News – October 28, 2016

City Of Horicon Levy Expected To Increase

 

10/28/16 – Horicon’s Committee of the Whole has signed off on a budget that is expected to be around $3,600,000 with a tax levy just under $2,200,000, up from last year’s $2,000,000.  City Clerk Kristin Jacobson says the mill rate and final property values are not yet available.  Jacobson says the committee was looking at a 7% budget increase heading into this week’s meeting, which is significantly above the projected 1.8% municipalities will be allowed to increase their spending in 2017 while still qualifying for a statewide program that rewards municipalities for keeping spending in check.  Jacobson says $193,000 in cuts was made, including $19,000 for resurfacing the tennis courts at Riverbend Park, $16,000 to lay new asphalt on the parking lot and driveway at the city garage, and $10,484 to paint the public safety building, which stores the city’s ambulance and fire trucks.  Jacobson says one other item was altered as funding for resurfacing a portion of the city pool was moved from the general levy to the city’s capital projects list, while the cost was dropped from $89,000 to $55,000.  The public hearing and final budget approval are slated for November 22 at 6pm.

 

School Taxes On The Rise In Cambria

 

10/28/16 – School taxes are going up for residents in the Cambria-Friesland School District.  The mill rate of $11.53 per thousand dollars of assessed value is $1.22 higher than the number homeowners saw on last December’s tax bill.  The $5,100,000 document, which the school board adopted this week, brings a tax levy just shy of $2,500,000, which is up $550,000 from last year’s budget.  District property values jumped over $3,000,000 to nearly $213,000,000.  One reason for the increased taxes is a successful referendum from April 2015 allows the district to exceed its revenue limit by $450,000 this year.  Superintendent Tim Raymond says a $150,000 cut in state funding also played a role in the higher levy.  Raymond says the district’s student count from the third Friday in September was 385 students, nine fewer than last year.

 

Waupun Mulling First Complete City Assessment In Over 20 Years

 

10/28/16 – Officials in Waupun will decide as part of the budget process if a full assessment of city properties is warranted. City Administrator Kathy Schlieve told the committee of the whole this week that, as near as she can tell, it’s been over 20 years since there has been a full inspection of all taxable properties and revaluation. Schlieve says the city’s current assessor Associated Appraisal is advising the thorough assessment be done over a period of three years at a cost of $30,500. She notes that in addition to ensuring taxes are distributed equally, it also makes the city more attractive to outside developers. Schlieve says she has had conversations with builders who have been reluctant to construct new housing because assessed values are too low and they may not get the full value for their house.

 

AG Asking Supreme Court To Investigate Leaded John Doe Secrets

 

10/28/16 – Attorney General Brad Schimel has asked the State Supreme Court to find out how allegations against Republicans leaked from a secret John Doe probe. The U-S version of Britain’s Guardian newspaper wrote several weeks ago that a leading maker of lead secretly gave thousands to a conservative group to support Governor Scott Walker and G-O-P senators who were facing recalls. And the report said Walker and lawmakers later approved legal protections from old lawsuits against paint makers for child deaths from lead based paint that was banned long ago. The allegations were part of a former John Doe probe into allegations that Walker and the other recall candidates coordinated with conservative groups on fundraising in which the donors’ names could be kept secret. The state and U-S supreme courts ended the probe before charges could be considered.

 

Man Waives Hearing On Child Porn Charge

 

10/28/16 – A Mayville man will proceed to trial on charges that he had inappropriate images on his computer.  William Waldoch has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on six felony counts of Possessing Child Pornography.  The 42-year-old’s online activity put him on police’s radar.  In February, officers executed a search warrant at his house and seized five electronic devices that reportedly contained a total of at least 15 illegal images.  Waldoch allegedly told police that he enjoyed looking at child pornography but would never act out his fantasies.  If he is convicted, Waldoch faces up to 150 years in prison.  He will be arraigned November 23.

 

Waupun Woman Headed To Trial On Child Abuse Charge

 

10/28/16 – A Waupun woman was bound over for trial yesterday on charges that she beat her three nephews with a belt for being disobedient.  A judge found probable cause at a preliminary hearing against Leah Schlatter, who is facing one felony count of Child Abuse Causing Bodily Harm for allegedly leaving marks on their backs last November.  If she is convicted, the 31-year-old faces up to six years in prison. Schlatter will be arraigned December 7.

 

Tomah VA Closing Homeless Vets Shelter

 

10/28/16 – Starting in January, the Tomah V-A Medical Center will no longer have a shelter for homeless veterans. Center officials say their police force responded to more than 30 incidents during the past six months and that’s the reason that they decided to end a lease agreement with the Veterans Assistance Foundation, which has run the shelter for almost 20 years. Tomah V-A spokesman Matthew Gowan says the incidents included crimes, a suicide attempt, and an accidental drug death. However, Foundation President Christopher Hanson tells Wisconsin Public Radio the V-A should have mentioned its concerns to him before cutting things off. Gowan says Hanson is serving in Afghanistan, and the center reached out to others in the foundation, but Hanson says the center could have sent him an email. The shelter presently houses about 40 veterans, but Hanson says the number normally rises as winter approaches.

 

DNR Staffing Levels Drop 18-Percent In 20 Years

 

10/28/16 – A new report shows Department of Natural Resources staffing levels have dropped 18 percent over the last 20 years. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau report examined staffing levels in the last year of each two-year budget dating back to 1979. It found that during that period the number of positions peaked at just over 31-hundred in 1995. That compares with nearly 26-hundred positions in the current fiscal year. The lowest staffing level during the 38-year period was 25-hundred positions in 1981. The report shows that the agency lost 196 positions in the four budgets that Governor Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans have adopted since taking complete control of state government in 2011. The agency lost 256 positions under budgets Democratic Governor Jim Doyle approved between 2003 and 2009.

 

Absentee Voting Numbers Down

 

10/28/16 – Fewer people are voting early in Wisconsin.  New numbers from the state’s Elections Commission shows nearly 328-thousand absentee ballots so far.  But that’s about half of 2012’s numbers.  Most of the people who are casting an early vote are doing so in person.  Election Day is November 8th.

 

Grande Cheese CEO Retiring

 

10/28/16 – The President and CEO of Grande Cheese in Fond du Lac will be retiring next February. Wayne Matzke says he has spent 17 “great years” with Grande and is proud of the company’s growth. Two people will fill the leadership role when Matze retires. Todd Koss, Grande’s current Chief Financial Officer, will become the CEO. Ryan Cropper, Grande’s current Group Vice-President-Trademark Products, will become the Chief Operating Officer. Grande Cheese has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Brownsville, Lomira and Rubicon.

 

Beaver Dam Holiday Parade Entries Sought

 

10/28/16 – Entries are being accepted for this year’s Beaver Dam Holiday Parade. The theme is “175 Years of Holiday Fun.”  Floats will be judged and first through fifth place will receive a monetary prize and a plaque handcrafted at the senior center woodshop. Organizer Kay Appenfeldt with Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. says the parade route has changed from previous years.  Lineup remains on South Center Street, exiting right to Front Street and onto Park Avenue. Unlike previous years, the parade will then turn right on South Lincoln, right on East Mill Street back to the lower Tower Parking Lot. The public is then invited to an after party in the Watermark at 209 South Center Street.  In addition to the parade, Downtown Beaver Dam is holding a Window Decorating Contest again this year.  Windows must be decorated by noon on December 3 and should remain in place through the holiday season. Also, a coloring contest is being offered again this year for kids in grades first through fifth. Coloring contest forms are being distributed to grade schools in the next week.  Winners will be judged by the Holiday Parade Committee. Winners will ride on the float with Santa through the parade and will receive a gift at the after party. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 starting at 5:30pm. Entry forms can be obtained at the Chamber, at bddowntown.com, [or contact Kay at 887-1693] and are due November 18.