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Highway 45 project moves forward

Construction on Hwy. 45 at West Street in Clintonville is underway, with some modifications to original plans.

City Administrator Lisa Kuss explained to the Common Council on Tuesday, July 12, that the Department of Transportation (DOT) did not approve a full detour for the highway, so lane closures will be utilized.

Instead of cutting the concrete to insert utility infrastructure, a directional boring method will be employed. The utility installation costs are higher when using directional boring, but the city will avoid the costs of repaving the intersection, which would have been necessary if the highway had been cut open. The project will remain under budget.

Tom Lederer attended the meeting and presented three $500 donations on behalf of the Pamida Foundation-one for the library, one for the Firemen’s Association, and one for the Senior Center for a total gift of $1,500. Lederer also invited the council to attend Pamida’s grand re-opening on Saturday, Aug. 6. A drive through is being added to the pharmacy, and the entire store is being re-painted and re-designed to better serve customers.

Two letters from visitors appreciating the city’s flower planters and hanging flower baskets were provided in council members’ packets. “Last week I was travelling through your town and had to admire the beautiful flower arrangements in the planters you have on Hwy. 45,” said one letter. “Just a note to comment on the beautiful hanging baskets of petunias on Main Street,” said the second letter. “They are so pretty and give us a great feeling when we look at them. What a pretty place to live!”

During the citizens forum, John Moericke expressed his desire to see the City Administrator position eliminated. “As we all know, Clintonville has a population below 5,000,” Moericke said. “I propose that the city administrator’s office be eliminated-we don’t need it.”

The city administrator position can be eliminated should the council vote to terminate it at any time.

The council discussed recommendations from the Utility Board, including a cross connection control plan, emergency response plan, and electric rate review study. Utility Board Chairperson Jeannie Schley reported that more criteria are needed before action can be taken on the cross connection control plan and the electric rate review study. The emergency response plan was approved, as recommended by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The plan provides guidelines on what to do in the event of a water emergency.

The Utility Board will be discussing hiring Schenk, SC to review the electric rates after the 2010 audit showed a negative rate of return. Schenk would give the city ideas on what to propose to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for council review.

The DNR also recommends the city have a cross connection policy, which allows for water employees to check houses to be sure there are no possibilities for contamination.

The Tourism Committee recommended that the council approve allocating up to $3,200 per year for 2012 and 2013 of room tax revenue to participate in a county-wide effort to promote the area. This measure was approved by a 9-0-1 vote, with alderperson Bill Zeinert abstaining.

According to Dave Thiel, Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation (WCEDC) Executive Director, a countywide tourism group is working to submit a joint effort marketing (JEM) grant to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The WCEDC will prepare and submit the grant application. The maximum grant award would be $39,550, which would have to be matched by local contributions. The task force identified a match amount for each of the eight communities of Clintonville, Fremont, Iola, Manawa, Marion, New London, Weyauwega and Waupaca, based on percentage of population. The grant application is due by Sept. 1 and the project would take place over the next two years.

The council went on to approve the following:

• Ordinance 1068-Aldermanic Districts (2nd reading);

• Resolution 2011-09-Designation of Bucholtz and W.A. Olen Parks as School Forests;

• Resolution 2011-07-Provisional and Temporary Operator’s License Fees (Previously, fees were set at $6 for temporary and $8 for provisional licenses. The city is charged $7 by the state per background check that is run. Therefore, the city was losing money in one case and making very little money in the other. As of Aug. 1, fees will be increased to $15 for provisional and $10 for temporary.); and

• Transit radio subsidy-the taxi service will need to upgrade its radios in the next few years for FCC regulations. Of the $4,000 to get the new radios, the state and federal subsidies are $3,200, so the total for the city is $800. This amount will come from the contingency fund.

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