February 2024

The Big (1)
8

Mayor Esser Presenting on City's Future in Annual State of the City Address

These presentations provide a valuable opportunity for the community to reflect on significant moments of impact of the past year and gain insight into the City’s future direction. Mayor Esser will spend time presenting on the city budget, highlighting key elements of the upcoming budget year. Community members will have multiple opportunities to stay informed about new initiatives and interact with the mayor.

The central theme for this year, "Revolves Around You," highlights the City of Sun Prairie's commitment to addressing the diverse and unique needs of its community members. The presentation will include key accomplishments from the past year, including the introduction of Metro Transit service, the completion of the Equity Audit, the adoption of a new official brand identity, and more.

Interested in catching his presentation in person? Check out these details:

Colonial Club - February 6 at 1 p.m. - Colonial Club (301 Blankenheim Ln)

- Optimist Club - February 7 at 12 p.m. - Glass Nickel Pizza (410 East Main Street)

- Rotary Club - February 13 at 7:00 a.m. - Colonial Club (301 Blankenheim Ln)

- Sun Prairie Public Library - February 29 at 8:30 a.m. - (1350 Linnerud Dr)

The Sun Prairie Media Center has provided a recording of the SOTC presentation. Viewers can access by visiting



City of Sun Prairie and Sunshine Place Excited to Welcome Tenant Resource Center to Community

The City of Sun Prairie and Sunshine Place are thrilled to announce the arrival of Tenant Resource Center (TRC) to the community. TRC will be instrumental in delivering essential housing navigation and eviction resources, addressing a significant need in Sun Prairie.

In May 2023, discussions were initiated between the City and Sunshine Place with the aim of introducing services from TRC to the community. The catalyst for these discussions was TRC's participation in Sun Prairie’s Affordable Housing Month, where they conducted programming focusing on evictions. This engagement prompted ongoing conversations between the City and Sunshine Place, leading to a collaborative exploration of opportunities to establish a strategic partnership and bring TRC's resources to the area.

The initiative was then deliberated during a Housing Committee meeting, ultimately concluding with committee members expressing interest in exploring funding opportunities to support it. Funding for the initiative was successfully secured through a collaborative partnership between the City, leveraging resources from the affordable housing fund, and receiving financial support from Dane County.

TRC services are now accessible at Sunshine Place, located at 1632 West Main Street, Suite 170. Bilingual staff are available for drop-ins on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with virtual appointments conducted from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, drop-ins are available throughout the day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bilingual staff also welcome drop-ins on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more about TRC services, please call 608-708-6008 or email sunprairie@tenantresourcecenter.org.


9
10

Sun Prairie Historical Library & Museum Launches Innovative Tool for Greater Public Access

The Sun Prairie Historical Library & Museum (SPHLM) is going public with the past by launching online access to the Museum’s Collections Database, establishing a convenient way to view existing collections.

This newly developed resource allows the public to view images of area people and places dating as far back as the mid-1800s. In addition, the database includes photos of physical artifacts in the Museum’s collections alongside descriptive information on extensive research materials. This online tool makes it possible to search with ease for specific items and topics, a function previously available to only volunteers. Providing the public with increased access to SPHLM’s collections has been a key objective for staff.

Currently, the Museum’s collections contain over 35,000 items with nearly 9,000 already searchable through the service. Staff will continue to review database entries and make them available for public access. Additionally, the Museum has also established a process for users to purchase high-resolution digital reproductions of images they would like for printing or other personal use.

To visit the database, please visit https://sunprairie.catalogaccess.com/

Other digital resources such as self-guided tours of the Sun Prairie downtown historic district and an extensive obituary collection for genealogy research can be accessed by visiting https://cityofsunprairie.com/322/Sun-Prairie-Historical-Library-Museum. Physical access to research materials, including materials not yet searchable online, can be scheduled by appointment.


City to Allocate $60,000 from ARPA Funds to Support Unhoused Individuals

The City of Sun Prairie will allocate $60,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support unhoused individuals in the community. This initiative aims to assist organizations who are providing support to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

During the 2024 budget deliberations, City Council made a commitment to address the issue of homelessness in Sun Prairie by adopting a motion to move forward with this initiative. Due to internal project savings, the City secured ample ARPA funding to support this effort. To effectively use these funds, city staff proposed the distribution of an Unhoused Support Services Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The NOFO outlines the grant process for interested organizations seeking to address homelessness. This opportunity is open to non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and for-profit organizations operating within the city limits and/or school district.

The Unhoused Support Services grant opportunity, with a maximum award of $60,000 per organization or project and a minimum award of $10,000, focuses on supporting activities that promote stable housing arrangements for individuals or families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Submitted proposals will undergo evaluation by an internal team, utilizing the scorecard included in the NOFO. The team will then make funding recommendations to the City Council. Following grant awards, selected organizations will be required to comply with quarterly budget reporting and final programmatic reporting to the City once all funds are expended.

For more information and to access the NOFO, please visit https://www.cityofsunprairie.com/1606/American-Rescue-Plan.


11
12

2024 Compost Group Buy & Waste Presentations 

Join Sun Prairie's 2024 Compost Bin Group Buy in partnership with Recycling Connections, offering residents high-quality compost bins recommended by experts. Order by April 18th, with pickups on April 20th, 10am-1pm at the Sun Prairie Recycling Center. More info and ordering: https://www.recyclingconnections.org/sunprairie.

Fun Fact: The U.S. wastes 1 lb of food per person daily, contributing to 40% of the entire food supply. You can join us in reducing food waste by composting at home.

There will be three Waste-Focused Community Presentations at Sun Prairie Public Library with the following topics:

  • March 6th – Striving for a zero-waste lifestyle.
  • March 13th – Combatting food waste (Discount codes for group buy as door prizes).
  • April 10th – Exploring ways to become a recycling superstar.

All presentations will be held at the Sun Prairie Public Library and will begin at 6:30pm.


You can also tune in to 103.5 The Sun every Wednesday at 7 a.m. to hear all the interviews.

The Big (4)

Administration: Do you have an event, initiative, or project centered on advancing the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Check out the "Administration" section to learn more about the Community Partner Sponsorship! 

Building Inspection: Need to check on the status of your permits? Check out our section and give us a call!

Historical Library and Museum: The Historic Library & Museum is partnering with the Sun Prairie Historical Society and local high school Forensics Teams to present an evening of love letters between Sun Prairie residents of the past! 

Parks, Recreation & Forestry: The Recreation Division has many fun winter programs happening for all ages.  Whether you are into sports, dance, fitness, music or school-based activities, we’ve got you covered.  We’re especially excited to offer several NEW programs such as Coding for Teens, Chess Club, 55+ Strength & Balance and Burn Boot Camp Pop Ups.

Public Safety: We are excited to introduce you to our three newest officers! See the details below. 

Sun Prairie Public Library: The library is offering a free 6-week conversation class for English Language Learners! Saturdays, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, and March 2 and 9, from 11:30am - 12:30pm. You do not need to bring anything. This is a drop-in class, registration is encouraged but not required.

Sun Prairie Utilities: Sun Prairie Utilities (SPU) is hosting a donation drive to honor Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17!

Administration

Community Partner Sponsorship

City Council passed a budget initiative to allocate funds for organizations in the community who are planning events, activities, and initiatives in line with the City's values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  Our commitment to advancing equity, honoring our diverse identity, and fostering an inclusive culture serves as the focus of our daily endeavors. We want to support others who are doing this work in the Sun Prairie community. Currently, there is $5,000 allocated available for this initiative. Please click here for the application.
Once your application is submitted, an internal team of staff will review and reach out to the email address provided to notify you of the application's status. Specific questions can be sent to Jake King, Communications & Diversity Strategist, at jking@cityofsunprairie.com.

click link to apply (1)

Building InspectionNew BI logo

Have you had a new furnace, A/C, water softer, or water heater installed in the last few years? How about a new roof, siding, exterior door, or windows installed? You might not know it, but your installer most likely took out a permit for this work as required per city ordinances. If you didn’t request an inspection, you may not realize that the permit is still open.

Call or email Sun Prairie Building Inspection and we can check for you!

Email:  buildinginspection@cityofsunprairie.com

Phone:  608-825-1184

Historical Library and Museum

Sun Prairie Historical Library and Museum

The Museum is open to the public this winter on Wednesdays 11:00am-4:00pm and by appointment for research and special events. To learn more, visit www.cityofsunprairie.com/museum.  

Staff can be reached by phone at (608) 825-0837 or by email at museum@cityofsunprairie.com.

The Historical Library and Museum is located at 115 East Main St. Sun Prairie with parking behind the building. Admission is always free.

Announcements:

Going Public with the Past

Ever wished you could look through the Museum’s collections from the comfort of your own home? Starting this January, you can! This fall, the Museum’s database migrated to an online platform that makes public access possible. Visit our Facebook page to learn how you can explore the collections: www.facebook.com/CityOfSunPrairieMuseum

Going Public with the Past

Love on the Prairie Valentine’s Reading

The Historic Library & Museum is partnering with the Sun Prairie Historical Society and local high school Forensics Teams to present an evening of love letters between Sun Prairie residents of the past! 

Local students will read romantic writings pulled from the Museum’s collections in the historic Crosse House at 133 W. Main St. Sun Prairie on Friday, February 16. Doors open at 5:30pm for light refreshments and viewing romantic artifacts. Readings will begin at 6:00pm. This event is free to the public and all are welcome. 

2024 Love on the Prairie Flyer

Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Jimmy Predicts Early Spring!

The City of Sun Prairie celebrated the 76th annual Sun Prairie Groundhog Day Prognostication ceremony this morning! The ceremony began at 6:50a.m. and the Prognostication took place at sunrise (7:11 am.). Many came from near and far to Cannery Square in Downtown Sun Prairie and welcomed ‘Jimmy the Groundhog’ to Sun Prairie for his Groundhog Day prediction!

Mayor Paul Esser’s translation of Jimmy’s prognostication is that spring will arrive early for Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

"Our community consistently gathers each year to uphold this cherished tradition, and I eagerly anticipate many more years of awaiting Jimmy’s much-anticipated prediction," said Mayor Esser. "Above all, I'm excited about the prospect of an early spring!"

Various businesses across Sun Prairie are hosting Groundhog Day specials to celebrate the holiday. More information and the official Prognostication is currently posted on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/downtownsunprairie

Check out the City of Sun Prairie’s website page for the history of Groundhog Day: http://www.cityofsunprairie.com/840/Groundhog-Day 

JIMMY PREDICTS EARLY SPRING

Parks, Recreation & Forestry Updates

January can only mean one thing….Frozen FUN Prairie has officially begun!  There is so much winter fun to be had around the city, where do we begin?!

Did you know the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department has snowshoes available to rent?  For only $10 per pair, there are weekend and weekday rental options.  Get out and enjoy the many powdery trails!

RECREATION

The Recreation Division has many fun winter programs happening for all ages.  Whether you are into sports, dance, fitness, music or school-based activities, we’ve got you covered.  We’re especially excited to offer several NEW programs such as Coding for Teens, Chess Club, 55+ Strength & Balance and Burn Boot Camp Pop Ups.  To view and/or to register for programs, visit rec.cityofsunprairie.com or stop by the office during business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Pick up a 2024 Winter/Spring Rec Connection at the Westside Community Services Building, Library, or City Hall and/or view the guide online at rec.cityofsunprairie.com.

PARKS

Looking to brave the cold and get outside this winter?!  Come ice skate at Stoneridge Estates and Renstone Parks this winter!  Trails will be groomed for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire bikes at Sheehan Park!  In addition, there are sledding hills at Carriage Hills Estates and Sheehan Park! Keep an eye out January 26 – February 2 for Frozen Fest activities throughout the parks!

FORESTRY

Winter is the perfect time for tree care!  We will be conducting structural and clearance pruning on street trees throughout the city.  We are also excited to announce that we received a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Program to inventory open street terrace planting sites throughout the city and develop a planting plan in hopes to reforest areas in the city that lack tree canopy cover.   This project works in tandem with our recently installed Gravel Bed that will allow us much more flexibility in our tree planting operations.

Public Safety

New Officers Swearing In

Sun Prairie, we are excited to introduce you to the three newest members of the SNPD family; Francisco Jimenez, Jr., Taylor Haffelder, and Osarobo Asia.

All three come to us with strong roots in service and the full support of their families. Together, they will be heading off to the 720-hour Law Enforcement Academy on January 8th. In the meantime, they will be learning the ins and outs of the department and touring the City. If you see them out and about, please say hello!

police feb 5


Sun Prairie Public Library

Programs for Children and Teens

Storytime Resumes!

Storytime Resumes the week of January 29th! This includes Small Fry Storytime for ages 0-2, Little Kid Stoytime for ages 1-3, and Big Kid Storytime for ages 3-5. Visit our Storytime page for more information: https://www.sunprairiepubliclibrary.org/storytimeinfo

Family Fun: Shadows & Hearts

Thursday, February 1st from 2-3:30 p.m., Community Room

Geared for those in K-5, but all ages are welcome! We'll have crafts and other fun activities all about shadows and hearts! No registration.

Teen Creativity Club

Tuesday, February 6th from 4-5:30 p.m., Community Room

Join Melissa for Teen Creativity Club! Our February project is Shrinky Dinks! Registration is recommended, reserve your spot by using the form here. This program is for teens in 6th - 12th grade. Questions, or concerns, please email Melissa at mcarollo@sunlib.org.

Teen Gaming and Legos

Friday, February 9th from 4-5:30 p.m., Community Room

Come play board games, Codenames, Gartic Phone, and Jackbox games. Or build with our massive LEGO collection. Having a device that can access the internet is useful, but not necessary. We will meet in the Library Community Room. This program is for teens in 6th-12th grade.

Gaming with Sammy

Wednesday, February 21st from 4-5 p.m., Community Room

Play board games, Roblox, Among Us, Gartic Phone, Jackbox Games, and more! This program is for those who are 7-12 years old. If you are able to bring your own device, please have your favorite games installed and ready to play prior to the start of the program. The library does not have devices to lend out. We will be playing both board games and electronic games!

Children can be left with the librarian as long as they are registered. When you register, you'll automatically be signed up for all sessions. It is okay if you are not able to come to all sessions. Registration is available here.

Programs for Adults

Grupo de Inglés Conversacional / English Conversation Group

Saturdays, February 3, 10, 17 and 24 and March 2 and 9

11:30-12:30 p.m., Conference Room

La biblioteca pública de Sun Prairie ofrece un curso gratis de ingles conversacional con duración de 6 semanas. Sábados 3, 10, 17 y 24 de febrero, y 2 y 9 de marzo; 11:30am - 12:30pm. No necesitas traer nada. Esta es una clase sin cita previa, se recomienda registrarse pero no es obligatorio.

The library is offering a free 6-week conversation class for English Language Learners! Saturdays, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, and March 2 and 9, from 11:30am - 12:30pm. You do not need to bring anything. This is a drop-in class, registration is encouraged but not required.

Embroidered Corner Bookmarks

Thursday, February 22 from 6-8 p.m., Community Room

Join us for a hands-on experience where you'll learn the art of embroidery to craft charming corner bookmarks. Guided by a skilled instructor from the Monroe Street Arts Center, participants will explore various stitching techniques and color combinations to personalize their bookmarks. Whether you're a novice or an experienced crafter, this workshop offers a delightful opportunity to cultivate new skills and leave with a unique, handmade creation that will add a touch of elegance to your reading adventures. Adults 18+.  Space is limited, registered required.  Please register using the form here.

Sun Prairie Utilities

Sun Prairie Utilities (SPU) is hosting a donation drive to honor Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17!

This year, your donations will help families/individuals who are moving into housing. SPU staff will give your donations to Sunshine Place, and the community resource center will share the donations with their partners, such as RISE and Centro Hispano. 

Residents can donate new, unopened: 

-       Paper towels

-       Dish soap

-       Toilet paper

-       Laundry soap

-       Cleaning supplies/sponges

-       Body wash

-       Shampoo and conditioner

Travel-sized items will not be accepted.

You can drop off the items at Sun Prairie Utilities’ office on 125 W. Main St. Donations will be accepted within the office hours of 7:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Friday.

The drive runs from the beginning of Thursday, Feb. 1, to the end of Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024.

Act with kindness in mind and donate today!Random Acts of Kindness 1 (1)

The Big (5)

Black History Month 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH (3)

Sun Prairie is proud to honor and celebrate Black History Month, recognizing the rich contributions of the Black and African American community. Mayor Paul Esser will be presenting a special Black History Month proclamation to the Black Student Union during the February 6 City Council meeting. Additionally, Sun Prairie is excited to announce the launch of the Sun Prairie Stories project. This initiative aims to collect and archive stories from the Black and African American community members, preserving and showcasing Sun Prairie's Black history. More details about this project will be revealed. 

Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce

The 2024 Sun Prairie Community Guide & Map

The 2024 Sun Prairie Community Guide has all the necessary information for both residents and visitors of the city. We sincerely hope that it motivates you to come and explore our beautiful city. All the details mentioned in the guide are up-to-date at the time of printing. However, we recommend checking the local websites for any updates.

Visit sunprairiechamber.com/sun-prairie-community-guide to view sp chamber of commercethe online interactive guide anSP chamber of commerce 2d map.

Sunshine Place 

Housing Services & Dane County Emergency Shelters

housing services photo


photo for shelters

Housing Navigation Support

sunshine place housing navigation

spanish housing navigation tool

Tenant Resource Center

trc in English


trc in Spanish

Community Health Workercommunity health worker

The Big (7)

Family Open Gym!

421965154_698419619083006_8953489705271910987_n


February Frost 5K

Support March of Dimes by registering to run or walk this 5K! March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization working to combat the infant and maternal health risk crisis in the USA. This event is a great opportunity to help the community while participating in a fun run/walk! 

Envision MOD Flyer (1)

The Big (10)

Committee of the Whole

The Committee of the Whole, consisting of all 8 seated City Council members, addresses multi-committee issues, reviews the annual budget, manages real estate transactions, engages in long-term planning, has the authority to sanction Council members and officials, and handles matters not assigned to specific committees. Chaired by the Council President, it convenes on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 300 E. Main St., Downtown Sun Prairie, with meeting times occasionally subject to change (refer to the events calendar for specific times).

Check out the latest Committee of the Whole meeting (1/16/2024)

City Council

The City Council represents Sun Prairie's citizens, exercising legislative powers for governing the city. Its responsibilities include overseeing city property, finances, infrastructure, and public services, all in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare. The city is divided into four aldermanic districts, each with two alderpersons serving two-year terms. You can determine your district by contacting the City Clerk or checking the district map. City Council convenes regularly on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 300 E. Main Street, Downtown Sun Prairie.

Check out the latest Common Council meeting (1/16/2024)


Sun Prairie Media Center

Sun Prairie Media Center consists of three main entities, each with its own individual mission:

KSUN: The mission of KSUN is to train and nurture Sun Prairie residents in providing original video programming designed to educate, inform, entertain, and enlighten the city of Sun Prairie. KSUN programming should appeal to a wide range of Sun Prairie residents and reflect the diverse nature of the Sun Prairie population.

KIDS-4: The mission of KIDS-4 is to promote media literacy to the youth population of Sun Prairie as well as to teach students all aspects of producing original video and audio content. Students enrolled in KIDS-4 become more discriminating consumers of media, better communicators, better collaborators, and receive vital hands-on experience on a wide range of media-making tools.

103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio: The mission of 103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio is to train and nurture Sun Prairie residents in providing original radio and podcast programming designed to educate, inform, entertain, and enlighten the city of Sun Prairie. 103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio programming should appeal to a wide range of Sun Prairie residents and reflect the diverse nature of the Sun Prairie population.

Check out the abundance of quality community programming at https://www.sunprairiemediacenter.com/

The Big (6)