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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Okays Purchase Of Bundy Park Property

Issue Date: February 7, 2019

For 15 to 20 years the City of Peshtigo has leased the Bundy Park property, the playground at the corner of Oconto Ave. and North Wood Ave., for $1 per year from owner Kay Mercier. Now Mercier has offered to sell the site to the city for $2,600. At its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5, City Council voted unanimously to accept that offer as recommended by both the Parks and Recreation and Finance committees after closed session discussions.

After the vote, City Attorney Dave Spangenberg was asked to proceed with the necessary paperwork to complete the purchase.

Council also voted unanimously to accept the retirement of Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Anita Morois and to advertise for someone to fill that position. Morois' last day of work will be Friday, May 3.

After the vote, Mayor Cathi Malke commented that she had been on the Personnel Committee when Morois was hired 10 years ago. Morois had told them at the time that she would probably work for 10 years, Malke said, and added, "It's hard to believe 10 years have passed!" Malke declared Morois has always done an excellent job, thanked her for all her work to benefit the city, and concluded, "We will all miss her very, very much!"

Alderman Mike Behnke, as Council President, echoed Malke's sentiments. "She's stepped up so many times when we needed her," he said, adding his thanks to Morois for everything she has done for the city.

On a less happy note, Council was advised by Alderman Archer Leupp, chair of the License and Police Committee, that due to a new state law requiring a minimum area for outdoor exercise, the city could no longer contract with Peshtigo Veterinary Service to board dogs picked up by the animal control officer. They had checked the Oconto and Menominee animal shelters and decided to contract Menominee because it is closer.

Alderman John Berendt recalled the Menominee price being higher, and Leupp agreed it had been, but said they negotiated it down.

Regardless, the fee pet owners will need to pay the Menominee shelter for caring for their animal is higher than it had been at Peshtigo Veterinary, and because of the longer transport distance, the city will need to pay the animal control officer $50 per dog rather than $25, and there may be added mileage cost if the animal control officer uses his own vehicle for the trip to Menominee. The city's fee schedule was changed to reflect that price increase, doubling the cost for pet owners from $25 to $50. Cats will continue being taken to Peshtigo Veterinary Service for the current $25 fee, which is paid in addition to the boarding fee.

Malke expressed regret that the city had to change shelters, and thanked Peshtigo Veterinary Service for all their help through the years.

Alderman Debbie Sievert said Peshtigo Veterinary Service has enough land available and may enlarge its dog run area to become eligible as a dog shelter for the city again in the future.

Council packets included copies of the Hazard Mitigation Materials review that had been requested by the Marinette County Emergency Management Department.

Malke explained each community had been asked to identify at least one mitigation action that they would like to see implemented. The city is not obligated to do the activity unless there is 100 percent grant funding, but if not on the list and a related emergency occurs the city would not be eligible for mitigation grants.

Malke said she had worked with Public Works Director George Cowell to add flooding; damages from extreme cold - such as frozen and/or broken pipes and road damage; and preparation of a Comprehensive Plan at price of about $10,000 as high priority items.

Leupp noted the plan listed Zion Lutheran Church and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church as temporary emergency gathering centers, and asked Malke to add Faith Lutheran Church to that list if there's need for another facility. He said the Faith Church is designated as a shelter for the school in case there's an active shooter incident or other reason for school evacuation, so they already have the needed security in place. Malke said they would designate Faith Lutheran as another emergency shelter.

Behnke noted the recent cold had caused the governor to declare a state of emergency for Wisconsin and asked if there would be any help coming as a result of that declaration. Malke said Peshtigo had a broken pipe from the cold last week but has received no help for that, at least so far.

The 2015 police vehicle had a blown engine and Council approved the committee recommendation to have it replaced by Kaempf's Tire and Auto for the low quote price of $5,535.47.

They also approved a Water and Sewer Committee recommendation to create a position of Wastewater Collection System Operator as required by the state, and to pay the person designated for the post $1 per hour over regular pay for time spent on System Operator duties, and approved posting for someone to fill the position.

As recommended by the Streets and Drainage Committee, Council agreed to purchase a one-tun truck chassis from The Motor Company for their low bid price of $31,358, a one-ton dump box from Monroe Truck Equipment for the low bid price of $12,874 with the heavier floor, and a snowblower and control kit for the Bobcat from Bobcat Plus, Inc. for $5,655. Committee Chair Behnke said the snowblower attachment will allow Public Works personnel to remove snow from the sidewalks more easily and the control kit will also be good for other uses.

Bartender licenses were approved for Michael Kalista and Gabriella Plouff.

At the start of the meeting Malke reported the city received a note from Emergency Rescue Squad, Inc. thanking the city for its financial support. The city donation this year was $5,000.

On a light note at the end of the meeting, Malke wished the cities of Marinette and Menominee well on their quest to make it into the top five in the Deluxe Corp's Small Business Revolution nationwide competition. They are already in the top ten. She urged everyone go go on-line and vote #MyMarinetteMenominee.com" before the Feb. 14 deadline.

She also thanked Public Works employees Jason Stibbe, Jared Biehl and Joey Thompson for bringing honors to Peshtigo by placing first in the Polar Plunge competition during Da Yooper Fest in Menominee last weekend despite the minus 25 degree cold. She congratulated Kathy Crabtree for taking first place there among the three cities in the chili cookoff competition on the Menominee waterfront, and the students who participated in the outhouse race, Michaela Laack, Kaiden Bean, Kade Laack and Ethan Barggren.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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