By Michael S. Hoey

The Delavan Common Council voted last week to extend its existing resolution declaring a state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic until December. The resolution grants the Mayor and City Administrator joint executive authority to take appropriate actions for the protection of city employees and the public.

Administrator Denise Pieroni said the resolution was slightly modified to work with businesses during the pandemic. One example she cited was allowing some businesses to conduct their business in city parks where they can meet in a socially distanced manner without charging a fee for use of the park. Another example was expanding the ability of restaurants to have outdoor cafés.

Alderman Matt Bieser said he initially had concerns about extending the resolution until December, but said he has seen nothing but good come of it so far.

“I have seen nothing but success for the city,” Bieser said. “It has been working in our favor.”

Bieser said the state recently exceeded 1,000 cases and the rate is climbing in Walworth County, so the city needs the flexibility to make sound, educated decisions quickly. He said the council has had great communication with Pieroni and Mayor Ryan Schroeder during the pandemic.

FIre Dept. fees amended

The council approved an amendment to its municipal code regarding fire department emergency response fees.

In 2018, the council had amended its code regarding the collection of fees that allow the city to recover costs for certain fire department services. Those services include things like responding to automobile accidents, cleaning up fuel leaks from improperly maintained vehicles, hazardous materials spills or leaks, open burning for which a permit was not issued and unattended fires. The fee for such incidents is $380 – or the actual cost of the response – whichever is higher.

City staff recently recommended two changes. One was to not apply the fee for auto accidents to a driver who is driving a vehicle registered to a city address and has a driver’s license with a city address listed as their residence. That would provide consideration to residents who already pay for the services directly or indirectly through their taxes.

The second change was to give the fire chief the authority to not charge for small spills if he so chooses. The fire department has been dispatched several times recently for very small spills and the fee was assessed due to the language of the code at the time.

Council corrects right-of-way omission

The council approved a public roadway dedication for the turn lanes closest to Autozone at the intersection of Wright Street and Hobbs Drive.

Public Works Director Mark Wendorf said it should have been done when Autozone was constructed. Currently the right turn lane in front of the store is on private property.


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