Members of the Sun Prairie Police Association, the union representing Sun Prairie Police Department officers who are members of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, will receive a 9 percent raise over the next three years thanks to approval of a new three-year contract Nov. 17 by the Sun Prairie City Council.

The wage increases include 1.5% every six months in 2021 and 2022, and three percent across the board on Jan. 1, 2023, according to terms of the deal announced as part of the materials distributed for alders to consider the contract.

City of Sun Prairie Human Resources Director Brenda Sukenik said the city bargaining team has met with representatives of the WPPA police union on several occasions and reached the tentative agreement.

The contract also includes contract language changes including the creation of a Lateral Entry program for pay/vacation of new hires with experience between 3 and 7 years, a revised vacation schedule in 2021 and increasing the allowance for body armor and outer vest carriers from $800 to $1000 as part of a five-year replacement plan.

Outdoor dining extended to April

Get out your muk-luks and parkas Sun Prairie diners, because a council extension of the Declaration of Emergency also included an extension of the emergency order relating to outdoor dining facilities until next spring.

On March 17, 2020, alders issued a Declaration of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Aug. 4, 2020, the council reaffirmed that Declaration and extended it through Oct. 31, in association with an emergency order regarding outdoor dining facilities. The council again reaffirmed the Declaration on Oct. 20, 2020, providing a short term extension of the order through Nov. 30th.

On Nov. 10, Gov. Tony Evers issued Executive Order #94, which reaffirmed the ongoing nature and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to Wisconsin residents.

The resolution approved Nov. 17 extends the Declaration of Emergency to April 14, 2021.

Extending the declaration allows the City of Sun Prairie to create temporary rules related to outdoor dining facilities. These facilities remain an opportunity for restaurant, bar, and tavern businesses to remain viable during the colder months of the ongoing pandemic. The specific rules for winter operation of outdoor dining facilities include:

• The order does not require a separate street use permit for operations on public property, because the plans will be reviewed by all appropriate city departments.

• Hours of operation are extended from dusk to 10 p.m., which is the normal cutoff time for Sun Prairie sidewalk cafes and private outdoor cafes as stated in city ordinances. Amplified music is still not allowed.

• Outdoor lighting is allowed, but it is subject to review and approval by the various the Building Inspection and Planning departments.

• All operators will be required to submit new plans, including new applications for ‘extension of premises’ if alcohol is served.

Pumpkin Patch change OK’d

Acting on a recommendation from the Sun Prairie Plan Commission, the council voted 4-3 to approve an amendment to a Planned Development District General Development Plan allowing residential uses and modifying development standards on Lot 1 of the Pumpkin Patch Commercial Shopping District located south of W. Main Street and west of S. Thompson Road.

The council approved the change after repeat presentation from Roers Investments LLC, based in Minneapolis. Roers sought of the amendment to construct a 200-unit workforce housing apartment complex on the a 5.29-acre lot located south and east of the intersection of West Main Street and South Wildwood Street.

Ross Stitely, representing Roers, and architect Kathleen Laird, from Korb & Associates Architects, made a brief presentation to the council with the complex presented to the Plan Commission with 173 units in a three-story configuration.

The apartment complex design, including the number of stories and placement of green spaces in the development, could change before the new plan is formally submitted to the city.

Stitely told the commission on Nov. 10 the buildings would be leased by tenants who earn 50 percent of the Dane County median income, with a handful of units available to those earning 80 percent of the Dane County median income.

Stitely told the council on Nov. 17 that Roers intends to apply for WHEDA tax credits and could also apply for City of Sun Prairie tax increment finance (TIF) assistance but has not applied for it to date because they want to reduce construction costs as much as possible before applying for TIF assistance.

The presentation included some vague discussions about a possible tenant for the main anchor at Pumpkin Patch involving Jeff Hundley, from Pumpkin Patch developer Sun Prairie Partners LLC. District 1 Alder Terry McIlroy said she had a lengthy discussion with Hundley to ensure that a deal is in place for an anchor tenant.

District 3 Alder Mike Jacobs asked whether any city staff member had seen the development agreement, and wanted to make sure there is a main tenant.

During the conversation, Hundley said he believed both City Attorney Mark Leonard and another consulting city attorney had seen the document.

“I have not seen that agreement,” Leonard said, adding that he believed Hundley has one in place.

Hundley said he would share the agreement with Jacobs, but Jacobs assured him any such document would be a foreign language to him.

Other alders apparently were not as convinced that including an apartment development as part of Pumpkin Patch would be necessary. With District 4 Alder Al Guyant absent from the vote, alders approved it by a 4-3 vote, with alders Stocker, Jacobs and McIlroy voting no.

The council approval means Roers will apply for WHEDA money and propose a new plan showing the new apartment complex as proposed.

Tyler Technologies hired for assessment services

Acting on a staff recommendation, alders approved a one-year agreement with Tyler Technologies for $82,500 for the year 2021. The 2021 City of Sun Prairie Budget does include contracted services through Sept. 30, 2021 and hires a City Assessor and Commercial/Residential appraiser starting October 1, 2021.

Alders approved the contract unanimously.

Small Business Saturday proclaimed

In a proclamation presented virtually to Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Skicki, Mayor Paul Esser declared Nov. 28 as “Small Business Saturday” in Sun Prairie and urged all city residents to shop locally during the holiday season (see the proclamation with the online version of this story at

In accepting the proclamation, Skicki read a list of “6 Reasons Why You Should Shop Small,” including #6: “it’ll just make you feel good.”

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