Council Approves Two WPD Requests


Kimberly Wethal

The City of Whitewater denied a request to rezone the property that the 1868 Hamilton House resides on last Tuesday night. Following the guidance of the Plan Commission and Christine Munz-Pritchard, who recommended the Council deny the rezone application, the Council unanimously voted to keep the property zoned as Planned Development instead of R-3. The sale of the home was contingent on the approval of the rezone application.

Kimberly Wethal, Editor-in-Chief

There was no debate within the City of Whitewater Common Council Tuesday night as to who was going to be awarded the bid for the Whitewater Police Department’s addition to their squad car fleet.

Posed with the decision between Ketterhagen Motor Sales Inc. of Whitewater or Ewald Automotive of Milwaukee, the two companies who successfully submitted a bid to supply the vehicle (Griffin Ford of Fort Atkinson neglected to provide a quote to the department), the Council chose to keep it local.

In a unanimous vote from the Council, Ketterhagen won out over Ewald for the price of $30,335 – a bid $35 higher than Ewald.

It’s a nominal price difference the Council was willing to pay to keep the bid local.

“You couldn’t even calculate how small of a percentage this is,” Ald. Stephanie Goettl (Dist. 5) said after the motion passed.

In the 2018 budget passed in November, the city allotted for $44,200 for the new police interceptor SUV, which will be an addition to the current squad fleet the department already owns, rather than be a replacement.

The overall police department operating budget increased by $62,181 from the prior year, totaling $3,365,919.

City of Whitewater manager Cameron Clapper hinted that the department was overdue for an upgraded squad vehicle.

“[Vehicle purchase] is something that’s on a cycle, and the police department has had to have a portion of their squad car purchases postponed as a result of changes in the budget,” Clapper said.

The bids received from Ketterhagen and Ewald pertained only to the purchase of the vehicle itself; it did not include the additional equipment required to outfit the new vehicle with equipment.

In the agenda item information sheet supplied to the Council, Whitewater Police Chief Lisa Otterbacher said the budgeted funds include the costs associated with the set up and outfitting of the vehicle.

Without much discussion, the Council also authorized the Police Department to replace six Sig Sauer AR-15 rifles and sell the current weapons to Streicher’s Law Enforcement Company.

“That’s what we would prefer: that agenda item being transitioned to simply selling them to Streicher’s, which is a law enforcement gun representative,” Otterbacher said. “They’ll sell it; we won’t have to worry about anything.”

The current AR-15 rifles–a majority of them originally purchased in 2002, according to the agenda item information sheet presented by Otterbacher–no longer have the same functional capability as newer rifles on the market today.

The department received a quote from the Streicher’s that would allow the current rifles to be purchased for $300 a piece, allocating funding for new rifles having no impact on the department’s approved budget.