October 17, 2019

Sun Prairie Clock Tower Express Logo

Department Updates

Building Inspection:  Although summer is almost over, and football and fall are in the air, the City’s inspection team wants to remind property owners that lawns still need to be maintained until the end of the mowing season.  

Engineering Department: Help protect our waters by safely removing leaves from streets and storm drains near your home! Read on to learn how you can join us in keeping our streets leaf-free. 

Finance Department: The Mayor's 2020 Recommended Budget was presented to the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, October 1. The proposed budget balances community needs and priorities with the current economic outlook of modest growth.

Parks and Recreation Department: From Wiggle Room-Drop-In to Holiday Shop Til You Drop, we have activities for all ages! Upcoming programs include American Red Cross Babysitter Training Course, Yoga Flow and Drums Alive!

Police Department: We're sharing photos with Sun Prairie Police K9 Handler Ben Pluim and his partner, Lasko who were invited to attend the 5th Annual Police Dedication Event by Keller, Inc.

Public Works Department: Our next round of brush collection starts on Monday, November 4. In addition to brush collection starting, our first round of yard waste collection also starts on November 4. We're sharing helpful reminders to prepare you for these collections.

Sun Prairie Media Center: Thank you for joining us at our KIDS-4 Share Night at Culver's where we raised over $400! We're also thrilled to share a donation we received from the Sun Prairie Improvement Council. Looking to get involved with the Media Center? We're looking for basketball announcers for KSUN and 103.5 The Sun as well as folks to join our Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center!

Sun Prairie Public Library: Star Wars Reads Day is this Saturday from 10:30-noon! Looking to reconnect and rejuvenate your mind and body?  Join us for Restorative Yoga on Monday 10/21. You're invited to ring in Halloween with a virtual haunted road trip and a classic creeper movie night.

Sun Prairie Utilities : Did you know? You can choose to supply a portion of your home with a block of renewable energy for $3 more each month. Read on to learn more about the Choose Renewable program.

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Building Inspection

Although summer is almost over, and football and fall are in the air, the City’s inspection team wants to remind property owners that lawns still need to be maintained until the end of the mowing season.

Eight inches isn't an incredibly tough regulation, but you may come across a neighbor or business who may have let their lawn go too long without maintenance. Those who don't maintain their lawn can be subject to a penalty.

City regulations prohibit property owners (commercial and residential) from allowing grass and weeds on their premises to grow more than eight inches in height, and prohibit the growth of any noxious weeds. Failing to adhere to the rule could lead to the City imposing a fine of $187 for the first offense, and subsequently mowing properties (of which you would be billed). 

For property owners who have natural lawns that are registered with the city (natural lawns are select grasses and wild flowers native to North America designed and purposely cultivated to exceed twelve inches in height), the height limitation is waived but these lawns are still subject to the prohibition of any noxious weeds.

Anyone found to be in violation will receive a hanging "door knocker" reminder to try and encourage voluntary compliance before the City has to intervene.  Only one warning will be given during the mowing season.

The program depends quite a bit on tips from residents -- if you see anyone in violation of the rules, make sure to get the exact address (and a photo, if possible) and file a complaint on the city’s website.  If you’re not tech savvy, call the Building Inspection Division at (608) 825-1184.  Most of the time, the threat of a fine or a cleaning bill from the City is enough to get the lawn tidied up.

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Leaf-free Streets for Clean Waters

DID YOU KNOW? More than 50 percent of the annual amount of phosphorus in urban stormwater can come from leaves in the street?

Leaves and yard waste contain phosphorus. When it rains, stormwater flows through leaf piles in streets creating a phosphorus rich “leaf tea” that travels through storm drains to our lakes. The excess phosphorus leads to toxic algae blooms, low oxygen levels and green murky water in our lakes.

Join us in keeping streets leaf-free this fall!  Before the rain…
  1. Safely remove leaves from the street in front of your home and nearby storm drains.
  2. Compost and mulch your leaves into lawns and gardens so that it can act as a natural fertilizer.
  3. Residents with a recycle permit can bag and drop off leaves at the Recycle Center located at 1798 South Bird Street. 
  4. Bag your leaves in preparation for Yard Waste Collection which will start Monday, November 4. 
  5. Sign up to receive Leaf-free Streets Rain Alerts this fall (Oct. 1- Nov. 30) from Ripple-Effects Wisconsin. Alerts will be issued (via text or email) 1-2 days before a significant rain event reminding you that it's time to remove street leaves.

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2020 Recommended Budget CoverThe Mayor's 2020 Recommended Budget was presented to the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, October 1. The proposed budget balances community needs and priorities with the current economic outlook of modest growth. The 2020 proposed budget includes a modest increase in the tax levy of 7.6% which is a 3.017% tax increase on the average home. This equals a $62 increase on the average home in the City Sun Prairie, compared to 2019’s tax increase of $74 on the average home. 

The Common Council underwent a strategic plan process in the spring of 2019.  Eight themes or priorities came out of this process.  They include human services, complete transportation network, sustainable Sun Prairie, dynamic economy, employer of choice, quality city services, downtown & central corridor vibrancy, and  housing  &  neighborhoods.  The  2020 budget  includes  an  emphasis  on  quality  city  services,  human services, and employer of choice. 

The following dates are the scheduled 2020 budget work sessions which take place in the Council Chambers at City Hall:

  • October 28, 5:30 pm
  • October 29, 5 pm
  • November 4, 5:30 pm
  • November 5, 5:30 pm (public hearing)

The 2020 recommended budget can be reviewed here.

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Parks and Recreation Department

Coming Soon

Family Fitness – Bollyx
Friday, 10/18, 5:30-6:15 pm
Ages 6+
$10 R/$15 NR

Get your family together and get ready for a great dancing workout! This class allows for adults and children alike to get a great workout while having a blast listening to today's hit music. What are you waiting for?  Gather your family and come have a great time and burn some calories!

Fee is for up to four family members - each additional member is $5.

Wiggle Room-Drop-In!
Tuesdays, 10/8-12/17, 9:00-11:00 am
Ages 0-6
$3/child**payable at the door
**children 1 year old and under are free

We have the room for your little ones to get their wiggles and giggles out! The Community room in the Westside Community services Building will be opened up and transformed into the perfect place for your kids to play, socialize and get some exercise.  This program is most appropriate for children over 12 months and under 6 years old.  Pre-registration is not available for this program.  A parent/caregiver is required to attend with their child(ren).  New for 2019! We have extended the program from 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

American Red Cross Babysitter Training Course
Saturday, 10/19, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Ages 11-15
$70 R/ $90 NR

This training provides kids, ages 11-15, with the information and skills necessary to provide safe and responsible care in the absence of parents/guardians.  This training will also help participants develop skills in leadership, professionalism, basic care, safety, safe play and first aid. All sessions cover the same material. Please bring a sack lunch.

Children’s Restaurant Etiquette
Mondays, 10/21, 5:30-6:45 pm
Ages 6-12
$42 R/$62 NR*

This is a 75-minute course providing fun, hands-on instruction on proper restaurant etiquette and table manners.  The skills are applicable to the home and restaurant dining experience.  Children will also learn and discuss the importance of dining with family and friends, proper table conversation and respecting one's self and others.

*Fee includes cost of meal

Be a “Safe Kid”
Saturday, 10/26, 12:30-2:30 pm
Ages 9-14
$15 R/$23 NR

This "Safe Kids 101" training provides kids, ages 9 - 14, and skills for being home alone.  Basic guidelines, first aid, fire safety, family emergency, internet safety and more will be covered in the 2-hour training.  All sessions cover the same material.

Please note:  A parent is required to stay for the first 15 minutes of class.

Yoga Flow
Mondays, 10/28-12/9*, 6:30-7:30 pm
Ages 16+
$40 R/$60 NR

Let's go with the flow.  In this 6 week session you will learn to link your movements with your breath to discover what your body can do.  Using your body, along with other props to balance, strengthen and relax.  You are sure to get a great workout!  All levels are welcome.  Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a mat (there are some mats available to use).

*No class 11/25.

Drums Alive 
Mondays, 10/28-12/9*
Wednesdays, 10/30-12/11*
Ages 16+, 9:00-9:45 am
$28 R/$42 NR
* No class 11/25 & 11/27

Using rhythm as the source of inspiration to discover a new group fitness experience, Drums Alive combines the benefits of a traditional physical fitness program with the brain affected benefits of music and rhythm. Drums Alive is a program that fosters a healthy balance physically, mentally, emotionally and socially! Join a class and experience how it provides an element of fun and creative expression.

Mondays, 10/28-12/9*, 5:30-6:15 pm
Ages 16+
$28 R/$42 NR
No class 11/25

P90X is a total-body workout that will keep your body guessing - and transforming- with a variety of strength training moves, cardio conditioning, and core work. In every class you'll tone strong, lean muscle, and together, you'll bust through any plateau that stands in your way.

Holiday Shop ‘Til You Drop In Chicago
Friday, 11/22, 8:00-8:30 pm
All Ages
$50 R/$70 NR

Enjoy a day of holiday shopping in Chicago! This trip is open to all family members; however, all minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.  Set your own course for a day of sightseeing or shopping.

The chartered coach bus will board at the Family Aquatic Center, 920 Linnerud Drive at 7:45 am, leave by 8:00 am and will arrive in Chicago at approximately 10:30 am.  The bus will drop you off on Michigan Avenue near the "Magnificent Mile". You will be on your own until approximately 5:00 pm when the bus will pick you up at the drop-off location and depart for home.  We will return to Sun Prairie around 8:00 pm.  We will not be stopping on the way home, so bring a brown bag super, eat before departing Chicago or purchase food in Chicago to eat on the way home.

Registration/refund deadline is October 26

**For more information or to register for these and other Recreation programs please visit the Recreation Department page at rec.cityofsunprairie.com

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Police Department

Keller Annual Police Dedication

Sun Prairie Police K9 Handler Ben Pluim and his partner, Lasko, were invited to attend the 5th Annual Police Dedication Event by Keller, Inc. Officer Pluim with Lasko

Keller, Inc. and its employees have invited Officer Pluim and K9 Lasko the last two years to this wonderful event at their corporate office in Kaukauna, WI. The company provides a dedication ceremony where they pay their respect to police departments from around the state.

It was an honor to be invited to this ceremony again, and to receive such a generous donation to our Sun Prairie Police K9 Program.

Thank you from the entire Sun Prairie Police Department!

Keller Annual Dedication Holding Checks

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Public Works

November Brush Collection

Our next brush collection starts the week of Monday, November 4. Brush should be set curbside by 7 a.m. on the 1st day of the collection week. To ensure your brush is collected, please place materials curbside appropriately. 

To ensure pick-up, please follow the following guidelines:

  • Brush must be stacked neatly at the curb, piled no more than 4 feet high, with cut ends facing the curb.
  • Leave branches in long segments, as long as 1 person can handle. Do not cut into small segments.
  • Brush should not be piled in a manner that affects motorist visibility, and should also be kept away from trees, signs, parked cars, mailboxes, fire hydrants, and utility poles.
  • Do not put brush in bags, boxes, or trash containers - we will not pick it up. Keep brush in back of curb.
  • Materials greater than 8 inches in diameter must be cut into manageable pieces, and kept separate from brush. Logs and branches 4 inches or more in diameter must be trimmed of all small branches. Materials less than 1 inch in diameter must be tied together in 4 foot bundles, not exceeding 50 pounds.
  • We will not collect brush that is cut or trimmed by contractors. Contractors hired by property owners are responsible for removing the material. Collections are for brush and tree trimmings from a typical residential clean-up, not entire tree removals.
  • Do not mix yard waste in with your brush pile, neither will be collected.
  • Keep brush free of wire, tape, or inorganic materials. The use of string or twine is acceptable.

Not sure of how to place your brush? Review the Do's and Do Not's here.

Please note, materials are not collected in one day. Collections will be conducted in the most expedient method possible, but inclement weather and mechanical problems may create delays.  Collections are generally completed within one week, if you have not been picked up within that time, please call Public Works at 608-837-3050 to inform them of the missed collection. Items will only be considered missed and rescheduled if they were set out by the first day of collection.

November Yard Waste Collection

Yard waste is categorized as leafy vegetation that composts in a short period of time. Leaves, grass, garden waste and shrub trimmings are yard waste. Collections are scheduled in advance to attempt to meet the needs of residents and is collected curbside twice in the spring and twice in the fall.

Our first collection starts November 4 with our second yard waste collection starting on November 18. 

Materials must be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday of the designated collection week and they will be picked up sometime during that week or the next (depending on weather, equipment/crew availability, and amount of materials out to be collected throughout the city).

To ensure pick-up, please follow the following guidelines:

  • Materials placed at the curb for collection on the scheduled weeks must be placed into open trash bags, garbage cans (no lids) or storage containers (no lids).
  • If you would like your bags back after collection-leave an empty container out for crews to put the bags back in.
  • Please do not mix brush or garbage with the materials.

Residents with a recycle permit can also dispose of yard waste at the Recycle Center.

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Sun Prairie Media Center

Culver’s KIDS-4 Share Night a Success

On Monday, October 7, Culver’s of Sun Prairie held what has become an annual “KIDS-4 Share Night” to raise money for the Media Center’s flagship student media literacy program. The night was a remarkable success, resulting in a Culver’s donation of $455.45 to the Parents of KIDS-4 fundraising group. A percentage of all sales at the restaurant from 5 PM to 8 PM on October 7 counted toward the donation total.

“Once again the Culver’s Share Night was a great success for us this year,” said Sun Prairie Media Center director Jeff Robbins. “We love working with Duane and his entire staff at Culver’s. A huge thanks of course to our very active and involved group of KIDS-4 families, both those who volunteered at the event and those who came in to eat. With our Culver’s Share Night and the kick-off party on October 1, it’s clear that it is going to be a very enjoyable and successful year for KIDS-4.”

Participants in KIDS-4 learn about media literacy while honing their communication and collaboration skills as they make television by kids, for kids. KIDS-4 crew members, who are Sun Prairie Area School District students in grades 4-8, are responsible for all aspects of video production, from cameras, sound, lighting, editing, directing, writing, and starring in their own programs and videos that are then aired on KIDS-4, which is available on Charter cable channel 984, TDS channels 14 and 1014, and streamed live at kids4.tv.

The Sun Prairie Media Center would like to thank Culver’s, particularly Culver’s of Sun Prairie owner and operator Duane Sprecher, for hosting the event. The SPMC would also like to thank Duane’s staff, the parent and Media Center Commission board members who volunteered, and of course the community members, whether involved in the program or not, who ate at Culver’s on October 7.

 Money raised on October 7 will be used to buy equipment deemed most necessary by the Sun Prairie Media Center and families currently involved in KIDS-4. Initial options for the money raised were discussed at the KIDS-4 Kick-Off Party and a final vote on equipment purchases using money raised will be taken at the KIDS-4 Potluck Party, scheduled for Wednesday, February 5.  

The Media Center is also selling Fundcrazr Football cards for $10 to benefit KIDS-4. Each card contains a Day One Pizza coupon worth $10 in addition to being eligible for winning part of a $1,000 sweepstakes. For more information on purchasing Fundcrazr Football cards, please call the Media Center at 608-837-4193. The deadline for purchasing cards is Thursday, November 7.

Friends of Media Center Receive $60k Donation

At the monthly Media Center Commission meeting on October 2, the Sun Prairie Improvement Council presented the Sun Prairie Media Center with a donation of $60,000. The generous donation will go towards the Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center, the 501c3 group established to financially support, promote, and advocate for the Media Center.

Media Center Donation PictureMembers of the Improvement Council are well aware of the Media Center and its work to educate and enrich the Sun Prairie community. Peter Steitz, the organization’s treasurer, is the husband of Pam Steitz, who was the Media Center director from 1992-2010.

“When we were discussing community groups to donate to, we knew that we wanted the funds to go to groups and organizations that are uniquely Sun Prairie and that contribute to making Sun Prairie a wonderful place to live,” said Steitz. “All of us agreed that the Media Center, with its long history of providing programming to inform our community, as well as being the home for the tremendously important KIDS-4 program, was a top choice to receive a donation.”

“We are beyond excited for this generous gift,” said Sun Prairie Media Center director Jeff Robbins. “Though we haven’t had time to decide exactly how to utilize the funds, we have a wish list that we will be going through with our Friends group in the days and weeks ahead. But given overall budgetary concerns and the always rising cost of technology, this donation is definitely coming at a fantastic time.”

Basketball Announcers Needed For KSUN, 103.5 FM

Are you a basketball fan? Do you watch basketball games on TV and say to yourself, “I’ve got a few hot takes to share. I should be announcing these games!”? Well, now is your chance!

The Sun Prairie Media Center is looking for a sportscasting duo – no experience necessary – for their coverage of 2019-2020 Sun Prairie Cardinals girls’ basketball.

This year KSUN plans to broadcast 22 Sun Prairie Cardinals girls’ basketball games, with the 10 home games airing on KSUN and 103.5 FM and the 12 away games airing on 103.5. A vehicle – thanks to Wilde East Towne Honda – is available for use to travel to the away games, assuming a drivers’ license and a clean driving record.

If you have the desire and passion to be the Media Center’s season-long voices to call out every play, to question every foul, and to celebrate every slam dunk, this could be the chance you’ve been waiting for!

Anyone interested is urged to contact the Sun Prairie Media Center at 837-4193 or via e-mail at jrobbins@cityofsunprairie.com.

The first game in the 2019-2020 season is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19. For a full schedule of games being covered, go to sunprairiemediacenter.com.

Join the Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center

The Media Center is happy to announce a revamped, relaunched, and repopulated 501c3 fundraising organization, now known as the "Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center." The group, which exists to provide financial support for the SPMC and its entities as well as to promote the SPMC and function as an advocacy group for the center just had its re-inaugural meeting in late September.

Why now for a friends reboot? Well, as contradictory as it may seem, as the Media Center continues to grow in member producers and programming, its budget – due to increasing fragmentation of home audiences and how that relates to how the Media Center is funded – has become increasingly stagnant.

So the Sun Prairie Media Center is looking for more friends! If you’re interested in helping the Media Center grow via fundraising or other awareness events and activities, please come to our first official meeting, which is set to happen on Tuesday, November 5, at 6:30 PM at the Media Center. It's a great time to join up, as not only did we just receive a great christening gift (see above), but our officers have already been elected. So there's no danger to you in being named president or treasurer! If you're a member of the Media Center, you are welcome to join the group. And if you're not a member, it's easy to become one. Questions? Ask away at jrobbins@cityofsunprairie.com.

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Sun Prairie Public Library

Sun Prairie Public Library Logo

Star Wars Reads Day
This event is for all ages (grown-ups, too)! Come dressed in your favorite Star Wars costume and have fun with Star Wars games and activities. The WI Garrison of the 501st Legion will once again be on hand for photo ops to help make this day amazing!
Saturday, October 19, 10:30 am-12 pm
Library Community Room

Restorative Yoga
In this session, you'll try your hand at Restorative Yin Flow, which is exactly what the name suggests -- you and your body meditate and find calm with the breath. You reconnect, recover, and rejuvenate your mind and body. Facilitated by Jennifer Bradley, owner of Sun Prairie's Rose Yoga. No registration required, but adults only please. Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended and you may wish to bring a towel or yoga mat!
Monday, October 21, 6-7 pm 
Library Community Room

Teen Gaming
Gaming fun for teens in 6th-12th grade! Play games, or create your own! We have snacks! Lately we've been playing Mafia and Spyfall (so fun!), but we are always open to something new.
Thursday, October 24, 6-8 pm
Library Community Room

Haunted Road Trip
Take a virtual road trip to the spookiest spots in Wisconsin! Discover the truth about local haunts including the murder-mystery-ghost-story that went all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Allison Jornlin of American Ghost Walks is your intrepid guide to these strange but true tales. Allison is a renowned expert on a variety of Fortean topics — poltergeists, UFOs, cryptids, & demonic possession to name but a few. It's the perfect treat to ring in a Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 pm
Library Community Room

Classic Creeper Movie Night
Please join us for a free screening of Don't Look Now, the 1976 film starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, which according to the legendary Roger Ebert, "remains one of the great horror masterpieces" of our time." It recounts the story of a married couple that moves to Venice after the death of their young daughter, hoping to forget the tragic event. However, they instead find themselves surrounded by reminders of death as the city deals with a series of unexplained murders. This film is rated R and has a run time of 110 minutes. Refreshments served. Happy Halloween!
Thursday, October 31, 6 pm
Library Conference Room

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Sun Prairie Utilities

Choose Renewable

Only $3 more each month. That’s all it costs to supply a portion of your home with a block of renewable energy—clean and affordable energy from natural resources like wind, solar and biogas. It only takes two or three blocks of renewable energy to power the average home every month. It adds up to a smaller carbon footprint for you, and a cleaner world for your kids.

Of course, renewable energy isn’t just good for the planet. It can also help control our community’s energy costs over the long haul. The money you spend on renewable energy goes toward new, clean energy alternatives that will help control local energy costs in the future. And because it is generated in the Midwest, renewable energy can help increase our energy independence. 

Joining is easy, simply complete the Choose Renewable Sign Up form. There is no special equipment to install, and no change in the way you receive or use energy. You can start or stop your participation at any time, and you can use as many blocks of renewable energy as you like. Get Started Today!  For more information download the Choose Renewable program information sheet or visit Sun Prairie Utilities.

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