De Pere Council meets social workers and approves bond sales


By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – Members of the De Pere Joint Council met the newly recruited social worker from the Police Department at their meeting on 21 September.

John Bushmaker introduced himself to the board of directors and briefed the city council of his first four months in office.

The job as a social worker is the first of its kind in the De Pere Police Department.

The goal is for Bushmaker to handle some of the non-criminal calls and contacts made by local police officers.

He said one of his first priorities was to connect with members of the disability community, starting with Brown County’s Aging & Disability Resource Center.

Bushmaker said he was also involved in addictive substances and suicide prevention groups, and completed training for those who have been sexually abused.

In the first three months, he said he had more than 90 citizen contacts and, while not responding to live police situations, said he did respond to referrals that officers could forward to him the next day.

Bushmaker said these can range from mental health issues to dementia and connect people to authorities or resources.
He said he found it helpful to be within the police department.

“When you sign a social services contract, you often do a lot of email communication (and duplication),” Bushmaker said.

He said he saw a need for his services, especially among the young and older populations.

Mayor James Boyd said the appointment to the police department should be a point of pride for De Pere.

Projects planned

The council also approved the sale and issuance of $ 10.3 million promissory note loans.

She will use these funds to buy vehicles and equipment and to renovate a parking lot for the fire brigade; Improvements to communal buildings; Grants for facade improvements in tax-raising district No. 7; Improvements to highways and infrastructure in TIDs 10, 12, and 15; Installation of street lights, signs, markings and signals; Purchase of replacement vehicles and equipment for public works and park administrations; Improvements to park buildings, a tennis court, boat launch, river walkway, and sidewalks; and construction and improvement of roads and sidewalks and associated landscaping.

Collection of property tax

The council also approved the spending of $ 4,500 to cover expenses related to the city’s collection of the first installment of property tax payments.

The application included $ 3,000 for direct debit software and $ 1,500 for reimbursement of the LandNav license to the county.

Last year, Brown County decided it would no longer be responsible for collecting first-rate property taxes for its member parishes.

“This is not something we decided to go out and do,” said Alderman Jonathan Hansen. “It was more or less forced upon us.”

In other stores

The council agreed:

• Use $ 3,830 from the unallocated reserve fund to replace the De Pere Situation Room video conferencing system.

• Approve a learning partnership benefit with Columbia Southern University for the fire department. The partnership enables online courses at a discounted price.

• Accept a donation of $ 750 to the Walmart Police Department for ballistic shield replacement and a $ 3,500 grant from the Brown County Crime Prevention Funding Board for ballistic shields. De Pere Police Chief Derek Beiderwieden said the department had eight patrol cars that needed to be fitted with shields, which he said were “very expensive”.

• Accept an offer from Municode, Inc. for approximately $ 24,000 for online services and re-encoding of city ordinances. The service includes updating references in the Code to state laws, proofreading, proofreading, indexing, etc.

• Undo a previous action to install traffic lights on Allard and Grant Streets near West De Pere High School.

• Authorized $ 17,000 for an Organizational Law Enforcement Study by Community Security Solutions, LLC.


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