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City Council approves $270K settlement, no details provided
City Hall Notebook

City Council approves $270K settlement, no details provided


RACINE — The Racine City Council on Tuesday approved a proposed settlement with Kurt Hanson and Melissa Hernandez for $270,000, though there was no discussion on why the settlement was being brought forward.

The Executive Committee discussed the proposed settlement in closed session on Monday and voted to send it to the City Council recommending approval. The legislative report on the resolution states the settlement is to resolve litigation Hanson and Hernandez had planned to bring forward against the city. The reason for the litigation was not discussed in open session.

The Journal Times has filed a records request with the city for a copy of the settlement and any claims or complaints filed on Hanson and Hernandez’s behalf which disclose the background or nature of the cause for litigation against the city.

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Alderman Jeff Coe was the sole vote in opposition on Monday and on Tuesday, when it passed 13-1-1. Alderman Melissa Lemke abstained. Aldermen Mollie Jones, John Tate II, Edwin Santiago, Jen Levie, Jeff Peterson, Maurice Horton, Marcus West, Trevor Jung, Carrie Glenn, Mary Land, Henry Perez, Natalia Taft and Jason Meekma voted in support.

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Transit Commission changes

A few changes to the make-up of the intergovernmental Transit Commission with Mount Pleasant passed as well, ahead of the first commission meeting scheduled for Aug. 26.

The original agreement, signed in 2016, stated that out of the nine commissioners, two would be chosen by the Village of Mount Pleasant and six Racine citizens and one alderman would be appointed by the mayor. The Commission would select its own chair and the Public Works Commissioner would be automatically appointed as the commission’s secretary.

In the modified agreement, the mayor appoints five citizens and two aldermen for the commission and appoints the commission’s chair. The commission would select the rest of its officers which would not include the DPW Commissioner, though the public works department would staff the commission.

Alderman Henry Perez asked why the changes were being made. Mayor Cory Mason said that since the Transit Commission will work with city assets, he wanted more aldermen on the commission and he wanted one of them to be the commission chair, in order to, “maintain control of (the city’s) resources and assets.”

The changes were approved 12-3. Aldermen Jeff Peterson, Carrie Glenn and Henry Perez voted in opposition and Aldermen Jeff Coe, Mollie Jones, John Tate II, Edwin Santiago, Jen Levie, Maurice Horton, Marcus West, Trevor Jung, Mary Land, Natalia Taft, Jason Meekma and Melissa Lemke voted in support.

CDBG funds for Racine Health Center and more

A plan for allocating $2.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, which are granted to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was approved as well.

CDBG funds could go towards health clinic, mortgage relief and more

Those funds include $215,000 in unspent 2019 CDBG funds allocated for matching grants for the city’s home repair loan program. Matt Rejc, manager of neighborhood services, in a brief for the council said with the reallocation of funds, the city would still have enough to meet the current need for matching grants under that program.

The plan also includes two more HUD grants which were awarded to the city earlier this year to fund its response to COVID-19: one is a $1,108,649 CARES Act CDBG and the second is a $1,224,679 Emergency Solutions Grant.

The funds are set to be allocated as such:

  • Up to $400,000 for operational costs for the Racine Community Health Center at Julian Thomas Elementary School.
  • Up to $520,000 for local nonprofit organizations with experience in foreclosure prevention for city homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages.
  • Up to $120,000 for Homelessness and Housing Alliance, aka Continuum of Care, for rental tenant assistance to prevent evictions.
  • Up to $115,000 for Housing Resources Inc. to launch the Financial Empowerment Center. Those funds will trigger a $150,000 match from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
  • Up to $100,000 for local nonprofit organizations that assist Racine adults with obtaining their high school equivalent degree.

Things to do in and around Racine County

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RACINE — The Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St., will host an outdoor beer tasting event from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Attendees can cozy up b…

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BRIGHTON — Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, invites the public to explore the newly-installed winter StoryWalk.

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Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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