April 2 2020

Sun Prairie Clock Tower Express Logo

Department Updates

Administration: City Administrator Aaron Oppenheimer helps you make sense of the Safer at Home order

Building Inspection: Updates to our services in light of COVID-19

Clerks Office: Polling places will be consolidated to one location at Sun Prairie Area high school 

Sun Prairie Emergency Medical Services: Sun Prairie EMS is referring donations of PPE to Dane County Emergency Management

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department: Updates to registration dates and credits for cancelled programming

Sun Prairie Media Center: The Media Center unfortunately is closed for the time being but content creation continues. 

Sun Prairie Planning Department: Upcoming planning department meetings will be accessible via zoom

Sun Prairie Police Department: COVID-19 related scams are targeting you. Learn best practices to avoid getting caught in one

Sun Prairie Public Library: There are several ways to access library programming from home. Learn how

Public Works: Updates to collections due to social distancing restriction, plus public works building closures

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City Operations in Light of the Safer at Home Order

Governor Evers’ Safer at Home Order went into effect at 8 am on March 25 and provides the following guidelines:  

  • Only leave your home for essential trips i.e. purchasing groceries or medication, caring for loved ones or exercising outdoors 
  • Do not host gatherings of people beyond the ones currently living in your home 
  • Playgrounds are closed to the public.

All Sun Prairie public safety services including our police, emergency medical services and fire departments will continue at full capacity. Sun Prairie has partnerships that ensure the continuity of these services so we can respond to emergencies as they arise. We also continue to provide utility service, as well as trash and recycling pick-up. Other city services continue to operate, but at a limited capacity. We are encouraging residents to access city services online at www.cityofsunprarie.com or by phone.

The April 7 election is taking place as scheduled. Residents can request an absentee ballot online through April 2 at myvote.wi.gov. All In-Person Absentee Voting will be held at City Hall through April 3. 

Steps have been taken to mitigate health risks with protective equipment and by implementing social distancing policies. 

Building Inspection

COVID-19 Related Changes

All communication to staff shall be by email at buildinginspection@cityofsunprairie.com or by phone at 608-825-1184. Someone will respond as quickly as possible but please be understanding that there may be some delays in service delivery as we all work through this together.

Inspection staff will not be available to meet in-person at City Hall.

Field inspections will be evaluated as requests come in and conducted when it is determined it is both essential, and safe for both staff and our customers. Certain inspections may be postponed to a future date based on staff availability.

Drop off of permit applications and/or Plan Review applications/plans may still be made at the front counter of City Hall; 300 East Main Street.

Plan review and permitting is continuing with staff working remotely.

Pick up of approved building permits and/or approved plan reviews may still be made at the front counter of City Hall. Customers will be notified via email when plans or permits are approved, and provided with information on how to remit payment to the City. Please do not attempt to pick up or check on items, if you have not received that email notification.

Clerks Office

Polling Location Consolidation

The City of Sun Prairie will be consolidating from 8 polling places down to 1 polling place for the April 7th Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary because of Election Official shortages resulting from COVID-19.  The City will be utilizing Sun Prairie High School, located at 888 Grove St, as the polling place.

Clerk’s Office staff have been working hard to get precautions in place for Election Day and have taken the following measures:

  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available for Election Officials and voters.
  • Face masks will be available for Election Officials.
  • Gloves will be available for Election Officials.
  • Plexiglass dividers are being built to be used at the Badger Book stations and the Ballot Table.
  • Cleaning wipes will be used to clean surfaces hourly.
  • Social distancing will be actively encouraged throughout the entire voting process.
  • Sun Prairie Fire Department will be assisting with crowd control and ensuring that social distancing guidelines are followed.

However, the Clerk’s Office urges voters in Sun Prairie to avoid going to the polls on Election Day and vote absentee instead, if possible.

“We want everyone who is eligible and who wants to vote to be able to do so safely,” Elena Hilby, City Clerk said. “Absentee voting will greatly reduce crowds at polling places on Election Day, which will make social distancing much easier.”

Voters can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them using MyVote.WI.Gov.  Completed absentee ballots can be mailed to the Clerk’s Office or dropped off at the following locations:

City Hall, 300 E Main St (drop box located in Main St lobby)

Westside Community Service Building, 2598 W Main St (drop box located in main lobby)

Sun Prairie Utilities, 125 W Main St (drive-thru drop box)

Sun Prairie High School, 888 Grove St (drop-off available on Election Day ONLY)

The deadline to return an absentee ballot is 8:00pm on Election Day. 

Sun Prairie Emergency Medical Services

Support Dane County with PPEResource Image of Emergency Services

Sun Prairie EMS is working in partnership with Dane County Emergency Management to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) for all first responders in Dane County.   If you have PPE that you would like to donate such as facemasks, gowns, nitrile gloves, etc., please contact Dane County Emergency Management by email at dcems@countyofdane.com or by phone at 608-266-5374.

Who to Call, When 

Please call your physician for consultation of any illness you may have, and call 211 for other information.  If you have an emergency, call 911.

Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Program credits for cancelled programs/missed classes

All programs, classes and events through April 17 have been cancelled. SPPRF will be issuing program credits to users’ RecPro accounts for classes missed through April 17. Users should check their RecPro accounts to confirm a credit was posted. E-mail rec@cityofsunprairie.com with account questions.

Summer 2020 Registration Dates:

On Monday, April 6, the 2020 Summer Fun Guide will be available online at http://rec.cityofsunprairie.com or on the Department Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/sunprairierec

While SPPRF highly encourages people to download a copy of the guide, limited quantities of hard copies will be available at City Hall and inside the vestibule area at the Westside Community Services Building.

Eventually, hard copies will also be available at the Colonial Club, Public Library, and Chamber of Commerce. The date in which Summer Fun Guides will be delivered to these locations is to be determined.

Our 2020 Summer Registration Dates have changed from what was originally published. Our new dates are:

Wednesday, April 15, 9:00 am: Online for Sun Prairie Residents (all programs except swimming lessons) begins. Fax, mail, e-mail and drop box registration methods are not available at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Wednesday, April 22, 9:00 am: All registration methods for non-residents begins

Wednesday, April 29, 9:00 am: All registration methods for session 1 swim lesson registration for residents begins

Friday, May 1, 9:00 am: All registration methods for session 1 swim lesson registration for non-residents begins

Sun Prairie Historical Library and Museum

The SPHLM will be closed through Friday, April 17, 2020, tentatively. Museum staff is available by e-mail at museum@cityofsunprairie.com and is regularly checking e-mails. The main line, (608) 825-0837, is not being monitored on a regular basis. Staff is encouraging e-mail communication as the museum voicemail is being monitored intermittently until further notice.

Visit our Facebook page @sunprairierec for the latest virtual recreation news including weekly challenges, people’s choice voting for our Cupcake Wars winner, and the release of our Rec-on-the-Go program.

Sun Prairie Media Center

Programming During the Safer at Home Order

As the governor’s “Safer at Home” order was widely being reported, SPMC director Jeff Robbins made the difficult decision to suspend community access to the Media Center effective on the afternoon of March 23. The KIDS-4 program had already been suspended as of March 13.

While this decision pained the entire SPMC staff – recognizing that the Media Center is built on the idea of community access – it quickly became clear that the step was a necessary one to support the governor’s call to eliminate nonessential travel and to limit community spread of COVID-19.

Since March 23, staff has been working from home to, among many other tasks, program the channels and help produce programming.

Although media outlets are exempt from the Governor’s order, being a community media center means that the SPMC is in a unique situation.

“We are still collaborating with city officials and staff to disseminate vital information to the public during this crisis as well as broadcasting city meetings,” said Robbins. “But since so much of our content is community based, it’s simply not responsible for us to have the constant stream of member producers flowing into the media center and operating shared equipment, even as we had already taken steps to sanitize the center and our equipment as much as possible.”

“Speaking for the staff of the Media Center, the best part of our jobs is working with our dedicated team of volunteer producers. It is very tough on all of us to ask them to stay away.” continued Robbins.

While the KIDS-4 program will not reconvene this crew year, summer workshops are scheduled to begin in July with registration for those workshops to begin on April 15. More information is available at kids4.tv.

Despite the sadly non-accessible state of the Media Center, there is new programming available on KSUN, 103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio, and the SPMC app, as some producers have been producing programming at home. (Check out this example of our long-running movie review program!) And thanks to the Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center fundraising group, portable podcast units are being purchased that will allow members to contribute programming remotely.

Staff can also meet members on an individual basis to checkout video equipment.

Any questions about the Media Center during this time should be directed to Jeff Robbins at jrobbins@cityofsunprairie.com.

Sun Prairie Planning Department

Upcoming Meetings in Digital Format

The April 14th and 28th Plan Commission meetings are planned to take place as scheduled at 7pm. However, staff is currently in the process of evaluating several remote meeting options due to the Safer at Home order.

At this point, the Zoom video conferencing platform is the likely delivery method. More information about the specific delivery method will be forthcoming. For those who wish to attend the meetings from home, we encourage people to sign up to get the Zoom app ahead of time by going to : https://zoom.us

Sun Prairie Police Department

Beware COVID-19 Related Scams COVID 19 Reated Scam Alert

It has come to our attention that some residents of our community have been contacted by individuals identifying themselves as Sun Prairie Police Officers seeking monetary donations due to the public health emergency. We want to assure you that these calls are not legitimate and would never come from the police department. We are aware of certain fraudulent schemes occurring nationally with people attempting to take advantage of others in relation to the pandemic. We urge all of our citizens to be mindful of potential fraudulent activity. Please report any activity like this to our police department via the non-emergency line: 608-837-7336. (Originally posted to police department’s Facebook page on 03/27/2020).

Sun Prairie Public Library

Ways to Connect to the Library at Home

Children’s & Teen Services

Please find us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram!  We are currently offering Small Fry Storytime and Storytime as LIVE programs on Facebook, which are recorded and kept for a minimum of one week on both Facebook and YouTube.  Small Fry Storytime is on Mondays at 10:00 and Storytime is on Tuesdays at 10:30!  Right on the SPPLYS Facebook page!

Teens!  Find Ms. Melissa on Instagram at sppl_teens…she’s posting almost every day with something different.  There’s also a virtual teen book group in the works – email her for more info: mcarollo@sunlib.org

Check out the Sun Prairie Public Library Youth Services Facebook page for more – we’ll be adding more programs and fun things to do, like scavenger hunts, science experiments, and more.  Keep in touch with us!

On the Sun Prairie Public Library website, you’ll find many digital resources.  Tumblebooks and its related databases are particularly great and geared specifically towards kids and teens!

Adult Programs

Adult programs are currently suspended through mid-May. However, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook for daily updates, helpful resources, book recommendations, and more. We are working on setting up a virtual book group as well! Check Facebook or the Library’s website for more details.

We also offer free access with your Sun Prairie library card to many great online databases and resources, including Wisconsin’s Digital Library (Overdrive) for e-books and e-audiobooks, and Hoopla Digital for no waiting e-books, audiobooks, music, movies and tv shows. Please visit our website at www.sunlib.org and look for these “Free with Your Library Card” resources.

Digital Access Accounts

The Sun Prairie Public Library has new Digital Access accounts available for people who are looking for digital material during the Safer At Home order. Visit our website at www.sunlib.org and choose “Get a Library Card” from the “Using the Library” menu. You’ll find a form to fill out with your name, address, and email. After the form is sent, library staff will create an account for you and send you an email with the account number and log-in information. With a Digital Access account, you will have access to our enhanced digital services during Safer At Home, as well as our usual digital subscriptions for eBooks, streaming movies and TV shows, digital music, comic books, and research assistance. Enhanced digital services include Ancestry.com, TumbleMath, and the Transparent Language app. When the library reopens, you will be able to bring your account number to the Welcome Desk and receive a physical library card with full access to all library materials and services.

General Operational Updates in Wake of COVID-19

The Sun Prairie Public Library is closed for all in-person and on-site services on Sunday, March 15 and will remain closed to the public until further notice. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 transmission, donations won’t be accepted during this time and the book drop will remain closed. During this time, hold and library account expiration dates have been extended, fines will not be accrued and your dedicated library staff is working to provide as many remote services as possible.

  • Some of the items in place include:
  • Enhanced digital content on Hoopla & Overdrive
  • Enhanced database content and access
  • Facebook Live Storytimes
  • Online library card applications for digital access
  • Reference service by email (sunref@sunlib.org)
  • Limited reference service by phone (608-825-7323)
  • Resources for workforce assistance

Library staff is continuing to explore other ways to bring the library to you. 

We are updating our website and Facebook pages daily to keep you informed, and engaged and to continue to provide you with the library as a gathering space even in its digital form.

Sun Prairie Public Works

Public Works Yard Waste and Brush Collection Update

While city services will be maintained due to health guidelines mandate distance between people and prohibit clustering of people the following updates will effect Public Works service. 

  • The City wide brush collection scheduled for the week of April 6 has been cancelled. The next scheduled collection will take place the week of May 4.
  • There will be a yard waste collection as scheduled starting on April 13. Materials must be curbside by 7:00 am.
  • For yard waste information and guidelines, please go to: https://cityofsunprairie.com/1172/Yard-Waste-Information.
  • The Electronic Recycling Event scheduled for May 9, 2020 has been cancelled.
  • The Sun Prairie Recycling Center is closed.
  • An additional yard waste collection has been added for the week of May 11.
  • The Dane County Clean Sweep Facility is currently closed until further notice.

If you have questions, please call the City Service Center (Public Works) at 608-837-3050.