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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Vandals Continue To Hit At Badger Park

Issue Date: August 23, 2018

Vandalism continues at Badger Park, especially to the restrooms, Peshtigo Parks and Recreation Director David Zahn informed the Parks and Recreation Committee at a 3:45 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Aug 21.

Committee members discussed some options for resolving the problem, and Committee Chair Jillian Schutte declared she wants surveillance cameras put up there. She knows of a neighboring community where the cameras were used and the culprits were apprehended.

Zahn also reported the multi-colored three-strand wire fences installed along the river bank in Riverside Park seem to be deterring the geese. He said they barely come up into the park any more.

Zahn reported that Douglas Dahl, who lives near Anderson park, has donated two 4'X6" soccer nets for Anderson Park. Cost was $262 for both, and they have already been installed, Zahn said.

Incidentally, he said the sandbur problem at Anderson Park (formerly known as "Picker Park" seems to have been solved by the work done last year. He said this year he has had no complaints.

After some discussion the committee set fees for use of Badger park and campground for next year. Most prices remain the same, but because of the recent three percent increase in the city's water rates price for dump station use for non-campers will be increased from $5 to $7. Price of a non-resident seasonal boat launch pass will raise from $18 to $20. Price for the group campsite, which is new this year, was set at $50 per night without utilities, and $75 per night if water and electric are added. The prices will go to City Council for approval on Tuesday, Sept. 4. If council approves, price for longer term tent camping in the park will be set at $72 for a week and $216 for a month.

In response to questions from committee members and Mayor Cathi Malke, Zahn said the camping fees at Badger are "very competitive," with Marinette and Oconto County campgrounds. "For what we offer, we are very competitive and very well situated," Zahn told the committee.

Firewood charge is $5 per bundle, except that recently a local business has been donating pallet scraps, and campers can get these for campfires at no charge. There was some discussion on possibly advertising this for the good public relations it would bring.

Discussion of the water rate increase led to questions about charging for shower use. Zahn said that price was increased last year from 25 cents for eight minutes to 25 cents for three and a half minutes.

Committee Chair Jillian Schutte briefly suggested raising everything by three percent. Zahn said it is hard to determine just how much water is used, as large amounts also go to water flowers pots around the park and the city, and he will not know the actual cost of water and sewer until camping season is over.

He commented it was wonderful the previous evening to find 17 camping units in Badger Park occupied on a Monday night. He said some of the campers who came to Peshtigo due to Campground America liked the park so well that they stayed an extra night.

There was discussion on need for some rules regarding rental of the pavilion and grandstand in the park, and part of that led to a decision to refund $50 to David Zipter who had rented the bandshell and then was unable to use it for music as he intended due to a simultaneous graduation party with a disc jockey in the pavilion.

Zahn explained Zipter was going to play music for the Christmas in July event, as he does each year, but the people with the pavilion asked him not to. Committee members agreed it is good of Zipter to donate his time and equipment to provide music for the Christmas in July and heartily approved the refund, with hopes he will come back next year.

Zahn commented pavilion rentals are up phenomenally, it is even being rented during the week.

Zahn said there have been problems with the 19-year-old weed harvester, and they should start budgeting for replacement. Recent repairs cost slightly over $700 plus shipping. Zahn said there have been complaints about the interruption in weed harvesting, and advised that as soon as the repairs are made and the conveyor is working they will start harvesting again. He said it has been really hard to keep the weeds down this year because they are growing so fast.

The possibility of new signs on the highway was also discussed. Alderman Mike Behnke suggested doing nothing different for now, but start budgeting for new ones for next year. Price quoted by Wisconsin Logos, LLC to replace the four signs Peshtigo currently sponsors was $1,055. As chair of the Finance committee Behnke said he will put money in the budget for that, "and see what happens."

Zahn said there has been a request that he have the Boardwalk playground area lighted for Octoberfest, and ideas on how that could be done were discussed with no decision being reached.

Zahn said he has been working with the city's Public Works Department on reshaping Harper Park to make the terrain more suited for flooding for ice rink use. The work is done and they are now waiting for rain to make the new grass grow, he said. He mentioned that compost from the city's compost site is used, but requires a lot of raking due to lumps and larger pieces of branches, etc.

Zahn told the committee his budget for summer help is depleted, so the teenage park workers are done for the season.

There had been a surprise request to Zahn for picnic tables and street barricades for the "Rumble For Hunger" event hosted by River Pub on Saturday, Aug. 18. "I didn't mind doing it, but I didn't want to step on Union toes by putting the barricades out" if members of the city crew were available to do it. He had been unable to contact anyone, and Public Works Director George Cowell was out of town so he finally just got it done. He said turnout for the event, a fund raiser for the Peshtigo Food pantry, was great. There were suggestions that Riverside Park there could be used for more community events. There is a gazebo, and having activities visible to passing traffic could be an advantage.


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