A look back at 2011 in Clintonville
I am very proud to be living in Clintonville, the Little City that Lives Big! Here are a few notable happenings, both good and bad, from this past year:
• Laundromat Fire
The year started off on a bad note with the Laundromat Fire on South Main Street. The owners have been working on rebuilding and from the looks of it they are getting near completion.
• Canine Unit
The City Council voted to allocate the 2009 Ford Expedition to be used with the canine unit. Brian Mehlberg - Street Dept., was given the challenge of refurbishing the police SUV patrol vehicle into a K-9 unit with a dog kennel, automated door openers, as well as, automated air conditioning and heating system. Brian did an excellent job. The Police Dept. started a donation program for getting the dog and this is an ongoing project. The dog was ordered and arrived in July. Officer Adam Miller and Canine officer Apollo finished narcotics training in August and started on the job August 13. They have also had five weeks of training in the area of missing person/cadaver recovery. Donations are always accepted to help with the purchase of dog food, veterinarian appointments, etc.
• Countywide Tourism
The Countywide Tourism committee received $39,500 grant and the joint marketing committee is working to attract tourists to our area. The intent is to offer variety activities within the County to encourage tourists to plan to spend at least two days in the area.
• Fire Truck 974 Donation
The Firemen's Association generously made a donation to the City of a refurbished truck to be used as an equipment vehicle. With the change in laws, fire departments are required to carry more equipment, such as oxygen tanks, etc. The 2004 F550 referred to as Truck 974 is valued at approximately $50,000.
• Fire Fighters Take Physicals for Respirator Fitting
The fire department is required to have all fire fighters take physicals to make sure that their lungs are healthy enough for the new respirators, in addition to all the heavy equipment they must wear while fighting fires. We want to protect our firemen to the best of our ability.
• Refinancing and New Debt
March 2011 the Council made a very forward thinking decision when it refinanced over $2 million in debt in order to save over $460,000 in interest costs. The previous debt was incurred in 2001 for projects in TIF 3 our industrial park and TIF 5 the Angelus Retirement Community. The Council also saved costs by taking out its three year capital funds loan for $1.3 million at the same time.
• Klein Chevrolet
The Klein family announced new dealership plans and had their group breaking ceremony on July 1. The project finished ahead of schedule and opened their 24,000 square foot facility December 1 and had their ribbon cutting on December 6.
• New Businesses and Remodeling
It has been a great year with new businesses opening in Clintonville. We welcomed Jenny's Family Restaurant - April, Amicos Midwest Pizzeria - June 10, Erickson Pharmacy - June 13, Walgreens - Sept 14, TnT's Smoke Shack - Sept., "The Living Room Coffee Shop & Vintage Dècor" - November 23. The newest business "The Bartering Barber" owned by Faleon Sarto opened December 16 in the Fletcher Building on South Main St. She is a Master Barber and she features Skin Fades, Hair Cuts, Flat Tops, and Hot Lather Shaves. My dad enjoyed the times that I would take him once a month to have a hot lather shave and haircut.
Pamida completed a large remodeling project which included a drive-up pharmacy. Al's Bar & Grill - formerly the Wagon Wheel has remodeled on North Main Street. Good things are happening in Clintonville and once again I would encourage the entire community to support our hometown businesses.
• Industrial Park
The Industrial Park is also seeing additions to Walker Forge, Specialized Products, Seagrave and Schutt Industries.
• Recount of two close Council Elections
John Wilson defeated Jerry Jorgenson by two votes and Joe Lamia defeated Phil Rath by one vote. It was quite a process. Our election workers did an excellent job during the April election and had missed one additional vote for John Wilson. The machine did not read the vote because the lines where not connected. The recount process took around five hours. John Wilson and Joe Lamia were the official winners.
• New Weather System at Airport
The automated weather observation system (AWOS) was installed at the Clintonville Airport. Clintonville paid 2 percent - approximately $1,600 and the Bureau of Aeronautics paid the remaining $81,4000 with State and Federal Funding. Our airport is extremely busy. We have the lowest fuel costs in the state.
• Larrabee Township Decides to Leave City Hall
Larrabee decided not to renew their meeting and election contract with the City for 2012. Starting January 2012 Larrabee will be hold their monthly meeting at Fox Valley Technical College - Clintonville Campus.
• New Police Station
The remodeling of the We Energy Building is going well. It looks like the Police will be moving their dept. from City Hall around January 28, 2012. There will be an open house and that will take place in April when the landscaping is completed. Also, we don't want to track dirt into the new facility.
• 7th Street Reconstruction
The reconstruction was from Beacon Ave to Airport Road. The townships of Larrabee, Matteson and the City of Clintonville worked together on accomplishing this project. Next summer there will be an additional layer of blacktop placed on the road.
• West Street and Highway 45 Area Reconstruction
This construction has been completed with right and left turn lanes by West Street and the Highway 45 intersection to make turning onto West Street and the entrance of Klein's. Curb and gutter were added to West Street, landscaping is completed. A walk way was completed on the south side of Hwy. 45 and West Madison Street as far as the West Street Intersection.
• Concealed Weapons Banned from City Buildings
The City adopted ordinance No. 1070 in October that prevents people from bringing concealed weapons in to City buildings which began November 1. Individual businesses who do not want concealed weapons in their place of business, must post a sign stating that Concealed Weapons are not allowed in this building.
• Petition for City Administrator Submitted and Tabled
The Council held a special meeting on Wednesday, September 28 to hear input from the citizens and take action on the petition to eliminate the city administrator's position. After listening to citizen's talk at the Public Hearing for approximately two hours, the council voted to table the petition.
• Don Jirschele Baseball Field/Diamond
The Park & Rec Dept received a request from Dick Bennett former Clintonville resident and basketball star to name the Clintonville Baseball Field in honor of Don Jirschele. Dick continued to say that, Don has truly been "Mr. Baseball" in Clintonville. Don would spend time before and after games to make sure that the baseball diamond was in perfect condition for the next game. Gloria Dunlavy, Chair of the Park & Rec Committee stated that "when you think about baseball in Clintonville you think about Don Jirschele. Don has always just been there." A sign is being made and there will be a special dedication ceremony next spring just before the start of the first home baseball game.
• Budget Process - Cut $357,000
I want to thank the Dept. Heads, City Administrator, as well as, the Finance Committee for a job well done in not raising our taxes for 2012. They worked hard for seven weeks to accomplish a balanced budget.
• Report Given to Council on Success of TIF Districts
TIF is a way that the City can invest money to stimulate development, which in turn creates additional tax value, without using general tax dollars. The City can spend money on building new roads, installing utilities such as water, sewer and electric, or give the businesses a development incentive payment. The businesses that receive assistance pay taxes at the same rate that other tax payers pay. However, the difference is that the tax dollars associated with this development go into a separate fund that is used to pay back any funds that were invested into the development projects. These are the only dollars used to pay back these expenses, not general taxpayer's revenue. Since 1992 Clintonville's TIF Districts have added over $22 million in tax value to our community.
- Student art on display at Waupaca High School
- Senior Recognition Ceremony at WHS
- Friends of lakes group meets at Holly Center
- Lioness blood drive May 21
- Salon celebrates anniversary with street dance
- City hires new economic development director
- More delays for Iola's bridge project (2)
- Park renamed after Jim Boyer
- Fire department plans fundraisers
- School district recognized for wellness program