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New city attorney is on city agenda

September 5, 2018

Appointment of a new city attorney is on the agenda of the Watertown Common Council meeting tonight at 7 o’clock in the council chambers of the municipal building.

A resolution appointing Rose Simon-Silva to the city attorney position will acted upon by the council.

The city attorney position has been vacant since William Gruber was appointed a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge and assumed those new duties in mid-August. Gruber had been Watertown’s city attorney for about 6 years. On the bench he succeeded Judge Jennifer Weston who retired.

Upon appointment by the common council, Simon-Silva will begin her new duties on Oct. 1.

She is currently serving as an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County and was also an assistant district attorney in Sheboygan County.

Simon-Silva lives in Sullivan with her husband and child. She received her undergraduate degree from Cardinal Stritch University and her law degree from Marquette University’s School of Law.

The council will also meet in private session to discuss the potential purchase of the Chalet Restaurant building at 107 W. Main St., as part of the Watertown Redevelopment Authority’s plans to redevelop the south side of the 100 block of West Main Street.

The Chalet property is the last one to be acquired. All other properties in that block have come to terms on their sale.

A deal has not been reached at this point on the Chalet property, but the council’s private meeting will be to discuss the status of the negotiations and possibly authorize an offer that would be acceptable to the Chalet owners and the city.

At the conclusion of the closed session, the council will reconvene in open session and potentially take action on a proposal.

Two ordinances are on the agenda. Up for a first reading is an ordinance that would extend the collection of room taxes to airbnbs (air bed and breakfasts). Under current ordinances, room taxes are not collected in these rooming options.

There will be a second reading on an update to the city’s ordinance governing Knox-Box Key Systems, which enable access to local businesses by the fire department in the event of emergencies. The update will bring the city’s ordinance in compliance with state codes.

A number of resolutions will also be considered by aldermen. The council will be asked to authorize the city to file an appeal to an assessment objection raised by MillerCoors on its property at 1224 American Way.

Purchase of three new squad cars in this year’s budget will be considered. The squads were not in the budget this year but police Chief Tim Roets has explained to the finance committee that waiting until next year’s budget will increase the cost of each squad by $11,000. Squads ordered after Sept. 19 will be the newer and more expensive models. Purchasing them in advance of the 2019 budget will save about $33,000.

Other agenda items include purchase of a new drive unit at a city well at a cost of $12,000, an $88,000 increase in the sanitary sewer and water main contract, bringing the total of the contract to $778,380; a change order to the curb and gutter contract that increases it by $10,627; authorizing the city to apply for an urban forestry grant through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; and an update to the city’s handbook that deals with internal posting of job openings.

The council will also receive updates from the Watertown Area Chamber or Commerce and the Watertown Main Street program.

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