City Council to Consider Ordinance Prohibiting Animals at Festivals

At its August 21 meeting, the City Council will consider an ordinance amendment to prohibit animals at festivals and special events.

I plan to recommend an amendment that would establish such a prohibition only for those special events where Washington Street is closed to traffic:  the Cool City Classic car cruise and show in June, and Ethnic Festival in September.

City Council may decide to prohibit animals at more events, at fewer, or at none.  But, for now at least, I believe that a ban at those three events will address the vast majority of citizen complaints that City Hall receives on this topic.

It will also be consistent with the wishes of the Two Rivers Main Street Program, organizer of these three events.

These events also provide a good opportunity for posting signage that is likely to be noticed by attendees, as barricades are placed on all of the streets leading to the street closure area.

City Council members have consistently indicated that any ban on animals at major festivals should not take effect until 2018, to allow time for the change in policy to be communicated.  That would include “getting the word out” at this year’s Ethnic Festival.

If you have view on this topic that you wish to share, feel free to send me an e-mail or comment on this column when it is posted to the Two Rivers City Hall Facebook page.  All such feedback will be shared with City Council.

Or, come to the Council meeting at 6:00 PM on Monday, August 21 to state your views.

DOR Sales Study:  Existing Home Values Grew 2 Percent in 2016

Earlier this week, the WI Department of Revenue released final 2017 equalized valuation figures for individual communities across the state.

The good news for Two Rivers is that, based on 158 local home sales included in its annual study, the value of existing homes in the City increased by 2 percent overall.

The bad news: a review of commercial property sales showed a 6 percent decline in the values of existing commercial properties.  That decline, combined with no change in industrial values and very little new construction, resulted in net zero growth in the City’s tax base.  (Actually, an increase of $2.3 million on a tax base of $509 million, but that’s essentially no growth.)

In Manitowoc, the DOR estimates that the value of existing homes fell by 2 percent overall, and the value of existing commercial dropped 6 percent, like in TR.  Combined with modest new construction, Manitowoc’s overall equalized value fell by 2 percent.

Statewide, existing home values grew by 2 percent, existing commercial property values grew by 1 percent, and existing industrial was unchanged.  Combined with accelerating new construction, the overall equalized valuation of Wisconsin grew by 3 percent.

Harborcam Temporarily Out of Order

The Two Rivers Harborcam, our very popular webcam that provides live views of the lakefront and harbor, was taken out by a lightning strike in late July.

A replacement unit, with better lightning protection, is on order.  The City’s Electric Utility, which provides this service, hopes to have the Harborcam back up and running in time for Kites Over Lake Michigan, September 2 and 3

About Those Blue Marks on the Curbs…

You may have recently noticed the location of the water shutoff valve in front of your property marked with blue paint—along with a blue mark on the adjacent curb or street surface.

You may have noticed such markings at other properties up and down your street, as well.

No, that does not mean the City is planning to do work on the water system in your neighborhood, at least not any time in the near future.

Instead, it means that our two summer employees in the Water Department have come through your neighborhood in the process of completing a city-wide project of locating water shutoffs and entering them into the utility’s GIS system.

Their work is helping improve the quality of the utility’s records, and will facilitate a faster, more efficient response by water utility staff if your water shutoff needs to be located in an emergency situation.

‘Like in the winter, when it’s likely to be buried beneath a four-foot snowbank.

Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley can be contacted by calling 920-793-5532 or by e-mailing

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