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Council tackles bevy of issues, Commerce lease

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By Steve Van Kooten

 

Before the Common Council meeting on Sept. 5, officials sat in the hall with the arms up, their gazes diverted around the room. Abram, the City Administrator, rushed from his seat to the computer that controlled the Zoom link and back. Everyone exchanged bemused thoughts as they prepared from Mayor David Hemmer to call the meeting to order.

Along with Hemmer and Abram, Nate Bremmer, First District; Kayla Ingham, 2nd District; Kelssi Ziegler, 3rd District; Vicki Waller, Fifth District; and Pam Kiesau, At Large, were present. Nick Crary, Sixth District, and Jaaren Riebe, At Large, joined remotely.

In August, the Council began a process to adjust a TID district and initiate a blight deferment for a section of property on Blackhawk Avenue. On Sept. 19, the Council is scheduled to reconvene to review that process; however, the agenda for the 5th features numerous other matters pertaining to Fall and Winter events. The mood was casual—laid-back even—as if the weight of the decisions made on the night didn’t stress the scales.

 

Parades

The Council approved permit applications for the Homecoming Parade and Annual Holiday Parade during the consent agenda.

The Homecoming Parade will begin at Bluff View Middle School and travel through town, ending at the high school parking lot. The event is scheduled for one hour. On the application submitted to the City, the date of the event is designated for Sept. 27; however, the event was acknowledged in supplemental paperwork to be on Sept. 21.

The Annual Holiday Parade had a Dec. 1 event date with a start time of 5:30 p.m. Robert Moses, applicant, estimated 50 units/people would participate in the parade.

 

Parks and Recreation

Mike Wallace, Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director for Prairie du Chien, updated the Council on his progress in his new position.

“I’ve been on the job three weeks now, and my main focus has been to learn all aspects of the job,” Wallace said. “And trying to get Hoffman Hall up and running.”

Wallace stated his focus has been bringing in new staff for the pool in Hoffman Hall and other programs, such as flag football, starting imminently.

The Parks and Recreation Department is still in need of an Aquatics and Recreation Manager, which was the subject of discussion for the Council under closed session.

 

Lockwood Street

The Council approved resolutions 2023-14 and 2023-15 pertaining to an area of Lockwood Street. The resolutions moved initial steps to vacate a portion of the street.

Resolution 2023-15 set a public hearing at the Council Chambers to be held on Oct. 17 at the monthly meeting. The time for the meeting will be 7 p.m. The meeting will be open to the public on the matter and the Council will act upon the resolution.

Chamber of Commerce

The Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce lease was approved for the period between Sept. 1, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2052. 

Abram stated the contract was due to expire in 2027 before the sublease was renewed at the meeting.

The terms of the lease amount to rent of $14,400 for calendar years 2023-24 and $15,000 for calendar years 2025-26 with monthly payments. Starting in 2027, rent adjustments are the discretion of the City of Prairie du Chien, acting as Lessor, with an increase of no more than 2.5 percent per year.

The contact prohibits certain actions from the Chamber, including unapproved alterations, subleasing to other entities and payment of utility expenses.

 

Other News

- As part of the consent agenda, the Council heard from Jacqueline Barr, who submitted an Appointment of Successor Agent form for the responsibility and conduct of Bob’s Bar pertaining to  alcoholic beverages.

-In the City Administrator report, Abram noted Karen Solomon, 4th District, resigned from her position on the Common Council for “work-related reasons.” Abram gave an open call for interested parties to speak with himself or Mayor Hemmer as they seeks to fill the vacancy for the city’s 4th District.

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