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HomeCity of AppletonAppleton City Council Update: March 13 - March 17, 2023

Appleton City Council Update: March 13 – March 17, 2023

Raise your hands, Neighbors, if you are tired of this March 2023 weather.  My hand is most certainly raised!  This is the first Sunday in a while that we’ve not had some bright sunshine, though, so… let’s just hope for the best for the upcoming week, right?  

Speaking of this upcoming week… it’s Full Council Week once again here in the City of Appleton.  Besides the full council meeting, there are a couple of other scheduled meetings as well.  Here’s what you can expect to see:

 
Monday, 03/13/2023
 
CDBG Advisory Board – 12pm  This board advises the city’s Community and Economic Development Department regarding the annual allocations of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding the city receives from the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department.  In 2023, the city received a slightly smaller pot of CDBG funds from HUD and therefore needs to change the originally allocations approved in November 2022:

In the proposal to be considered, the $16,253 underfunding will proportionately reduce all previously approved CBDG allocations in Appleton.  The applicants to receive this funding — in case you are interested — include the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, LEAVEN Inc, Salvation Army of the Fox Cities, Pillars Inc, the Greater Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together Fox Valley, and WWIBC.

Tuesday, 03/14/2023

Library Board – 4:30pm  On Pi Day 2023, the full library board will meet to discuss and approve the February 2023 bill register and cash flow statements for the library.  They will also discuss a building project update from February (which includes nothing new since I last updated all of you, District 13 Neighbors), 4th quarter 2022/year-end statistics and the library’s 2022 annual report, some staff/program updates, and some trustee development updates/issues.

Wednesday, 03/15/2023
 
The Tax Payment Appeal Board is scheduled to meet at 6:30pm (just before the full council meeting).  There is no agenda yet posted for this meeting, though, so I can’t tell you as yet what might be discussed by this board… except perhaps some appeals by taxpayers…. whatever that may entail!  I’ll keep my eye out for the agenda for this meeting and amend this blog post if and when I find out more.
 
City of Appleton Common Council – 7pm  As you know and have now come to expect, the full council will entertain and discuss the approval of all those items which came through committee meetings last week.  Items of note include the following:
  • There will be a public hearing regarding a resolution to approve the going out for bid, pricing, and special assessments of property owners for the concrete paving/driveway aprons/sidewalk construction of Amethyst Drive (Bluetopaz Drive to Aquamarine Drive and Providence Avenue to Bluetopaz Drive) and Bluetopaz Drive (Providence Avenue to Amethyst Drive).  If you are interested in speaking to the council about this, please attend and share your feedback here (or let me know your thoughts ahead of time).  After the public hearing, the council will vote to approve a final resolution allowing the city to assess these property owners for their portion of the full expense based on street frontage of these properties.It’s interesting to me that this project will be discussed in full and then later in the meeting, the council will consider a request to delay the paving of Amethyst Drive from Bluetopaz Drive to Aquamarine Drive (more on this below).  But I suppose that, since the originally proposed construction project included this stretch and it was publicly noticed as such, this is how it must be done.
  • From the Finance Committee:  As I mentioned last week, there are a couple of important amendments to some originally planned/budgeted projects in District 13 due to discrepancies between contractor bids (coming in too high!) and the city’s 2023 budget.An amendment proposed includes the postponing of the paving of Amethyst Drive from Bluetopaz Drive to Aquamarine Drive until 2024.  I heard from a few of you who live here that this street as-is is in generally acceptable condition and concrete paving can safely be delayed.  However, a few of you have also mentioned your concerns regarding putting off the paving as it is not expected that anything will be less expensive in the future.  I take this concern very seriously and will pose that question in the council meeting.  While I understand that the city now has no choice — there are no less expensive bids on the table for the whole of 2023 concrete construction in the city — it behooves us as a council to consider the hardships that come will continuing to put off our planned infrastructure projects!  This is a serious city-wide issue — the lack of proper funding for infrastructure projects — and it won’t get better unless council members take a stand and do a better job allocating funding to the city’s needs instead of wants.

    A second part of this proposed amendment includes reallocating $200,000 from the 2023 Lightning Drive stream crossing/pond construction project (at the point of extension of Lightning Drive to the north) to the overall concrete projects in the city.  I expressed deep concerns about this proposal at the Finance Committee meeting as I do not wish to see any delays in the northward bound construction of Lightning Drive.  This corridor is desperately needed for the expansion of the City of Appleton to the north and much development in that area is reliant upon this project.  I felt a bit relieved to hear that the proposed reallocation is actually more of a “paper movement” of funds from one year to the next and will not, as far as the Department of Public Works (DPW) is concerned, delay the project.  The project is planned to span late 2023 and early 2024 and the $200,000 is a “small portion” of the funding for the entire project.  The DPW folks believe that this portion of the funds from this project will not be detrimental to the actual 2023 work on the project and can be made up (and re-budgeted for) in the 2024 portion of the project.  Now… we just have to work to help them to keep that promise come 2024 budget time later this year!

    Let me know your thoughts in this regard.  It’s important to me to best represent those in our district who are most deeply affected by these changes!

All other items from last week seemed to pass through committee without much fanfare and, I expect, will be approved by the council on Wednesday.  But if you have any questions from last week’s blog post or anything on last week’s committee agendas, please reach out to me.

I wish you a beautiful and melty mid-March week.  I look forward to communicating with you about any question or concern you might have regarding local government or your neighborhood.  I hope that this post (and all those I’ve shared in the past and will continue to share with you every week) help fulfill my goal to keep all of my neighbors in District 13 well informed and educated on your city government’s activities.

Until next week….!
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