City Council Opposes Cuts to Programs Important to Great Lakes

At its meeting on April 3, the City Council approved two resolutions to be forwarded to our Federal elected officials, opposing proposed cuts in Federal funding to programs of importance to the Great Lakes.

First, the Council approved a resolution opposing a proposal by the Trump Administration to slash funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from $300 million in the current fiscal year to $10 million in FY 2018.

That 97 percent funding cut would decimate funding for a program that for several years has targeted the cleanup of remaining pollution hot spots around the Great Lakes.

It has also funded projects for “green infrastructure” in cities including Two Rivers and Manitowoc, which were awarded GLRI funds in 2016 for projects that will address storm water runoff and improve water quality at our beaches.

The proposed defunding of the GLRI has drawn bipartisan criticism from state and local leaders around the Great Lakes, including Governor Scott Walker.

The second resolution approved by City Council urges a change in President Trump’s proposed big cuts to the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

We understand that these cuts include a $250 million in coastal research programs, including the Coastal Management and Sea Grant Programs.

Both of those programs are vitally important to communities on America’s ocean coasts, as well as our Great Lakes coastal communities.

The City Council and I urge local businesses and residents to contact U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Grothman, to voice opposition to these cuts.

These severe budget cuts could not come at a worse time for cities like Two Rivers that are striving to revitalize our waterfronts after years of neglect, to “turn our face back to the water.”

The City Council resolutions can be viewed on the City’s website and Facebook page.

Council Meetings Now on the Web

Starting April 17, all regular City Council meetings will be live-streamed on the City’s website and Facebook page.   They will continue to be broadcast on Charter Cable Channel 993, as well.

Regular Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month, at 6:00 PM.

(Actually, the April 3 meeting was live-streamed, but there was no audio feed.   So, unless you are a good lip reader, that inaugural streaming was of little use.)

Meetings can also be viewed (and heard) after-the-fact, on the City website, www.two-rivers.org.

Construction Season is Upon Us

In addition to the Lincoln Avenue/Highway 42 project now underway on the city’s east side, there are a number of smaller construction projects that will soon be underway around TR.

At a March 27 special meeting, the City Council approved Vinton Construction’s low bid of $288,490 for rebuilding Pilon Court (the short street that accesses the Coast Guard station and the north pier parking area) and the 2300 block of Wilson Street.

Both of those projects are being driven by underground utility issues.   Pilon Court needs storm sewer installed, and a new, larger diameter water main (sanitary sewer will also be replaced).   The 2300 block of Wilson has a failing sanitary sewer main; again, other utilities will be replaced while the street is dug up.

Also on March 25, the Council awarded a bid for replacing 71 lead water service laterals at various locations around the city.   That contract was awarded to Bobbie’s Marine Services of Manitowoc, in the low bid amount of $397,491.   Much of this project will be funded with grant money awarded through the WI DNR.

We will soon be out for bids on Lakefront Way, the new street running from Roosevelt to Memorial Drive at the site of Holy Family Memorial’s new Lakefront Clinic.   Estimated cost for that project is $180,000.

Related to Lakefront way, the City will be installing curbing and a new median segment through the “non-intersection” of Memorial Drive at School Street.   This median opening, just before Madison Street on northbound Highway 42, has been there for years but does not connect to an intersecting street.

WisDOT required the City to extend the Memorial Drive center median through this opening as a condition of allowing the new access at Lakefront Way.   Estimated cost is $50,000.

Later this year, the City also expects to award a contract for milling and resurfacing 27th Street, from Forest Avenue to Washington Street.  This project, estimated to cost $250,000, has been deferred for several years.

TR Firefighters to Hold Fish Boil on Good Friday

The Two Rivers Firefighters 6th annual fish boil will be held on Friday, April 14 at the Fire Station.    They will be serving from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley can be reached by calling 920-793-5532 or by e-mailing gbuckley@two-rivers.org.

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