Rec Center included in master plan
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville will seek options regarding buildings in part of its downtown area.
At its March 8 meeting, the Clintonville City Council approved an agreement with Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. to prepare a CDBG – Planning Grant Application for preparation of a downtown master plan.
Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell said the grant was aimed at addressing the deteriorating buildings on 11th Street in which raze orders have been issued, as well as the former Merc building and the Clintonville Recreation Center.
The cost to prepare the grant application is $2,000.
If the grant is approved, the analysis of the Rec Center will be $40,000-$50,000, Kell said. The grant would pay for about $20,000 of that cost. The balance would then need to be paid with cash from the city and “in kind” services, this would equate to about $12,500 in cash and $12,500 in in-kind services.
After the analysis is done, if the council decides it wants to pursue construction plans on the Rec Center it could apply for another grant.
“They potentially would fund up to $1 million of renovation for the Rec Center being funded 50 percent by the CDBG grant and 50 percent by the city,” Kell said.
Kell said he wasn’t recommending a $1 million project, just that that was the maximum amount that could be obtained.
“I don’t have any clue of what the costs of fixing that Rec. Center up would be,” Kell said.
He added that all five grant applications submitted by Short Elliott Hendrickson were accepted last year.
Alderman Jim Krause asked if this grant would help build a facility for the Clintonville Area Food Pantry if the Rec Center was torn down.
Kell said he didn’t know the answer to that question, but the fact that the food pantry is located in the Rec. Center, might help get the grant approved.
Kell recommended using funds from capital improvements to cover the costs.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity to explore our options for the Rec Center and the downtown,” said Alderman Brad Rokus.
He added that he would like to see this type of effort extended to figuring out what to do with the outdoor municipal swimming pool.
“We’re looking at grants for all these different things but there hasn’t been a mention of trying to figure out what we’re going to do with that yet,” Rokus said.
Kell informed the council that the Street Committee recommended that new sidewalks not be installed when the Maize Street reconstruction takes place.
He said the project will go out on bid in April.
The project includes installing a new sanitary sewer and water main, curb and gutter, and street on Maize Street from Madison Street to 7th Street.
Justin McAuly, Parks and Recreation director for the city of Clintonville, updated the council about the most recent Ad Hoc Pool Committee meeting. He told the council there was confusion on the committee as to its objective.
He referred to the minutes from the March 3, 2015 Finance Committee meeting when it was recommended a Pool Committee be formed. He said the committee was supposed to come back to the Parks and Recreation Department and council with plans. He said he and the committee weren’t sure if that included fundraising, and what type of plans.
Kell recommended that an account be created with the city so the money being collected and donated can be deposited in that account. He added that the council should also designate what to do with the money if the fundraising isn’t successful.
He also addressed the council about the insurance claim regarding the damage to the building at the pool. He said the insurance situation is becoming confusing and the city is trying to get in contact with the insurance company.
McAuly also isn’t sure the pool will be functional this year, Kell said.
Stephanie Hintz, chairwoman of the Pool Committee, updated the council on the committee’s activities.
After much discussion, Rokus said the logical next step is to have the city set up an account to deposit donated money. He said fundraising needs to be done in an official form.
He added that once the account is set up, fundraising might become easier.
“It will legitimize the process,” Rokus said.
• The council unanimously approved a sewer rate increase that was recommended by the Clintonville Utility Board, the city’s financial advisors and city staff. Kell stressed that this increase was for only sewer rates. Alderman Steve Kettenhoven was absent from the meeting.
• The council unanimously approved transferring labor related legal matters to James R. Macy with the law firm von Briessen & Roper, S.C. in Oshkosh. Macy has handled labor related legal matters for the city in the past, but since he recently changed law firms, the city needed to also switch firms if it wanted Macy to continue to do that work for the city.
• The council unanimously approved a two-year billboard contract with LAMAR for a billboard south of the city. A new graphic will be added to the billboard in April or May.
• The council unanimously approved a funding request of $500 for the Spring Cruise Annual Car Show.
• The council unanimously approved a bid of $11,402 for the surplus brush truck the Clintonville Fire Department has replaced.
• The council unanimously approved replacement of the garage door at the public works garage. The cost is $17,585, which is in this year’s budget.