Planning grant approved
Clintonville Rec Center included in study
By Bert Lehman
The CDBG – Planning Grant Application for preparation of a downtown master plan that the city of Clintonville had applied for has been approved by the state of Wisconsin.
“We will have the resources to do a plan for the 11th Street and Merc [building] area,” Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell told the Clintonville city council at its Aug. 9 meeting. “There’ll be an analysis, including the Rec Center and what it will take to refurbish the Rec Center and possible uses.”
Kell said public input will be sought in the future.
The council, at its March 8 meeting, had approved spending $2,000 to have Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. prepare the application.
At that meeting, Kell said if the grant was approved, the analysis of the Rec Center would be $40,000-$50,000. The grant would pay for $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.
Kell also said at the March 8 meeting that after the analysis is completed, the council will decide if it wants to pursue construction plans for the Rec Center, at which point the city could apply for another grant that would pay 50 percent of the renovation costs, up to $1 million.
A study for the potential of downtown housing is also part of the grant. This will include what type of downtown housing is appropriate for the city.
The city of Clintonville hasn’t borrowed any money for the sanitary sewer projects scheduled for this year and next year. The sewer project for Maize Street is $150,000 this year. The sewer project for Main Street will be approximately $536,000 next year.
Ehlers, the city’s financial advisor, recommended the city not issue general obligation debt because the city’s debt level is getting high. Ehlers also recommended the city not do a revenue bond because the amount needed is a “relatively small amount,” and the issuance costs are substantial, Kell said.
“They suggested we find some other sort of funding for the sewer projects,” Kell said. “They suggested a bank loan.”
Kell recommended borrowing from the $1.5 million water utility fund balance.
“There’s no reason why we can’t put that money to work for the city,” Kell said.
Kell recommended the city use money from the Clintonville Sewer Utility fund balance to pay for the Maize Street project. He also recommended the Main Street project be funded by having the sewer utility borrow the funds from the water utility fund balance. A borrowing agreement would be structured between the two utilities.
He added that the water utility will need $412,000 to fund its projects on Maize Street and Main Street. Kell said after subtracting the money needed to borrow to the sewer utility and the funds the water utility will need this year and next year, the remaining amount in the water utility fund balance will be $622,000, which is more than 25 percent of its operating budget.
The Finance Committee had approved that recommendation the previous day.
The city council unanimously approved the recommendation.
Wastewater treatment facility
“I think we’re getting very, very close to getting this thing started,” Kell told the council.
He said the USDA informed him that it is in the process of forwarding all the paperwork to their attorney, which means the final closing documents will be assembled soon.
“Once we get those closing documents, then we can put the project out for bid,” Kell said.
Kell told the council that Greenstone Farm Credit Services is planning to break ground for its new facility within 30 days.
Greenstone has submitted the plans to the city for review, Kell said.
Kell said the project will be a total of 17,000 square feet and will include two levels. The second floor will be for future expansion.
It will be about a $2 million investment by Greenstone.
Kell said Greenstone told him that the smaller communities that it has built new facilities in have grown and filled the buildings the fastest.
A buyer for the existing Greenstone building has also been found. Kell said he didn’t know who the buyer was.
Pool insurance claim
Regarding the insurance claim on the municipal outdoor swimming pool, Kell told the council the city isn’t close to a resolution to the issue.
Roof repair figures have not been sent to the insurance company yet.
The city is also disputing the $16,000 figure the insurance company offered for the contents of the building. Kell said the city received that figure from the insurance company on June 29. That same day Kell said he requested an itemized list of what was being paid for each item that was damaged. The city still hasn’t received that itemized list.
“We’re a ways off on getting this settled,” Kell said.
The council met in closed session for about 30 minutes to discuss what the agenda described as, “Conferring with legal counsel for the governmental body who is rendering oral or written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the body with respect to litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved/Provisions of a possible settlement agreement with the owners of the Angelus/Aster project.”
When the council reconvened in open session, Clintonville Mayor Lois Bressette stated the council directed Clintonville City Attorney Keith Steckbauer to respond to the correspondence the city received from Aster, and to continue to protect the city’s interests in the matter.
Kell informed the council that the city hasn’t yet taken ownership of the property that was donated to the city by Lynne Simpson. Signatures on some forms are still needed to complete the process.
He said the house on the property was razed the first week of August. The city was not involved in the razing of the house.
Kell said the city did plant grass where the house was located.
The council unanimously approved $594 in tourism funds, requested by the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce, to be used to install electricity and motion sensor lighting in the tourism hut located near Fox Valley Technical College in Clintonville.
The chamber also requested $524 to be used for information racks in the tourism hut. When presenting the issue to the council Bressette told the council the Tourism, Marketing and Advertising Council had denied the request.
Bressette said the request was denied because the Tourism, Marketing and Advertising Council felt the chamber needed to take some financial responsibility for the tourism hut.
“Up until this point there has been support from the city to pay for the building of the hut, the high school built the structure, Fox Valley Tech has financially supported the installation of electricity to it, and now the city is paying for the electricity to be hooked up,” Bressette said. “So we felt it is now time for the chamber to have some financial responsibility as well to that hut.”
The council denied the requests 9-1. Alderman Brad Rokus voted no.