Mayor’s Message – 09.18.14

MAYOR’S MESSAGE:

Hello Everyone!

Our beautiful City of Oconto continues its fantastic whirlwind of progress!  Not only is “Quik-Trip” nearing the steps of completion, there are other wonderful new business beginnings.  “Benjamin’s Family Dining” will be opening in the former “Café 303” on Brazeau Avenue.  The “Oconto Golf Club” is now under new ownership.  The “Pioneer Bar” on Collins Avenue has been purchased – its new name is “Mookie’s Pub.”  The final papers have been signed for “O’Reilly’s Auto Parts” (across from the Cook Avenue side of McDonald’s) in the Kelly Pickle Property.  Utilities and a road are in the process at the Kelly Pickle site.  I am told that “The Ruins Adventure Golf” (also Kelly Pickle Property) plans to construct yet this year to immediately open in the Spring of 2015.  “R.L. Hall Land & Title Company” has purchased the former “Associated Bank” building on Highway 22.  “Soulage Massage Therapy & Energetic Bodywork” will be opening in the former “LeRoy’s Cleaners” building on Main Street (across from NEWCAP).  “Salon Mystique” has moved to Main Street in the former “Mane Street Hair” building.  “J.L. Spaulding, LLC” which houses “Take The Reins Ranch” and “J.H.Rose Logistics” is now in the former Oconto Travel building.  We welcome all these new ventures as very positive additions to our already successful business districts on Brazeau Avenue and downtown Main Street, and are very happy you have chosen to be part of or staying in Oconto.

Oconto events coming up soon are:  Oconto Fire & Rescue’s “Back to School Bicycle Rodeo” at the Oconto Fire Station on September 9th from 5:00 p.m. To 7:00 p.m.  “Sportsman’s Club Youth Day” on September 13th from 11:00 a.m. To 5 p.m. At their facility.  Also on September 13th, the “6th Annual EAA Warbirds Fly-In” at the Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m.

On August 1st I received a call that a tubing event (of over 120 tubes) celebrating a marriage was going to be held the next day, and the City may want to take pictures for future use.  This was a wonderful idea to promote our river.   As I could not find a photographer, and said I would make sure pictures were taken, I took it upon myself to be the photographer.  The time decided upon that the tubes would be at the Brazeau Avenue bridge was 12:30 p.m., the spot I planned to take pictures.  Around noon, I decided I better go, so I would be ready for them.  As I was driving down McDonald Street by the railroad bridge, I could hear music and voices, already past the railroad bridge.  I immediately pulled over, jumped out of the car, and headed toward the direction of the music and voices, just wanting to get the pictures taken, as I said I would.  In haste, I found myself on the bridge as I could not get a quick shot from the sidewalk or the shore without crossing private property (no time to get permission).  The train whistles then blew, I froze for a second, then jumped down on the abutment, so the train wouldn’t hit me.  I was wrong to be there.  I apologize to everyone that I did this.

We must always try to “Have A Great Day!”  And remember, “Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best.”  –  John Wooden

Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto

Fall Looseleaf Collection

FALL LOOSE LEAF

CURBSIDE COLLECTION

City of Oconto

The city of Oconto Department of Public Works will begin its fall curbside collection of leaves and garden waste on Monday, October 13th, 2014. Collection will continue to Friday, November 21st, 2014 if weather permits. This material should be placed at the curb in separate piles. Leaves should be in a row no more than 4 feet wide and approximately 3 feet high. Leaves should be placed in open areas and not around obstacles such as street signs or trees. Bagged material or mixed material will not be picked up.

 Do not put leaves into the street. Place the leaves between the curb and the sidewalk and as close to the curb as possible. Brush cannot be mixed in with leaf piles.

 Residents may also bring their loose leaves and garden waste to the City’s yard waste site, which is located at 1616 Main St.

It is not possible to accurately tell residents the exact day their leaves and garden wastes will be picked up.

If you have any questions, call 834-7725 between 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

Jeremy Wusterbarth

Superintendent of Public Works & Utilities

Mayor’s Message – 09.11.14

MAYOR’S MESSAGE: Hello Everyone! Oconto people are the GREATEST! There is an answer to the recent request in the Mayor’s Message! A HUGE Thank You to the anonymous donors who contributed the poignant banner on the Brazeau Avenue fence which honors all those in service. The banner will be displayed around those days set aside in memory of those who serve, served, and those who were lost – soon it will be 9/11. Regarding those who donated or volunteered toward the Fishing Tournaments this summer, I would also like to Thank Sue and Darrell Anderson who sponsored the Balloon Art and Face Painting at one tournament, and Sue Anderson and Diane LeBreck for organizing activities for the children at same. Also, Thanks to the Oconto Yacht Club for donating the coffee and cups for the fishermen in the morning. And, Thanks to the Oconto Elks Club for organizing the food and refreshment area, and the Oconto Boy Scouts for all their efforts in clean-up. Thanks to the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce for organizing the Rules Meetings for the Cabela’s and AIM Tournaments, and Thanks to Jean Pleshek for all her volunteer time in the organizational aspects of these two tournaments. The question has been presented to manage the Canadian geese through fencing, harassment, and more recently, solar lights which prevent them from landing. Oconto has tried fencing – once one goose figures out to go under it, the rest follow. Harassing them through sound or motion only causes them to fly up and onto any property nearest (which usually means a citizen’s lawn.) The solar lights are only effective when it is dark. We are not the only community to be dealing with this problem. More recently, I am told that the cities of Bonduel and Stevens Point were confronted with this issue. Thank You to the members of American Legion Post 74, Amvets Post 63, and our VFW, who have sponsored and built containers for citizens to place flags that should no longer be flown due to wear and tear. These containers are located at City Hall and Thompson’s County Market. This is a wonderful idea, and is helpful to those people who may not know how to properly dispose of the flags. We are developing a plan for the future of the roundabouts. The east one will continue to be weeded, the old mulch turned over, and new mulch added. The plants are still living, and very beautiful when they are flowering. The west roundabout needs much more attention. This fall, all the living flowers and shrubs will be placed in individual pots to be maintained through the winter. Landscaping mesh will then be laid down and mulch placed over it. In the spring, we will replant the flowers and shrubs, and add new perennials according to a design plan that will work, considering the heat from the sun and watering by rain. Citizens have volunteered to assist in the goal of replanting – we will then be very proud of our roundabouts! Have A Great Day! And remember, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto

Mayor’s Message – 09.04.14

MAYOR’S MESSAGE: Hello Everyone! You will recall that we were hosts to the SAGBRAW Bike Tour which was held at Breakwater Park in August of 2013. My hope was that Oconto – through its friendliness, gestures of welcoming, and of course, offering a variety of delicious items for them to energize with – would be voted the “Best Rest Stop” of the Tour. On Tuesday, we were informed by e:mail that we won!! Already, on Wednesday, a bike rack and certificate were presented to Oconto by Eric and Kathy Schramm, the coordinators of the event. They again reiterated why we won, and how the group was looking forward to the trip through Oconto in 2015! I will inform you as they communicate with us, that we can put together another fantastic plan to host! Great Job, Oconto! Our Canadian geese feces problem has escalated. We have been getting many complaints, not only from Holtwood Campground and Breakwater Marina, but now our City Park beach attendees. For ten years this beach has been constantly worked on to make it useable, and now the geese feces has taken over! Not only is this unsightly, it is unhealthy! Either we become a tourist destination, or a haven for geese. We cannot have both. I ask that anyone who has been bothered by the removal of geese, PLEASE walk through Breakwater Park – especially Phase II. PLEASE walk along the City Park Beach – it is even affecting the ground area by the Civic Building where we are trying to encourage horseshoes and volleyball! PLEASE walk along the river’s edge at Holtwood Campground and the entire tent area in back! PLEASE walk through the City Docks area – not only by the river but across the road where the Truck Pulls occur! PLEASE walk around Holtwood Complex where we expect children to play ball on our seven diamonds with all of this feces everywhere! PLEASE check by the boat landing, where tons of people now start their tubing trips! People are not going to be impressed by a City overpopulated with geese feces! There is no way to keep up with removal, even if we hired one person to do just that every day. Dave Ruid of the United States Department of Agriculture will be here in December of January to speak on this subject at a City Council meeting. The public will be informed, if they wish to attend. Speaking of the Canadian geese, Early Resident Canadian goose season starts September 1st through September 15th. This season is specifically designed to target urban birds that create nuisances in recreational areas. There has also been many complaints of dog feces left by owners walking their dogs. Please carry a plastic bag with you when you are walking your pet, and dispose of it properly. The parks have been posted, and the City does have an ordinance to address this problem throughout the City. I do not want anyone to receive a fine. Have A Great Day! And remember, “You can please some of the people all of the time. You can please all of the people some of the time. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – Poet, John Lydgate (later adapted by Abraham Lincoln) (I know I used this once before, but it is time for it again!) Thank You, Lori S.! Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto

Water Main Flushing

FALL WATER MAIN FLUSHING CITY OF OCONTO The Oconto Utility Commission will be flushing water mains in all areas south of the Oconto River on Monday, September 29th, 2014. In all areas north of the Oconto River, West of and including Superior Avenue on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 30th & October 1st, 2014. And in all areas north of the Oconto River, East of Superior Avenue, on Thursday and Friday October 2nd & 3rd, 2014. Due to certain water main connections, other areas could be affected. Please check your water for discoloration before using laundry. Oconto Utility Commission Jeremy Wusterbarth Superintendent of Public Works & Utilities

Mayor’s Message – 08.28.14

MAYOR’S MESSAGE:

Hello Everyone!

Our hearts are bursting with pride with the announcement of Oconto earning the State Sportsmanship Award for the second school year in a row – this time at the Boys Baseball State appearance.  We must remember the accomplishments of our children who brought us to State 3 times in the 2 school years (and one game away from attending State twice)!  We must always remember who we are, and why I stress the words that describe The Oconto Way, which also describe sportsmanship and winning (or losing) the right way.  Oconto is HONORABLE, COURAGEOUS, RESILIENT, COURTEOUS, and RELENTLESS!  Thank You to everyone for achieving the high goals that we set for ourselves!

Oconto has received word from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, that our population has increased by 31 to 4,544 according to the 2014 preliminary estimate (from the 2010 census count of 4,513.)  This is absolutely wonderful news, as it means we are growing – not shrinking!

The Tourism Committee has recommended to Thank Jodi Bostedt and her workers for their tireless efforts in removing weeds, trees, roots, and other unsightly objects from the river side of the Brazeau Avenue fence (now designated “Breath of Fresh Air”.)  An award will be presented to Jodi and her crew at Tuesday night’s Regular Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. If anyone wishes to attend, and Thank these diligent workers!

As I go from point A to point B every day, I am continuously filled with pride on how clean and beautiful our City portrays itself.  The flower arrangements everywhere – it seems as though every home that is lived in has some type of flowers either potted or hanging!  The solar light displays are varied and twinkling is all areas of the City!  Also, we are getting a ton of compliments on how perfect the downtown hanging baskets look this year.  I know there are some who do not think we should spend the money on flowers or water, but this is not only for the pleasure of our people – it is extremely important toward our presentation to visitors and perspective buyers.  And regarding the litter around – I am not picking up as much – so everyone must be helping out in that area too!  Thank You, Everyone!

Have A Great Day!  And remember, “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.”  –  Knute Rockne

Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto

Mayor’s Message – 08.25.14

Hello Everyone!

Our Oconto volunteers are marvelous people!  I am so grateful to every person who assisted in those volunteer aspects regarding our fishing tournaments.  Thank You to Ken Altergott for coordinating the parking at the City Docks, and those who were his right-hand men – Donnie Rush, Bobby Wusterbarth, Dick Olson, Billy Leigh, Gil Exferd.  Thank You to the Sportsmen’s Club for all their assistance and availability during the Cabela’s Tournament.  Thank You to the Commission on Aging for allowing us to use their busses, Alycia Frewerd for coordinating the drivers, the drivers themselves who were Russ Dreshek, Paul Stenstrup, Mike Hoppe, Roger Reed, Gerald Wusterbarth.  Thank You to the American Legion Post 74 members Clyde Bridger and Bill Edwards for the Color Guard.  Thank You to Pastor Miller, Pastor Craig, and Pastor Skelly for their wonderful prayers.  Thank You to Emily Rosenfeldt and the Oconto Community Choir for their beautiful renditions of the Star Spangled Banner.

Even though they are not volunteers, our harbormasters, park employees, and street employees, police and fire departments, and their department heads always make sure that everything runs smoothly, and I Thank You all for your work!

Also, a HUGE Thank You to OraLee and Dennis Martin for cleaning the Civic Building at City Park at the beginning of the season.  I believe OraLee is presently working toward putting up a light for the horseshoe players at City Park – I know they have wanted a light for a very long time, and I have been trying to help them reach this goal too.  Some goals take longer than others, but eventually they are reached.

I am very pleased that our Oconto Utility received an all-around A rating in the recent Compliance Maintenance Annual Report required by the Department of Natural Resources.  This includes ratings for influent flow and loadings, effluent quality on BOD, TSS, Phosphorus, biosolids quality and management, staffing, operator certification, financial management, and collection systems.   

Great news for Oconto!  On Wednesday morning the Wisconsin Waterways Commission passed our application for a Recreational Boating Facilities Grant to assist in constructing a handicapped-access boarding dock at our City Docks.  I must inform you that we actually were 1 of 13 cities to apply, rather than the 3 I reported last week.  I assumed from the e:mail (and its 2 copied city addresses) and agenda I received that it would be the total amount of cities participating – I was wrong.  This is a 50% funded grant – our 50% share will come from the money that was budgeted for this year to replace the dock that is currently being used.  The grant will allow us to upgrade it to handicapped-accessibility.  Because it is late in the season, it probably will not be constructed until next spring, as it needs to be ordered.  At least we have another positive asset to look forward to!   

Have A Great Day!  And remember,  “Know what you are doing.  Love what you are doing.  And believe in what you are doing.”  –  Will Rogers   (Thank You my sister, Donna!)

Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto 

Mayor’s Message – 08.14.14

MAYOR’S MESSAGE:

Hello Everyone!

Oconto SailFest 2014 was an absolute huge success!  80 children and adults registered for the 3 days of instructional sailing divided into 3 sessions.  Oconto is extremely grateful to Steve and Sara Eliasen of International Youth Sailing, Ltd. Of Oshkosh and their helpers for bringing sailing vessels and safety equipment free of charge to all participants.  Also we give grateful Thanks to our local Hi-Seas Marina, Oconto Yacht Club, and Sohr’s Shores for donating colorful SailFest t-shirts to the first 47 who signed up! And Thank You to the Oconto Sportsman Club, Oconto Harbor Commission, and Oconto Park and Recreation Committee for their generous donations toward expenses for Steve and Sara.  The future plan for next summer is that Steve and Sara will offer Family Classes 2 nights a week (minimal charge) and also a Sail Festival at Breakwater Park in June is in the works!

Last Friday I was informed that Oconto is on the August 6th Waterways Commission Agenda concerning our application for funding to place a handicapped-access dock at the City Docks.  What wonderful news – as I believe we are one of three whose applications will be reviewed!  This meeting will be held in Hayward, Wisconsin which is 5 hours north.  I plan to personally attend to represent us.  However, I WILL NOT submit a bill to the taxpayers for my gas or lodging.

How wonderful to see walkers and bikers of all ages everywhere you turn in Oconto!  I am so pleased this is happening, as the fresh air and heart/lung maintenance is very positive regarding our health.  At some point, I would like to start a Mayor’s Walk/Ride one day a week from City Hall to the City Docks and back.

Thank You to the 3 young Oconto males who proved what “honesty and integrity” means by turning a phone they found into the Oconto Police Department.  We are very proud of you!

I understand the frustration of all people regarding the condition of the Highway 22 roundabouts that are at the entrance to Oconto from the west.  After the State constructed these roundabouts, they were turned over to Oconto County, which now has jurisdiction over them.  I am told that the County does not have funds to redo the areas, and that is why those of us who are concerned about their condition have volunteered to work on them.  It is very sad to me that this volunteer work has been criticized on Facebook!  However, we will always go forward, and eventually this sad condition will turn into one of pride!  (Just as the “Breathe of Fresh Air”- Brazeau Avenue fence area – has done!)

Have A Great Day!  And remember, “An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while the pessimist sees only the red stoplight.”  –  Albert Schweitzer

Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto