Updates from the June 1, 2021 Common Council Meeting:
Green Bay Metro Transit Services presented proposed changes to the overall service they offer the area. New services were piloted in 2020, specifically micro transit services. Micro transit services look very much like an on-demand ride service such as uber. Users request their ride via an app or phone call (see more here: https://greenbaywi.gov/1154/GBM-On-Demand), with a maximum 20 minute wait. Users of micro transit can expect to pay standard fees. De Pere will be losing its fixed route based on low ridership, but should expect a better ride experience overall with the micro transit option. Public meetings on the changes to the services as well as an opportunity to provide feedback are being held through June 15; more information can be found here: https://greenbaywi.gov/1231/Proposed-Service-Changes-2021
Covid clinics continue to be held by the De Pere Health Department, with more walk-in services available. The City is planning to hold vaccine clinics at the De Pere Beer Garden events and monthly at the De Pere Farmer’s Market. Another adolescent-targeted clinic is being planned for August, before school begins. To date staff has held 51 clinics and administered over 3,000 Covid vaccines. Click below for more information: https://www.deperewi.gov/topic/index.php?topicid=397…
A memorial fund has been created to honor Jerry Hasenberg, Jr., the City employee lost to a tragic workplace accident. The City will create a memorial fund in Jerry’s name to purchase trees to plant in our City parks. We’ll share details about contributing when they become available. Additionally, funds have been allocated to create a memorial for Jerry at the De Pere Municipal Services Center and a memorial bench in Jerry’s hometown of Suring.
Definitely De Pere was granted $10,000 by the Council for an East/West Music Series. On the fourth Friday of each summer month there will be free live music at the James Street Plaza and the Nicolet Square Art Alley. Guests will be encouraged to pick up dinner from local restaurants and dine while enjoying the music in these spaces. Local businesses will also stay open later on event evenings. Don’t miss out on any fun summer events and make sure you are following Definitely De Pere on Facebook!
De Pere Health Department has held 45 vaccination clinics and administered 2822 doses. All clinics now welcome walk-ins (no appointment necessary.) The next clinic is May 25th. You’ll also notice “pop-up” clinics happening where people are gathering at places such as the farmer’s market and the Voyager Park Beer Garden events as well as the ability to make house calls for those homebound. For information on vaccine access visit: https://www.deperewi.gov/topic/index.php?topicid=397…
Voyager Park and other area parks have seen increased loitering and disorderly conduct. Earlier this year, the council approved an ordinance to enact park ejections – since the ordinance went into action there have been 9 park ejections, however the larger group of individuals continue to cause disturbance. De Pere Police regularly monitor our parks and ask residents to call in when you witness reckless behavior as it happens.
Council approved funding to utilize a recruiting company for police chief recruitment as Chief Derek Beiderwieden prepares for retirement.The Council supported (via a 6 to 2 vote) the Board of Public Works recommended to deny the installation of Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFB) at the following locations: Chicago Street at O’Hearn Lane, Chicago Street at Crestview Lane, Main Avenue at Seventh Street. These locations were reviewed for traffic volume (both vehicle and pedestrian) as well as current yielding to pedestrian vehicle behavior, site visibility, and street layout – results indicated that RRFB’s were not necessary.
The Council voted unanimously to approve a bid submitted by SmithGroup to update the City of De Pere Comprehensive Plan. Our current plan was last updated in 2010. While many of the elements of the current plan remain the same, there will be changes made, as well as the addition of a West Side Vision Plan, similar to the Cultural District Plan that was added to the Comprehensive Plan in 2018. The City’s current plan can be found at the following link: https://www.deperewi.gov/egov/apps/document/center.egov…
Highlights from Tuesday night’s De Pere City Council Meeting:
The De Pere Health Department continues to offer Covid-19 vaccination clinics. Need flexibility over a specific appointment time, no problem! Starting this week, in addition to signing up for appointments, WALK INS will also be accepted. The link with more information and vaccine sign up is below: https://www.deperewi.gov/topic/index.php?topicid=397
To date the City of De Pere has held 41 vaccine clinics and has issued 2,645 vaccines. Public Health Officials have identified that there are variants of Covid-19 present in Brown County and that these variants are being spread primarily through gatherings among younger groups of people.
Multiple liquor licenses were approved for the upcoming licensing period, and we’ll see more of those requests coming in over the next few meetings.
The City Council accepted a new Disc Golf practice basket at Legion Park, thanks to a generous donation from the Wollin family. Additionally the Council accepted a monetary donation from Greta Johnson for the Recreation Scholarship Fund. You can learn more about this fund and eligibility requirements by visiting the following link: https://www.deperewi.gov/topic/index.php?topicid=132…
The Declaration of Public Health Emergency which authorized the Mayor to act without full Council approval will be terminated on May 10 – due to technological investment made by the City, the Council can now meet quickly and remotely when necessary. With this termination De Pere residents will no longer be able to put out extra bags of garbage or boxes of recycling for pick up.
The full agenda and meeting video are available at the link below. Have a great day!
Highlights from the April 20 De Pere City Council meeting:
De Pere City Council swore in new Alderperson, John Quigley, and new terms for Alderpersons Jonathon Hansen, Dean Raasch, and Amy Chandik Kundinger. Alderpersons Dan Carpenter and Dean Raasch were reappointed to the Plan Commission and Alderperson Jonathon Hansen was elected Council President. A big congratulations to my District 1 partner, Alderperson Kundinger, for her election win. We are lucky to have Amy representing us on the council and I’m grateful to her for her partnership and support in this role!
Council was given an update on the Mulva Cultural Center. The project has grown exponentially since the original concept, now nearing $100M for the total project cost. The Center is planning for an August 2023 opening. This summer groundbreaking is expected in August. You will notice site construction staging, the beginning installment of 100 wells for geothermal heating, and the arrival of a tower crane.
We had our first in-person meeting since March 2020. It was great to be back in person, and it was nice to formally meet with all our elected officials. Mayor Boyd read a statement from the City honoring Jerry Hasenberg, Jr., the city employee who died while performing tree maintenance in March. His wife, Vanessa, and his three stepsons attended the meeting. Vanessa spoke about her late husband and encouraged everyone to plant trees to honor his legacy. Plans are underway for a multi-use building at Voyageur Park. Council voted unanimously to approve the design of the facility. Mayor Boyd will create an ad hoc committee for fundraising up to $700,000 and the Council voted to approve City funding of up to $500,000 for the building. Construction is set to commence in 2023.
City Council voted unanimously to approve a park ban and appeal policy to help mitigate certain behaviors at our Parks. The Council also decided to end the City’s mask mandate on May 5. With the vaccine now available to anyone over the age of 16, this date provides time for anyone who wants a vaccine to have at least one dose prior to ending our mandate. The Council will have the opportunity to discuss this again at the meeting on May 4. Residents who want to help pollinators in early spring will now have the opportunity to participate in No Mow May – stay tuned for more information on how to participate! The full agenda and meeting video is available at the link below. Have a great weekend!
De Pere highlights from the March 16 Common Council Meeting:
Covid Update – The City of De Pere continues to vaccinate residents twice a week and has administered 1400 Covid-19 vaccinations to City residents to date.
The City Council awarded funds to Definitely De Pere for two separate projects: $10,000 to replace the summer light pole banners with an updated banner that includes the new City Logo and $25,000 for a 6-month installation of 14 sculptures throughout the east and west downtown. Funding was from Excess Stadium Tax funds. Up to $15,000 of the sculpture project funding will be allocated to purchase one of the sculptures as determined by the People’s Choice Purchase Award.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve Tax Incremental District No. 17 (“TID No.17”) as an overlap to existing TID No. 10, which was created in 2012 to spur the development of the East Industrial Park and to help facilitate the development of the Southern Bridge project. The new TID will incentivize additional development due to renewed interest in this area as the Southern Bridge project moves forward. The new TID will also assist Brown County in funding a portion of the Southern Bridge project adjacent to and within a half-mile of its boundary.
The City Council voted unanimously to amend the reopening plan for our outdoor facilities – increasing the number of players and spectators from 50 people per field to 200 per field, effective April 15.
The full agenda and meeting video can be found at the following link.Have a fantastic weekend – looks like beautiful weather ahead!
Regardless of what our State Assembly decides to do with the statewide mask mandate, I would like to remind De Pere residents that the City Council did vote to enact its own citywide mask ordinance 4 days prior to Governor Tony Evers’ statewide mandate. We also made the decision to keep the citywide mask ordinance on the books in the event that the statewide mandate would be removed. This means that even if our state legislators decide to remove the statewide mask mandate, the citywide mandate will remain in the City of De Pere until the Council decides to remove it.
As always, if you have any questions or want to chat, please give me a call or send an email.
Our fantastic City Clerk, Carey Danen, provided the Council with an election update for November and I’d like to share what I learned.
The City plans to use all 4 polling places on Election Day, with the Swan Club being used as the temporary location for District 2. District 2 voters normally vote at the St. Francis Community Center, which has since been torn down and will eventually be rebuilt. The City is looking into mailing postcards to all District 2 residents with this update.
The City of De Pere uses a Central Count for absentee ballots. This means that all absentee ballots are processed at one location, in City Hall, on Election Day. Think of it as an extra polling place, just for absentee ballots. For obvious reasons, the City is expecting a record turnout of absentee voters for this election. I’ve shared some of the Clerk’s projections below:
The City has 14,795 registered voters as of August 2020. Back in 2016, we saw a 14% increase between August and November. If this holds true there will be 16,860 registered voters by Election Day
80% voter turnout would be 13,490 people (we had 76.5% turnout for the last presidential, and 77.5% turnout for the 2018 gubernatorial election)
If 85% of the total turnout votes absentee like they did in April, that would mean approximately 11,400 ballots to process at Central Count on Election Day. For comparison, the City of De Pere processed 5,573 ballots in April.
The City has 3 tabulators to use for processing absentee ballots (a third tabulator was recently purchased with CARES subgrant funding.) Brown County is trying to acquire additional rental machines for municipalities to use.
The City had 4,800 requests on file as of August 28
Ballots must be mailed to voters with requests on file on September 17th
There will be Absentee Ballot signage on the City Hall Drop Box, so voters are welcome to drop off their ballots rather than mail them back
In-person absentee voting will be held from Tuesday, October 20th – Friday, October 30th 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM (until 5:00 PM on last Friday)
If you would like to request an absentee ballot for November, visit myvote.wi.gov to make your request.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission is sending out Absentee Ballot Applications to any registered voter who does not have an active request on file. Please note: if you have made a request already and get the mailing, it is likely due to the overlap in when their list was created and when you made your request. You can check the myvote.wi.gov website to double-check your request.
While the ordinance was approved 5-3, it requires a second reading. This means it needs to come back for a final vote at our Council meeting next Tuesday. Additionally, the fee resolution that accompanies the new ordinance was tabled in an effort to receive some clarification from the police chief at our next meeting. I anticipate the resolution will remain the same.
I received a lot of contact on this ordinance prior to the meeting, and the majority was overwhelmingly in support of the ordinance. I am grateful to everyone who took the time to reach out and provide me with feedback, and I read every email. I apologize if I missed replying to a message. I understand the concerns of those opposed to the ordinance. Ultimately, I voted in favor of the ordinance. I want to do whatever we can to avoid having school cancelled again this fall and to ensure that our businesses in De Pere stay open. I also want to explain that my vote for removing the exemption of churches was only because I feel that churches contain our most vulnerable population. To exempt them did not fulfill the intent of the ordinance to me, which is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of De Pere. I sincerely hope that the churches in our area are asking for mask usage from all of their members to accomplish this goal.
If you have any questions about the ordinance itself, please feel free to reach out to me. I am happy to discuss. Assuming this moves through Council next Tuesday, the City Health Department will be contacting all city businesses with information about the ordinance, FAQ sheets, posters and educational materials to share with their customers.
The Board of Park Commissioners approved the following plan for opening Legion Pool:
Lap swim will be available to a limited number of swimmers at a certain time.
Swim lessons will be offered but limited and will begin towards the end of June.
Pool rentals will be be available with a maximum number of swimmers set at 25 and a minimum of 10. These will be available in 45-minute increments with 15-minutes in between for sanitation purposes. The very last rental of the day will be a double slot.
Parks Department staff is working on the details to make this happen and will announce the full plan when it’s ready.
Additionally, playgrounds are open now! Gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed by June 15. I will share the press release when it becomes available.
Please continue to exercise healthy practices to prevent the spread of covid19!