Monday, September 12, 2016

What you may not know: Week of September 12

The Appleton Common Council has a nearly full slate of committee meetings scheduled for this week, and here are some of the highlights:

Finance Committee, Tuesday, 4:30 pm:

On Tuesday the Finance Committee will be asked to make recommendations regarding the proposed awarding of several city contracts for work this fall, and one proposed rejection of bids.

The proposed rejection is for a project to redevelop the water garden at the Scheig Center in Memorial Park. The 2016 budget included $65,000 for the removal of the boardwalk and reconstruction of the water feature at that facility as part of an effort to improve accessibility and maintainability in that area. Unfortunately, the project received two bids and the lowest was $164,608.66, nearly $100,000 above budget.

Early indications show that the timing of this project may have been an issue, as contractors who decided to bid are heavily booked through the end of the year and may have built overtime labor rates and other premium costs into the bids.

Assuming the committee and council follow staff's recommendation to reject all bids, this project will likely be postponed to 2017 and re-bid in the spring.

Municipal Services Committee, Tuesday, 6:30 pm

As we near the end of road construction season, it's time to start looking ahead to future projects. This week the Municipal Services Committee will be asked to approve design recommendations for 12 streets scheduled for reconstruction during the summer of 2018:

  • Lynndale Drive, from Leonard Street to Everett Street
  • Lincoln Street, from Olde Oneida Street to 230 feet east of Olde Oneida Street
  • Marquette Street, from Division Street to Oneida Street
  • Summer Street, from Morrison Street to Drew Street
  • Catherine Street, from Washington Street to North Street
  • Mary Street, from North Street to Pacific Street
  • The alley west of Perkins Street, from Charles Street to Perkins Street
  • Kamps Avenue, from Fire Station #5 to to Douglas Street
  • Drew Street, from Glendale Avenue to Pershing Street
  • Sanders Street, from Seymour Street to Verbrick Street
  • Reeve Street, from Linwood Street to Badger Avenue
  • Winnebago Street, from Linwood Street to Badger Avenue
Holding design hearings for these projects as early as possible is important because it gives us time to make any necessary changes or discuss for as long as we need without having to worry about deadlines for the following year's budget or issuing construction contracts. Again, these projects are scheduled for the summer of 2018.

Brief summaries of the recommended designs for each street are available here, in each item's description. If you have any further questions, I'd recommend you contact the Department of Public Works or email me ( and I can refer your question to someone who will be able to answer it.

Community and Economic Development, Wednesday, 5 pm

Finally, as budget season approaches, so too begins work on the 2017 Community Development Block Grant process. This week the Community and Economic Development Committee will hold a public hearing for constituent input on priorities for the available dollars and take the first steps to allocate an estimated $528,000 in available federal funds.

A portion of that money is proposed, per usual, to find several city projects that meet the funding guidelines of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development:
  • $80,290 for the city's Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program
  • $60,000 for the Appleton Housing Authority
  • $40,282 for the city's administrative costs for grant disbursement and monitoring.
Additionally, the Community and Economic Development Department is asking for $200,000 to fund property acquisition for a proposed "small home community." The initial goal for this project is to create five affordable housing units.

If this project is approved it will leave $147,428 available for local agencies to apply to receive at a future date. Last year the award process for these remaining funds was very competitive: Even after one applicant rescinded their request and another received no funding, four subrecipients of grant funding still received significantly less than their original request.

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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