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Stay off Division Street

Unlawful traffic impedes construction

By Scott Bellile

City officials urge motorists to keep their vehicles off Division Street during the ongoing reconstruction project.

“We continue to get complaints out there of vehicles on that roadway,” New London Police Chief Jeff Schlueter said during his monthly report at the Aug. 13 New London City Council meeting. “We’re trying to get the construction done so we can get it completed as fast as possible along with protecting the construction workers that are out there.”

People who do not live on Division Street are not permitted to drive on the street. However, they can cross Division Street through three designated crossroads: Beacon Avenue, Washington Street, or the pairing of Rowland and Oak streets.

Residents of Division Street are authorized to drive on the road to access their homes, but New London Public Services Director Chad Hoerth reminded them to use the designated crossroads, not other side streets, to exit the work zone.

“We did tighten down some of the work zones on Division Street, so you might see more barricades that are there to prevent cross traffic coming through the side streets,” Hoerth said during his monthly report to the city council.

Unlawful traffic has decreased because of the additional barricades, but Schlueter said police have seen motorists step out of their cars and move barricades so they can take shortcuts.

“We can’t have you getting out of your car moving barrels,” Schlueter said. “As soon as you move the barrels [and do not put them back], you open it back up for everyone.”

Nonresidents caught driving on Division Street or anyone seen moving barrels will likely be ticketed, Schlueter said.

Hoerth also offered a brief update on the construction project, saying all underground utility work has been completed. Crews are now rebuilding the curb and gutter.

He encouraged residents to visit www.newlondonwi.org/projects to view updates on the Division Street reconstruction.

The webpage states concrete will be poured on the stretch of Division Street between Beacon and Wolf River avenues by the end of this week. The concrete will take a week to settle, so local traffic cannot drive over it until sometime between Aug. 29-31.

The 1-mile reconstruction of Division Street, which is County Highway D, involves resurfacing the road, widening portions of the road and installing sidewalk in spots. The project should be completed later this fall.

City council highlights
The following business took place at the Aug. 13 New London City Council meeting:

• The council unanimously approved an open meetings policy officially designating three physical locations for posting city government meeting agendas: New London City Hall, New London Public Library and New London Utilities. Agendas will continue to be posted on the city’s website. City Clerk Jackie Beyer initiated the revised policy after learning the city’s practice of posting agendas only at City Hall and on the website did not fulfill a state law requirement of three physical locations.

• The council unanimously approved an ordinance to amend the zoning of 801 N. Shawano St. from N-R (Natural Resources) to N-R/B-2 (Natural Resources/Commercial). The rezoning of this parcel, located south of Bucky’s Restaurant, will accommodate construction of a new Dollar General store. Todd Platt, project developer, told the council during a public hearing that the store should break ground this fall and open June 2019. Dollar General wants to move out of its current location at 105 Henry St.

• Mayor Gary Henke reappointed Joyce Hoffman, Bob Witczak and Robin Johnson to the New London Board of Zoning Appeals. Their terms expired this year.

• Henke appointed Paul Franzmeier to the New London Housing Authority. Franzmeier replaces Mary Christ, former housing authority chairperson, who died on May 28. (Arien Herminath now serves as chairperson.)

• The city council removed from its agenda the second reading of an ordinance to regulate attachments and modifications to the downtown river wall. Beyer told the Press Star the second reading was postponed because the city did not publish a notice of a public hearing about the ordinance. The public hearing and the second reading will take place at the September city council meeting. If approved, the ordinance would require individuals, businesses and organizations to hire the city’s engineer and a licensed contractor to install private property such as anchors and docks to the city’s river wall. The ordinance aims to protect the structural integrity of the wall, which is currently under repair.

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