No increases in department budgets are expected for 2013 in the city of Manawa.
This information was presented by City Clerk Cheryl Hass at the Sept. 17 meeting of the Manawa Common Council.
“I have not seen any budget that is over right now,” she said.
Hass noted, however, that she expects about an 8.7 percent increase in health insurance premiums in 2013.
According to preliminary data, the monthly cost for a family plan could increase from $1,450 to $1,600. This would mean an individual would pay about $208 and the city’s share would increase by $140 per month for a family plan.
Council members asked if there were other health insurance options. Hass noted that the city already has the lowest premium policy in the state’s plan. She also noted that it is rather late to search for options.
“Besides, every time we looked, the state plan was the lowest, even if it doesn’t look like it,” Hass said.
Dam project begins
Public Works Director Frank Jaeger noted that dam work has started, and there are “a few things we need to change.”
“It is in worse shape than we thought,” he said.
“I’ll try to keep the cost down,” Jaeger promised.
Council members asked if the mussels need to be moved back after the dam work is completed by Nov. 1.
The answer was “no,” because none of the 13 different species of mussels – about 600 total – were affected by the dam work. The endangered species were located further downstream than anticipated.
City resident Marie Schultz asked for a conditional boarding permit in order to temporarily house more than two dogs.
Currently she has four dogs, which is a violation of city ordinances. Schultz also “dog sits” for a few other dogs.
She noted that two of the dogs will only be at her residence through the winter months.
She stated that the conditional permit is needed, “so the city does not harass me all the time.”
Council member Ann Bonikowske said it is not the city harassing her, but other residents calling with complaints.
“No, it was a city official,” Schultz replied. But she refused to give a name.
“I have lived in this town three times,” she said, “and I have never been harassed like I am this time.”
The council agreed to give the request to the Protection and Welfare Committee, and to notify Schultz concerning the committee’s meeting date.
Sand mine issue
Deanna Hannigan of Symco asked for the council’s support of the town of Union in its action to prevent sand mining in the area. She was speaking on behalf of Preserve Waupaca County, a newly formed group.
According to Hannigan, a mining company recently purchased 160 acres in the eastern part of Union Township. She noted that the town’s comprehensive plan has provisions to protect its natural resources.
“Maintaining rural character is important to the people of the town of Union,” she said.
According to surveys taken during the comprehensive planning process, Hannigan noted that 95 percent of the township’s residents strongly agreed to preserve natural resources, 97 percent were for preserving lakes and waters, and 60 percent disapproved of gravel pits.
“This mining (operation) is a lot bigger than a gravel pit,” Hannigan said.
She asked that the council send representatives to any township and county meetings dealing with the issue.
“Pete the Cat” Day
The council passed a resolution proclaiming Oct. 15 as “Pete the Cat” Day in the city of Manawa.
The action was requested by Sturm Memorial Library Director Ellen Connor to honor the library’s hosting of Eric Litwin, author of the bestselling four-book picture series “Pete the Cat.” The books are geared toward ages preschool through fourth grade.
“We are very excited about this,” Connor said.
“This author will definitely be out of our price range by this time next year,” she explained. “We were lucky to get him.”
The library has been working on the author visit with St. Paul Lutheran School and the Manawa Elementary PTOs, with Litwin scheduled to also perform at the Manawa Elementary School.
Connor noted that the PTOs will be purchasing “Pete the Cat” books at wholesale prices and selling them for $5 each at the schools. The books will also be available at the Sturm Memorial Library on Oct. 15 for $11 each.