City council approves licenses, labor agreement
By Angie Landsverk
Zenath Stoeveken and Dena Wilke are preparing to open Z’ Wolf Eatery in downtown Waupaca.
“We’re looking to be open on New Year’s Day,” Stoeveken told the Waupaca Common Council during its Dec. 6 meeting.
On that evening, the council approved beer and wine licenses for the new business and gave Stoeveken and Wilke the opportunity to talk about their plans for the space at 107 W. Fulton St.
Stoeveken said they are excited to be in the historic Waupaca Cafe space and plan to breathe new life into the building, which has been vacant since The Sanctuary closed there this year.
Z’ Wolf Eatery will be about food, art and music, she said.
The council’s Dec. 6 meeting also included the introduction of John Helgeson as the police department’s new detective sergeant.
The position had been vacant since Brian Hoelzel became the department’s new police chief.
Helgeson, whose appointment was effective on Dec. 5, began his law enforcement career in 1994 with the Iola Police Department.
The Waupaca Police Department hired him as a patrol officer on Jan. 1, 1996, and he was promoted to patrol sergeant on June 13, 2005.
City-police labor agreement
In other business related to the police department, the common council approved a labor agreement between the city and the Waupaca City Law Enforcement Association.
The two-year agreement includes a 1 percent wage increase in 2017 and also guarantees a wage increase in 2018.
The 2018 wage increase will be a minimum of 1 percent and a maximum of 2 percent.
Members of the law enforcement association will receive the same across-the-board increase as the rest of the city employees, but not less than 1 percent or more than 2 percent.
If the other city employees receive less than a 1 percent raise, the law enforcement association will still receive a 1 percent, according to the agreement.
In addition, if the other city employees receive more than a 2 percent raise in 2018, the law enforcement association members will still receive a 2 percent raise.
The 2017 city budget, approved last month by the common council, included a 1 1/2 percent wage increase for the other city employees but did not guarantee a raise the following year.
Whether those employees receive a wage increase in 2018 will be discussed at the end of 2017.
Last week’s common council meeting also included a $1,500 claim for property damage, and the council voted to give the couple $1,000 and deny the other $500.
Claim against city
James and Melissa Seehausen rent property on Mill Street and filed the claim in late October, after they experienced four to five inches of sewage backup in their basement on Oct. 21.
They called the city after their plumbing contractor was unable to clear the blockage on the property side.
The city found the blockage at the manhole and removed it.
City staff cleaned sewer lines in that area a week before the sewage backup occurred.
The city’s liability insurance carrier recommended the city disallow the claim for property damage.
That is because city crews were not working in the area at the time, had no prior notice of the blockage in the sewer line and had cleaned a portion of that sewer line the week before, Kathy Kasza, the city’s finance director and treasurer, noted in a memo.
Members of the common council believed the city was somewhat responsible and did not think it was fair to disallow the claim.
If the city had disallowed the claim, and the couple successfully sought recourse in court, the city’s deductible would have been $1,000.
That is why Ald. Paul Mayou recommended allowing $1,000 out of the $1,500 claim.
The Seehausens lost everything in boxes on the floor in the basement, including a laptop, Christmas gifts, clothes for children and adults, household items, a Christmas tree, ornaments and other Christmas decorations.
Kasza told the council the sewer fund will cover the $1,000 expense.
The mayor also reminded those who rent property to get rental insurance and make sure they get the coverage they need.