Vacancies in Prairie du Chien city council’s second and fifth districts

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By Correne Martin

 

Now is the chance for citizens to have a voice in decisions made for the city of Prairie du Chien. If you live in the second or fifth districts of the city, the common council has two current vacancies for the seats representing those districts. These are being created as Russ Wittrig moved out of district two and Misty Rogers is moving out of the community. Residents living in these areas are encouraged to contact Mayor Dave Hemmer or City Administrator Chad Abram by Monday to express interest in being appointed to the council. 

Aside from this business, the Prairie du Chien Common Council heard about 2020 room tax revenues, the future potential for a new fire station/public safety complex, plans to resurface the St. Feriole Island harbor access route this summer, and the 150 year celebration of the city in 2022, among other items. 

Room revenues

According to a report from tourism council president Mary Antoine, despite the coronavirus pandemic, city hotel room taxes accumulated $216,000 in revenue. that number is about $84,000 less than was collected during some of the cities busiest summers in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The city receives approximately 25 percent of those funds, which are required by the state to be used for tourism and development. The other 75 percent is used by the tourism council.

Preliminary public safety complex talks

The council gave its approval for staff to move forward with preparing a request for proposals detailing a space needs analysis for the cities fire department and police department. Abram said a committee has been formed to oversee the process, which would likely include input from Tri-State EMS as well, because they are interested in partnering for a future public safety building/complex. The committee includes Abram and the mayor in addition to the police chief, police and fire commission and city council representatives. 

Harbor road project

City planner Garth Frable told the council that’s a $250,000 harbor assistance grant had been awarded to the city for resurfacing of the roadway. The council approved and accepted the grant, of which the city and harbor owner Prairie Sand and Gravel will need to split a match of 20 percent, or $62,000. Frable said the goal is to complete this project first so the consistent semi truck traffic on the island will use that route more often than Villa Louis Road, which is planned for construction next year. 

“We would like to get this out to bid as soon as possible,” Frable said. 

The harbor route was developed in the late 1990s to help divert some of the ground vibrations happening on the roads nearest historic buildings on the island. The road serves as the main route for truck traffic headed to the harbor, and the business that currently runs it, Gavilon Grain. 

City turning 150

With 2022 being the 150th anniversary of the city of Prairie du Chien, Chamber CEO Bob Moses invited the city council to choose two representatives who could sit on a planning committee along with partners from the chamber, tourism council, main street group, county board and local townships. He also mentioned he would like to fundraise $50,000 toward celebrating the year with special events and hire a part-time coordinator. 

“We would like to start planning this summer to be ready to hit the ground running Jan. 1,” Moses stated. 

He added, the official anniversary date is sometime in June, as the city became incorporated in 1872.

Other business

•The council approved the purchase of a new street sweeper.

•The current COVID-19 resolution was amended to include an end date of April 30, rather than July 1 as it was previously. This action was made in support of many larger events happening in the city beginning in June. Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich reminded the council that there will still be COVID-19 protocol and city health and safety guidelines in place. Abram noted he’s heard “a lot of positive comments about the events coming back to St. Feriole Island this summer.”

•Bids will soon go out for the Godden Pit and Campbell Coulee Creek projects.

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