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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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John LaCombe Selected As New Marinette Police Chief

Issue Date: May 5, 2021

Prior to the City of Marinette Common Council meeting on Tuesday, May 4, a special Board of Public Works Committee meeting was held for approval of several agenda items.

City Engineer Brian Miller said, "Every year ECS Midwest comes to Marinette when we need them on a time and material basis to test the soils and gravel base for various street projects for 2021. Authorization was given to move forward with ECS to provide the services needed on a time a material basis.

Next item was review of the annual traffic signal preventative maintenance contract form Tapco which the City has used their service for over several years. The cost will be $3,373 as per the annual contract.

Bids were received from three contractors for Edwin Street and Shore Drive for a street utility construction project with Barley Trucking of Menominee, Mi. bid amount of $268,450.98. Advance Construction of Green Bay came in at $275,834.20 with DeGroot Inc. of Green Bay at $283.599.71. The bid was awarded to the lowest bidder, Barley Trucking.

Bid results were also reviewed for uniform services with two bids received, one from Unifirst Corp. with low bid at $5,536.96 and Aramark at $6,376.08. Even though Unifirst reflected being a lower bid, they failed to comply with bid requirements. There were many other additional expenses as extra charges for items such as: garment preparation charges for each garment, emblem, personalization, oversize garment sizes charges as well as weekly minimum service charge of $25 per location with seven different locations being served, a $35 DEFE (Delivery Environmental Fuel Energy) surcharge per weekly service stop at each location and possibly delivery and several other charges listed separately making the contract more than what the base bid for Aramark was.

Miller asked Council to reject the Unifirst bid due to them not being in compliance with the bid requirements and adding many individually priced line items.

All were approved at committee level and later approved at the Council meeting per what was suggested at the committee meeting.

In his report, Mayor Steve Genisot announced the Police Department made their selection for a new Police Chief, pending Human Resources approval. The Department selected John LaCombe to be the new chief. After his position begins, they will then start the selection for a Captain.

Genisot also announced city employees were given the chance to get a covid vaccination during the work day. The city is working in compliance of they CDC. He also stated that as of the third week in May the city will eliminate the mask mandate and not require employees to wear masks. However, the public entering city hall are asked to continue to wear masks and city employees will be required to wear masks when they are face to face with the public. Also, as mentioned at the April Sine Dei meeting/ Council meeting, the city will be moving back to in-person meetings and will no longer be doing go to virtual meetings with the exception of presentations which they will still use go to for those.

Genisot also mentioned the presentation he sent to council in regard to the National Research Reserve is being worked on by UWGB for a potential opportunity of possibly getting a Research Center in the city. Sites are being looked at in Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay and Marinette. More information will be presented at the June council meeting.

A presentation that was to be held by Tyco, Johnson Control Inc (JCI) explaining the GETS Ground Water Extraction and Treatment System was asked to be put on hold until next Council Meeting with Tyco hiring a new firm for the system.

Fincantierri - Marinette Marine Chief Executive Officer Jan Allman presented the details regarding their blasting and dredging project and gave an overview of the project. "Blasting will occur between May and October and will be a Monday through Friday operation between the hours of 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and the approximate time increment will be for 20 minutes which includes securing the area and doing the blast during that process. This project is authorized by the United States Army Core of Engineers and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This is normal routine dredging work that is done by many Harbors. The week of May 10 we will be doing our test blasting and the project will then start May 21 and go through Oct. 21".

Allman continued, "To insure fish migration, a bubble curtain will be installed that the fish don't like so it keeps the TURBIDITY and blast pressures low and will not affect the fish. During the day Fincantierri will be drilling and loading the hulls. It will be a 24/7 operation and an extractor will be ran at night time. The noise levels will be lower than their normal operations. We will have safety zones to make sure people will not be in the blasting area. Bridge to bridge activity will be banned during those times and will be approximately 20 minutes between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. only. There will be a warning signal, a blast signal and an all clear signal during that time frame. Informational signs will be posted at the boat launch ramps, marinas, local tackle shops and on Fincantierri's website. During Holiday times, fishing tournaments or any fishing activities where there will be elevated boating activities, we will not be doing any blasting to not interfere with those activities". Mayor Genisot requested that the Logging and Heritage Celebration on July 10 be added to their non blasting time.

Temporary Class B licenses forwarded to Council from Personnel and License committee was approved for Marinette County Tavern League Softball Tournament being held June 4 and 5 along with American Legion Baseball of Marinette for events being held on various dates from May 15 through Aug. 22. Fourteen renewal licenses were approved with no exceptions. Also nine of 10 licenses were approved with one non qualifier that did not attend the meeting for public comment to defend themself, therefore that license was declined and one of the 10 is pending payment of fines and if paid will be given a license.

Three activities for the Logging and Heritage Festival being held on Saturday, July 10 on Stephenson Island were discussed for approval. The activities include two bands, The Dirty Martinis performing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and RoseBrook, which is a local band and will be performing form 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The third activity was for Spielbauer Fireworks company to include delivery of the fireworks, setup and firing of display and next day inspection of site to check for and dispose of any unspent fireworks.

Alderman Doug Oitzinger announced he would be voting no for all three venues with his disagreement of going forward with holding the event in a pandemic with 42 new recent cases in Marinette County along with one recent death. The county is at 30.1% of population fully vaccinated and we are behind compared to other counties. In late March/ early April, there were 2,000 vaccinations per week being given and now are down to 1,300 in the last two weeks and there are more vaccinations available in more places. I am concerned we are not out of the woods yet. I believe the city should not be having this event with the thousands of of people attending with the declining amount of vaccinations being given and those vaccinated at only 30.1%.

Alderman Jason Flatt replied, "By July vaccinations will be as such that anybody who wants to get a shot will have had a chance to do so. We can't be in the position to mandate that everyone has to get vaccinated before we continue business as usual. Public safety is paramount but at the end of the day if the public doesn't want to take care of their own safety by receiving the vaccine, we cant force that so I will be voting in favor".

Alderperson Liz Mikutowski added,"I very much agree with Mr Oitzinger and also Mr. Flatt but I believe we can as a city encourage those people that come to these events to social distance and stay within their own groups. I have been to a couple of outdoor events and when the organizers of events encourage that strongly with signage, people have and will cooperate".

City Clerk Lana Bero, organizer of the event then spoke, "First of all, this event is usually heavily sponsored throughout Upper Michigan and all of Wisconsin. We are leaving it basically just for our area and not putting out flyers all over and keeping it something special for our area. The magic show will travel throughout the crowd to the groups so people don't have to congregate in one area. We will have tents spread far apart, tables in tents will be separated and the band area is big enough for people to social distance. We are not expecting a huge turnout for this like we would hope in a normal festival. This is downplayed quite a bit, just a one day festival, not as many events, we are trying to make this something people can enjoy and still be safe".

After the discussions, the venues were approved for the festival.


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