Common Council Meeting of May 5 Highlights

The Common Council held its second virtual meeting on May 5. Highlights included:

  • Parks & Recreation Director Eric Boettcher gave an update on the lakes drawdown. Cravath Lake is down 4-5′, with a particularly low level in the southern portion. Trippe is only down 2-3′. Based on the recommendation of our consultants, several siphons will be installed at the Trippe spillway to move more water. More bedrock will also be removed from the Cravath ledge. It is expected that bids will be solicited for dredging in the early fall, with the work to be completed in December/January. The city hopes to be able to assist in facilitating the permit process for private dredging projects.
  • City Manager Cameron Clapper reported that the Police Department patrol force has divided into six teams, and is working twelve hour shifts, to minimize disruption in case of any COVID-19 exposures. The Public Works departments have also separated into teams.
  • Steve Hatton, Finance Director, reported that taxi fares are down, but it is anticipated that the State DOT will be making the city whole through federal funding. Various other revenues, including fines, are down.
  • Authorization was provided to begin the process of issuing a total of $5,420,000 in General Obligation Corporate Purpose Bonds to refinance approximately $2,280,000 of short-term debt, and also provide funds for street, water system, and sewerage projects, together with Fire Department equipment. Mr. Hatton confirmed that, in accordance with City policy, the municipality will be retiring at least an equivalent amount of debt in 2020.
  • The first reading was approved to increase the minimum fee to $100 for cutting grass that a property owner has not taken care of, the same as is charged for snow removal.
  • Discussion regarding the possibility of mailing every registered voter an absentee ballot application resulted in a request of the city staff to provide a plan for increasing absentee ballot participation without such a mailing.
  • A 3-year agreement with the Whitewater Professional Police Supervisors Association was approved. In 2022 the members will pay 15% of the cost for their health insurance, the same percentage as currently being paid by all city staff. Wages will not increase in 2020, but will increase by .25% in 2021 and .50% in 2022.

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