Tomah City Council to hear fowl presentation next week

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The Tomah City Council will hear from a wildlife biologist at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21 regarding solutions to a longstanding issue with the flocks of geese around the Lake Tomah dam.

Geese have been a traffic nuisance along the street that passes by Lake Tomah and goose excrement has been an equal nuisance on the sidewalk.

Mike Jones, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wildlife biologist will be doing a presentation on goose management. Parks and Recreation director Joe Protz with counsel from City Administrator Brad Hanson drafted a goose management plan that the Park and Recreation commission reviewed.

The commission recommended Protz work with Kim Mello (Lake Committee) and Jones to finalize a plan. That draft will be presented by Jones.

According to the draft, many areas experience a high volume of goose excrement; including the sidewalk from Butts Park to Winnebago Park, boat launches, basketball court, exercise park, playgrounds and parking lot areas. Geese often cause damage and feed along the shoreline of the dam.

Excrement generates yearly complaints and concerns by park users and civic groups who donate funding and resources to the park system.

A civic organization raised over $300,000.00 for Butts Park improvements for an all abilities playground, trails, and accessible fishing pier, and are concerned that the geese excrement will take over the play area that has been designed for individuals with disabilities and will become an issue of health and safety for the park users.

Mello and Jones will be asked to listen to council feedback and then provide a detailed plan for future council action.

In other business:

Council will consider a request by Pawl Dwyer and David Spaid for a conditional use permit for Dwyer Transport to operate a milk transfer service at 802 W. Veterans St. The request for the permit has been approved by the Tomah Plan Commission. Spaid is the property owner of two parcels where the transport business would operate. The conditional use permit is for a new building for service, wash bays and an office.

Council will consider requesting transfer of alcohol beverage license from “reserve” to “regular” for Cancun Bay at 1422 Superior Ave.

The city currently has one regular combination Class B retail license available due to the relinquishment of the licenses after Dimension’s Bar burned down. They decided not to rebuild their building and not renew their alcohol beverage licenses.

Cancun Bay has already paid for and was approved for the 2021-2022 combination Class B retail “reserve” license. After the recommendation of the city clerk’s office, Cancun Bay is requesting to transfer their reserve combination Class B retail license to the regular combination Class B retail license.

According to the council agenda report, benefits to the business owner would include:

1) If the business decides to change their name or location (they have indicated interest to build a new restaurant in the city), they will be forced to pay the Reserve License fee of $10,000 all over again, plus the normal licensing fees.

2) If the business decides to sell to a new owner, the new owner would then be required to pay the Reserve License fee of $10,000, plus the normal licensing fees. The License would be effective for the period of Sept. 21, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

Council will consider a resolution for the purchase of the Cooper property at 709 Townline Road. The property is being considered for purchase for storm water improvement, Tax Incremental Financing District (TID) 9 economic viability, potential economic development, and parks and recreation improvement.  The asking price for the property is $60,000 plus closing costs.

Council will consider a petition to annex two properties owned by Managed Investment Properties/Kas Investments from the Town of LaGrange into the city. The parcels are a little more than 18 acres between both. The owner, Pete Thorson, is seeking annexation to gain access to public utilities as part of a plan to develop the site, just off Superior Avenue.

Council will consider a $2.50 increase in the per capita rate for the Tomah Area Ambulance Service. The Tomah Ambulance Commission reviewed the need and voted unanimously to recommend that the Council approve the request. If approved the per capita rate to service area entities would be $15. The subsidy will be reviewed on an annual basis to determine if there is a need for another increase.

Tomah Committee of the Whole meets Monday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. City Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m., but will go immediately into closed session. Both meetings are in council chambers at City Hall.

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