New variable speed signs coming on Highway 10/29/25, letter of intent for athletic development approved by 5-2 vote
PRESCOTT – At the Monday, Nov. 8 Prescott City Council meeting, the council had a lengthy discussion about city-owned land that has gained interest from multiple buyers. The council also approved proclamations, discussed speed studies and approved funding for a report regarding the well #3 that tested positive for nitrate levels.
The council approved spending $15,842 to move forward with a report from engineering firm CBS Squared that will propose next steps for well #3, which has been shut down following the high levels of nitrate being recorded in the month of October, exceeding Department of Natural Resources standards for safe drinking water.
“We reached out to CBS Squared, they were at a recent water conference that we attended, they were very knowledgeable and have an indepth history with conducting these kinds of reports so we decided to sit down and talk with them and they put together a proposal,” said City Administrator Matt Wolf.
The previous discussion at the Oct. 11 meeting on what the council would like to do moving forward included two options that will be looked at with this report: Making the current well deeper or treating the water. This report will be the first step in addressing this issue.
Lake Street meeting
The council also discussed concerns that residents on Lake Street voiced during an Oct. 14 meeting with the city and Wisconsin Department of Transportation about speeding concerns on Highway 10/29/35. Residents also are worried about noise and discussed possible options on how these concerns can be resolved.
“Lake Street residents had a number of issues that they were concerned about and would like to see addressed,” Wolf said.
Those issues/possible solutions included increased fines for speeding, increased use of the speeding trailer to deter speeders, removing the current curb cutout in front of Marathon, making Ellen Street a right in/right out street, installing variable speed signs at the change of limit from 45 mph to 30 mph, looking into the possibility of a wall study to block noise from the highway, putting a stoplight at Pearl Street and Highway 10, and possibly vacating Ellen Street altogether.
During that meeting, there was an approval for variable speed signs that will be placed on Lake Street where the speed limit changes from 45 mph to 30 mph. Many council members were in support of this addition.
“I really like those variable speed signs,” Alderperson Maureen Otwell said. “I think they work well in Hastings and this is turning from 30 to 45 in less than a block so I think this would be very helpful.”
The signs start at a cost of $3,876 per sign and the city is planning to purchase two of the signs to be placed on each side of the road at this section where the speed changes.
The WisDOT completed a speed study along Highway 10/29/35 in September 2020. Results came through that speed was not a factor in crash analysis and there was no implicit need to change the current speed limits along the highway.
“When they put the speed tracking trailer out, I don’t know if anyone got the chance to look at this but sadly the majority of people were doing more than 15 miles over the speed limit within a block or two of what I would consider downtown,” Alderperson Pat Knox said.
The DOT nixed the stoplight at Pearl Street idea due to the intersection not meeting standards for a stoplight installation.
In 2018, an average daily traffic count study showed 11,400 vehicles per day travel between Highway 29 and Cherry Street.
A renewal of a current contract that the city has with Hydrocorp for cross connection control services (related to drinking water) was approved during the meeting as well.
The council then discussed at length some options for land the city currently owns on 620th Avenue. The council voted 5-2 to approve a letter of intent from Select One Properties LLC, with alderpersons Dar Hintz and Thomas Oss voting against.
The land in question is a 55-acre space and Select One Properties LLC is interested in purchasing 15 of those acres to develop a sports facility, which would include ball fields. Some council members feel that this would be a beneficial addition to the city and although it would be a privately owned and for-profit business, would be useful for many of Prescott’s citizens.
Mayor David Hovel explained that the council just needs to take into consideration what the funding could go towards when selling this property. Some options included funding to expand current parks, building a dog park and other recreational uses.
Otwell said, “We have no plan for this land unless we want to include it in a long-range strategic plan.”
Overall, she was in favor of the property sale while also weighing the factor that within the city’s strategic plan, keeping rural land within the community is important.
Following the discussion and approval of the letter of intent, a Veterans Day proclamation was approved by the council.
Robert Daugherty read the proclamation which stated, “The residents of Prescott pledge our gratitude to every man and woman currently serving this nation in uniform and the Veterans who have served from the Prescott Area and members of Prescott American Legion Post 61 who helped preserve and defend our precious freedom.”
The council also approved a proclamation designating April as Fair Housing Month in the city of Prescott. April 20, 2022 will mark 54 years of the passing of the Federal Fair Housing Act.
The Proclamation states, “Whereas ongoing education, outreach and monitoring are key to raising awareness of fair housing principals, practices rights and responsibilities and whereas only through continued cooperation, commitment and support of all citizens of Prescott can barriers to fair housing be removed.”
Hovel also brought to the board that he is still searching for someone to be on the Police Commission.