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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Downtown Reconstruction Work May Resume April 15

Weather permitting, work on Peshtigo’s Downtown renovations and Streetscape work should resume Monday, April 15, Public Works Director George Cowell told Peshtigo City Council at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, April 3. He said the contractor plans to take out one block at a time, but cannot start dismantling concrete until the load limits are off so gravel can be hauled in. He said the hope is to have the work done by mid-June.

Mayor Al Krizenesky reported enthusiastically that he and Cowell had walked the river front property below the dam that was purchased by the city last year, “ and it is absolutely beautiful.” He asked the Parks and Recreation Committee to work toward making a walking path along the river from the railroad bridge, “with maybe a few spots to stop and fish from shore along the way.” He said it wouldn’t cost much, and would give visitors and residents a chance to experience the beauty of that part of the city.

To increase the chance of action being taken in the near future, he asked the Parks and Recreation Committee to put the proposal on their agenda every month until something is done. Aldermen appeared receptive to the idea, but no formal action was taken. It was not an agenda item.

Copies of the proposed ordinance setting fees for certain Fire Department calls were available, and a public hearing will be held before the May council meeting. Proposed fees are $100 for basic, uncomplicated calls to vehicle accidents; $250 for vehicle accident calls involving traffic control, application of absorbents, incident scene cleanup and vehicle removal assistance; $500 vehicle accident calls involving the basic response and cleanup plus victim extrication, incident scene reconstruction, assistance to the police department and other services connected to complicated or serious accidents; $150 for malicious incident calls, $100 calls to unpermitted burns or permitted burns that get out of control due to negligence, and $100 for responses to calls for downing of overhead utility lines or disruption of underground bas lines due to personal negligence. There is to be no charge for calls to regular fires or in response to smoke or CO2 alarms.

Also expected at the May meeting are public hearings on the proposed sewer/wastewater treatment plant ordinance revisions, including a new price schedule that equates to a 57.8 percent increase for households with average water use, and an amendment to the parking ordinance to allow parking on Maple Street since it is no longer a state highway. Copies of the proposed ordinances are on file for viewing at city hall during normal business hours.

Council approved a resolution formalizing results of the elections on Tuesday, April 2 by approving the canvass results. Official results were 69 write-in votes cast for Alderman of the First District, of which 39 were counted for Brigitte Schmidt, 29 for Darlene Grandaw and one for another person; 131 votes cast for Alderman of the Second District, of which 128 were for incumbent Michael Behnke and three for other write-in candidates, and 167 votes for Alderman of the Third District, of which 63 were for Don Richter and 104 for Debbie Sievert. Winners, all for two year terms, were Schmidt, Behnke and Sievert.

When the current Council convenes for the last time on Tuesday, April 16 it will be the final meeting for Aldermen Mary Lock and Fred Meintz, who did not seek re-election. The new Council, with Schmidt and Sievert seated, will then convene for reorganization. Sievert and Schmidt were both present as observers at the April 3 meeting.

Council unanimously approved an agreement with Marinette County for reconstruction of County D through the city. Total cost of the project is $84,819, of which the city will pay $21,000 (25 percent) and the county will pay $63,819.

On recommendation of Fire Chief Steve Anderson, Council approved Robert Joseph Butryn for a position as firefighter with the city fire department.

A bartender’s license was approved for Cheryl R. Evancheck and a temporary Class B retailer’s license was approved for St. Mary Catholic Church for a men’s social gathering dinner on Thursday, April 25.

Lock, as chairman of the Peshtigo Historical Day Committee, received unanimous permission from the Council to close a portion of East Park Drive from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 for Historical Day events.

In preparation for summer work, Council approved hiring Joey Sparks and Adam Thill, with James Brabant as an alternate, to work with the Department of Public Works under Cowell’s direction, and Brandon Barrette, Tyler Bayer, Anna Behnke, Trevor Bero, Jennifer Harris, Eddie Jornlin, Gunner Kinney, Mike Madden, Andrew Majewski, Ethan Nault and John Valitchka with James Brabant, James Felker, Craig Morois and Adam Thill as fill ins for the Parks and Recreation Department, which is under the direction of Dave Marquardt. The department is still seeking a campground host for Badger Park for the summer.

Improvements to Badger Park and River Front Park are progressing. On recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Committee, contracted with Charlie’s Landscaping and Excavating, LLC to install water to campsites at Badger Park for $19,408.42, and hired A Plus Electric to install four 50 amp RV pedestals for $2,400 to serve the final five sites with electricity.

Meintz noted dredging is complete in the river adjoining Badger Park and River Front park.

There were no objections to the committee’s recommendation to accept a memorial bench for River Front Park from an anonymous donor. Alderman Cathi Malke, who chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee, explained the donor will come forth later.

The Judiciary Committee is to meet at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, and their agenda is expected to include discussion and action on a change to the boat launch fee ordinance so licenses can be issued on a calendar year basis as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

Building permits were approved for Ryan Larsh to replace the siding on a house and attached garage at 367 West Front Street for $5,000; Peshtigo National Bank to replace a sign at 250 French Street for $30,000; Clement Properties, LLC to move a doorway in the building at 220 French Street to provide space for restroom access for $1,700, and to the city to have Dama Plumbing and Heating install a new boiler in the Municipal Building for $22,326. Permit also was approved for Robin Helf to put a 20’X20’ addition on the back of the building at 521 Aubin Street and a 16’X28’ addition on the side, at an estimated cost of $76,320. The final structure must be at least 20’ from the rear lot line and 10’ from the side property line. The work is to be done by Matt Michalski.

Water and Sewer recommendations connected with the renovation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant approved included change orders adding $1,054 and $49,114 to the Elmstar Electric contract.

Cowell was authorized to purchase a new pipe locator, with the price to be split three ways among water, sewer and streets accounts.

Meintz reported the Energy Audit Team met with a Wisconsin Public Service representative on Wednesday, March 20 and decided to contact Olson Electric regarding de-energizing one ballast per fixture in areas referenced by WPS, and to have occupancy sensors installed in designated areas.

Lock reported the Judiciary Committee is working with the Building Inspector to resolve some concerns about vacant buildings, including condemnation. They also are working on pricing and some rules for refuse disposal, including a possible dumpster to be located at the City garage.

Eva Kiefer, on behalf of Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce, asked that the dates of their citywide rummage sale on July 12 and 13 be included on the city calendar. “We’re trying to promote the city in any way we can,” she told the Council. She felt getting Chamber events on the city calendar might encourage other organizations to do the same. “We feel by partnering we can do nothing but help bring interest to the city,” she declared.

Krizenesky thanked her and the Chamber for their efforts on behalf of the city, and assured her the event will be listed.


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