Peshtigo City Council to hold re-organization meeting

By: 
Shirley Prudhomme

PESHTIGO – As a result of the balloting on Tuesday, April 2 the City of Peshtigo will have a new mayor and one new alderman as of Tuesday, April 16.

Incumbent Mayor Cathi Malke, with 342 votes, lost a bid for re-election to Alderman Katie Berman, who drew 410 votes. There were 215 ballots cast for incumbent Allen England, who was unopposed, and Incumbent Alderman Brigitte Schmidt with 112 votes, won return to office over challenger Tony O’Neil. Robert Warren, with 22 write-in votes, won the alderman position being vacated by Berman. Fred Marsh drew 14 write-in votes for that position, and there was a scattering of five other write-in votes.

The annual reorganization meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. City Council will complete its old business under the direction of Malke and then adjourn the old Council sine die and step down as mayor and turn that position over to Berman, who will then call the new Council to order.

Warren will be seated to replace Berman as District 3 Alderman. Schmidt will begin her new term as District 1 Alderman, and England will begin his new term as District 3 Alderman.  

Clerk/Treasurer Tammy Kasal is to administer oaths of office for the new terms before the meeting begins.

Items on the re-organization agenda at this time include election of a Council president, a position currently held by England; approval of a resolution designating the Peshtigo Times as the city’s official newspaper, setting dates for the annual Open Book and Board of Review, approving appointments of members of standing committees and appointed city positions, and accepting a new fire/EMS person.

The final regular monthly meeting of the old Council was held on Wednesday, April 3. Mayor Malke opened that meeting by congratulating Berman on becoming the next Mayor of Peshtigo. She also congratulated Warren, England and Schmidt, and wished them well in their new terms in office.

After an explanation from Public Works Director Matt Decur Council unanimously approved a resolution that designates the City of Peshtigo Urban Area boundary in accord with state Department of Transportation guidelines.

Decur explained that the state Department of Commerce monitors the census every 10 years, and the 2020 census showed that the population of Peshtigo had grown enough for the city to be added to the Marinette/Menominee urban area. Decur said this means that Peshtigo will now be eligible got urban area grants and other types of funding, rather than the rural programs for which it is currently eligible. “This is a different funding tool,” Decur said. “We are now a very small fish in a big pond,” he commented.

He named several streets that will be eligible for added funds, including French and Maple Streets (Old Hwy. 41) and all county highways, and said the new designation may help get financing approved for the long sought improvements for West Park Drive. Decur said any street that is not strictly for local residential use will be eligible as a minor or major collector, and West Park Drive is a minor collector, “…so this opens up some new funding possibilities.” Decur said in connection with the new urban designation the DOT would like them to select some major projects they would like to do in the next 5 or 6 years.

Berman asked if the state breaks down the funding requests, and Decur said the grants are based on needs, “....so overall, the size of our city may benefit us.”

After an explanation from Malke, who reported on the March 12 Water and Sewer Committee meeting, Council approved purchase of a Siemens 200 motor for $16,153.33 plus freight. Money is to come from the Water and Sewer Account.

England reported on the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, at which Parks and Recreation Director Lori Tonn had been authorized to advertise for someone to clean up the Badger Park Trails in accord with city ordinances, and to hire seasonal employees while remaining within budget. To questions from Alderman Keith Klimek on background checks and hiring, Tonn said the background checks are done and interviews have been completed, and she is now just waiting to move forward.

The Parks and Recreation Committee had discussed a “Cops and Bobbers” event, and agreed that Peshtigo should again participate. Police Chief Fred Popp explained the event, which is to be held the first Saturday in May at the Lions Club Pond just off the highway at the east city limits, was initially sponsored by Marinette City Police, who had received permission from Peshtigo to use the city owned pond for the event. Peshtigo Police and others, including firefighters and Sheriff’s Department personnel, joined in, so now it is a group event at which kids, with their families, are invited to enjoy a fun day of fishing with police and sheriff officers and fire department personnel.

England, who chairs the Fire, Lighting and Building Committee, noted the monthly building inspection activity report from Tom Smith Inspections had not been received.

In a conversation after the meeting Malke said she is continuing to work on an application for federal funding that could gain $400,000 to $500,000 for the Fire Department/EMS services in a grant that does not require a local match and would not need to be repaid. She has long been a volunteer for the Marinette Rescue Squad and plans to join the city Fire Department/EMS Service after her time as Mayor is done.

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