Monday, February 5, 2018

What you may not know: Week of February 5

The Appleton Common Council has our first full council meeting of the month on Wednesday and most of the items on the agenda are things we've previously discussed:

Landfill Expansion

As I mentioned two weeks ago, Outagamie County has started the process of getting approvals to expand their landfill between French and Holland Road. The next space used is expected to be at the northeast corner of their existing footprint, nearest to the corner of Highway 41 and French Road.

This expansion is still a long time away but Outagamie County is getting out ahead of the permitting process, which takes some time to complete. As I mentioned in my last update, at this time the only action the city is taking is appointing our negotiating representatives to protect our interests as this project moves along in future years.

Exhibition Center Financing

Last week the Appleton Redevelopment Authority voted 5-2 to approve the concept of a proposed borrowing package calling for bonds to be issued as the final funding mechanism for construction of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center, so that process can finally move along. Barring any further setbacks, that transaction is set to be finalized the first week in April.

In the meantime, the city's short term loan to the ARA to cover the costs of the project is still in place. As of March 1 the city will have lost an estimated $237,500 in interest income on the money loaned to ARA. Two weeks ago the Finance Committee unanimously approved a recommendation calling for the city to attempt to recoup that lost income as part of the facility's final borrowing. That resolution appears on Wednesday's council agenda.

I expect we will approve this resolution, but actually recouping the funds would require the consent of the nine other member municipalities involved in the project. I can't speak to how they will react to this request.

New Subdivision along Cherryvale

Two weeks ago the City Plan Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of a proposed final plat for the new Creekside Estates subdivision, a collection of 13 single-family lots along Cherryvale Avenue south of the creek. The plat remains largely unchanged from what has been previously discussed, and I expect it to pass council this week without issue.

The only change of note in this project relates to the proposed six-foot berm along the creek side of the properties: The Board of Zoning Appeals recently voted to reject a request for a variance that would have allowed this berm, but I've since been informed that a process remains in place for the berm to be approved and installed as planned. This is a positive for all involved, as the berm would protect both the privacy of the owners of these new properties, who will have the Apple Creek Trail running adjacent to their property, and the privacy of property owners on the north side of the creek.

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.

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