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022421frontBronze.jpg

Decorative bench for City Hall.

Woman's Club To Donate â€Story Time†Sculpture

Issue Date: February 24, 2021

An offer from Peshtigo Woman's Club to donate a decorative â€Story Time†bench with a bronze sculpture of a woman reading to a child was accepted by unanimous vote of the City of Peshtigo's Fire, Lighting and Building Committee at a brief meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18.

The bench sculpture is to be bolted to a concrete slab adjacent to the sidewalk adjoining the east side of the driveway into Municipal Building, which houses the Peshtigo Public Library as well as city offices, meeting rooms and police and fire departments.

On hand to explain the Woman's Club offer were Mary Lock and Woman's Club President Deidre McCormick. Committee members present for the 1 p.m. meeting were Aldermen Rick Berth, Brigitte Schmidt and Mike Behnke, by phone. Mayor Cathi Malke was also present.

Berth, who chairs the committee, said he had spoken with Public Works Director George Cowell about placement of the sculpture, and Cowell recommended putting a cement slab down for it just east of the driveway, but being careful to avoid a manhole cover there.

Asked if people would be sitting on the bench, Lock explained that is not recommended. The statue will be seated on it.

Clerk/Treasurer Tammy Kassal explained the bench is a sculpture, a work of art, rather than a bench intended for seating.

Malke suggested placing it on the other side of the building, near the library entrance on French Street, but Lock pointed out the future of the parking lot on that side of the building remains unknown. She said she, McCormick and Berth had met twice with Cowell to discuss the best placement for the bench. The sculpture may include plaque dedicating it to all members of Peshtigo Woman's Club - past, present and future.

McCormick said it will be a permanent structure, a long-lasting bronze statue designed to withstand the elements and chemicals like road salt.

A brochure depicting the sculpture lists the price as $4,495, plus the cost of permanent installation hardware. Weight is approximately 250 pounds. It is 36 inches tall, 44 inches wide and 28 inches deep.

Schmidt then moved to approve donation of the bench, with installation to be overseen by Cowell and maintenance to be taken care of by the Woman's Club. Behnke seconded and Berth was also in favor.

Behnke said he would like to talk about putting an automatic opener on the library entrance door, but Malke advised that will have to go into next year's budget.

The only other business of the meeting was unanimous approval of a request from Fire Chief Chuck Gardon to change the acceptable living distance of Fire Department members from the current 5-mile radius around the city to 10 miles.

Berth said the state mandates they live no more than 20 miles out, but he felt that was too far. He said he had talked with Gardon, who said he would like to go 10 miles out to allow the department to accept more volunteers.

Behnke felt firefighters who live too far from the city might have a hard time getting to a fire quickly.

Malke said current city policy is that police officers must live within a 15-mile radius. She said firefighters who live outside the city might go directly to the fire, while someone who lives closer could drive the vehicles. She noted a very valuable potential firefighter lives outside the current 5-mile radius.

Behnke agreed there should be no problem except for drivers, and that could be left up to the chief. Approval of the change was unanimous.


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