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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Council Adds $11,240 For Fish Platform Project Plans

Plans for the Fish Viewing Platform over the Peshtigo River below the dam in Peshtigo appear to be going forward full steam. On recommendation of Mayor Cathi Malke, aldermen at the Peshtigo City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 7, approved $11,240 for additional design services to be provided by U.P. Engineers and Architects, who are planning the project.

The platform is to be built just below the dam, and fish gather there when coming up the river to spawn.

Malke said she had received a letter from Tom Hobbs, project manager for U.P. Engineers and Architects, proposing the additional work for items that were not in the original bid for platform design. She explained the designers will provide parking lot layout and lighting design, plan two kiosks and four benches, help select materials and establish specifications for the donor wall on the north side of the existing tunnel, design filling and resurfacing of the existing tunnel structure leading up to the platform, and design displays for plaques to be provided for others.

"This is within our budget for the grant for this project, and I ask your approval," Malke declared. The approval was unanimous.

Later in the meeting Council accepted a Finance Committee recommendation to assign $3,900 of donations to the Fish Viewing Platform account for professional services. Parks and Recreation Director David Zahn had been actively obtaining donations to help pay for the platform.

There also was unanimous and whole hearted approval of a request made by Malke for free use of the Henry Drees Memorial Center on Thursday, April 27 for two classes on CPR and use of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that was given to the city last month by the Spies family of Menominee.

"This is something that will be really important for the citizens of Peshtigo," Malke declared. "This priceless piece of equipment will mean the difference between life and death for Peshtigo residents!"

Malke herself is a very active member of the Emergency Rescue Squad, Inc. that serves Peshtigo. When accepting the Spies donation at the February Council meeting, she said that she personally knows how much difference having a readily available AED can make when it comes to saving a life.

At the March meeting she again thanked the Spies family for its generous donation, and announced the two CPR/AED classes in the Drees Center on April 27, one from noon to 3 p.m. and one from 6 to 9 p.m. Anyone interested is invited to train, but only the first 20 applicants for each class can be accepted. Irene Mayou will be donating her time as the instructor and the Spies family will pay for books and license cards.

Council approved a request for free use of the large pavilion at Badger Park on the morning of Saturday, May 6 for the Family Fun Run that has become an annual event. Request to waive the $50 rental fee came in a letter from Justin Woulf, who said he is a teacher at the Peshtigo Elementary School and has been organizing the Family Fun Run event sponsored by the elementary Student Council for the past five years.

He said this year they are adding to the event by providing some public safety activities to follow the run. Peshtigo police department, fire department and rescue squad have all accepted invitations to take part in the event in some way, he expects demonstrations by the Marinette County K-9 Unit and the Save a Heart organization, donors of the city's new AED unit.

Woulf said due to the event being sponsored by Peshtigo School District and Peshtigo police, fire and rescue squad that the $50 rental fee could be waived. He said they will be finished with events and have everything cleaned up by early afternoon, which would allow the space to be rented by others on the same day.

The city now officially owns the former Oestreich property adjacent to the Municipal Building on the east. Alderman Tom Gryzwa, who also heads the RLF/UDAG Committee reported that the city had been the successful bidder at the recent sheriff's sale of the property. Oestreich had been in default of the $26,407 balance on its original $31,500 UDAG loan that was taken in 2006. Gryzwa said he and City Attorney David Spangenberg had gone personally to the Sheriff's sale bid on the property up to the amount of the loan balance. Spangenberg said ownership legal documents have been filed.

Discussions at the RLF/UDAG Committee meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22 included the possibility of seeking grants to tear down the existing building.

Payments on all the other UDAG and RLF loans outstanding are current.

At Tuesday night's meeting Council approved a UDAG loan for $15,000 at 2.5 percent interest for 15 years to Peshtigo Stone & Garden, LLC. Collateral includes personal guarantees and first positions on buildings and property."We are not only approving a loan, we are welcoming a new business to our community," Gryzwa declared.

Before voting on the request, Alderman Jillian Schutte, who was recently appointed to the Council, asked if the city has a policy governing who can and who cannot get free use of city facilities. She wondered also, since this is a school event, they were not holding it at the football field or in the school, which are both very close to Badger Park.

Fire Chief Steve Anderson explained about displays and presentations that will be done in the pavilion by emergency responders.

Malke said the City has no formal policy, "but anything for the kids we support." She said the demonstrations and displays will allow the kids to see who will come to help when and if they have a problem and what kinds of equipment they will bring.

Alderman Mike Behnke, who also is Council President, told her they decide each request on a case by case basis. Schutte didn't think that sounded very fair, since there are many fine organizations that may be raising money for good causes, but in the end she voted in favor of waiving the $50 fee.

Pubic Works Director George Cowell reported they finished 2016 with their snow removal budget in very good shape, having spent only $3,000 of their $16,000 budget allocation.

So far, 2017 has not been that kind. He said they have already spent $56,498 of the entire $59,700 snow removal budget. He said the salt sand budget alone started at $29,038 and now has a balance of $4,791. He said they applied sand heavily before, after and during the two major ice storms, and then when it stopped got the sweeper out to clean up the sand before it got into the storm sewers. There have been problems with the sweeper, and Cowell said replacing it is at the top of his capital equipment list.

Gryzwa, as chair of the Finance committee, reported there was $940,093 to carry over from last year's overall city budget.

Among personnel Committee items was a letter received from Fire Chief Anderson, announcing the resignation of his son, Jared, from the Fire Department, on which he had served for 13 years. Alderman Mary Lock asked him if that resignation was hard to take, and Anderson's response indicated it is not. "He's no longer living in the city, he bought a house in Green Bay"He's done," Anderson said of his son. Malke asked Clerk Vicki Koronkiewicz to send Jared Anderson a thank you letter for his many years of work on the fire department.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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