Lake Street update
Council also discusses shelter permit, grants beer license
By Angie Landsverk
Waupaca’s Lake Street project is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 21.
Initially, the project was to be completed prior to Aug. 19, the date of this year’s Waupaca Area Triathlon.
However, the decision was made to start the project after that event.
Doing so allows the city to learn whether it will receive Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lead Services Line program funds.
Justin Berrens, the city’s director of public works, told the common council he expects the DNR to announce in early August which municipalities qualified.
The Lake Street project includes milling and paving from South Main to Berlin streets and reconstruction and water main replacement on the portion of Lake Street from Fifth to Eighth streets.
The street’s water line, between Fifth and Eighth streets, dates back to the 1930s.
The water line may contain some lead components.
DNR and Environmental Protection Agency guidelines are that when any part of a public service line is replaced, the private water lines up to the houses should also be replaced.
That is because the partial replacement of a lead service may lead to elevated levels of lead.
As a result, the city is recommending the private property owners in the section of Lake Street, between Fifth and Eighth streets, replace their water lines.
The city sought DNR funds that would reimburse property owners the cost of replacing their private lines.
The city was already planning the Lake Street project when it learned the DNR funds were becoming available.
When the common council met on July 18, it also renewed Foundations For Living’s (FFL) request for a special use permit to operate the warming shelter in its facility at 1421 Church St.
While FFL again asked for permanent approval, the city’s Plan Commission told the nonprofit the request should continue to be presented on an annual basis, said Brennan Kane, the city’s community and economic development director.
Going forward, the request may just go before the common council, unless there are any changes, he said.
This year, there are some changes.
The center will be open Nov. 1 through April 30, with hours of 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
During its 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, FFL operated the shelter Oct. 1 through April 30, with hours of 6:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.
FFL’s request for the permit included statistics about each of the shelter’s first two seasons.
Twenty-nine people stayed at the center during the 2016-17 season. Five of the 29 were women.
Fifty-nine percent were from Waupaca, 14 percent from Waupaca County and 28 percent from other outside the county.
The eight people from outside the county were from Madison, Texas; Tomah, Arizona; Manitowoc and Appleton. No origin was listed for two of the eight people.
The number of days guests stayed there ranged from one (eight people) to 81 days (one person).
The man who stayed there 81 days had mental health issues, was evicted and was also a veteran.
He was one of seven veterans who stayed at the shelter this past season.
Thirteen people who stayed there were listed as unemployed, eight of them had mental health issues, eight were inmates who had been released and seven were addicts.
During the shelter’s first season in 2015-16, a total of 24 people stayed at the shelter. Nine of them were women.
That season, 75 percent were from Waupaca, 16.66 perent from Waupaca County and 8.33 percent from outside the county.
Of the two from outside the county, one of them was transient and the other’s origin was unknown.
The number of days guests stayed there that season ranged from one (six people) to 79 (two people).
Eight people were listed as unemployed, eight as being addicts and eight as being evicted.
Kane said there is a discussion about how to help people get back on their feet and where people could go when the shelter is not open.
Currently, the city sees the guests wandering the streets and hanging out at the library and recreation center during the day.
Working with churches and businesses are ideas being considered.
Sulten Belly is expected to open in downtown Waupaca by mid August.
Jacqueline Rickel, the co-owner, received a beer and wine license for it during the July 18 common council meeting.
Sulten Belly will be located at 220 S. Main St., in the space that was formerly Cronies.
Rickel said it will be a deli/market concept with food to go.
Sulten Belly will offer lunch and dinner and also do catering and private parties, she said.
They are looking to be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, as they will keep the coffee in the morning, and then 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, she said.
The word “Sulten” is Danish for hungry, Rickel said.