It's a full committee week for the Appleton Common Council, and here are some of the items I'll be watching:
City Plan Commission, Monday, 4 pm
Back in 2011 the city took a step towards allowing urban beekeeping within the city limits by allowing areas zoned Public Institution, and in 2013 Urban Farm zoning was also added as an acceptable location for bees. Last week Alderpersons Dalton and Meltzer proposed a resolution calling for beekeeping to also be allowed on residential zoning with the written permission of the Health Department.
There would, of course, be limits to residents' ability to keep bees: Residential properties would be limited to five hives and the city would have some work to do to develop a permitting process to ensure beekeeping is done in a safe and reasonable way. But I'm intrigued by this possibility and will be interested to see the Commission's debate.
Finance Committee, Tuesday, 4:30 pm
For several years now the city has been attempting to work with Canadian National Railroad to repurpose some of the unused railroad trestles over the Fox River to improve our expanding trail system. That process could take a big step forward Tuesday night when the Finance Committee will be asked to recommend approval of an agreement between the city and the railroad.
As of this writing I haven't seen the full text of the agreement, so I don't know what the terms will be for any possible exchange. I know in the past the railroad has asked for closure of railroad crossings at various streets in the city, but I don't believe that's the case this time as the item is not appearing before the Municipal Services committee.
Utilities, Tuesday, 5:30 pm
Immediately after the Finance Committee on Tuesday we'll get an update on one of the city's largest stormwater projects, as the Utilities Committee will be asked to review a proposal to delay the West Wisconsin pond project for a year.
The cause of the delay appears to be some unexpected soil conditions on the site of one of the new ponds. As such, most of the expected borrowing for the project won't happen this year and the effort will be rebudgeted next year.
You can see agendas for all of this week's meetings and the full schedule at the city's Legistar page.
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.