City Gets $285,030 DNR Grant For Fish Platform
At the Peshtigo City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov 7 Mayor Cathi Malke announced the good news that the Wisconsin DNR has approved the city's application for a $285,030 grant to help pay for construction of the long-awaited fish viewing platform over the Peshtigo River on the BPM, Inc. crossing below the dam.
Malke said the grant program was highly competitive, with 97 other projects from other parts of the state competing for funding. She thanked Marinette County Water Resource Specialist Chuck Druckrey for preparing the grant application.
Malke said the announcement was not on the Council agenda because the city was just notified earlier in the day that the grant was approved.
Parks and Recreation Director Dave Zahn said after the meeting that an application to Wisconsin Coastal Management for additional funds to help pay for the construction was due at the end of October and has been submitted. If that application is approved as expected actual construction of the platform could start in August of 2018, "depending on what the Coastal Management people come up with," Zahn said. Prior grants helped pay for planing and design of the platform. The project originated years ago as a brainchild of former Peshtigo Mayor Al Krizenesky.
The platform, for viewing only - no fishing allowed - is to be built on the former Badger Paper Mill utility bridge across the Peshtigo River just below the dam. The project is planned with cooperation from Wisconsin Public Service and the present BPM, Inc.
To questions from Alderman Jillian Schutte, Malke said there are matching fund requirements for both the state and federal grants, but each can be used to offset the matching funds required by the other so the bottom line is that the platform can be built at no cost to the city.
The city's annual budget hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, as scheduled by the Finance and Claims Committee.
In other action at the Nov. 7 Council meeting, Malke referred a request from T.O.P Dog Park, Inc. to the Fire Lighting and Building Committee for their recommendation. The Dog park group is building a dog park on city owned land in the Town of Peshtigo, and the agreement requires prior approval of any alteration in the plans. The group is also asking the city to consider donating 180 yards of gravel toward blacktopping the parking lot and driveway, or if that is not possible, if they could buy that amount of gravel from the city, possibly at a reduced rate.
Several Dog Park members were present for the Council meeting including president Justine Raygo.
In their letter to the Council, Raygo said they want to use only one driveway for the entrance/exit to the park and slightly alter the shape of the small dog run for more efficient operation and a safer run for small dogs.
There are two other major contributors willing to help them complete the parking lot, which is the first goal of their five year plan.
Alderman Brigitte Schmidt asked if the group was under a time deadline, and Raygo said their blacktopping contractor would need to know by Nov. 17 if it is to be done this year.
However, Malke said their request really needs to go through the committee first, and eliminating that step would be unfair to other organizations that seek help from the city.
Without dissent, and with thanks, Council accepted a donation from Peshtigo Woman's Club and Bands at Badger to finance a wheel chair accessible swing with platform, frame and concrete, at a price of up to $3,000. The swing is to be installed near the Badger Boardwalk playground, and close to the paved parking area.
In other action, Council approved a recommendation from the Finance committee to send a letter of regret to Marinette County Elderly Services informing them that due to budget cuts the city cannot make a contribution at this time.
Resignation of Chad Mylener as a firefighter was approved with regrets and with thanks for his years of service. Mylener has been a volunteer firefighter for the city since 2012.
On recommendation of the License and Police Committee, which in turn was based on a recommendation from Police Chief Joe FitzGerald, Council denied an application for a provisional operator's license, and approved a schedule for appointment of an agent that was received on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from Schierl Sales Corporation.
On recommendation of the Water and Sewer Committee, after explanations from Committee Chair Tom Gryzwa, Council approved an amended contact with sludge hauler Synagro, with a 1.4 percent increase and an extension though Dec. 31 of 2018.
Several recommendations of the Finance Committee, also headed by Gryzwa, were approved without discussion or dissent, including some transfers to assign expenditures to the proper accounts.
One of those was assignment of DNR grants of $4,585 to the Boat Docks Outlay account and $20,644 to parks, professional services.
In his monthly activity report, Building Inspector Tom Smith listed five building permits issued, two for elevation upgrades, two for fences and one for a sign. Applicants were JM Electric, Paul Johnson, Jeremy Bartels, NEW Credit Union and Mark Butler.
Smith said he was notified by Edge Consulting Engineers that they are seeking public comment on proposed construction of a 100-foot communication tower that WPS wants to install at their substation at 381 E. Front Street. He said the towers he has seen in other areas have a flashing aviation light on top that is not very noticeable at ground level.
He also received a certificate from Bain Housemoving, which will be moving a garage from a property in the city to out outside the city. He said no permit is required, but he asked the movers to coordinate with the police.
Smith has issued an order to the owner of the abandoned motel at 100 Chicago Street, as the first step in getting either voluntary restoration or having the building razed.
Committee Chair Mary Lock commented that Smith will be riding around the city, looking for building projects that have been started without building permits.
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