February 3, 2022
Black History Month in Sun Prairie
FROM THE CITY
City Seeking Community Feedback for ARPA Funding Priorities
The City has been allotted approximately $3.6 million in direct ARPA assistance and is looking for input from the community on the distribution of its ARPA Funding. The first half was received in the summer of 2021 and the second half will be available in summer of 2022.
The City has made some immediate investments to help respond to the pandemic such as COVID-conscious renovations at City Hall, upgraded air filtrations in city buildings, and financial assistance to Community Schools and Prairie Music and Arts for programming. In order to ensure compliance with federal regulations, the City has also contracted with Booth Management Consulting LLC, a CPA firm, for ARPA grant administration, accounting, and compliance services.
The City of Sun Prairie is soliciting feedback from the community regarding priority areas for the City’s ARPA funding. The results will help the City Council identify priority areas and how the funds should be invested into the community.
Community members interested in providing feedback on priority areas can complete the survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5CL9QSF. Hard copies of the survey, along with additional information on the American Rescue Plan can be found at city hall, the library or online at:https://cityofsunprairie.com/ARPA
Get involved with the Youth and Families Commission!
The mission of the Sun Prairie Youth and Families Commission is to enhance the quality of life for the residents of the Sun Prairie School District. The Youth and Families Commission seeks to promote healthy behaviors, lifestyles, and the community conditions that empower people to be self-sustaining, contributing members of their families, schools, workplaces, and the community.
Past efforts of the Youth and Families Commission include Community Schools, the Anti-Bullying Action Plan, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee,
Those interested in applying can apply online at: https://cityofsunprairie.com/getinvolved. For more information about the commission, visit: https://cityofsunprairie.com/420/Youth-Families-Commission or email Youth and Families Chair, Mary Ellen Havel-Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder that if your business or property is on a corner, to please clear snow from the crosswalk ramps. Complaints have been received recently that ramps are not clear, which is a slip and fall hazard.
The City’s ordinance is posted below for reference, which applies to both residential and commercial property. The responsibility is that of the “The owner, occupant, or person in charge” to ensure the sidewalks (including the ramps leading to the crosswalk) are clear. There are two exceptions to the ordinance (below) for paths and Town Hall Road.
See the posted visual provided by Building Inspection. (Area C. Crossswalk Ramp for visual reference).
Although hydrants and mailboxes aren't required by ordinance, it's still a good idea to clear around them!
12.32.010 - Removal from sidewalks.
A. The owner, occupant, or person in charge of any parcel or lot which fronts upon or adjoins any sidewalk shall keep such sidewalk clear of all snow and ice. In the event of snow accumulating on such sidewalk due to natural means and/or by any other means such sidewalk shall be cleared of all accumulated snow and/or ice within twenty-four (24) hours from the time the snow ceases to accumulate on such sidewalk. Sidewalks are to be kept clear of snow and ice to a minimum of four feet in width. In the event that ice has formed on any sidewalk in such a manner that it cannot be removed, the owner, occupant, or person in charge of the parcel or lot which fronts upon or adjoins such sidewalk shall keep the sidewalk sprinkled with sand and/or salt to permit safe travel by pedestrians.
B. This section shall not apply to sidewalks that are in excess of five feet in width and have been designated by the common council as a bike path or bicycle way.
C. This section shall not apply to the sidewalk on the east side of Town Hall Road between Prairie Rose Drive and Schuster Road.
During the winter months, many residents (including children walking to school and the physically challenged) need to be able to safely use the public sidewalks. A vital element in providing clean and safe passage of pedestrians during the winter is in your hands, namely, the removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks and ramps. The City has an ordinance regarding snow removal which identifies the responsibilities of citizens in removing snow and ice from sidewalks and ramps. However, clearing snow and ice should simply be looked upon as a combination of courtesy and caring toward all those who need to use the public walkways.
Residents are required to clear snow from sidewalks within twenty-four hours after the snow has stopped falling. Snow must be cleared the full width of the sidewalk or ramp, not just the width of the shovel or blower. And remember, snow plows might create a blockage even after your sidewalk or ramp has been cleaned. In the event that removal of ice is impossible, the property owner or occupant is required to use sand, salt or other suitable substance to prevent the ice from being dangerous. The sooner and more completely you shovel, the less likely ice will form.
If a sidewalk is not cleared by the required time, the property owner will receive one warning per winter season. After that, City crews will remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk. Property owners will be billed for this service, and unpaid bills will be added to the owner’s property tax bill. After the 2nd violation, fines will also be levied for not complying. It is also unlawful to take snow or ice from one property and deposit on another (public or private property).
If you are planning on a vacation or other absence from home, please make sure to make arrangements for someone to take over for you while you are gone. Residents who require time extensions to complete clearing of sidewalks may request such by contacting the Building Inspection Division.
If anyone has a question or concern regarding sidewalk snow removal, the Building Inspection Division is ready to help. You can reach us by email at email@example.com or by phone at (608) 845-1184 or visit the City’s website at www.cityofsunprairie.com for news and updates. If you are reporting locations which may be in violation of the city snow removal ordinance, please be prepared to leave enough information so that your complaint can be processed in a timely manor. Sidewalk enforcement is complaint driven. The entire block for which a complaint is received will be inspected to insure fair and consistent enforcement. Return calls are not made to individuals calling or e-mailing complaints due to the sheer volume of complaints that can be received surrounding a snow event.
When it snows in Sun Prairie, the city depends on its citizens to be helpful, responsible, and aware of the need to remove all snow and ice from the public sidewalks including walks and ramps leading to a crosswalk. This enables people of all ages and physical condition to have access to clean pedestrian walkways.
‘Jimmy the Groundhog’ announces spring will arrive early at City of Sun Prairie’s 74th Prognostication!
Downtown Sun Prairie celebrated the 74th annual Sun Prairie Groundhog Day Prognostication ceremony this morning, Wednesday, February 2, 2022. The ceremony began at 6:50a.m. and the Prognostication took place at sunrise (7:11 am.). Young and old alike gathered at Cannery Square in Downtown Sun Prairie to welcome ‘Jimmy the Groundhog’ to Sun Prairie and hear his Groundhog Day prediction!
Mayor Paul Esser’s translation of Jimmy the Groundhog’s prognostication is that spring will arrive early for Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
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
Downtown Sun Prairie… we’re having fun down here!
City and Housing Study Partners to Host Second Virtual Workshop
The City of Sun Prairie has embarked on a housing needs assessment, working with The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based urban planning and design firm, alongside SB Friedman Development Advisors, a Market and Housing Consulting firm. The Sun Prairie Housing for All assessment is facilitated by the Community Development Authority (CDA) as well as a housing advisory committee. This housing study will provide City staff, elected officials, key stakeholders, and the community a better understanding of the housing market, housing challenges, and current and future unmet needs. The result of this process will focus on strategies that will provide a pathway to address housing challenges and ensure the City of Sun Prairie is taking advantage of opportunities to support housing development at a range of price points and across typologies. This study will consider ways to manage change and balance community needs, while embracing Sun Prairie’s history and heritage.
The City and its partners are in the final process of gathering community feedback on housing and will be hosting a virtual workshop on Thursday, February 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m. that focuses on housing goals and developing strategies to reach them. The input gathered from this session will be essential when taking future steps to improve housing in Sun Prairie.
This workshop will provide the opportunity to discuss existing conditions as well as future housing needs in the community based on results from prior engagement efforts and team analysis. The Lakota Group and SB Friedman will be walking attendees through the history of the study, connecting each part, and explaining the current phase. This will be a time to collaboratively respond to the major question of
“What Can Sun Prairie Do?” as it relates to improvements for housing. There will be discussion about several recommended approaches such as housing programs, housing incentives, regulatory changes, funding tools, and capacity building. Additionally, learning tools such as case studies will be incorporated to provide clarity and understanding.
To help create an interactive space, the team will be using virtual platforms from Miro software that will ensure an active and engaging environment.
Please use the Zoom link below to attend the workshop! https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85433863552?pwd=RmtqM2VoK2haZFIxbmlZSDdodi92Zz09
Meeting ID: 854 3386 3552
One tap mobile: (312) 626 – 6799
Stay In the Know
The planning team, along with the Community Development Authority, has compiled an existing conditions report that illustrates the current housing situation in Sun Prairie. The report, along with a recording of the most recent CDA meeting, are posted to the project website.
Different ways to follow the planning process include visiting the project website www.SunPrairieHousingforAll.com and signing up for regular email updates as well as checking the City’s Facebook page for updates posted there.
Sun Prairie Shared-Ride Taxi Service
Due to the impact of COVID-19 and labor shortages, the shard-ride taxi service is facing challenges in meeting current demand. As of now, rides could arrive up to two hours after a scheduled ride time. We are aware of the current issues and are working with our transit provider to find solutions. We are listening to your concerns as we know many in the community utilize this service. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
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.
For more information, please go to: https://cityofsunprairie.com/496/Shared-Ride-Taxi-Service
Parks, Recreation and Forestry
The Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry office is open: Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:30pm and available by phone at (608) 837-3449 Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter/Spring Guide out now!
Register today! - rec.cityofsunprairie.com
Online Guide available here - https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10018939_143015
Fun Prairie Frozen Fest
Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry wants to thank all who came out to support Fun Prairie Frozen Fest this past weekend! We had a ton of fun watching ice sculptors, sledding down hills, and running a 5k with you and look forward to the future of Frozen Fest! Make sure to check out SPPRF on Facebook for photos of all our great events from Frozen Fest!
Sun Prairie Historical Museum
Closed to the Public – November 1st-May 1st
“Volunteer work continues behind the scenes to develop new exhibits and advance collections inventory. Anyone interested in volunteering at the Historical Museum should email email@example.com”
We’re Hiring – Join our Team!
Come have the BEST SUMMER EVER with team PRF. Join us on Saturday, February 5 for open interviews. In person 10am-1pm at the Westside Community Services Building and online from 2-4pm on ZOOM, tinyurl.com/feb5spprfjobfair.
For more information visit our Facebook Event: https://fb.me/e/1A9Fc63Aq
For a full list of our summer job openings visit: governmentjobs.com/careers/SunPrairieWI
New in 2022! – Snow Shoe Rentals
The Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department has youth and adult size snowshoes available for rent. Snowshoeing is a great way to exercise and enjoy winter in Sun Prairie. It’s an easy-to-learn activity for all ages! Available rentals are Redfeather Snowshoes made in La Crosse, WI, and will include poles and a carrying case. Request a reservation online or reserve in person at the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department office. Reservations begin in January 2022.
New in 2022! – Fitness Flex Pass & Fitness “Try it” Week
Not sure what fitness class is right for you? Enjoy the flexibility to try them all with our new Fit Flex Pass. Click here to purchase a 5 or 10 class pass, Fit Flex Pass - Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry (cityofsunprairie.com), passes never expire!
American Red Cross Classes:
Did you know that Sun Prairie Parks Recreation & Forestry now offers Red Cross training? Check out this informational flyer for more!
Upcoming Programs Not to Be Missed:
School’s Out Programs!
School's out for SPASD, but class is in session at the Westside Community Services Building! Join us for morning and afternoon programs, or both! We also include the option for late pickup (after AM classes only) and early drop-off (PM classes only) lastly we offer the ability to stay in between programs if need be!
Registration Ends: 02/18/2022
Everything is Awesome! Join us for an awesome day of Lego building, challenges and STEM activities. You will then have your own Lego kit to take and build at home. Ages 5-8
Registration Ends: 02/18/2022
Join Ms. Jessica from Jessica’s Art Studio on these days off of school for hours of creativity! You will also learn about famous artists and popular art methods such as drawing, painting, sculpture, clay exploration and more. Wear “Art Clothes” and be prepared to get messy. It is recommended to bring an Art Bag with you to take your projects home at the end of the day. Each day will explore entirely new projects than the day before, so signing up for the whole week means TONS of new unique art projects.
Upcoming Programs Continued…
Registration Ends: 02/14/2022
Come join us for a Playdoh adventure! Roll along with us and create some amazing
Registration Ends: 02/18/2022
Explore painting with acrylics. You will start by learning about color theory, painting etiquette and color mixing and finally acrylics on canvas for your final project.
Cow on the Loose!
On January 24th, three cows escaped from their enclosure on a cattle truck. They ran loose onto Highway 151. It appears as if it started in Madison. Sun Prairie found two cows in our district. After a large team effort, which included Wisconsin Highway Patrol, the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, citizens, and Sun Prairie Police, we were able to secure the cows. No one was injured and the cows are safe.
Officer Brian Waldera retired from the Sun Prairie Police Department after over 20 years of dedicated and loyal service to our department and the City of Sun Prairie. Congratulations, Brian, on your well deserved retirement! Enjoy!
Youth Fire Fighter Training Program
Members of our youth fire fighter training program participated in an obstacle course consisting of confined spaces and forcible entry. Hands on training with crews such as this is a great learning opportunity members of this program. These high school cadets are not only able to earn credit towards their high school diplomas but they are also able to participate in ride alongs, hands on training, and one on one mentoring with our members. After successful completion of this program these young high school students will have earned both Fire and EMS credentialing and are able to pursue careers in the fire service.
For more info on this program please see the attached story from our friends at NBC 15!
For any specific questions about the program, please reach out to Fire Chief Garrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun Prairie Media Center
MISSED IT LIVE? CATCH JIMMY’S PROGNOSTICATION ONLINE!
When Jimmy the Groundhog speaks, the media listens, including Sun Prairie’s very own Sun Prairie Media Center!
The SPMC was on hand on Wednesday, February 2, as Mike Mahnke, Mayor Paul Esser, State Rep. Gary Hebl, and others gathered in downtown Sun Prairie for the 74th annual Sun Prairie Groundhog Day Prognostication ceremony.
Reporters from KIDS-4 covered the entire event and interviewed Alder Crombie, Alder Stocker, Mayor Paul Esser, and Special Events and Sponsorship Coordinator Alyse Peters, among others. Also, Bill Baker and Lisa Wolf had live coverage on 103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio.
If you missed the live coverage or were unable to attend in person, you can view the entire ceremony here: https://bit.ly/3umoY2r
“SUN PRAIRIE, DID YOU KNOW?: A PERSONAL SHARING OF BLACK HISTORY” IN SUN PRAIRIE PREMIERES
City staff have collaborated with the Sun Prairie Media Center, Sun Prairie Historical Library & Museum, and community members to produce “Sun Prairie, Did You Know…?”, an ongoing digital storytelling project where Black community leaders share their Sun Prairie experiences. The focus of this project is to honor the history of different Black leaders while also teaching the community about who these individuals are.
The content of this project centers on the interviewee sharing a variety of personal information that ranges from their family background, personal contributions to the community, and positive or negative experiences as a resident. Visual content is included that is personal for the individual and highlights their shared history. Although the project has launched in February, it will continue without a set end date.
Donna Mackey, a longtime Sun Prairie resident, is the first to share her story in this series. She will be followed by Marilyn Ruffin, who will teach the community about her experience as the first Black elected official to serve on the Sun Prairie School Board.
“We are excited to work with the community and use Media Center resources to teach Sun Prairie about Black History that is specific to our community,” said Jeff Robbins, Executive Director of the Sun Prairie Media Center.
To be involved in the project and recommend other Black community leaders to be featured, please contact Jake King, Communications and Diversity Strategist, at email@example.com. To see the first video, please go to https://bit.ly/3GoU0ZQ.
SEND A MUSICAL VALENTINE ON 103.5 FM THE SUN COMMUNITY RADIO
Looking for a little different way to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day? Do you and that special someone have a song or two (or three) that bring back some warm memories? Then dedicate that song or songs to that special someone this year on Sun Prairie’s own community radio station, 103.5 FM.
Tell the producers at 103.5 FM what songs (up to three) remind you of your sweetie and why, and they’ll play ’em — along with your dedication — on Monday, February 14 from 7-9 AM, 4-6 PM, and/or 7-9 PM. Submit your song requests and dedication at sunprairiemediacenter.com/valentine, and 103.5 FM will help you show your love in the most memorable way: with music and a shout-out on the radio!
No profane songs and/or dedications will be accepted — the Sun Prairie Media Center is asking you to save those for your private celebrations! The number of times each dedication will be read on Monday, February 14, will be based on the number of entries received.
This event is being sponsored by Prairie Flowers by Hen and Chick and the Bank of Sun Prairie.
The Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center are asking for a minimum of $10 donation per entry, which can be submitted at sunprairiemediacenter.com/valentine.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sun Prairie Public Library
Public Health Madison & Dane County will be holding walk-in vaccine clinics in the library’s Community Room on Fridays 2/4, 2/11, and 2/18, from 3:00-5:30 p.m. Everyone 5 and older is welcome. No ID or insurance required, but children 5-17 must have a parent or guardian present. First, second, and booster doses will be offered. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson available while supplies last.
Storytimes have resumed and we plan to offer both virtual and in-person options. Please keep an eye on the website and social media for more details! Other programs starting or resuming in January, in a mix of virtual and in-person formats, include: Young Explorers Club, Lego Club, Family Fun, Gaming with Sammy, Tween Book Club, Teen Creativity Club, Teen Book Club, Teen Gaming and more! Visit https://www.sunprairiepubliclibrary.org/sppl-kids-page for more information.
Monday, February 7, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom
Warm up your insides with some fun, fresh, and easy to prepare food! Join us for a virtual cooking demonstration with local chef, Huma Siddiqui, who will share how to prepare one of her favorite home-cooked recipes from Pakistan: fish tacos topped with pineapple, black bean salsa, and delicious spices. Each registrant will receive a copy of the recipe prior to the program in order to have on hand should you want to cook along with Huma or plan to prepare later. Please register here, and Zoom details will be emailed to you.
Wednesday, February 16, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom
Sun Prairie author, Thierno Diallo, will discuss his memoir “Nieggri in Moscow under Gorbachev: My Life as a Foreign Student in the USSR”. Diallo has a Master's degree in Agronomy from the State Agricultural Institute of Kishinev, Moldova - formerly a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After working for three years on crops and dairy farms in Normandy, France, he relocated to the US. He is now a Senior Corn Research Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the owner of Gamou Organic Farms in Mali, and Director of the Nana Foundation. The book chronicles his incredible six year experience in the former Soviet Union during the height of the cold war. Please register here and Zoom details will be emailed to you.
Sunday, February 20, 2:00 p.m., via Zoom
Are you a big coffee lover? Would you like to learn more about the history and chemistry of coffee, as well as where some of the best coffee in the world comes from? Then join us for a virtual live and interactive tour through a Costa Rican coffee plantation! Take a virtual walk around the farm with Alejandro Cano, a Certified Naturalist Tour Guide with 20+ years of experience and founder of Enjoy Virtual Tours Costa Rica. Please register here and Zoom details will be emailed to you.
Sunday, February 27 3-4 p.m.
A monthly book club devoted to creating meaningful conversations about race by exploring works of contemporary and historical African-American authors. Discussions are led by Sun Prairie residents, Donna Mackey and Marilyn Ruffin. Get ready to get uncomfortable and get real! This month's book selection is “Forbidden” by Beverly Jenkins. Copies will be available at the library's Information Desk for those who register, and may also be available in digital formats from Hoopla. The Urban SUN book club will meet via Zoom until further notice. Please register here, and Zoom details will be emailed to you.
The Sun Prairie Public Library has a new and exciting opportunity for high school students, 16 years or older to serve as Student Trustee Advisory Members to the Sun Prairie Public Library Board. Deadline to apply is May 2, 2022. More information, including the position description and application can be found here: www.sunprairiepubliclibrary.org/library-board.