Before we get to this week's council happenings, I have a couple of quick announcements:
First of all, we're starting to get into garage sale season, and I know the Apple Creek Estates neighborhood is hosting many sales this coming weekend. If you're hosting a sale and putting up signs to direct traffic to them, the Appleton Police Department has asked me to remind you that signs cannot be posted on the street right-of-way/terraces, or taped to traffic signs/trees/poles/signals that are in the right of way. If you'd like to post signs, you're encouraged to ask for permission from property owners before doing so.
Second, M.A.T.C.H. (Making Appleton Tennis Courts Happen) is hosting a wine tasting at the Appleton Yacht Club on Thursday night at 7 pm to help raise money for their efforts to save and refurbish courts in Appleton parks. Tickets are $60 at the door for this event, and 100% of the donations go directly to the MATCH fund.
Now, back to business. the Common Council meets on Wednesday to discuss the following:
Before Wednesday's full council meeting, the Board of Public Works meets at 6 pm in the Council chambers and they have no less than 12 action items on their agenda. Two of those items will be of specific interest to residents of the 13th district, as they pertain to the proposed extension of Cherryvale Avenue. You can see the proposed plan on page 37 of Friday's Alderperson Weekly Packet.
The proposed addition to Cherryvale will cut through both Appleton and Little Chute to form a path from Highway JJ to Evergreen Drive, so the council has to approve an agreement between the two municipalities to work together on the project and an agreement for developers to give the land that will eventually hold the street, water main and sewer lines to the city.
This and all of the Board's other actions will be reported out to the full council at their 7 pm meeting. Once we get there, here are some of the other things I'll be watching:
It's likely the top story from Wednesday's meeting will have to do with the proposed Mason Street bike lanes, as it seems likely the full council will finally vote up or down on the proposal and put this issue to bed.
Two weeks ago the proposal was sent back to committee and last Tuesday that committee spent over three hours in session considering possible amendments to the plan, but after much deliberation elected not to change the proposal, so it returns to council re-affirmed.
Despite the fact that nothing changed on Tuesday, I think that meeting was important because it really highlights the fact that all options have been considered here. I recognize that not everyone will be happy with me for doing so, but barring a last minute compromise that represents more than an effort to make this issue someone else's problem, I'm planning on voting for the bike lanes.
Finally, we could also be approaching a final decision on the special assessment interest rate resolution that's been in play for months now. On Wednesday at the Finance Committee meeting Aldermen Stueck and Croatt (one of the authors of the original resolution) co-presented an amendment that would pretty significantly alter the proposal, changing the five-year rate to three percent over prime. That would raise the rate for work done in 2014 from 6% to 6.25%, assuming the prime rate doesn't change. The previous proposal called for a formula that could move it to 8.99%.
The new figure isn't exactly what I would've chosen given the opportunity but it is better than the current proposal. The amendment failed on a split vote in committee (2-2 with one member absent), but will be proposed again on Wednesday. The committee also voted to deny the existing proposal which would raise the rate back up to 9%.
Keeping you informed on issues that may impact you around the city is one of my primary goals as an alderman. 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.