City Department Heads Give First Regular Updates to City Council

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WAUPUN — At last month’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor of Waupun Rohn Bishop asked the city department heads to give regular updates to the City Council about what’s going on in their respective departments.

At the beginning of the meeting Mayor Bishop wanted to note that former Alderman and Waupun Utility Commission member John Rehrauer passed away this month at the age of 100, for which they held a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance. After the matters of the wayfinding signs and other agenda items were covered, Mayor Bishop asked the Departments to give their reports.

Fire Chief B.J. DeMaa was first to give an update, starting off with reporting that they completed an application for the EMS flex grant; recipients will be announced in mid to late August. The Fire and Emergency team is also in the hiring process for two EMRs and one firefighter. At the last meeting the City Council passed the “I Work” Program which Code Enforcement has reported on.

Chief of Police Louden began by reporting that the new body cams are operational and all officers are now wearing them. The Police Department held a bike rodeo earlier in the month which had about 50 participants. The K-9 agreement has been made with officer Halverson, training is scheduled for September and will be five weeks. The Department held another fundraising brat fry which raised enough money for the Department’s budget to sit at about six or seven thousand dollars.

The Mayor also asked Chief Louden to fill in the Council regarding a recent drug bust: on July 7th, Lieutenant Williams apprehended a man trafficking drugs in the Winnebago area. Chief Louden listed the contraband recovered: 10 pounds of marijuana, 337 grams of THC wax, 7 pounds of THC edibles, 20 grams of mushroom, half a gram of heroin, 20 doses of LSD, .29 gram of ketamine, 6 oxy pills. Also seized were a 9mm loaded handgun, over $21k in cash, and a Toyota tacoma. The suspect originated from New Mexico and had contacts in the Fond du Lac area.

Next to speak was Waupun Utilities director Steve Brooks. The water department was conducting maintenance on the city water towers; Tower 1 maintenance and cleaning went well, Tower 2 is empty and being washed as of Tuesday. Brooks noted that there was an accident from a hydrant spill during the washing of the second tower which was cleaned up. Brooks assured the Council that the tower maintenance would be finished before the weekend. The wastewater facility project is on schedule, reaching later phases of development where mainly mechanical and electric work remains. Brooks noted that in Development meetings they provide progress slides which might be of interest to the Council and the community at large. The electric department report included mentions of the outages last month due to the gas main breakage under Madison street as well as a minor outage on July 7th. Utilities has also begun working with United Cooperative regarding their new development in the Waupun Industrial Park.

Brooks also noted that Waupun Utilities staff volunteered their lunchtime to lend a hand to the Community Table last Friday. They served a total of 47 hot meals and countless bagged lunches to members of the community.

Library Director Bret Jaeger was proud to announce that Library attendance was “back to normal” with Summer Reading Program going well with a participation of 150 students. Library Program Director Tami Lont organized an event at Dodge Park which went well until equipment work started at 1pm, which was taken in good humor. SERVE Waupun volunteered to move a Trucker’s Jamboree display from a community member who wanted to donate it to the Library.

Recreation Department Director Rachel Kaminski listed recent and ongoing events include the park program, summer kickoff party, bike rodeo with the Police Department, and a fishing tournament. They also partner with other local organizations such as Marsh Haven, and a rock scavenger hunt program. The Recreation Department relies on sponsorships, donations, and volunteers for settings up and advertising events.

Earlier in the meeting the City Council discussed the appointment of a new planning committee for the Senior Center construction project after the previous one was dissolved. The Senior Center is excited to move forward with the new committee on the facility, but needs sponsors and fundraising opportunities. They are hoping to develop preliminary Senior Center plans soon.

Public Works Director Jeff Daane reported that digging had begun on the Shaler Park/Forest Mound Cemetery roads. Using base from repurposed material from the old Washington School, Public Works is putting out a bid for the blacktop surfacing of the new road. Roadwork on S. Madison Street is progressing. The Main Street railroad crossing is planned for maintenance, and the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad company is planning a complete track replacement next year, which will be a four to five day process requiring a detour.

City Administrator Kathy Schlieve spoke briefly about city employment, noting that their primary concern was retention. Also touched on School District budgeting and progress on the TID-9 creation regarding United Cooperative project in Waupun Industrial Park.