Monday, February 27, 2017

What you may not know: Week of February 27

While this week technically starts in February, Wednesday is the first Wednesday in March. As such, it's a full council meeting week for the Appleton Common Council, but we have some business to take care of in committee first:

Finance Committee, Wednesday, 6:15 pm

Last week's Finance Committee meeting had to be rescheduled due to last Tuesday's primary election, so the committee will meet Wednesday night before council to take up their action items. They'll be asked to approve seven contracts for projects this week including bridge maintenance, street, sewer and water reconstructions and two roof replacements.

The biggest ticket action item on the agenda for Wednesday, however, is the latest package of bids for the ongoing Exhibition Center project. This package includes 15 components of the project, easily our largest package to date. The good news out of all of this is that the combined components are under budget (this group is $10.4 million) and the project continues to proceed on time and on budget.

Additionally, on Wednesday the Committee will be asked to approve a settlement with CVS Pharmacy related to an ongoing lawsuit over their property assessment. Last week the Post Crescent had a great overview of a property tax loophole allowing "big box" retailers to claim their property should be assessed at the value it would hold if it were an empty store, instead of at the facility's market rate. The difference between the two is significant and could have a major impact on property taxes if the loophole is left in place. Last week the Community and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved a resolution calling for the State Legislature to close the loophole. Until or unless they do so, however, we have no choice but to settle suits like this.

Common Council, Wednesday, 7 pm

The remaining items of note on the council agenda are things we discussed last week. Here's an update on where we stand:

  • The Human Resources Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of reorganization requests from the Police Department (modifications in the Administrative Services Division), Fire Department (merging Battalion Chief positions, creating a new training position and shifting the balance of Captains/Lieutenants) and Valley Transit (creating flexibility in the number of part-time drivers hired).
  • The Municipal Services Committee also voted unanimously to approve a change to the city's snow removal policy that would remove driveway aprons from the list of spaces required to be cleared by property owners. At the meeting it was discussed that this portion of the ordinance rarely comes up in practice, and it's rare for a community to require aprons to be cleared.
You can see all of this week's meeting agendas 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.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for the update. One item piqued my interest, about the pharmacies' refusal to pay taxes for fully functional businesses. You wrote, "we have no choice but to settle suits like this." I disagree. You could publicly lobby our representatives in the legislature and ask them why this problem hasn't been addressed. Business interests above civic interests shouldn't be tolerated.