December 16, 2014

Traffic Accident Turns Fatal


12/16/14 – More information has been released in a traffic accident that closed down Highway 33 in Dodge County for several hours. The driver died during the overnight hours following the wreck which occurred around 2:30pm Monday. Wisconsin State Patrol Duty Sergeant Greg Jenswold tells WBEV-WXRO that the driver had been involved in an 18 mile-long pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles-per-hour. The Beaver Dam and Fox Lake Police Departments were involved in the chase and the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department also deployed a “tire deflation device.” The vehicle at one point left the roadway and struck a tree. Jenswold says more information will be available after the responding officers complete their report this week.


Council To Vote On Watermark Funding Shortfall


12/16/14 – The full Beaver Dam Common Council will vote next year on funding the half-million dollar shortfall for the Watermark. The city’s Operations Committee last night discussed one of three plans that came out of a meeting city leaders held last week on ways to proceed with the planned community and senior center. Options discussed last week included an advisory referendum, exceeding self-imposed borrowing limits and delaying street projects. The agenda Monday night focused on that final option: revising the city’s five year Capital Improvements Plan.


City Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says that would have involved skipping the city’s major reconstruction project for next year and pushing all major street projects back one year after that.  Money for the Watermark would have also come from splitting a one-year project at the intersection of Spring and Front streets over two years. Engineer Mike Laue with MSA Professional Services says removing the city road work on Spring Street from the state’s planned reconstruction of Highway 33-Front Street would have cost a rough estimate of $25-thousand dollars not counting all the work left in limbo over the winter months. The two projects were originally tied together as a cost-saving move.


Alderman Robert Ballweg was among those on the Operations Committee last night who rejected the idea of altering the five-year street plan. Instead, Ballweg made a motion to have the city exceed its self-imposed borrowing limit of $1.6-million dollars.  A 2010 council-adopted resolution limits city borrowing in any given year to $1.6-million unless a resolution seeking to exceed that limit is approved by a three-fourths majority of the common council. The $2.2-million dollar Watermark needs an estimated $495-thousand to become a reality, not counting the short-term borrowing that would be needed to cover pledges. There was no substantive discussion on the possibility of city residents offering their opinion on the Watermark through referendum.


Meyer Files Non-Candidacy, Link May Face Challenger


12/16/14 – There is shaping up to be at least one contested race on the Beaver Dam Common Council in the April General Election. Jon Abfall is circulating papers for the Ward Three seat currently held by incumbent alderman and Operations Committee chair Glen Link, who is also collecting signatures. At Monday nights council meeting, resident Kevin Burnett announced during public comment time that he is turning his paperwork in today to run in Ward 13. The incumbent in that ward, 20-year council veteran Laine Meyer, filed his non-candidacy papers yesterday. Ward Five Alderman Mick Fischer has submitted all of his paperwork while incumbents Jon Litscher and Robert Ballweg are circulating papers. The deadline for filing non-candidacy papers is December 26. The deadline to submit nomination papers is January 6.


Plan Commission, PFC Appointees Approved


12/16/14 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved a new appointment to the city’s Police and Fire Commission. Jeffry Kohman will fill out the remainder of the term being vacated by Ron Andrews, whose resignation was announced last week following inappropriate comments at this months PFC meeting. Kohman served as alderman in the city’s Fourth Ward from 1993 to 2005 and was council president for nine of those years. His term runs through spring of 2018. Also last night, the council approved a new appointment to the city’s Plan Commission. Bev Beal-Loeck will complete the term of Mark Molldrem which expires in May of 2017. Beal-Loeck also serves on the Church Health Services Board of Directors and the Beaver Dam School Board.


Beaver Dam Water Treatment Upgrades Coming


12/16/14 – Beaver Dam will soon be upgrading its water treatment system. Director of Utilities Don Quarford told the city’s Operations Committee Monday night that current equipment that treats drinking water is outdated and needs to be upgraded. The improvements will cost an estimated $525-thousand dollars. Quarford says the money will come from revenues from the utility and because the utility will be retiring old debt in the near future there is no impact on water rates anticipated. Quarford says city residents also will not notice any difference in the way their drinking water tastes after the new treatment is implemented.


Randolph School Board Approves Building Projects


12/16/14 – The Board of Education of the Randolph School District approved a pair of agenda items pertaining to the elementary/middle school building at its meeting last night.  First, they agreed to fund an evaluation of the building by Excel Engineering of Fond Du Lac that will cost up to $7,500.  Superintendent Dr. Steve Huebbe says that the inspection will likely take place over the school’s winter break, which begins in just over a week.  He also said that action will be taken on repairing a beam that is in the portion of the school referred to as the ‘1942 buidling.’  The beam serves as part of the ceiling of a first floor hallway and also as the floor of the second level, in a location that is adjacent to the school’s gymnasium.  The board has approved Milwaukee contractor JP Cullen to complete the project for just over $1,800.  Huebbe says that these endeavors are being undertaken in large part due to the building showing its age, which has concerned some board members as well as persons in the community.  Huebbe anticipates that any projects that are suggested from the building evaluation could be undertaken as early as this coming semester.


Randolph Schools Considering ‘Salary Matrix’


12/16/14 – The Board of Education of the Randolph School District received a presentation from the district’s compensation committee at last night’s regular meeting.  The committee proposed that a salary matrix be implemented as a way to communicate earning potential to prospective employees.  Teachers would have the ability to move their way up the scale by achieving professional development benchmarks.  The board said they will consider the proposal but first want to evaluate the financial impact that it could have on the district and its likely sustainability.  Randolph may look to the Beaver Dam School District as their system is very similar to the proposed idea.


Final Meeting in Deer Population Series Tonight


12/16/14 – The Dodge County Deer Advisory Council will hold its third and final meeting in a series pertaining to local deer population tonight.  At the meeting, the council plans to review public feedback on its proposal that the deer population in the area should increase.  That suggestion was made at the council’s last meeting in October.  Following the public’s chance to weigh in on the matter, the council will finalize its recommendation to the Natural Resources Board.  The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will take place at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center.


Juneau Teen Identified In Fatal Weekend Wreck


12/16/14 – The name of the 17-year-old rural Juneau boy who died in a rollover accident Saturday night in the Town of Lowell has been released. Dodge County Sheriff’s officials say Austin Reifsnider was driving south on County Highway G, north of Highway 16/60 when he failed to negotiate a curve. His 2008 Chevy went off the roadway and rolled over. He died at the scene. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle.


Driver Injured in Town of Trenton Vehicle Accident


12/16/14 – Dodge County authorities responded to an accident that closed down both lanes of Highway 33 for about three-and-a-half hours yesterday afternoon. The accident occurred between Hemlock and Breezy Point Roads just outside Beaver Dam in the Town of Trenton at 2:25pm. The vehicle was traveling southbound from Fox Lake when the wreck occurred. The jaws-of-life were needed to remove the driver who was transported by EMS.