City Council Meeting

Library Annual Report

– The yearly numbers show that not only Irvin L Young Memorial Library, but all libraries in the surrounding counties are still viable and useful for its citizens.  According to Irvin L. Young Memorial Library Director Stacey Lunsford: “There are still a lot of people who like print books, a lot of people who read magazines. We are seeing a trend of people going more to digital, but they’re using it in addition to print. They just like to have all those options.”

In the last year, the Irvin L Young Memorial Library numbers have proved how important the library still is today.  There were over 66,000 visitors and the library has distributed out 6,700 library cards last year alone.  The number of items checked out this last year was also up to 122,111.  Not surprising, the amount of electronics was up as well.  The amount of times the public laptops were used was up over 4,700.

Some initiatives the Bridges Library system is looking into, to improve the system, is a “fine free” system.  The Bridges Library system has already implemented a no fine policy for children collections.  This has proved to be extremely successful and they are looking to expand it to adult collections as well.

Updates to the Irvin Young Memorial Library are planned this year as well.  The library is looking to expand its footprint. By getting rid of 7,000 collections, it would allow for the library to get rid of some book racks, resulting in more room for seating.  The library wants to do some maintenance updating with new lights and new carpet to update the aging library.

Chuck Nass receives Lifetime Achievement Award

– Chuck Nass was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Forestry Committee.  Chuck Nass was a board member for 12 years, with 10 of those years being the board president.  Nass’ work in the neighborhood and his work in forestry is well respected by everyone. Dwayne Sperber, a member of the Urban Forestry Council: “Chuck Nass has demonstrated true leadership. It was a very easy nomination to make. He’s leaving quite a legacy.”

Many people take for granted the beauty of nature and the work Nass did to help maintain Whitewater’s eye-appealing forestry. Jeff Roe, urban forestry team leader for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “Trees are everywhere. If you look around your city, they make better places to live. They bring in oxygen, beauty, economic value, stormwater mitigation – but mostly we just like them. They help give us a sense of place.”

Other Items:

— The Progress report on the new Cravath Lakefront Park amphitheater was given and all is good news. Eric Boettcher, the Parks and Recreation Directors spoke about the progress of the amphitheater. Because of good weather the Amphitheater construction is ahead of schedule and new sponsors have been found as the fundraising continues with great success.

— The Water Department is looking to purchase an automated valve turner machine, which includes a power vacuum. Brad Marquardt spoke about the issues with these valves, often breaking or worse injuring employees. The Water department is looking to purchase the Jet Vac Environmental for $63,560.

— The Police Department filed for an application for a federal grant. This grant would allow for the hiring of a full-time school resource officer.  The increase in calls for services in local schools have increased to nearly double from last year.  If this grant is given there will be a resource officer designated for the Whitewater High School and one more officer for the remaining 5 schools.  This will allow for officers to be proactive, rather than reactive.