Weekly Meeting Recap
SEYMOUR COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
UTV/ATV usage discussion
The Seymour Joint Committee of the Whole moved a discussion regarding ATV/UTV usage within the city to the top of its agenda Monday, June 13.
Residents in favor of allowing the vehicles on city roads said since they are already being driven on “backroads,” usage should be permitted.
Some key takeaways of the discussion included noise and safety concerns, costs, insurance, helmets and requiring a driver’s license to operate the vehicles on the road.
“On the insurance thing, I think that’s a really good point,” Mayor Ryan Kraft said. “I also think this needs to be budget neutral, so the people that are consuming the services are paying for them through permit fees.”
The committee decided to seek ATV/UTV ordinances of nearby townships and cities to see where things went both wrong and right.
City Administrator Sean Hutchison said he had direction to move forward.
Public works report
The committee discussed a report from the public works department in regards to inflow and infiltration within the city.
Staff said about half of inflow and infiltration comes from home foundations, where rainwater is able to get into the sewer flow, forming calcium rocks and overloading the wastewater facility.
Committee members approved a budget of $83,000 for spot repairs, not including streets that are slated for repair in the next 10 years.
Committee members modified the city’s firework ordinance to allow fountain fireworks without a permit.
Other fireworks, however, will require a permit, which city staff said will only be approved by the fire chief if they have sufficient insurance.
The committee also unanimously approved the use of fireworks in the city’s last Music in the Park event of the year, held in August.
HOWARD VILLAGE BOARD
General fund, Village Green finance reports
Director of Administrative Services Chris Haltom said the village’s general fund looks to be in good shape for the first five months of 2022, with revenues up and expenditures down.
“This year, the general fund is ahead of where we were the last couple years,” he said. “Both those years ended up very well, so I expect good things to continue. Our revenues are up a little bit and the expenditures are down a little bit, so that’s good.”
Haltom said expenditures are reporting the percentage of budget at 35.05% compared to 39.3% in 2021 and 37.29% in 2020, which is also good news.
Haltom said the Village Green Golf Course is not quite at the same pace as the general fund, but is still doing very well.
“The golf course is not quite that pace, what we had last year, it was a record year,” he said. “The only reason that (decreased pace) is the case is because we had some bad weather in March and April. They didn’t get as many rounds played, but it’s on pace to be our second-best year.”
The report stated the total revenue for the course and restaurant was $253,218 through the end of May 2022, compared to $280,760 during the same span in 2021.
The number of memberships in 2022 are 405, which Haltom said is very similar to 2021.
ASHWAUBENON SCHOOL BOARD
Meal price increases
The School Board unanimously approved an increase to the district’s lunch prices for the 2022-23 school year when it met June 8.
Child Nutrition Coordinator Kaitlin Tauriainen told the board due to inflation and supply chain issues, the district is looking at an exponential cost increase for meals next year.
Tauriainen said other schools in the area are facing a similar dilemma, but have not announced their increases yet.
The proposed new prices for meals are $3.25 for grades K-5 and $3.75 for grades 6-12.
The price for breakfast for all grades is $2.
Tauriainen said even with the price increases, the district would still be cheaper than most other area school districts.
However, she said the raise in prices could have an impact on some district families, because for the last two years, students at nearly all Wisconsin public schools were provided with free meals under a federally-funded, COVID-19 relief program.
“This may cause hardship,” Tauriainen said. “For now, I guess my comments would just be to make sure families are completing free and reduced paperwork as soon as possible, once it’s released in July. The last two years have shown us how much proper nutrition can help children in school. As sad as it is that school meals are no longer universally free, we know we can effectively impact student success in school, whether it be behavioral, academically, or otherwise, and we’d love for everyone to participate in our programs.”
Financial literacy courses
Ashwaubenon High School Principal Dirk Ribbens updated the board on the status of the district’s financial literacy courses that students are required to take, as well as the status of a new course.
Ribbens said freshmen are already required to take the Academic Career Financial Planning class, which is a good head start for financial planning.
He said there have been discussions about offering an elective course called Real World, which also teaches financial literacy.
“There is a state-sponsored program traditionally called Zelo, (an) age-appropriate… middle school and high school ACP (Academic Career Planning) tool, that allows kids an interactive way to do financial and academic planning,” Ribbens said. “We use it quite a bit, but not exclusively with our 9-12 ACP.”
When asked how much time students would get ACP learning, he said, “It comes out to being a hair less than four weeks over the span of the class.”
“So roughly a little less than half of the nine-week course like Real World (would offer),” Ribbens said.
Weyers said the changes could be implemented as soon as the next school year.
The board asked to receive further updates in the future as planning and implementation continues.
Superintendent Kurt Weyers took time to recognize a handful of student and staff accomplishments that happened over the last few weeks.
“We had a very successful graduation at Pioneer Elementary School last week and a wonderful eighth grade recognition last night at Parkview Middle School,” Weyers said. “Special thank you to all who took time out of their day and were in attendance. It was very much appreciated.”
Weyers also highlighted the district’s first ever high school signing day for job-based apprenticeships – congratulating Gabe Kershik, Nolan Muñoz and Jereck Dubord for their commitments.
“We are very proud of these three students and their career pathways,” Weyers said.
He said Muñoz received a complete set of tools valued at $10,000 from Broadway Automotive in appreciation for the work he has done for them.
Weyers said the district’s goal isn’t necessarily to have all its students go on to attend a four-year college after graduation, but rather to have 100% of the students have a career plan in place.
Weyers said 430 students (or 43% of the student population) participated in sports this past year.
He said that number does not include other non-athletic activities, so the extracurricular participation percentage is even higher.
BELLEVUE VILLAGE BOARD
Board approves PDD amendment request
The Village Board approved a request to amend the Planned Development District (PDD) request for the Krueger International (KI) office facility located in the northwest quadrant of Bellevue Street and Westminster Drive to allow a facility expansion when it met June 8.
“Back in 2012, there was a PDD that was approved to allow for the expansion of the facility at that time in excess of 80,000 square feet,” Director of Community Development Andrew Vissers said. “Since 2012, KI has put on two additional additions totaling 162,000 square feet.”
Vissers said plans are not intended to alter the current two access points to Westminster.
The addition is expected to include up to 1,000 square feet of corporate office space and possibly 250,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space.
Retirement community center PDD
A PDD amendment request by Donald Zunker, owner of the Hearthstone Retirement Community Center, to allow a massage therapy business to continue within the private community space failed to get majority board approval.
“This PDD was originally created several decades ago, back in the early 2000s or 1990s, with a master overall vision and plan for how that was going to be developed including a nursing home, assisted-living facility and residential units that would allow for the transition of aging,” Vissers said. “Unfortunately, it hasn’t developed as originally envisioned, and only certain pieces of it have.”
He said the village has received a complaint about a business operating out of the community center, which board members expressed concern about, since it was not designed for that purpose.
Ken Friedman, Don Zunker’s partner, said the Hearthstone Center is not looking for a permanent extension, but is only seeking to let the current lease run out in six months, which would be Dec. 31, because the restrictions were overlooked when the agreement was entered into.
A sunset clause was proposed through the end of the lease term, but the request was ultimately denied.
• The board approved a preliminary plat of Schlag Crossing for 13 lots, generally located north of Costco, extending from the west side of Lime Kiln Road to the west side of Monroe Road.
• Consideration for adding left hand turn lanes and bypass lanes on Main Street at Bell Meadow Drive and Apple Ridge Court as part of the resurfacing project was tabled to the June 22 meeting.
• The board awarded the document digitizing project to Iron Mountain, located in De Pere, in the amount of $12,356.23, not to exceed amount of $15,000.
DE PERE CITY COUNCIL
City pools full-staffed
The VFW Aquatic Center and the Legion Park swimming pool are fully staffed at the moment, but if that should change over the summer, City Council discussed potential contingency plans June 7, including closing Legion Park on Sundays.
The resignation of a pool manager and subsequent difficulty finding a replacement led Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Marty Kosobucki to seek out a contingency plan sooner rather than later.
Last year, short staffing meant some staffers worked extended shifts, with supervisors sometimes filling in.
The contingency plan approved by the council gives the mayor and the chair of the Board of Park Commissioners the authority to slim down the pool schedule in the event that at some point, staffing comes up short.
Staff includes lifeguards, attendants, and pool managers.
The city’s two pools are open about 80 hours a week during the summer.
Kosobucki said last month in a memo to the park board that they had had four pool managers in place, but one had recently resigned.
He announced last week that he’d subsequently hired a fourth pool manager, so the would-be crisis was averted, for the time being.
Kosobucki said Sundays were chosen as the day to potentially nix if need be, because it would make the fewest waves since fewer people use the pool on that day.
In other business, the board:
• Approved an agreement for noise consulting services with Avant Acoustics, LLC, of Kansas, for $14,500 for consulting services and up to $2,750 for expenses.
Various parts of the city have been pinpointed as problematic for quality of life because of nuisance sounds caused by vehicles, businesses, equipment or manufacturing facilities.
• Approved a resolution moving money from one Definitely De Pere fund to another for public art.
The amount includes $5,000 left over from a 2019 sculpture commission that came in under budget and $25,000 that was previously earmarked for a 2021 sculpture walk that never came to fruition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is part of De Pere’s $1.3 million portion of the excess stadium tax fund awarded to communities in 2015 from the Lambeau Field project.
Of that, $250,000 was allocated to Definitely De Pere, including $150,000 for streetscaping and $100,000 for public art.
• Approved a consulting contract for $91,500 with McMahon Associates for the technical design, bidding and construction management of the future Nelson Family Pavilion at Voyageur Park.
• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for the use of an X-ray fluorescence device for lead abatement projects.
DE PERE SCHOOL BOARD
Server replacement approved
The School Board unanimously approved a request from the technology department for a virtual server environment replacement when it met June 7, as the current one will reach its end-of-life this September.
Technology Director Curt Pieschek said the virtual server environment houses all of the computer servers in the district.
After September, Pieschek said the manufacturer, Dell, will no longer provide support for its hardware, and the district won’t be able to get replacement hardware.
The district received five bids, awarding the contract to Little Chute-based Heartland Business Systems for $250,182.61.
Fresh milk contract
Another contract reaching its end is the district’s milk contract.
New Dairy/Select Milk, a Borden Dairy joint venture, announced last month it would discontinue fresh fluid milk operations in De Pere, and the district’s contract will end July 9.
District staff said two Wisconsin companies, Lamers Dairy of Appleton and Engelhardt Dairy of Kewaskum, told the district that they are not able to accommodate De Pere’s needs.
Prairie Farms of Dubuque, Iowa, submitted the only price quote to the district’s request for proposals.
Prairie Farms will offer the district half pints of white milk for 33.6 cents apiece.
Half pints of chocolate milk will sell for 35.3 cents apiece.
Milk is a federally-required component of all of the district’s meal programs.
In other business, the board unanimously approved an agreement with the De Pere Education Association, which increases staff pay, up to a certain threshold, by 4.7%.
The decision follows suit with many other districts in the area approving similar wage increases.
The playground at Heritage Elementary School will get fresh rubber mulch to replace the 10-year-old rubber mulch it has.
The board unanimously approved 132,000 pounds of Best Rubber Mulch for $35,130.75.
The district uses wood mulch at the two other elementary schools because the upfront cost is lower, but committed to rubber mulch 10 years ago as a semi-permanent remedy to control the ongoing maintenance and costs of replacing the wood mulch every year.
The board heard a presentation from Pat Meyer, superintendent of buildings, regarding the need for a new athletic field painter.
Meyer said staff is looking to replace the current 5-gallon capacity painter, which is coming to the end of its life, with one that holds 25 gallons to save time when applying and reapplying stripes on the soccer, football and baseball fields.
He said the old striper runs out of paint after two hours, while a larger one would not need refilling more than every six hours.
The estimated price of a striper from a local dealer is $12,815, which surpasses the $12,500 earmarked for it in the capital improvement plan.
It is also $934 more than a striper from an online Georgia retailer, which is quoted at $11,881.40.
Meyer said in a memo that the prices were close enough that the benefits of patronizing the local dealer, Pioneer Paint, from which the district has purchased paint for 22 years, outweighed the savings from the Georgia quote.
The board approved the striper from the local dealer 4-1, with Chad Jeskewitz voting nay. Brittony Cartwright and Jeff Mirkes were not present.
Staff Interns Kat Halfman and Jim Paul, Interns Janelle Fisher and Tori Wittenbrock and correspondent Lee Reinsch contributed to these briefs.