December 5th 2019

Sun Prairie Clock Tower Express Logo

Department Updates

Building Inspection Division: Home updates, selling and construction are all related to permits. You have more power in the process than you might think. 

City Clerks Office: Dog licenses and dog exercise permits soon to be available. Get out the house this winter with your dog and all of the tags you'll need. 

Downtown Business Improvement District: Ladies night out is tonight! Great businesses right here in Sun Prairie are opening there doors with activities, promotions and deals you won't get any other time. 

Parks and Recreation Department: Workout with Zumba and reward yourself with cookies while you celebrate the holiday season. Plus the winter/spring rec connection is coming!

Police Department: Welcome Sun Prairie's newest police chief, Chief Steffes. Also be aware of how the weather will change the way you drive this winter.

Public Works Department: The recycle center is starting winter hours. They're still the best place to drop your waste from yard clippings to motor oil. 

Sun Prairie Media Center: The Bank of Sun Prairie donated t-shirts to the Kids 4 program after it was designed by a program participant.

Sun Prairie Public Library: With workshops, yule balls and concerts, the Library is the place to be this winter season.

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Building Inspection Division

Are There Any Open Building Permits on Your Property?

A building permit is an official approval issued by the City allowing you or your contractor to proceed with a construction or remodeling project on your property.  It is intended to ensure that the plans and work comply with local and State standards for land use, zoning, and construction.

Depending on your level of involvement, often times work is done at your home and you may not even realize the contractor has obtained a permit to conduct the work. For example, did you know that replacing a furnace or water heater requires a permit?  Most likely, the contractor you’ve hired has applied for the permit, but it never hurts to verify that with them.

A permit remains ‘open’ until the permit holder completes the work and lets us know it’s ready for final inspection. During the final inspection, we will make sure that work was done to code and/or items were installed properly and do not create a hazard to occupants.

Open permits can also become a headache for homeowners or home buyers when they’re looking to close on a real estate transaction.  So, whether you are thinking about selling your home or just want to be sure you don’t have any loose ends, you may want to reach out to us for a quick check.  Call us at 608-825-1184 or email us at  Provide us with your address and we will check our database right then and there.

For more information on building permits, please visit the City’s website at:

Clerks Office

2020 Dog Licenses Available Beginning December 16, 2019

Dog licenses and dog exercise permits soon to be available! City Ordinance and State Statues requires every dog five months of age or older to be licensed.  The license year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 of each year.  Proof of the current rabies certificate must be provided when purchasing the dog license.  If the owner fails to obtain a renewal license prior to April 1 of each year, or within 30 days of acquiring ownership of the dog, a late fee of $5 is assessed.  Dog licenses can be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office in the Municipal Building at 300 E Main Street from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Additional information, including fees, can be found at

Permits for the Pet Exercise Area

The Pet Exercise Area located on South Bird Street is a great place for pets and their owners to enjoy the outdoors and to socialize their pets off-leash.  Anyone using the park must have an annual permit or pay the daily user fee at the self-registration center at the park.  If you purchase your permit at the City Clerk’s office, the fees stay in Sun Prairie for our Pet Exercise Area maintenance and upgrades.  Fees for 2020 are $35 for an annual permit and $5 for daily use.  You must purchase a dog license before you can obtain a Pet Exercise Permit.

Downtown Business Improvement District

Sun Prairie BID presents Ladies Night Out event!

The Sun Prairie Business Improvement District is pleased to announce details for the annual Downtown Sun Prairie Ladies Night Out event on Thursday, December 5 from 5:00PM – 9:00PM.
Gather your friends for an evening of shopping, giveaways, in-store specials, entertainment, drink and food specials and more! Santa Claus will be roaming throughout Downtown Sun Prairie from 5:30PM – 8:30PM.
Starting locations are the Nitty Gritty, located at 315 E. Linnerud Drive, and New Perspective Senior Living, located at 222 S. Bristol Street. The first 100 shoppers in line at Nitty Gritty and at New Perspective Senior Living will receive a re-useable Bank of Sun Prairie Giveaway Bag with goodies (and a few very lucky shoppers will receive a bag with a $25.00 gift card from a Downtown Sun Prairie business)!
There are 27 participating locations involved in Ladies Night Out offering a variety of activities and promotions happening throughout Downtown Sun Prairie.

The Ladies Night Out event is important to the Downtown Business Improvement District; it is an opportunity
to promote and showcase the many unique shops, bars and restaurants, and specialty businesses throughout
Downtown Sun Prairie. The Sun Prairie Business Improvement District’s goal is to bring awareness to
Downtown Sun Prairie and encourage all Sun Prairie residents and visitors to shop and dine in Downtown Sun
Prairie by providing a variety of engaging experiences and events throughout the year.
Follow us on Facebook at Downtown Sun Prairie for more event details:

Downtown Sun Prairie… we’re having fun down here!

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department

The Winter/Spring Rec Connection is coming!  

The 2020 Winter/Spring Rec Connection will be distributed to regular subscribers of The Star. It will be available at the following locations on December 6:
The Colonial Club
Sun Prairie Public Library
City Hall
Westside Community Services Building
Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Online at

Early Registration for the following programs begins online at 9:00 am Tuesday, December 10.
Little Cardinals
Thank Goodness It’s Thursday (TGIT)
Free American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Course
Registration for all other programs begins online at 9:00am on Thursday, January 2 

Make sure you plan ahead for online registration:

  • Log in prior to December 10 to make sure you know your password and that your account is up to date, including street address and email address.
  • If you don’t already have an account, create your account before December 10 to expedite your registration process.
  • If you have not registered for a program since March 2019 you will need to create a new account as we have transferred to a new system.  If you think you have an account, but cannot find yourself on the website, please do not add yourself again.  Call the Recreation Department office at 608/837-3449 and we will assist you.
  • If you do not have a Sun Prairie address, but live in the Sun Prairie School District, the system will not know that and will charge you Non-Resident rates.  If you continue your registration and pay Non-Resident rates, the difference is non-refundable.  Please contact our office prior to your registration so that we may adjust your account to reflect the proper designation.
  • If you accidentally register for the wrong program, do not immediately register for the correct program.  Call us (608/837-3449) and we can make the transfer for you.

 Programs Coming Soon!

Thank Goodness It’s Thursday (TGIT)

Thursdays, 12/5-19, 2:05-5:30 pm

Grades K-5

$39 R/$59 NR

This month's theme: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Join us every early-release day for an afternoon of action-packed activities.  Each session will feature a healthy balance of academic, recreation and social activities that support educational achievement and personal growth.  On most days of the program participants will rotate through a variety of age-appropriate games, activities and crafts that revolve around the monthly theme.  Participants will have time carved out to complete homework and/or silently read.  An afterschool snack will be provided.

Elves Workshop
Saturday, 12/7, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Ages 3-8
$15 R/$23 NR

Give your kids a head start on their holiday preparation by making several gifts, the wrapping paper and gift tags in this fun workshop.  Gifts include holiday ornaments and other seasonal items.

Bundle this program with Elves Workshop and save 10%.  Bundle registrations must be processed in person, via fax or emailed registration.

Family Fitness Zumba
Friday, 12/13, 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.

Cookies For Santa
Wednesday, 12/18, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

All Ages

$12 R/$18 NR


No need to make a mess at home when you can come to the Westside Community Services Building and decorate cookies for Santa!  Pre-registered families will decorate a dozen yummy cookies to take home for Santa, and maybe even snack one for themselves.  The fun will start at 5:30 pm with a story read by Mrs. Claus, followed by cookie decorating (and maybe even another surprise or two).  Each family will have a special table prepared just for them that will include cookies, frosting, a variety of sprinkles and other supplies needed for decorating.  The program will end at 7:30 pm.  Please note:  Food allergy alternatives are not available for this program. This is a family program.  At least one adult must participate with children. Fee is per family.

Wiggle Room-Drop-In!
Tuesdays, through 12/17, will resume January 7

Ages 0-6, 9:00-11:00 am

$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.

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

Police Department

New Police Chief Announcement

Steffes Info

The Sun Prairie Police Commission is proud to announce the hiring of Michael Steffes as Sun Prairie’s Chief of Police. Chief Steffes will start employment on December 30, 2019.

Winter Parking Regulations

With the start of December comes additional parking restrictions for a number of streets in Sun Prairie. From December 1st through March 31st, parking is not allowed on any designated snow route from midnight until 7am, each and every day. The list of snow routes within the city along with essential winter parking info can be found at this website:
Snow route violations carry a $50 fine and the regulations are enforced whether or not there is snow on the ground. Snow routes are indicated by white/red signs along those designated streets.
Other winter parking regulations which we want to make sure people are aware of include:

  • Alternate Side Parking - Wyoming Ave ONLY, which is in effect from November 15th through March 31st.
  •  Snow Emergency Parking – When 3” or more of snow falls, the city will declare a snow emergency. During this period parking is prohibited on any city street until the snow emergency has been canceled. Please check the City Website and social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook, to confirm whether or not a snow emergency has been declared and if so, when it ends.

Winter Awareness

Sun Prairie Police Dept. requesting drivers prepare and be aware during the winter months!
The Sun Prairie Police Dept. wants to remind people to be prepared for winter conditions that could threaten their safety. During the winter months of Nov. 2018 - Apr. 2019 the Sun Prairie Police Dept. received over 500 reports of traffic crashes. We urge everyone to plan your travels, prepare your vehicle, and be aware of conditions.
Ready Wisconsin, part of the Wisconsin Emergency Management Team, provides a great deal of information on winter weather safety. A list of items for an emergency winter kit is available on the ReadyWisconsin website at
Remember to check for road closings prior to travelling. You can also sign up for our Nixel alerts to stay up to date on emergencies in our area by going to our department website at, as well as follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Important tips:

  •  Plan your travels and check weather reports. Tell people where you are travelling.
  •  Be gentle with both the accelerator and brake. Don’t use cruise control. Don’t be overconfident in four-wheel drive vehicles.
  •  Carry your emergency kit in the back seat of the vehicle (in case the trunk freezes)
  •  Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  •  Put together a home winter emergency kit including first-aid supplies, water, etc.
  •  Check your carbon monoxide detector.
  •  Make sure your pets have shelter and plenty of food and water. They should be brought inside when the temperatures reach 30°F with wind chill.

Now is the time to winterize your car and home, gather items for an emergency kit in your car, and make sure you have a weather radio with fresh batteries.

Public Works

Recycle Center Winter Update

The City Recycle Center, located at 1798 South Bird Street, will begin the winter schedule on Monday, December 9.  The winter hours are Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The Recycle Center is available for use by City of Sun Prairie residents receiving City-sponsored automated refuse/recycle cart curbside collections.

The Recycle Center accepts yard waste (grass clippings, shrub trimmings, leaves, garden waste); brush (sticks and branches); scrap metal; appliances (no Freon); used motor oil and antifreeze; motor vehicle oil filters and oil absorbent materials; and move-in boxes.

For further information, residents may call the Public Works Department at 837-3050.

Sun Prairie Media Center

Bank of Sun Prairie Donates T-Shirts to 2019-2020 Kids-4 Program

All 57 students enrolled in the Sun Prairie Media Center’s unique KIDS-4 program are sporting brand new KIDS-4 shirts thanks to a generous donation from the Bank of Sun Prairie! This the third year in a row that the cost of the shirts have beenSP Media Center_Bank of SP tshirt donor pic covered by local organizations. Previous donors included the Optimist Club and Titley and Associates, an Allstate Agency.
The design of the shirt is unique as each year students enrolled in KIDS-4 submit their ideas for a T-shirt design, with the winning design picked by other kids in the program. This year’s winner is Abby Packard, a sixth grader who has participated in KIDS-4 since she was in 4th grade. After some minor design modifications, the shirts were printed at Ameriprint Apparel, located in Sun Prairie.

“We want to thank the Bank of Sun Prairie for this generous donation,” said Sun Prairie Media Center director Jeff Robbins. “We have been working with the Bank of Sun Prairie for several years now and their support of the Media Center is tremendous. We could not ask for a better partner.”

“In previous years, the shirts were an additional cost for families enrolled in KIDS-4. Therefore, not all kids received a shirt. It’s awesome that thanks to our friends at the Bank of Sun Prairie that every child in the program gets a shirt. We think having the shirt helps cement in each child a feeling of belonging to a unique club, which is definitely what KIDS-4 is.”

KIDS-4 is a unique program for kids in grades 4-8. The classes meet once a week at the Sun Prairie Media Center from October-April, where kids learn how to produce programs and videos by performing all aspects of video production, from writing to acting to sound to directing. Programming produced in KIDS-4 airs on Spectrum channel 984, TDS channels 14/1014, is streamed live at, and is available through the SPMC's Roku and Apple TV apps.

Sun Prairie Media Center would like to thank the Bank of Sun Prairie for their generous donation and for supporting the KIDS-4 program in Sun Prairie.

Sun Prairie Public Library

Upcoming Programming

Sun Prairie Public Library Logo

Holiday Crafts Workshop

Make winter/holiday crafts! Geared for ages 3-11. A variety of different crafts will be offered -- each child can make up to three projects for the week to take home. Morning craft sessions are geared towards preschool age children; afternoon craft sessions are geared towards school-age children; all sessions have something appropriate for all age levels. Children under 8 need an accompanying adult. No registration required.

Thursday, December 5th 6-7:30pm

Library Community Room

LEGO® Family Time

Drop in and create with LEGOs® as a family! Our LEGO® and DUPLO® collections will be open for free play and creativity in the Community Room. This is not a drop-off program--parents must stay with kids and make creations together! All children under the age of 8 must be actively supervised by an adult. No registration required.
Saturday, December 7th 10:00am- 12:00pm or 2-4pm

Library Community Room

Yin Timeout Workshop

Holidays can be a time of coming together with family, friends and coworkers to share in the joy of the season. It can also be a time that you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and no time to just ‘be!’ This class offers simple stretches using the breath and body for 2-8 minutes holds. This is a ‘Yin Timeout’ for you to breathe, relax, and reconnect with you! The best gift to give is one you can do for yourself. 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, December 9th 6-7pm

Library Community Room

Winter Origami Workshop

Whether you're new to origami or just want to experience more of what you love, then this workshop is for you! Celebrate the season and learn to make gift for others (or yourself) under the guidance of renowned origami artist, Ruthanne Bessman. You will learn to read diagrams and have the chance to make different decorative models to take home! All materials provided. No registration required! Ages 8 to infinity. This program is generously funded by the Friends of Sun Prairie Public Library.

Wednesday, December 11th 6-7pm

Library Community Room

Harry Potter Yule Ball

Harry Potter Yule Ball will be the event of the season! We'll celebrate winter with dancing, light refreshments, simple crafts, and activities. Dress your best in dress robes, suits, dresses, or just in your Hogwarts robes! Costumes, of all kinds, encouraged! Activities will start around 4 PM, and the "Great Hall" will be open for dancing starting at 5:30 PM.

Thursday, December 12th 4-7pm

Library Community Room

Celtic Fiddle Concert

Give yourself a gift this holiday season, and take a break to appreciate the melodious sounds of our favorite Irish Fiddle magician, Alan Ng! Back by popular demand, Ng will once again wow us with his beautiful blend of Irish traditional tunes -- and in doing so, make your month a whole lot merrier! All ages welcome! Dancing permitted! This Live Concert Series event is generously funded by the Friends of Sun Prairie Public Library.

Sunday, December 15th 2-3pm

Library Community Room

Library Catalog Upgrade

LINKcat, the online library catalog, will be offline for a scheduled software update beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday Dec. 6 and ending on Tuesday Dec. 10. This will affect all public libraries in the seven-county South Central Library System.

During this offline period, due dates on library items will be extended to ensure minimal impact for library patrons. Additionally, there will be no overdue fines incurred during this four day period.

Patrons may still visit their local library to check out and return items during regular hours of operation. Patrons will not have access to the catalog to place new holds, but will be able to check out existing holds on the library card the hold was placed.

Library patrons can use the library’s 24/7 eBook and eAudiobook collections through Wisconsin’s Digital Library at Library staff will also be available to help patrons locate materials on their shelves.

Once the update is complete patrons will be able to use LINKcat to access the same services as before. While there will be changes to the look of the site, they will be minimal.

For additional information or help navigating these changes, patrons should contact the Sun Prairie Public Library. Staff will be happy to assist. (608)825-7323.