Monday, February 1, 2016

What you may not know: Week of February 1

Good morning and welcome to February. Here are the items of interest on the agenda for Wednesday's 7 pm meeting of the Appleton Common Council:

Erb Pool

Work continues as expected on plans to replace Erb Pool with a new facility following the 2016 outdoor swimming season, and that project will take another step forward on Wednesday if council votes to approve the Parks and Recreation Committee's recommendation to hire MSA Professional Services to design and engineer the new space.

While council still needs to award the actual contracts for all of the work to be done here, the money to design a new pool, keep the old pool open for the 2016 season, demolish the pool following the season and construct a new facility to open in 2017 were all set aside during our 2016 budget process in November.

For this portion of the process, we received bids from six companies interested in the project and it was our staff's opinion that MSA's projected cost was the lowest of any bidder who had the requisite experience and vision and whose bid contained all necessary components.

Northland Avenue/Richmond Street construction

Last week both the Finance and Utilities Committees voted unanimously to recommend approval of a request to adjust our 2016 Water Distribution Capital Improvement Program to allow for work this summer to replace water infrastructure under the portions of Northland Avenue and Richmond Street that are scheduled to be reconstructed as part of a road project in 2017.

At last week's Finance meeting I asked staff for some detail on how this will impact traffic this summer. We'll be doing our best to avoid closing the entire road at any given time, but even a single lane closure will have a significant impact on the ~24,000 cars that pass through this area each day.

It appears this is the way we'll have to proceed, but it's unfortunate that the State DOT was unable to give us the flexibility to work concurrently with their 2017 road project and avoid having to inconvenience drivers and local businesses for two consecutive summers.

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. Good governance happens in the open, and I remain committed to raising awareness on the issues coming before us.

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