February 2, 2023

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Administration: February is annually recognized as Black History Month. Check out our section to learn more about Sun Prairie's Black and African American leaders.

Assessing: 2023 is a revaluation year! Check out what that means in our section. 

City Clerk: In-Person Absentee Voting will take place February 7 – February 18 and will be available at City Hall, 300 E Main Street.  

Community Development: The Sun Prairie Chamber and the City of Sun Prairie Economic Development have partnered to host Pizza with Paul!

Community Spotlight: Nominate a woman for Women's History Month!

Parks, Recreation and Forestry: Come join us for fun and enriching programs available for the whole family!  Requesting a scholarship is easier than ever with our NEW online form!   This easy, streamlined form provides "no questions asked" financial access to SPPRF programs.

Public Services: City Council approved the final memorandum of understanding with Metro Transit for establishment of a local bus circulator in 2023! 

Sun Prairie Public Library: The library will be closed from 9am-2pm on Friday, February 3rd for our Staff In-Service. We will be open from 2pm-6pm. The drive-thru book drops will remain open. 

Administration

Black History Month

February is annually recognized as Black History Month and serves as a time to reflect and teach about the injustice inflicted upon Black and African Americans lives while celebrating the many contributions and achievements that have been made politically, economically, and culturally by members from the Black and African American community.  

- - - WHERE DID IT ORIGINATE? - - -
Black History Month originates from the establishment of Black History Week led by Carter G. Woodson, Minister Jesse E. Moorland, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. After fifty years from the first celebration of Black History Week in 1926, it has evolved and expanded into Black History Month.
- - - WHAT ABOUT SUN PRAIRIE’S BLACK HISTORY? - - -
We honor and celebrate Sun Prairie’s Black and African American leaders who have made history. If you are not familiar, some of these leaders include:
-Shunta Boston as the first Black Assistant Chief of Police
-David Virgell as the first Black City Council Member 
-Marilyn Ruffin as the first Black Sun Prairie School Board Member
-Kalvin Barret as the first Black Dane County Sheriff
 -Teran Peterson as the first Black female elected to the Dane 
County Board of Supervisors for Sun Prairie 
- Ajamu Olaniyan as the first Black athlete to be recognized on the Sun Prairie High School Wall of Success
There are many others who continue to make history in our community and who will do so in the future. 
 - - -HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT SUN PRAIRIE’S BLACK HISTORY?- - -
“Sun Prairie, Did You Know…?” is a series centered on learning about history directly from Sun Prairie’s Black and African American leaders. To learn about leaders such as Marilyn Ruffin (click here) and Donna Mackey (click here), click the links next to their names. 
Stay tuned for the releases of Ajamu Olaniyan and Kalvin Barret.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Mandir of Madison

We want to give a huge THANK YOU to all who came out to support Sun Prairie's celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.! 

We are grateful for all of the speakers who shared their powerful words of wisdom, encouragement, and experience. Our community showed up to give their support. 
This event was planned and sponsored by representatives from Sunshine Place, Sun Prairie Community Schools, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Sun Prairie Schools Department of Systemic Equity and Inclusion, Sun Prairie Community Schools and the City of Sun Prairie.

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Youth and Families Commission

Still haven’t fulfilled your New Year’s resolution to get more involved with your community? Here’s an opportunity. The Sun Prairie Youth and Families Commission is looking for three adults to round out its roster of eight adults and five students who work on community issues. Appointments are for three years.

The Youth and Families Commission’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for the residents of the Sun Prairie Area School District. The group seeks to promote healthy behaviors, healthy lifestyles, and the community conditions that empower people to be self-sustaining, contributing members of their families, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month (except for July, when it is the second Thursday) in person or via Zoom.

The commission has been instrumental in establishing:

· The Community Gardens

· Community Schools

· The Youth Center (which recently became a part of Community Schools)

· And many others

To apply, complete an application at https://onboard.cityofsunprairie.com/apply/. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Havel-Lang, chair, at spyfc@charter.net.

Assessing

2023 Revaluation

*BUT WHAT IS A REVALUATION....?*

Great question!

In its simplest form.... it's the action of assessing the value of something again. In this case, we're talking about property.

- - - WHY DO WE DO IT? - - -assessing photo 2023

To initiate a revaluation is to completely redo the assessment roll to update property values to market. There may be several reasons for this, including:

-Current assessment was not made in substantial compliance with the law

-Inequities may exist within and/or or between property classes 

-Governing body may want updated records to show the physical characteristics of all its taxable real and personal property

-Governing body may want an original inventory of all its taxable property

A revaluation ensures that all property owners receive uniform and fair assessments, and are paying their fair share of property taxes.

- - - MORE INFORMATION - - -

We will be continuing to break down information about this process but for access to more details, you can visit https://cityofsunprairie.com/151/Assessing 

City Clerk

In-Person Absentee Voting

In-Person Absentee Voting will take place February 7 – February 18 and will be available at City Hall, 300 E Main Street.  

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February 7, 2023 – February 10, 2023:    8:00am – 4:30pm
February 11, 2023 – 8:00am – 12:00pm
February 13, 2023 – February 16, 2023:    8:00am – 6:00pm
February 17, 2023: 8:00am - 5:00pm
February 18, 2023:  8:00am - 12:00pm

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The Goal

The Clerk’s Office goal during every election is to ensure that every eligible voter is able to safely cast a ballot and have that ballot be counted.  Our office takes great pride in elections, and we go above and beyond making contact with residents to ensure their ballot is counted.  We work tirelessly to ensure all elections in Sun Prairie are open, fair, and transparent.

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Community Development

Pizza with Paul!

The Sun Prairie Chamber and the City of Sun Prairie Economic Development have partnered to host this event. This is a great time to connect with our Mayor, Paul Esser along with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. 

The schedule goes as follows:

  • 11:30am - Doors open & free pizza (available while supplies last)
  • 12:00pm - Introductions of Mayor Paul Esser & Dane County Executive Joe Parisi

Executive Parisi will touch on how Dane County is leading the state in renewable and energy efficiency projects. Learn what tax Incentives for business programs are available and how you can receive them.

Mayor Paul will give the State of the City presentation with an emphasis on businesses.

  • 1:15pm - Community Question & Answer time
  • 1:30pm - Conclusion

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: shorturl.at/orz28 

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Community Spotlight

Sun Prairie Women Empowerment Recognition - Women's History Month

Please consider nominating a woman that has empowered YOU and others in Sun Prairie!  As an example, this could be a woman that has inspired you who is a scholar, teacher, business owner, advocate, club leader, etc. We want you to have the opportunity to celebrate any woman who has made an impact in your life.

This application is open from Sunday, January 15th until Friday, February 17th. Certificates will be mailed to nominees in mid-March. What is typed in the paragraph area below will be shared with who you nominate. Please double check the spelling and grammar before final submission. 

Click here to nominate

*This is a celebration of all women. We encourage and welcome all who identify as a woman from any background to participate as nominators and nominees. Nominate (1)

Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Recreation Department

The Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry office is open: Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:30pm, or by phone at (608) 837-3449 or by email at rec@cityofsunprairie.com.

Announcements:

Winter/Spring Rec Connection Guide 

Winter/Spring Rec Connection Guide now available and registration is open! 

1. View the Winter/Spring Guide at rec.cityofsunprairie.com!

2. Log in to our website to make sure you know your password and that your account is up to date, including street address and email address.

3. If you don’t already have an account, create your account. If you think you have an account, but cannot find yourself on the website, please do not add yourself again. Call the Recreation Department office at 608/837-3449 and we will assist you.

4. If you do not have a Sun Prairie address, but live in the Sun Prairie School District, the system will not know that and will charge you Non-Resident rates. If you continue your registration and pay Non-Resident rates, the difference is non-refundable. Please contact our office prior to your registration so that we may adjust your account to reflect the proper designation.

5. If you accidentally register for the wrong program, do not immediately register for the correct program. Call us (608-837-3449) and we can make the transfer for you.

“Recreation is for Everyone” Scholarship form!

Come join us for fun and enriching programs available for the whole family!  Requesting a scholarship is easier than ever with our NEW online form!   This easy, streamlined form provides "no questions asked" financial access to SPPRF programs.

In order to request the Recreation is for Everyone Scholarship you must be a resident of Sun Prairie or enrolled in the Sun Prairie Area School District.

For questions or assistance contact us at 608-837-3449 or visit Recreation is for Everyone Scholarship Information

  • Scholarships cover 50% of enrollment fees on most programs
  • No formal documentation is required for approval of financial assistance

Online submission with approvals within 2 business days

Upcoming Programs Not to Be Missed: Listen to Your Art 2/17 – Paul Klee

February 17th 

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Registration Deadline: 2/10/2023

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. This day's theme is Paul Klee, students will create art inspired by this artist.

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.

Chunky Handknit Quilt

February 18th

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Registration Deadline: 2/10/2023

Your instructor will guide you step-by step through the hand knitting process to create your very own unique and cozy chenille blanket. Hand-knitting requires no needles or knitting experience!
All the supplies are included.
 
Completed, your chunky blanket will be a approximately 50”x 50” (size varies upon tightness of loops). Cost includes enough yarn to complete an adult lap-sized blanket.
hand knit quilt_2

hand knit quilt_1

Aqua Cycling

February 22nd – April 5th 

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Registration Deadline: 2/15/2023

We're excited to partner with the Sun Prairie YMCA to offer Aqua Cycling!
 
Aqua Cycling is a unique water experience where participants hop on a stationary bike that is submerged in 3-4 feet of water and pedal against the resistance of the water. Follow along with the instructor as you get a great workout in the water during this low-resistance class!
 
*Water shoes are strongly recommended
 
*The instructor is a YMCA staff member

American Red Cross Babysitter Training 

March 4th 

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Registration Deadline: 2/25/2023

This training provides kids, ages 11-15, with the information and skills necessary to provide safe and responsible care in the absence of parents/guardians. This training will also help participants develop skills in leadership, professionalism, basic care, safety, safe play and first aid.
 
All sessions cover the same material.
 
Please bring a sack lunch.

Thursday Early Release Afterschool Programming (previously TGIT) 

Thursdays, 1:30-5:00 p.m.

Elementary School Site Locations:
 Meadowview  
 Northside 
 Token Springs - NEW

Beginning in the 2022 – 2023 school year, Sun Prairie Area School District Elementary Schools will be dismissing students at 1:30 pm on Thursday afternoons to accommodate professional staff development. In an effort to provide high quality afterschool childcare to our growing community, Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry, the Sun Prairie Area School District and Community Schools are putting forth a collaborative effort to provide a community partner-based afterschool program. This program will aim to provide families with safe, affordable and engaging childcare on Thursday afternoons for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. 

Childcare will be available from dismissal at 1:30 pm until 5:00 pm. We will pilot this program, starting in September, at three elementary school locations and will have programming at all nine elementary schools starting in January 2023. Program partners will be brought in monthly to provide fun and exciting programming ranging from chess to sports to ukulele lessons.  

If this program isn’t offered at your school initially you do have the option to attend any site, but transportation will not be provided at this time.  Registration will be by month for September -December.  Please click “register” to be added to our interest list to be notified when enrollment begins and when new sites are added to this program. 

For more information visit rec.cityofsunprairie.com and the digital version of the Rec Connection which will be updated prior to the start of the school year. Please contact Emily Rebarchek, erebarchek@cityofsunprairie.com, or call 608-837-3449 with any questions. 

Fitness Classes

Senior Focused_ Fitness Classes 2.0

All Fitness (Session 1)


Public Services

Big Bus News!

City Council approved the final memorandum of understanding with Metro Transit for establishment of a local bus circulator in 2023! 

The introduction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) represents the most significant change to public transportation in the Madison region in over 30 years. To operate successfully, local buses must be able to meet the BRT bus every hour.
The selected routes will ensure that traffic congestion will not interfere with either local bus meeting the BRT bus at the Park and Ride on time, at every hour. To review additional information on BRT in Sun Prairie, please go to: https://cityofsunprairie.com/1627/Transit-Planning 
We are grateful for the work and leadership of Alexander Brown, AICP, members of the Transit Commission, and City Council.


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City of Sun Prairie to Pilot New Composting Program 

The City of Sun Prairie is proud to announce a new composting pilot program using yard waste collected from the City Recycle Center and curbside collection from Pellitteri Waste Systems.

The City produces approximately 5,350 tons of yard waste and brush each year. Previously, this material was trucked to landscaping facilities in Dane County. The goals of this program are to provide residents with a soil amendment for use in gardens throughout the community and reduce vehicle miles traveled associated with transporting yard and brush waste outside of the community while reducing overall operational costs. Through this program, yard waste will now be turned into compost on city property. 

Composting is a controlled, aerobic (oxygen-required) process that converts organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil amendment or mulch through natural decomposition. The end product is compost, which is a dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling material. Microorganisms feed on the materials added to the compost pile during the process. They use carbon and nitrogen to grow and reproduce, water to digest materials, and oxygen to breathe. Some of the many benefits to composting include improving the structure and health of soil by adding organic matter, helping the soil retain moisture and nutrients, reducing the potential for soil erosion, and reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. Staff are hopeful of the program’s impact in the Sun Prairie community. 

“Piloting this composting program is an exciting step in cultivating a more sustainable Sun Prairie and we look forward to the many benefits it will yield,” said Jeremy Cramer, Director of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

The pilot program was developed collaboratively between the Public Works Department, Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Administration, with support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables, which provided funding as part of their 2022 Organics Management Grant Program.

For specific questions about the composting program, please contact Jeremy Cramer via email at jcramer@cityofsunprairie.com

Community members interested in composting at home are encouraged to express their desire for the City’s composting bin group purchase program. To do so, please go to https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/519/Issue_12027

Sun Prairie Public LibrarySun Prairie Public Library Logo

Library Closed from 9am to 2pm Friday, February 3rd

The library will be closed from 9am-2pm on Friday, February 3rd for our Staff In-Service. We will be open from 2pm-6pm. The drive-thru book drops will remain open. 

Children’s & Teen Service

Family Fun: Groundhogs & Shadows

Thursday, February 2 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Geared for those in K-5, but all ages are welcome! We'll have a craft or two and other fun activities all about groundhogs and shadows! No registration.

Small Fry Storytime

Mondays, January 30-April 24 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Small Fry Storytimes are 20-30 minutes long and are filled with 1-2 short books, songs, action rhymes and more!  Some songs, stories and rhymes are repeated each week and new ones are gradually introduced. Grown-ups and big kids, please share in the fun too! 

Little Kid Storytime 

Tuesdays, January 31-April 18 9:30-10:00 a.m. 

Fridays, February 10-April 21 9:30-10:00 a.m. 

Little Kid Storytimes are 25-30 minutes long and are filled with short books, songs, fingerplays, rhymes, puppets and more – a different variety each week. The content of Tuesday's Little Kid Storytime will be the same as Friday's Little Kid Storytime. No registration for both Storytimes. All Storytime participants agree to abide by library policies and procedures.

Big Kid Storytime

Fridays, February 10-April 21 10:45-11:15 a.m.

Big Kid Storytimes are 30-35 minutes long and are filled with longer books, songs, fingerplays, rhymes, puppets and more – a different variety each week. This Storytime is geared for children who are ready for stories that are a bit longer.  

Family Storytime

Thursday, February 9 6:30-7:00 p.m.
 Saturday, February 25 10:00-10:30 a.m.

Family Storytimes are 25-30 minutes long and are filled with songs and stories. Geared For ages 0-5, but all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Adult Services

Origami Valentines

Tuesday, February 7 6:30-7:30 p.m., Library Community Room 

Join us for a creative evening with master artist and Wisconsin Public Radio host Ruthanne Bessman and discover the art of origami. Enjoy making fun gift ideas for your valentine!  Learn to fold a variety of simple heart-shaped models in time for Valentine’s Day including a heart card and the beating heart action model! Registrants must be at least 13 years of age and all materials will be provided free of charge. Space is limited. Please register via the library’s Events Calendar at https://sunprairie.librarymarket.com

Author event: Larry F. Sommers

Wednesday, February 8 6:30-7:30 p.m., Library Community Room 

Senior storyteller Larry F. Sommers, author of “Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation”, talks about his family, his debut historical novel, and the publication process. From inception to publication, the novel took six years of the author’s life. Along the way he learned some things about writing, about publishing, and about himself. Larry will spend an engaging half-hour sharing these insights, with a Q&A afterwards. The author will be glad to sign copies of “Price of Passage”, either previously purchased or bought for cash on premises. Please register via the library’s Events Calendar at https://sunprairie.librarymarket.com  to receive a reminder email prior to the event.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

Public Health Madison & Dane County will be holding walk-in vaccine clinics in the library’s Community Room on Saturday, February 4th from 1-4pm and Saturday, February 25th from 1-4pm. Everyone 5 and older is welcome. No ID or insurance required, but children 5-17 must have a parent or guardian present. For the most current availability and appointment information, please visit the Public Health Madison & Dane County website.