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Inside Hartford’s City Hall | By City Administrator Steve Volkert

 

Dec. 26, 2018 – Hartford, WI – In local government, there are few services that change greatly from year to year.  But in 2018, the City of Hartford implemented two new programs that have positively affected residents with older homes.

Steve Volkert, Hartford

This year, staff proposed and the common council approved a utility lateral replacement grant and loan for those that struggle with historically clogged or broken utility laterals.  The result was 14 property owners who maxed out our 2018 sewer grant program and three which utilized our lead water replacement loan program budgeted for the inaugural year.

Originally, we didn’t know how much these programs were needed until we rolled it out and were able to grant over $33,000 to those that needed new sewer laterals.

Likewise, for those that need to replace lead water laterals, primarily in areas where we are doing complete reconstruction to their roads, we gave out three low interest loans totaling over $10,000.  The loans are 5 year based on one percent over prime rate at the time of borrowing.

We are grateful we were able to help so many residents in our first year of offering these programs and are excited about how many more we can help in 2019.  If you have cracked or blocked clay sewer laterals or lead water laterals and think 2019 would be the time to get these replaced, make sure to contact either our Waste Water Utility Director Dave Piquett at 673-2423 or Water/Electric Utility Director Brian Rhodes at 670-3701 for more information on getting started in these programs.

Since I arrived here three years ago, I have attempted to make local government more transparent.  We have added Facebook pages, radio broadcasts, updates to our website, Twitter, more press releases to several levels of the media, our weekly memo and this column which is now generously published in both the Hartford Booster and WashingtonCountyInsider.com.

In that time, we have gotten several people respond positively to our outreach of information, and a few that have used these platforms to express their displeasures in life.  And that was expected.  When we make local government more transparent, we open ourselves up for ridicule which is fine.  Some, is actually well thought out, constructive criticism which can be addressed by myself or my staff.  Others, not so much.

But no matter what the results, we will continue to try to get as much information out to the residents we serve as possible.  This is why I am excited about the most recent addition to our arsenal of communication, instant alerts.

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Just like Amber Alerts or Silver Alerts which instantaneously tell everyone when someone goes missing, the City of Hartford now can send you text alerts or email alerts when something is changing or going on that might affect you in your community.

 

To sign up for these free alerts, just go to the City website, ci.hartford.wi.us and click on the top listing in the blue box on the left side of the home page which says Notify Me.  From there you will be taken to a set up page in which you enter your phone number for text messages or email address for email alerts.  Then choose which or all of the different alerts you want including General Gov’t Alerts, Police Alerts, Public Works Alerts, Traffic Alerts, or Utility Alerts.  In the future, we might have other alerts that you can likewise sign up for.

This service is absolutely free and secured.  No one besides our web host will know your information.

We hope you will sign up for alerts and tell all of your friends and neighbors about it as it only helps if people sign up.

And finally, if you have a genuine concern, question or complaint about the services you are receiving from any City department, I greatly encourage you to call (leave your name and phone number if I am not in so I can respond) or stop by City Hall and talk to me and get the correct information rather than using social media outlets to post inaccuracies, prejudices and personal rants.  We are opening ourselves up to providing all residents with valuable information and ask all to give us the same level of respect.

Every month, it is my goal to give you information on things going on inside of City Hall.  For more timely information on things happening around Hartford, please friend us on Facebook at City of Hartford Administration or follow us on Twitter. 

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