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September 29, 2020

9/10/2020 8:48:00 AM
Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce announces Temporary Leave of Absence
Chamber of Commerce events have been quite difficult due to restrictions brought forth by COVID-19. It was announced at Tuesday's Dodgeville City Council meeting that September is Wisconsin Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce Month.
Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce Director Beth Mikrut Gilles made an announcement to council members that she emailed her resignation letter to the Chamber board, which was denied. Instead she will be having a leave of absence, from October until January 2021.
There is an increased demand in childcare, and Mikrut-Gilles informed council members that she has two daycare properties that she needed to shift her focus on.
"I want to thank the Chamber Board, the City of Dodgeville and committee members for allowing me to work with them," Mikrut-Gilles said. "I will keep in touch with the Dodgeville Chamber and hope to be back."
Due to the Dodgeville Public Library building project being on hold during the pandemic, Dodgeville Public Library Director Vickie Stangel informed council members that there is a fundraiser being put on by the Friends of the Dodgeville Public Library and the Library Foundation. Christine Wallace and Caroline Hodge have made quilts that have been donated towards the upcoming auction.
Stangel also announced that three high school students have been hired: Parker Stewart, Allison Solberg-Kieler and Mia Patterson. Virtual Colossal Fossils is also a family friendly Zoom series, which will run at the library for the next 16 weeks. It will run live from 4 to 5 p.m. each Monday starting September 7, and a recorded link is available on Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Wireless printing will also be available starting next week for patrons to print items from their own devices.
The Library has also received an LSTA Communications Grant, which allows the library to extend WiFi access in the library parking lot and green space. The United Community Fund of Iowa County COVID-19 Relief has helped to purchase mobile individual desk barriers to accommodate activities requiring close contact such as tutoring, job interviews, and technological assistance. They will also be used for small group projects and book clubs.
City Clerk Treasurer Lisa Riley informed council members that the Public Service Commission extended the COVID-19 Utility Moratorium to October 1 for delinquent utilities. She also informed council members that the virtual conference for software training takes place the week of September 14-18, the same week that absentee ballots will be sent.
It was also brought to council members attention that there have been complaints received regarding the use of the Dipper property located across from the Chamber Building. The Dipper Property has been used for the purpose of collecting recall signatures.
City Attorney Eileen Brownlee stated that collecting recall petition signatures is considered freedom of speech and is protected by our U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions. A number of schools and municipalities have exceptions to this, due to policies and ordinances. The City of Dodgeville does not at this time.
If the City were to prohibit free speech activity in its buildings, it would apply to any kind of freedom of speech activity including soliciting signatures, circulating nomination papers, or using City buildings for candidate debates. Since there is no ordinance in place, any individuals may participate in freedom of speech activities so long as they are not disrupting normal business hours, blocking sidewalks and driveways, or engage in disorderly conduct. Restrictions may include the use of bullhorns or other sound amplification devices.
At this time, the Dipper property, and City sidewalks, parks and other public areas are available for freedom of speech activities.
In other council business:
-Council members approved the Ice Wolves Hockey Association Contract 2020-2021.
-Council members approved a new two year operators license for Brittany Hirsch (Ending June 30, 2022).
-Council members approved a new one year operators license for Melanie McIntosh (Ends June 30, 2021).
-Council members approved a cemetery truck, box and plow bid.
-Council members approved a sewer department truck, box crane and plow bid.
-Council members approved a resolution for a zoning district change from B-C Central to PUD Planned Unit Development located on Lots 4 and 28, Dodge's Addition to the City of Dodgeville.
-Council members granted permission to solicit proposals for Contracted Assessor.
-Council members granted permission to solicit proposals for City-Wide Revaluation.
Councils went into closed session to discuss a police department request for an additional full-time police officer, a utility-clerk position, and a salary range for a building inspector.
Council members met to discuss a potential ATV ordinance, which will be discussed in detail in next week's issue of the Dodgeville Chronicle, and brush piling. The next regularly scheduled common council meeting is on the calendar for Tuesday September 15 at 5:30 p.m.

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