Wisconsin DNR representative and Urban Forestry Coordinator Tracy Salisbury presented Mayor Gary Henke with the 2013 Tree City USA Award during the city’s April 8 Common Council meeting.
“We’re very proud of this award and to have earned this twenty one years in a row,” Mayor Henke said.
The Tree City USA award is a national award offered by the National Arbor Day Foundation. It is designed to recognize communities that effectively manage their public tree resources and to encourage the implementation of community tree management.
To be a recipient of the award, four requirements of urban forestry management need to be met: maintain a Tree Board or Department, have a community tree ordinance, have an annual Community Forestry program budget of at least $2 per capita, and celebrate Arbor Day.
“New London is a great community, keep up the good work, Salisbury said.
In light of New London receiving this award and the community’s desire to continue its tree planting practices, Mayor Henke announced an Arbor Day Proclamation to the council.
Arbor Day is a national holiday to observe the planting of trees. According to Henke, trees in the city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas and beautify the community.
“I proclaim Friday, April 25, 2014 as Arbor Day in the city of New London and urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands,” Mayor Henke said. “I further urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well being of this and future generations.”
Developmental Property Proposal Update
At the February City Council meeting, an approval was given for a development agreement proposal with Nicolet Lumber for the construction of three 12-unit apartment buildings behind Walgreens.
During that time it was discussed about the possible need for the proposed development to utilize some of the city property along the Rasmussen Canal. The Finance and Personnel Committee now say they will need to use that property.
According to City Administrator Kent Hager, Walgreens has a covenant in place that protects their “view” from the adjoining areas. The initial layout for the development got in the way of this protected view. In order to get out of the way, the development had to be shifted to the south moving onto a parcel consisting of about one acre of the City Rasmussen Canal Property.
“The city canal property is of very limited value as most of it is in the floodplain,” Hager said. “A use such as this is very valuable to the city in the long-run.”
Hager requested that the City of New London agree to “gift” the property and utility easement along the Rasmussen Canal to the developer. This would be accomplished by a modification of the current development agreement or by wording on the deed.
The owner of the development will be Premier Real Estate Management LLC and the developer will be Nicolet Lumber.
The council unanimously approved to allow Hager and City Attorney Earl Luaders to prepare paperwork to “gift” Rasmussen Canal Property and Utility Easement to Nicolet Lumber/Premier Real Estate Management, contingent on the development of three 12-unit apartment buildings and that the developer pay the survey and closing costs.
Concussion Management Plan
In response to growing concerns over concussion in athletics, the state of Wisconsin now requires schools and organizations who offer competitive activities to adopt concussion management guidelines.
The Parks and Recreation department has reviewed the rules and regulations of the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), and considers both organizations appropriate references when handling sports related injuries and concussions.
Ginger Arndt, Recreation Coordinator, prepared a concession management plan for the New London Parks and Recreation Department.
Components of the plan consist of a concussion overview, concussion education for student athletes, parents and coaches, protocol for removing and allowance of return for players, and an agreement form to sign prior to sport participation.
According to Arndt, anyone signed up for a program will receive the concussion management plan packet. The plan will also be available online at the city’s website: www.newlondonwi.org.
The council unanimously voted to adopt the Concussion Management Plan for the New London Parks and Recreation Department.