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Common Council scared out of Halloween change
City moving to plug in electric vehicles
trick or treat halloween

MONROE — After agreeing to hold the city’s official Trick or Treat hours and ‘Trunk or Treat’ events on the Sunday before Halloween, the Monroe city council last week reversed course and restored the event to its regular holiday timeslot.

The city’s Trunk or Treat event, however, on the square downtown, will remain on Sunday night. The city initially moved trick or treating to Sunday, Oct. 30 in a bid to perhaps allow more people to participate -- as both Halloween events would have been on a weekend day.

Now Halloween trick or treating will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 on Oct. 31, Halloween night. Trunk or treat downtown on the square will be on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The council debated the course reversal during its regular meeting on Oct. 17, during which a number of citizens spoke out in favor of keeping trick or treating on Halloween night instead of the switch to Sunday, which the council opted to do four weeks ago.

“Halloween is the way it’s always been,” said Theresa Robertson, who added that the change to Sunday potentially disrupted her family’s plans, as her husband had requested Halloween night off to be able to trick or treat with their family. “When we do have a holiday off, we get excited.”

Her husband is a first responder, she said, and like other first responders, he had to ask for the holiday off nearly a year in advance, only to have the city a month ago change trick or treating to Sunday night.

Brittany Trimble, another city resident who lives on 14th Avenue, agreed with keeping the traditional Halloween night festivities for kids.

“I feel most people want to keep trick or treating on the 31st,” she said.

Alderman Mary Jane Grenzow said the city was creating more confusion by deliberating yet another time change for Halloween on such short notice.

“How much confusion are we creating now, moving it two weeks before Halloween?” she said.

Other aldermen agreed and acknowledged the difficulty of trying to plan something that works for the entire city.

“We can’t please everybody,” said Alderman Tom Miller.

Mayor Donna Douglas also weighed in, saying “we did vote unanimously to do this and now we are going back.”

City moving to plug in electric vehicles

The city is clearing the way for the advent of electric vehicles here, agreeing at a recent city council meeting to consider a zoning framework for the addition of EV charging stations in the zoning code.

Toward that end, the city will hold a public hearing on the ordinance allowing EV stations on Nov. 7. The city’s judiciary and ordinance review committee considered the measure on Oct 10.  Both the planning commission and historic preservation committees recommended council approval of the ordinance for EV stations.

 A vote on the measure by the full council could follow the hearing. Currently, there are no electric vehicle charging stations in the city — with apparently the closest one being a Tesla Supercharger located at a private bed and breakfast in Browntown.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the game,” said City Attorney Dan Bartholf, during the planning commission discussion of the matter.

The proposed ordinance includes the following language for new EV facilities in Monroe:

●  Electric Vehicle Charging Station equipment must be designed and located so as to not impede pedestrian, bicycle, or wheelchair movement or create safety hazards on sidewalks and public rights-of-way.

●  Information must be posted clearly identifying voltage and amperage levels and any type of use, fees, or safety information related to the existence and use of the electric vehicle charging station.

●  Electric vehicle charging stations must be maintained in all respects, including function of the equipment and aesthetic appearance. A telephone number or other current contact information must be provided on the equipment for reporting malfunction and/or problems encountered by users.

“We’re not allowing them now on the street right of way or on the sidewalks,” said Bartholf, adding that they also would be prohibited for now from public parking areas or lots.

Council members praised the idea as way to keep tourists and new families coming to Monroe to live and visit. 

According to, there are also nearly 8,000 non-networked EV charging stations in the U.S., with over 15,000 separate charging ports. Wisconsin is estimated to have 400 charging stations, of which 306 are publicly available. 

Depending on the vehicle it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to achieve a full charge — the equivalent of a full tank of gas on a conventional car.

“The city is being very proactive in doing this, I think it’s a great idea,” said Ald. Tom Miller.