be taken into consideration.
However, with few accidents occurring on Hidden Lake Road, some board members seemed reluctant to mandate a change when drivers seemed to be governing themselves, according to current road conditions.
Ultimately, taking into account the decision last year to allow ATV/UTV usage on village roads, the board approved the request to lower the speed limit on Hidden Lake Lane from 35 to 25, 6-1.
The discussion on Northwood Road, however, was unanimously tabled until more public feedback can be collected.
PSC water unity rate case study
In other business, the board reviewed the water utility rate case, which the village is required to file by Dec. 31, 2022.
The board awarded the contract, not to exceed $8,000, to Clifton Larson Allen.
The project work is estimated to begin June 20 with the rate case ideally filled by Sept. 30.
Director of Administrative Services Jessica Legois said funds for the work are already incorporated into the budget.
Fire department grant
The Village of Suamico applied for and received a $4,250 Northeast Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition grant, which will be used to purchase ballistic vests and helmets to protect firefighters in the event of an active shooter situation.
Joe Bertler, fire chief, said the grant comes with a required 15% match, which would come to $750.
Bertler said the match could come from the fire department operational budget or possibly the Fire Department Association.
The board accepted the grant and the 15% match requirement unanimously.
Press Times Editor Heather Graves, Staff Interns Kat Halfman and Jim Paul and Intern Janelle Fisher contributed to these briefs.