March 19 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: The city is encouraging residents to request absentee ballots be mailed to them. 

Sun Prairie Emergency Medical Services: When to call 911 or go to the Emergency Room

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department: A bevy of online options for accessing our services

Sun Prairie Media Center: Award winning media center will reduce staff presence but continue to give you inside look at city

Sun Prairie Planning Department: Bus service will function at limited capacity

Sun Prairie Police Department: The museum opened with officers Wilkinson and Pluim welcoming community members

Sun Prairie Public Library: With the library closing book loans will be extended 

Wastewater: A reminder to only flush toilet paper to avoid later plumbing issues

Back to the top

Building Inspection

Updates to Slow Spread of COVID-19

All communication to staff shall be by email at 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.

Clerk’s Office

Request Absentee Ballots be Delivered to your Home

The Clerk’s Office would like all voters to know how to request an absentee ballot.  The fastest method for requesting an absentee ballot is using MyVote.WI.Gov.  Other methods for requesting an absentee ballot can found here:   

Please note that absentee requests CANNOT be made over the phone.

Information on photo ID requirements for absentee voters can be found below.

Regular Voters (including Temporary Overseas Voters)

Regular absentee voters, including those temporarily overseas, are required to provide acceptable photo ID before being sent an absentee ballot. However, once photo ID is provided, an absentee voter does not need to resubmit photo ID when requesting an absentee ballot by mail for future elections, as long as they have not moved or changed their name.

Military and Permanent Overseas Voters

Military and permanent overseas voters are exempt from the photo ID requirement. If you are a military voter or are registered to vote as a permanent overseas voter, you are not required to provide photo ID.

Indefinitely Confined Voters

Indefinitely confined voters are persons who, because of age, physical illness, infirmity, or disability, are eligible to receive ballots automatically for all future elections. If you requested absentee ballots as an indefinitely confined voter, you are not required to provide photo ID.

Confidential Voters

Confidential Voters are exempt from the photo ID requirement. If you are currently qualified for a confidential listing, you are not required to provide photo ID.

Dog Licenses, Dog Park Permit 

State Statutes and the City of Sun Prairie Ordinances requires all dogs five (5) months of age or older, to be vaccinated for rabies and licensed. Licenses are valid as of January 1st and expire on December 31st of each year and are to be purchased on an annual basis. To receive a Dog Park Permit, you must license your dog.


You are required by the State to present or send, a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate when applying for a license. The rabies vaccination certificate from your veterinarian must state the manufacturer name, serial number of the rabies vaccine, and the expiration date of the rabies vaccination.

Dog Licenses Fees

  • $20.00 for spayed or neutered dogs
  • $25.00 for intact dogs
  • $16.00 for a spayed or neutered puppy under 5 months (Puppies are dogs who become 5 months of age after July 1 of the license year)
  • $18.50 for an intact puppy under 5 months (Puppies are dogs who become 5 months of age after July 1 of the license year)

Dog Park Permit Fees

  • $35.00 for the first dog
  • $17.00 for 2nd and 3rd dog

**The Clerk’s Office will not be charging late fees until further notice**

Sun Prairie Emergency Medical Services

When to call 911 or go to the Emergency Room:

  • Only call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are experiencing a TRUE MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
  • If you have non-emergency medical questions about COVID-19, or other health concerns, call your doctor or healthcare provider FIRST. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.
  • Dean Health 24 hour hotline: 608-250-1393
  • University of Wisconsin hotline: 608-720-5300

Parks, Recreation and Forestry

COVID-19 related update

As the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) increases, the Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is dedicated to protecting the health of our community.

All athletic facilities are closed effective March 19, 2020.  The Pet Exercise Area will also be closed and locked until further notice.

Park shelter rentals, park athletic facility rentals, Westside Community Services Building rentals, special events, and organized sports and recreation program activities through April 17, 2020 have been cancelled.

Reservations for facilities will be taken for events that take place after May 15, 2020.

While information is continuing to evolve, SPPRF also recommends avoiding use of playgrounds at this time.  Signage will be posted to serve as a reminder.

SPPRF recommends that park visitors bring hand sanitizer with them.  While at the park, it is important to maintain social distancing.  Older adults, pregnant individuals and those with weakened immune systems and underlying health conditions that are at increased risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are encouraged to take extra precautions.  By minimizing non-essential contact, we can help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. 

To stay up-to-date on coronavirus (COVID-19), visit Public Health Madison & Dane County’s website:


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 after Friday, March 20, 2020 to confirm a credit was posted.

SPPRF Office

SPPRF staff is telecommuting when possible and will still be available by phone or e-mail at (608) 837-3449 or  Please bear with us if your phone call is not answered immediately as we have a limited team with access to our main line.  Please leave us a message and we will return your call within 48 hours.  Staff is regularly checking the e-mail account.

All in-person services have been suspended until further notice.  We highly encourage participants to take advantage of our online registration system, RecPro.  You may register for programs by visiting  Please call our office or send us an e-mail if you have any questions or are experiencing any issues accessing your account.

SPPRF is no longer requiring shelter and building reservations to be made in person.  Effective immediately, reservation requests may be made online by visiting and selecting the “Facility Availability” button under the “Rentals/Reservations” tab on the menu bar.  Requestors will be notified of the status of their reservation request within five (5) business days of the submission of their request.

Updated Registration Dates

On Friday, April 10, the 2020 Summer Fun Guide will be available online at or on the Department Facebook Page at

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
  • Thursday, April 16, 8:00 am:  Fax, mail, e-mail and drop box registration for Sun Prairie Residents begins (no in-person registrations will be taken until further notice)
  • 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 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.

Sun Prairie Media Center

Sun Prairie Media Center AccessSun Prairie Media Center Sign

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the city of Sun Prairie’s commitment to reducing the risk of spread of the virus within city facilities, the Sun Prairie Media Center will have limited staff presence beginning Thursday, March 19.

This does not mean the Sun Prairie Media Center is closing. We are working diligently to maintain community access to our studios for our members and city staff as necessary during this time.

However, the KIDS-4 program has been suspended through at least April 5.

Even during times of limited physical presence, the SPMC staff will be accessible through mail and e-mail. Please call 608-837-4193 or e-mail or if you need assistance, are requesting access to the SPMC TV or radio studios, or have any questions.

Of course you can continue to listen to 103.5 FM, watch KSUN on Charter (channel 983) or TDS (channels 13 and 1013), or watch KIDS-4 on Charter (channel 984) or TDS (channel 14 and 1014) during this time. You can also access KSUN and KIDS-4 programming on Roku, Apple TV, and And EVERYTHING is available through our new app, which you can download for free at the App Store or Google Play.

George Chavez Talks Food Distribution

THE SPMC and its channels continue to be a source of community information during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, on Tuesday, March 17, neighborhood navigator George Chavez stopped by the SPMC to talk to Jeff Robbins about how the community is coming together to distribute needed food during this uncertain time. Watch this video here:

Know Before You Vote

Over the last few weeks, the Sun Prairie Media Center has been involved in the production of several candidate forums designed to give voters information needed to make an informed choice during this year’s spring election.

The forums include three hosted by Don Hooser and Chris Mertes and a SPARC-sponsored forum featuring all candidates moderated by SPMC director Jeff Robbins. Watch them on demand at or find them on our new app!

Sun Prairie Media Center Programming Takes Home 19 AwardsSun Prairie Media Center Awards

The results for the Best of the Midwest Media Fest Results are in, and programming produced at the SPMC took home 19 awards, including “Best in Show” honors for the program “Bienvenido Wisconsin” and for a short documentary produced by Prairie Phoenix Academy students about student culture at the school.

Elsewhere, Tina Paulus-Krause and Mark Gonwa scored “Excellence” awards for the radio programs “Your Leadership Legacy” and “Song Archaeology” respectively.

Congratulations to all the SPMC winners!

Sun Prairie Planning Department

Bus Service Updates

Starting Wednesday, March 18, capacity on Metro Transit buses will be limited to 15 passengers plus the driver. If you are a rider who is at a high risk of severe illness, please avoid using public transit. High risk individuals include people 60 years or older, people with underlying health conditions, people with weakened immune systems, and women who are pregnant.

If your normal bus is full, please call City Planning at 608-825-1107 or email and the City will make arrangements to have another bus will be dispatched to you.

In addition, starting Monday, March 23, Metro Transit will be reducing service to follow Saturday schedules 7 days per week, with the addition of commuter service on weekdays - including Sun Prairie’s Route 23. This service modification will continue until further notice.

Finally, Metro will also be selectively increasing the number of buses on routes with high ridership in order to meet the demand while still maintaining a max capacity of 15 riders per bus.

Shared Ride Service Updates

Due to COVID-19 and the social distancing guidelines issued by both the DHS and the CDC, the shared-ride taxi operations will be modified in the following ways effective immediately and until further notice:

  • the number of passengers per vehicle will be restricted to one (1)
  • passengers will not be allowed to sit in the front seat of taxi vehicles
  • drivers will be required to sanitize vehicles after each passenger

Additionally, we recommended that passengers that have a high-risk of severe illness to avoid using the service unless it is for medical, grocery, and employment-related trips. High risk individuals include people 60 years or older, people with underlying health conditions, people with weakened immune systems, and women who are pregnant.

Note- Metro transits main number is 608-266-4466

Sun Prairie Police Department

Museum Opening

The Sun Prairie Historical Museum held their first public event on March 7th since reopening; it was a weekend event for young people to celebrate Women’s History Month and superheroes. The event hosted an artist who drew sketches of the Officer WilsonOfficers Wison and Pluim at Museum Openingchildren. Children were encouraged to wear their favorite superhero outfit, and Sun Prairie Police were invited to attend, as well. Officer Jack Wilkinson (left), Officer Ben Pluim (center)K9 at Museum Opening and K9 Lasko (right) were also in attendance.

Public Library

Letter from the Library About Closing

Dear Library Patrons,

Effective Sunday, March 15 at 5pm, The Sun Prairie Public Library is closed. All Library Services including circulation services, outside book drop, programming, community meetings, outreach services, early and absentee voting, meeting room & discussion room reservations are canceled or postponed. 

This closure will remain in effect until at least April 5. Please note, Sun Prairie is fine free for almost all materials and we will extend loan periods to ensure no further hardship during this difficult time. 

In an attempt to assist our community, the Sun Prairie Public Library is adjusting Library operations and services to take a pro-active response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As health officials and scientists have noted, we need to take swift action to ‘flatten the bell curve’ in order to provide continued support for our health care system.  We have been working hard to assess what that means for the Library. After much discussion with Library staff, Library Board and City of Sun Prairie staff, and in accordance with public health guidance, The Sun Prairie Public Library will make every effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. 

We will be in continued contact with public health officials to evaluate our facility beyond the April 5th timeline.

Until then, please take advantage of our digital resources such as Overdrive, Libby, Hoopla Tumblebooks, Consumer Reports and more. Our full list of databases is available here:

We will continue to communicate with you as our response to this outbreak evolves. Visit us at or on Facebook for latest updates. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Svetha Hetzler, Library Director

Wasterwater Department

Facility Tours Suspended

The City of Sun Prairie Wastewater Department is taking a pro-active response to the COVID-19 outbreak and effective March 16, 2020, the Sun Prairie Wastewater Facility will be suspending plant tours.  Tours of the facility will be suspended until April 5, 2020 and depending on the COVID-19 situation, potentially longer.

Reminder to Flush Responsibly

The City of Sun Prairie Wastewater Department would like to remind all homeowners and business owners in the City of Sun Prairie that only natural waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. In the past week, with many people preparing for potential extended time at home, many stores have been depleted of toilet paper supplies. 

It is important to remember that only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet.  Wet wipes and other wipes that claim to be flushable, do not disintegrate or break down like toilet paper.  Instead, these wipes are very durable and tend to combine with other debris or obstructions in your pipes and tend to cause blockages or clogs.  Each home and business in the City has a lateral that conveys sewage to the City’s main sanitary collection system and these laterals are the responsibility of the home owner or business owner.  As a home owner or business owner it is very important to have water flow without obstruction to the City’s sanitary sewer conveyance system, because clogged laterals could lead to sewer backups.  Sewer pipe blockages can potentially lead to sewage backing up into homes and businesses.  A sewer backup could cause an unsanitary and unhealthy consequence and will likely be expensive to unblock and correct.  The cost to clean and repair a blocked lateral falls upon the ratepayer. 

The following items should never be flushed down a toilet or sink:Flush Only Toilet Paper Graphic

  • Baby wipes
  • Toilet wipes
  • Towelettes
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Wipes that claim to be flushable
  • Cloth towels or wipes

These wipes do not disintegrate like toilet paper and if they make it past your lateral they could potentially plug up sewage pumps that are imperative to keeping wastewater flowing in the City’s sanitary collection system.