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HomeCity of AppletonAppleton City Council Update: February 20 - February 24, 2023

Appleton City Council Update: February 20 – February 24, 2023

Hi, Folks!  Welcome to another Committee Meetings Week in City of Appleton government.  We have a half-full week of meetings due to lack of agenda items and Tuesday’s primary election day.  Here’s a rundown of what you can expect this week:

Monday, 02/20/2023

Fox Cities Transit Commission – 3pm  After review and approval of the January 2023 payments, commissioners will discuss the acceptance of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and COVID relief funds from the federal government — that’s we taxpayers — totaling ~$3.4M.  The positive thing about these funds for Valley Transit is that no local matching funds are required for the acceptance of these grant funds.  The difficult thing to swallow is that these grants are taxpayer funds from the federal level and we are all now currently feeling the economic downstream effects of the excesses of ARPA federal spending.

The commission will also look to approve a contract award for ~$7M for the remodeling of the Valley Transit Whitman Avenue administration/maintenance facility (using all federal grant funds, per the memo requesting the awarding of the contract).  The transit group is also looking for approval to apply for more federal grants — these being 80%/20% grants requiring local support of up to ~$7.4M — for further Whitman Avenue facility renovations (“Phase 2”) and the downtown Appleton joint development project (proposed on the location of the current bus terminal next to the library).  There a lot of large dollar amounts being discussed at this meeting!

Municipal Services Committee – 4:30pm  Of interest to some District 13 neighbors, members of this committee will be asked to approve a preliminary resolution regarding the concrete pavement, driveway aprons, and sidewalk construction for Amethyst Drive (from Bluetopaz Drive to Aquamarine Drive and from Providence Avenue to Blutopaz Drive) and for Bluetopaz Drive (from Providence Avenue to Amethyst Drive).  This is the first step in the city’s determining the total assessments for the project and notifying neighbors of the project.  Assuming it’s approved by this committee, this project will next be referred to the Finance Committee (see below) for approval of the assessments.  Property owners along these roadways should be hearing from the city regarding this paving very soon.

Another preliminary resolution (this one for some storm sewer reconstruction elsewhere in the city), the approval of a statement of scope for an outside consultant’s work on streets/sidewalks safety assessments in the city, a request for parking restrictions on John Street adjacent the Eagle Point Condominium Development, and a request for the approval of a two-year renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding for Bird scooters in the city are all also on the agenda for this committee.

This meeting will conclude with an update on the proposed four-lanes-to-three-lanes downtown College Avenue restriping.  Here is a memo regarding the process steps taken and the remainder of the proposed process including committee and council approval voting opportunities.  I am always looking for your feedback on all proposed projects in the city and this is no exception!  I do ask that when and if you write me regarding your thoughts on this proposed restriping, you please provide me with a statement regarding how often and how/why you use this downtown College Avenue area.  Are you a frequenter of this area?  Do you use it for a east-to-west travel corridor only?  Do you rarely go downtown?  How often one personally visits this area greatly affects one’s opinions on the matter; so I’m interested in the affects this change might have upon you and your family.

Finance Committee – 5:30pm  Members of this committee will be asked to approve the same ARPA and COVID federal grants and the requests to apply for further grants that transit commissioners presumably will have approved earlier in the day.  They will also look to approve the assessments for the concrete paving and storm sewer construction projects also presumably earlier approved by the Municipal Services Committee.

After being held for the last two meetings of this committee, the construction bid for the reconstruction/reforestation project at Vosters Park will finally likely be approved so that that project can move forward as we neighbors of the park have discussed and the city has worked with us to revise.  For more information in this regard, please see last week’s blog post.

There is one informational item on this committee’s agenda regarding the final costs for the eight-court pickleball complex at Telulah Park.  The city received a generous private donation of $500,000 for this project and, all told, the project came in at a total of $614,144.96 with the city budget footing the balance of the bill.

Parks and Recreation Committee – 6:30pm  
There are no action items on this committee’s agenda.  But in the informational items portion of the agenda, the 2022 reviews of the Recreation Division, the Grounds Division, and Reid Golf Course will be presented.

Board of Zoning Appeals – 7:30pm  
One of my favorite “committees,” this board is back in session after a long break.. They last met in November 2022!  On their agenda are three requests for variances:

  • At 516 E Pacific Street: The owner would like to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) (of the same size as the primary residence!) 7’6″ from the rear lot line of the property where 25′ of setback is required.  There are no special features, limitations, or hardships related to this property and the proposed project.  The hardship stated by the applicant is self-created.  This request does not seem to meet the requirements for a variance so we shall see how board members move on this.
  • At 314 S Badger Avenue: A full application documenting the variance request is not included in the meeting agenda posting but the action item says that the applicant is requesting to build a two-story accessory building where building codes for this property allow only one-story accessory buildings.  This will be in interesting one to hear more about!
  • At 1410 E Pershing Street: Here is another variance request for an exception to code for the building of an ADU.  Like the Pacific Street request above, the request is that the ADU be built at a 6′ rear setback where 25′ is required.  The owner would like to remove the existing garage and place a two-story garage/ADU in its place.  Since the property remains useful and unencumbered as-is, there is no hardship (except self-created) that would necessitate a variance.  So… we shall see if the zoning board members can hold fast to the hardship “rules” of variance granting on this one as well.

Tuesday, 02/21/2023

The regular meeting of the Utilities Committee is cancelled on this date due to Primary Election Day.  Please do your part and make the trip to your polling place (District 13’s is Celebration Ministry Center!) to cast your vote in this primary.  Some very important races are being winnowed down to a shorter list of candidates in this election — State Supreme Court and Outagamie County Executive.  Your vote will definitely count in determining who will be on the ballot for these offices in the April!

Wednesday, 02/22/2023
The following committee meetings are cancelled this week:
  • City Plan Commission
  • Community and Economic Development Committee
  • Human Resources and Information Technology Committee
So the sole city committee meeting for this day is…

Safety and Licensing Committee – 5:30pm  Committee members will be briefed on a demerit point violation at Chadwick’s Bar.  They will then proceed to discussion and potential approval of a liquor license change of agent request and a temporary liquor license request.  In informational items, a revision of the city’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) will be discussed

And with that, the week’s meetings schedule will conclude.

Thank you again for joining me here again for a quick rundown of the week ahead.  I hope you enjoy some sunshine today!  I also hope and pray that the next “snowmageddon” predicted for this week does not come to fruition.  No matter what the weather brings, I wish you a great week and look forward to posting for you again next week!


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