Sunday, March 24, 2013

What You May Not Know: Week Of March 24

First, a campaign note: I still have a limited number of yard signs available, so if you live in District 13 and would like one please let me know as soon as possible by commenting on this post or emailing me at FFGKyle[at]gmail[dot]com. 

Moving on, this is the last week of committee meetings before the April 2 election, and here are the three things that've caught my attention:

City Plan Commission

The City Plan Commission meets Monday at 4 pm and their first action item on the agenda is approval of a special use permit for Kwik Trip to open a store along County Highway JJ in District 13. This is the first I'd heard of plans to add a location in the neighborhood, and to be honest I don't know much more about it. The parcel of land proposed is listed as being within the 13th district, which means it would have to be somewhere between Ballard Rd and an area slightly east of French Road.

The land proposed for the station is currently zoned agricultural, but Kwik Trip is planning on using it for a convenience store, gasoline sales and a car wash.

More on the plan, including renderings of the proposed store, are available on pages 17-22 of this week's Alderperson Weekly Packet.

Human Resources

The Human Resources Committee meets Monday at 6 pm and their lone action item is approval of the Police Department's request to "over-hire" one police officer using funds available from budgeted salary for a vacant position.

Chief Helein's memo to the council regarding this request lays out the details: A current officer is planning on retiring in September and the over-hire would allow the department to have an officer trained and ready to step into the job at that point. If the council were to deny this request then the new officer wouldn't be ready until sometime in 2014.

The additional wages the department would take on for this extra officer can be balanced out by using the salary budgeted for a "communication technician" position that is currently vacant, so hiring this new officer early won't have a major impact on the financial bottom line.


The Finance Committee meets on Wednesday at 5 and after weeks of discussion, this week they may act on a resolution regarding the interest rate on loans for special assessments.

Until recently the city had charged 9% interest for five years when property owners chose to pay for special assessment work in installments, but last year the council changed that rate to 6%. Now they're trying to find a metric to allow the interest rate to adjust itself going forward.

A key point in the debate on this issue to this point has been whether or not these loans classify as "secured" debt, a factor which will go a long way towards determining the eventual interest rate. Comparing these loans to "unsecured" loan rates could actually mean an eventual result significantly higher than the previous 9%.

At any rate, the Finance Committee is expected to make a recommendation to the Board of Public Works, and that could happen as soon as Wednesday.

Keeping you informed on issues that may impact you around the city is one of my primary goals as a candidate for and a potential member of Appleton's City Council. Making the council's activity as accessible as possible to as many people as are interested is part of my goal to make it easier for more people to get involved with issues that matter to them.

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