Common Council News & Notes
By Joe Bachman
Here is a rundown of notable agenda items from this week’s common council.
Council green-lights new Senior Apartments
Proposed by General Capital Acquisitions LLC, the Berkshire Project complex would sit on the corner of Water and Third Streets, close by Edgewater Manor. In total, the building will consist of 88 units as a mixed-use property. The first floor will consist of non-residential use, as well as for covered parking.
The complex will contain approximately 106 bedrooms, (70 1BR and 18 2BR) and anticipates completion no later than March 2021. The locations will be at 1443 and 1447 Water St.
The city will have obligations, according to the agreement. This includes providing a $2 million tax incentive through creating a new Tax Incremental Financing District. (TIF) The developer will have to meet minimum requirements of the value of the development no less than $6,350,000. If the value comes out to less, the developer will pay a differential sum above the tax amount equal to the value.
City Purchases Downtown Property
The city approved the $20,000 purchase of property on Main Street and Second Street. This is in effort to acquire approximately ten additional parking spaces for the purpose of relocating the dumpster corral from the square. Officials seek to consolidate the dumpster corral area into a secured area, away from the larger downtown population.
CREATE Portage County have expressed interest in doing something artistic with the space if allowed.
“Complete Streets” Resolution Adopted with Alterations
Officials moved to adopt the “Complete Streets” resolution, with a change in the specific wording.
The term was coined by American Bikes which ensures that the right of way of streets are designed for safe access of all users — bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. According to text from the agenda item:
“The Community Development department intends to incorporate complete street standards within the Land Development Code, such as within the subdivision chapter. In addition to incorporating complete street design standards, the code will also include aesthetic components.“
In the resolution, it states that street and transportation facilities must be designed for the safety and convenience of all users of city streets. This includes: pedestrians, bicyclists, those with differing abilities, transit users, automobile drivers, commercial vehicles, freight haulers, and emergency vehicles.
However, the language was altered from “must be” to “should be” per suggestion from Mayor Mike Wiza.
City Passes Vaping Ordinance
Council members have finalized steps to pass an ordinance banning the sale of all vaping products to minors.
This includes both nicotine and non-nicotine vaping and e-cigarette products. The move comes to assist public school liaisons (PSLs) in cracking down on vaping products at schools. There is usually little way to tell if a vaping product has nicotine or not off hand.
Citing health and safety concerns, Public Protection Committee members voted in favor of the ordinance creation that would make it illegal for a minor to use, possess, or buy e-cigarette (or vaping) devices in Stevens Point. According to various studies pointed out by officials, vapor emissions and contents include a number of dangerous substances, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, lead, nickel and chromium; acrolein, tin, toluene, and aluminum.