Like many other municipalities around the country, the last two months have given the City of Sturgeon Bay a challenge like never before. Mayor David Ward declared an emergency on March 20 and immediately formed a task force to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ward, along with City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout and Council President Dan Williams, became the core of the emergency management team. Other members added later include Chief Financial Officer Val Clarizio, Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Arleigh Porter and Captain Dan Brinkman, and Fire Chief Tim Dietman. Mayor Ward reflects on the three issues facing the city that the team looked to address after dealing with the spring election.
The Emergency Management Team met daily for the first several weeks and is currently meeting two or three times a week. The City Council just approved changes to budgeted expenditures to offset an approximately $90,000 revenue shortfall caused by the COVID-19 fallout. Ward adds that the city took two small steps to lessen regulations and fees for liquor licenses. Other ideas include using more street area for restaurants and possibly closing down Third Avenue during the day on weekends so businesses can spread out to do business. The Emergency Management Team will stay intact until at least June 18 after the City Council extended it for another 30 days on Tuesday.