- The Finance Committee unanimously recommended the 2017 Special Assessment policy for approval. The policy features at best minimal changes from what is currently in place for this year. The most newsworthy note to come from that discussion was a report that the revenue generated by the Wheel Tax is effectively replacing revenue lost by eliminating special assessments for street reconstruction, as intended.
- The Community and Economic Development Committee also voted unanimously to approve a redistribution of 2016 Community Development Block Grant funding in response to one sub-recipient rescinding their request. The new proposal spreads an additional $15,460 between STEP Industries, Harbor House, Homeless Connections and LEAVEN.
Last week's most notable discussion, however, likely came at the Municipal Services Committee where we learned for the first time what it might take to make Appleton a 24-hour quiet zone for trains. Madeleine Behr of the Appleton Post Crescent did a great job outlining that presentation, which will likely generate much more discussion going forward.
The short version of the story is that it is projected to cost somewhere between $600,000-$800,000 to improve safety measures at the city's 23 railroad crossings to qualify for quiet zone status. Some of those improvements could require closing a crossing, while others would include safety measures intended to make it more difficult or impossible to go around safety gates at crossings.
No official action will be taken on this item this week, but I thought it merited mentioning as an item that will likely generate significant discussion in the future.
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.