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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Council Okays Hiring And New Promotions

Issue Date: May 26, 2022

A special City of Peshtigo Common Council meeting was held Monday, May 23 to approve hirings for the Police Department and Parks and Rec Department. A project report update for the Badger Park Playscape was also provided.

Nicole Schingick gave an outline of what they were looking at and where they are in the build process for the Badger Park Playscape.

Schingick excitedly said, "Good news, the funds of $720,000 has been raised and we established a new goal of $50,000 above and beyond that, looking at the cost of lighting, electrical work, signage, sidewalks, security and the finishing components of it, to match the initial design. We are confident we are going to hit that goal, we are halfway there already".

Schingick added, "The initial lighting costs are estimated to be about $30,000, which would include six 20 foot poles. In discussing with Parks and Rec Director Lori Tonn, she stated the park would really appreciate having electrical receptacles and security cameras mounted on the poles if possible. Eds Concrete confirmed he has what he needs to do the walkway. We are still looking at what the options are to remove the old playground equipment and debris and move out of the area of the playscape".

Mayor Cathi Malke then added, "I made a phone call to MJB and they do have the ability to remove it with his equipment, but it would be very expensive. I am thinking that would be a no. Anything that can gobble up those big boards has to be heavy duty and would be expensive. There are a lot of good boards there, but we can't let people go in there with chain saws due to the liability to the City".

Schingick advised they need the playground equipment out by Friday to keep on target to allow enough time for excavation, electrical, trenching and concrete. Schingick added, "June 27 is the hard fast date for when the site has to be prepped. Lee Recreation will be on site to prep the site for install and we need to coordinate the delivery and install of equipment and the pour and play surfacing will hopefully be done by Aug. 1. We are working on the signing details and the brick recognition design".

A brief discussion was had and with it being so expensive for removal, Malke stated she would talk to Mark Madden and the city employees to see if they can sort, separate and remove the cement and wood. They could possibly move it to the City Garage for crushing the cement and for use in the future for road repair.

Schingick asked "In order to keep on track of the timeline, if there was a staging area that they could move the debris to". Malke replied, "It could be put on the other side of the bathroom". Schingick said, "That would allow time to make a wood chip pile from the wood and time to get the grinder there to grind the cement".

Tonn said, "My vote is to ship it all and just pay it, its probably going to cost just as much in the end, thats my vote. Eugene Frank didn't think it would cost anywhere near $10,000".

Malke said she will talk to Madden to see what they can do and will email his response to the group. Malke then addressed Schingick, saying, "I want to thank your group, you have done a phenomenal job. We are trying to do what we can on the City end, but your group did the hard job of raising the money".

Schingick replied, "We're on the home stretch. The walkway goes from the horseshoe pit all the way to the bathroom and it will have an accessible entrance to the bathroom, it is a massive footprint".

Recommendations for several hirings were forwarded to Council for approval of candidates that were discussed and agreed upon in closed session at prior Personnel Committee meetings. Wages were also discussed and forwarded for approval.

Wages for a part-time patrolman was approved at $21 per hour for less than five years law enforcement experience and to continue the $25.00 per hour wage for patrolmen with more than five years of law enforcement experience. Approved hirings for the Police Department included Derek Koronkiewicz with a promotion to Lieutenant at a wage of $27.89 per hour with one extra week of vacation added. Rebecca Praegitzer was hired to move up to full time patrol officer position with a 75% probationary period at $20.23 per hour and will stay on that track for six months. After the six months probation, the benefits will be the same as the other patrolmen.

Koronkiewicz addressed the Council saying, "Thank you so much, I didn't expect this to happen in my first six years to become a Lieutenant. I don't plan on going anywhere and I plan on keeping my same workload. I will continue to help out in all regards, including Shop With a Cop, the Cadet program and working with Marinette getting our name out there. Our department is heading in a much better direction and has drastically changed with Fred Popp as our chief, officer Hynnek, officer Lindt and soon enough officer Praegitzer. We are going in a much better direction and we will be a department that everyone will recognize. I will make sure that the way our policing will be, is community policing, by being out in public, with the people and making sure everyone is happy and safe as we continue on this right road".

Praegitzer then spoke, saying, "I was a part-time officer since March 7 and before working here I worked as a part-time officer at Bonduel in Shawano County for a couple years before having my baby. I then lived in Marinette for 14-1/2 years. I actually graduated college with Derrek where we took the same classes and worked side by side for three years. We paired up a lot and were partners, so it was an excellent opportunity to be here and be working with him again. I have wanted Peshtigo since I graduated but Derrek got it, but thats ok, then I moved onto Bonduel. I do appreciate everything. I didn't think I was going to come back to law enforcement after having a baby but here I am, I didn't give up and I absolutely love the community of Peshtigo. Everybody has been great and I made history in Peshtigo as becoming the first female patrolman".

Also approved was hiring of seasonal and summer labor positions for the Parks and Rec Department. Four positions were approved for hire at this time as were discussed in a previous Personnel meeting. Those hired include Maxx McDowel, Brooklyn Phillips, J C Tonn and Christian Boyle. Once the students are out of school, Tonn will re-evaluate the needs of Parks and Rec and what else they may need to hire for, and can work with the Personnel Committee on that.

The meeting finished with Streets and Drainage grant opportunities for West Park Drive. Malke stated, "We did not receive the 50/50 grant that previous City Engineer George Cowell applied for. The administrator of the grant advised Malke that Cowell only sent in two pictures and eight pictures could have been submitted. Malke was told by the grant administrator that sometimes they look at the pictures and go by that rather than the grant submission itself.

Malke stated, "However there is another grant out there, TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) of which is an 80/20 grant and only four grants will be awarded". Malke added, "If you give me authorization to apply for this grant, I will give it my best shot". Council then gave Malke the approval to apply for the grant.


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