News 6/4/15

Timeline Revealed For Fox Lake TIF District Creation


6/4/15 – The City of Fox Lake has revealed its proposed timeline for the creation of a new Tax Increment Finance District.  The TIF would include local businesses looking to make $2,000,000 in improvements in the city’s industrial park.  City officials have not yet released the names of those businesses.  The city plans on formally notifying the affected taxing groups of the proposed TIF on June 17.  On July 8, the Planning Commission would hold a public hearing on the creation of the TIF and may recommend the project to the City Council.  The state Department of Revenue would be notified of the city’s resolution to create the district in mid-August, and Fox Lake would submit the final packet to the D-O-R on October 31.  City Administrator Gary Rogers believes the creation of a new TIF will bring an immediate benefit in job creation and will begin providing financial relief in 2017.  Fox Lake’s previous TIF closed in 2014 after 25 years.


DPW Officials Warns Motorists To Be Cautious In Work Zones


6/4/15 – City officials in Beaver Dam are urging motorists to be extra cautions in work zones. Department of Public Works Director Jeremy Klug encourages the public to be aware of construction and detour signs. Klug says there are some concerns with motorists driving through construction areas which are open for work vehicles and driveway access for affected residents. He says it may be quicker for some people to get from point-A to point-B by cutting through a detour but that is not safe for workers, pedestrians and other motorists. While there are several smaller projects on tap this year, the most extensive in Beaver Dam right now is the downtown reconstruction of Highway 33 Front Street. Klug says it is currently on schedule. The intersection of Center and Front streets is closed right now. By the end of the month, that intersection is expected to open as the work shifts to the intersection of Spring and Front streets.


Beaver Dam Suspects Summer Swimming Lessons


6/4/15 – There will be no swimming lessons offered this summer in Beaver Dam. Community Activities and Services Administrator Evonne Boettge says they are unable to offer the youth program because of a lack of qualified instructor applicants. Boettge says learning to swim is particularly important in a community with great water resources like Crystal Lake and Beaver Dam Lake. She is encouraging residents to sign up for swimming lessons at the YMCA of Dodge County. The city was planning to hold the lessons at the Wayland Academy pool this summer. The lessons had previously been held at the Swan Park pool and Crystal Lake beach. The city council this year moved to suspend life guards at those facilities and post swim-at-your-own-risk signs. Boettge says the council decision was not related to the suspension of swim lessons. She says they hope to resume swimming lessons in the fall indoors and have not made any decisions but are working with the YMCA to find a solution.


Waupun Inmate Appears On Attempted Homicide Charge


6/4/15 – There was an initial court appearance this week for a Waupun Correctional inmate suspected of trying to kill another inmate with a “shank” and injuring a guard who tried to intervene during the altercation. Twenty-eight-year-old Eric Conner is charged in Dodge County Court with Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide and Battery by Prisoner. According to the criminal complaint, Conner attacked the guard after the officer pepper sprayed him during the February 23rd incident. Conner will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on June 18th.


Madison Officer Cleared In Robinson Shooting


6/4/15 – Madison police officer Matt Kenny will ease back into his job, after he was cleared of wrongdoing yesterday in the shooting death of Tony Robinson.  An internal review showed that the white Kenny did not violate any police department policies when he killed the bi-racial Robinson on March 6th.  Chief Mike Koval said the 12-year Madison Police veteran will get psychiatric counseling, help train officers in giving first aid, and then join a mounted horse patrol.  There’s no timetable for getting him back on the street.  Koval said it’s in nobody’s interest to rush him back onto street patrol — but he stressed that the 46-year-old Kenny would not be forced to resign, retire, or be limited to a desk job. The 19-year-old Robinson was said to be under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms when he darted in front of two cars, attacked two strangers, and then hit Kenny in the head in a Madison apartment building before the officer shot-and-killed him.  The incident sparked racial protests for weeks in Madison. Robinson’s mother, Andrea Irwin, gave an angry response to the A-P after learning that Kenny was exonerated.  In her words, “They have decided to let a murderer back on the street.”  She said police are not telling the whole story, and what they are saying is “completely untrue.”  Last month, the Dane County D-A refused to file criminal charges, saying Kenny acted lawfully.


Fatal Plane Crash Victims With Aviation Company


6/4/15 – Both men killed in the plane crash in Oshkosh Tuesday were with the Sonex Aircraft aviation company. Forty-year-old C-E-O Jeremy Monnett and 20-year-old assembly mechanic Mike Clark died in the crash outside an Oshkosh Corporation building. Mark Schaible is the general manager of Sonex. He says Monnett had an enthusiasm for everything he did. He says that included aviation, his family and the Oshkosh community. The Sonex plane the two were in had made a cross-country flight to Florida earlier this year.


Bucks’ Arena Funding Package Could Become Separate Bill


6/4/15 – There’s at least a chance that a funding package for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena will be considered by the Legislature as a separate bill — and not part of the new state budget.  Reports say most Republican senators want the arena proposal out of the massive two-year budget.  But it’s still possible that Republicans could try to attract some last-minute Democratic votes by proposing an amendment when the budget gets to the Senate floor. Spokespersons for legislative leaders say it remains uncertain whether the Bucks’ proposal would be removed from the budget.  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s office says the details of the final package have not been announced — and until they are, the arrangements for a vote will remain up in the air.  Media reports indicate that a mix of borrowing, public debt collections, and tax extensions would cover the taxpayers’ part of the arena — but the interest could make the public costs run as high as 400-million dollars, not the 250-million originally reported.  The Bucks’ funding package and borrowing for transportation are the final two sticking points in getting a new budget passed.


Beer Industry Trying To Keep Laws Out Of State Budget


6/4/15 – Wisconsin beer-makers, liquor distillers, restaurants, and others are trying to keep a possible change in alcohol distribution laws out of the new state budget. In recent weeks, the groups have urged lawmakers not to approve a requirement that a wholesaler’s contract with an alcohol supplier stay in place, if the distributorship goes to another owner.  The national Distilled Spirits Council said it would give wholesalers a lock on certain brands, thus creating no incentives to hold down beer-and-booze prices. The AP says an unnamed wholesaler is pushing for the change.


Informational Meeting For Highway E Construction Project


6/4/15 – The Dodge County Highway Department will be holding a meeting for the upcoming repaving of Highway E from Highway A to Industrial Drive.  Highway Commission personnel and the project contractor will be on hand to explain the repaving and answer any questions.  The meeting will be held at the Dodge County Administration Building in Juneau on Monday, June 15 at 6 pm.  Work is expected to begin the following week.


Columbus Laptop Orientation For District Parents Tonight


6/4/15 – Parents of Columbus School District students have a chance tonight (Th) to learn about the laptops their children will be getting next year. Every student from third grade thru 12th grade will have a laptop computer assigned to them as part of an initiative the school district is calling “One-to-World.” Tonight’s parent orientation will include basics on how the laptop works and a review of some of the software along with explaining the One-to-World initiative. The school board and administration have been planning the laptop rollout for over four years. The first parent orientation begins at 7pm tonight in the Columbus Public Library. The hour-long program is the first of three orientations for parents scheduled this summer.


Limited Openings Remain For Fox Lake Summer Youth Program


6/4/15 – There are still about a half-dozen openings for the City of Fox Lake’s youth summer rec program.  It is open to students in the Waupun School District or SAGES School free of cost.  All participants must be Fox Lake residents and be in 2nd through 7th grade.  The YMCA will determine the outdoor activities which will be held between City Hall and the SAGES School.  The program is limited to 20 kids in this the first year to make sure there will be enough staff to watch over them.  Mayor Tom Bednarek says the city will look to expand program and budget for it next year if it goes well.  This year, it is being sponsored by various area businesses.  Bednarek says the program will give children something to do this summer which hasn’t always been the case in the past.  The eight week program kicks off on Monday, June 15 and will be held each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.  Registration forms can be picked up at Fox Lake’s City Hall.