City Council Discusses Federal Funding Options | Government

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Digital welcome signs, outdoor library space, and improved parks and trails are just a few of the possible projects the city could allocate federal funding to.

At its meeting on Tuesday, July 12, the Stoughton Common Council continued to hear further proposals for the use of more than $1.1 million of remaining federal funds from the U.S. Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) from the city. The Council previously authorized expenditures of $238,456, including $125,000 in May for a proposed innovation center.

ARPA funds can be used by cities for a variety of needs: support public health spending, address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, provide a bonus for essential workers; and investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. At its last meeting, council heard from the city’s finance department and the Stoughton Area Community Foundation.

On Tuesday, the Council heard proposals from several departments. Department of Public Works. Director Brett Hebert outlined the goals for all, starting with a plan for three digital “Welcome” signs, which will be located at highway intersections. 51 and County B Hwy. 51 and freeway. 138 and freeway. 51 and County N. The cost would be $90,000 for the three signs, not including the purchase of property to place them.

He said he recently talked with developer Bob Dvorak about potential areas to put the sign on the freeway. 51, in the Dvorak developments, but the city has not yet obtained land rights for the signs.

“It’s really just in its infancy… doing some design work,” Hebert said. “It would provide important community and public health messaging, and as we’ve seen through COVID, it’s very important to get messages out to the community about any health issues they might have…or areas where they can go for treatment.”

‘Currently we do not have welcome signs when you enter the town of Stoughton,’ reads the proposal in Council’s filing. “A well-made sign creates a welcoming and aesthetic gateway to the community. The digital component of the sign will allow us to communicate more effectively with our residents and visitors.

Hebert also proposed building a 40′ x 48′ steel and fabric enclosure at the city’s yard waste and composting facility to store finished compost, at an estimated cost of $45,000. He cited the city’s production of about 450 meters of finished compost per year, about half of which must be stored at the facility to be used for city functions and made available to residents.

“We’ve had issues with the compost being too wet when we want to use the material because it’s exposed to the elements,” he explained. “Keeping it covered would keep it dry and usable at all times.”

The Stoughton Public Library proposed to use the city property adjacent to the library, located at 304 S. Fourth St., turning it into an outdoor space for patron use. The property at 216 E. Jefferson St. was acquired by the city in 2012 through a grant from the WHEDA Strategic Burn Removal Program, as a possible site for the library’s long-term expansion.

The project is estimated at $30,000, including the construction of several structures, wireless Internet and electrical services.

The Parks and Recreation Department has proposed several Phase 1 improvements to the Racetrack Park ball diamond, including covered dugouts, improved safety nets, outdoor portable fencing, irrigation, and improved seating with accessible spaces wheelchairs, at an estimated cost of $350,000. The department has also proposed upgrades to Yahara River Park at an estimated cost of $300,000 and $175,000 to expand Virgin Lake Trail to create a continuous trail from Jackson Street to 51 West, connecting Virgin Lake Park, HeggestadPark and 51 West Park.

The city’s sustainability committee, established by Council in September, has offered to spend up to $10,000 on public engagement planning and investigation through the County of UW-Madison Extension Dane to a public engagement planning and survey, at a cost of $2,840. UW-Madison Extension would provide public engagement planning and survey, all necessary interpretation/translation services, host an open house prior to the survey, and provide publicity for the open house and survey.

The committee was tasked with conducting research and developing recommendations on “actions the municipality and community can take to reduce the current environmental impact to ensure a sustainable future.”

Council was scheduled to vote on a resolution to provide up to $10,000 for the study, but members decided to postpone a vote instead, as the decision would have affected the city’s budget and there were reservations about whether the agenda was properly noted for such a study. a movement.

At its next meeting, the council will hear proposals from the following departments: human resources, city clerk, emergency medical services and information technology.

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