The City of Fennimore will make a final effort to come to an agreement regarding a parking lot adjacent to St. Mary’s Parish, as a result of action taking during a meeting of the Fennimore Common Council on Monday, March 26.
“I’d like to contact the church one last time to express the importance of the parking lot for the downtown area and get some feedback,” Mayor Charles Stenner told the council. “I’d like to try one last time before its all said and done.”
The council received a letter from St. Mary’s Parish dated March 9 that read in part:
“This letter is regarding the tentative agreements or proposals that we had previously entertained concerning the St. Mary’s building project. Without blaming anyone for the outcome, we feel it has been disappointing and costly in time and money. Thus, after heartfelt contemplation and prayer our Parish Council has decided to go a different direction.”
“From this letter, is there a need,” asked alderperson Greg Fry said. “I don’t know if this group has made the determination that there is a need. I’ve never heard that.”
Stenner told the council business owners on Lincoln Avenue have indicated they would like to keep the parking lot at the location.
“Since the parking lot is there already, why not make an effort to see if something can be done to keep it there,” Stenner said. “All we can do is ask. If it comes back and they want too much we just say ‘sorry, we can’t afford that and we’re not doing anything.’
“I think at least we should make an effort.”
Fry told the council he contends if Lincoln Avenue businesses are going to benefit from the parking lot, those businesses should approach the church and come to an agreement, which Stenner said he would not rule out.
“All I’m asking is for the chance to make a gesture toward them,” Stenner said. “This group is going to approve or not approve anything so at least give us a chance to salvage something.”
Alderperson Linda Stephenson made a motion that the council send a letter to the parish, but “this is it.” Alderperson Gerald Bollant seconded the motion.
The motion passed, with Fry voting in opposition.
In other action, the council:
• approved a street closing request in conjunction with Fennimore Fun Fest on June 2.
LaFollette Street, from Bronson Boulevard to Stitzer Road, will be closed from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Also, Dodge and Dewey Streets will be closed from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
• approved the hiring of lifeguards and two public works employees.
Chuck Wiest, Sr. was hired to mow grass at Prairie Cemetery.
“Mowing is required at the cemetery already and I don’t want it to get too long,” Director of Public Works John Murphy said. “I want to get him going.”
Ed Klais was hired to work at the compost site, as Murphy noted work is already needed at the site.
Public Service Commission report
Earlier this month auditors completed a Public Service Commission report on water and utilities in the City of Fennimore.
“It shows a rate of return of 7.08 percent on the water side and 9.84 percent on the electric side,” City Clerk Margaret Sprague said.
The results of the report mean good news for Fennimore residents.
“We are not looking at any rate increase in the near future on the water and electric side,” Murphy said.