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Richland Center City Council June 20th Meeting

The Richland Center City Council met for regular business Tuesday evening, June 20th. At the meeting, council members approved a resolution allowing the city to set a goal to curb the use of electricity, natural gas, and water in municipal facilities by 15% from levels measured in May of this year within 10 years, or May of 2027.

The action, which collaborates Richland Center City Utilities and WPPI Energy, seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of energy, conservation, and renewable resource development helping to establish the city as a leader in these areas.

Chelsea Wunnicke and Mike Breininger with the Richland County Homelessness Prevention Coalition provided a report on the organization's recent progression. Breininger stated that the coalition's three housing shelters; A Child's Place, A Family's Place, and Lydia's House have seen a decrease in numbers. As a way to further assist the homeless, Breininger proposed the option of adding a day shelter along with the shelters already in place. No action on the proposal was taken by the council. The coalition is now preparing for its summer Point in Time count on July 26th, which involves the count of current homeless around the county.

Discussion was briefly held on the enforcement of the city's zoning ordinance related to downtown buildings not being used for retail or open to the public. It was expressed that the ordinance may needed to be amended due to the status of certain buildings, and whether or not they can be considered as retail-oriented. The issue will be further discussed at a future meeting. The council also discussed adjusting the city's entrance signs, which would put the words “Welcome to” above Richland Center. It was agreed upon to make an amendment adding the additional signage, however, a unanimous approval on one of two design options did not go through. The council plans to approve a design at the next meeting.

In other action from the Richland Center City Council meeting last night, the council approved a contract with Johnson Block and Co., Inc. for auditing related to the closing of Tax Incremental Financing Districts 2 and 3 in the city. Also approved was a reduction to the monthly payment of the city's Meal Site Rental Agreement from $300 to $275. Renewals to liquor and municipal licenses for business throughout the city were approved as well. In closing remarks, council members acknowledged a positive response heard from those that have conducted activities along the Pine River, and the work done to make the Pine River a growing attraction. Council members also encouraged the public participation in the city's Fourth of July Thunderfest Celebration, which will take place on Saturday, July 1st.