News- June 19, 2015

Funds To Fight Phosphorous Limits Reaching Limit


6/19/15 – Lawyers representing the city of Beaver Dam in a fight against phosphorous reductions from its wastewater treatment plant have used most of the funds the city council directed toward the effort. Last July, the council opted to fight a permitting process that would restrict how much phosphorus goes into the Beaver Dam River. That’s because if the city is required to reduce the phosphorous, new regulations would be imposed that would force Beaver Dam taxpayers to pay nearly $13-million dollars for upgrades to their already new treatment plant along with $5-million in annual operating costs.  That’s according to Utility Director Don Quarford who says it’s part of a state permitting process that would unfairly affect the city because of the size of the treatment plant and its location to the lake, river and dam. Smaller communities on waterways, like Fox Lake for example, are not being held to the same standard and Quarford says much of the phosphorous is coming from upstream before it even gets to Beaver Dam. The city council hired a law firm last July at a cost of up to $100-thousand dollars to fight the limits. Quarford says that money is 75-percent depleted and he may need to come back before the council for direction. Last month, the state D-N-R said it would cost seven-billion-dollars for sewage plants to reduce phosphorus from their effluent over the next 20 years.  About 600 Wisconsin business-and-municipal sewage treatment plants would be affected.  The state is asking the federal E-P-A to slow down the adopting of new state phosphorus regulations set in 2010. Last year, the legislature agreed to let plant owners seek extensions of up to 20 years on meeting the standards.  To get those extensions, the state needs to prove to Washington that the limits pose economic burdens on the affected treatment plants.


Prairie Ridge Looking To Build Senior Home In Mayville


6/19/15 – A local developer is looking to bring a new senior home to Dodge County.  Michael Eisenga’s Columbus-based Prairie Ridge Assisted Living announced this week that it is looking to build a new location in Mayville near the TAG Center.  Prairie Ridge Spokesman Mike Flaherty says the facility hopes to provide a higher quality of living at a lower cost.  Flaherty says his company did a region-wide study that showed Mayville has a growing senior citizen population.  The planned building would be a 40,000 square foot, Craftsman-style facility with 36 apartments, common areas, a private dining room, a chapel, a movie theatre, and an exercise room.  In addition to that, Flaherty says Prairie Ridge offers varying levels of care that can be adjusted at any time based on the person’s changing needs.  Flaherty expects Mayville’s Planning Commission to meet next month to discuss the proposal.  Each 500-square foot apartment would cost roughly $3,600 per month to rent. The project is in the bidding process and is expected to cost $5,000,000-$6,000,000 to construct.    If the city gives its approval, Flaherty says the plan is to break ground in either late summer or early fall and for the facility to open next spring.


Fall River Schools Superintendent Search Underway


6/19/15 – The Fall River School Board has begun searching for a new school superintendent. District Administrator Kellie Manning resigned in May and the board will be using a search firm to find her replacement. Board President Keith Miller said the schools have already received a dozen letters and applications from educators seeking to fill the top post in the district. Former District Administrator Steve Rubert is acting as interim superintendent while the school board continues to work on filling the administrative position.


Beaver Dam’s 20th Annual Relay For Life Event Starts Tonight


6/19/15 – Beaver Dam’s annual Relay for Life kicks off tonight.  The opening ceremony starts at 6 pm, and the event is once again being held at the Beaver Dam High School track.  Event Organizer Kristin Fabisch says In honor of this being the 30th anniversary of Relay for Life, the theme is ‘Beat It: Flashback to the ‘80’s.’  She hopes to bring back as many caregivers as possible from the past twenty years to give the opening ceremony a bit of a twist.  In addition to this being the event’s 30th anniversary, it also marks the 20th year of relay in Beaver Dam.  To mark the milestone, Fabisch says the fundraising goal this year is $110-thousand dollars.  Once the 80 campsites are set up and the event has been underway for a few hours, Fabisch says a luminaria ceremony is held to remember those who are not at this year’s event.  White and purple bags that honor patients and caregivers, respectively, are lit and lined up around the track.  That will be at 10 pm.  The event wraps up with a closing ceremony tomorrow at 8 am.


State Budget Progress Lagging


6/19/15 – It’s been three weeks since majority Republicans made any progress toward finalizing the next state budget.  Assembly G-O-P finance chair John Nygren said his panel could meet next week to wrap up a package that would be submitted to the Legislature.  But that timetable is in doubt, after Republican leaders took their some of their biggest disagreements public the past two days.  Nygren and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos took Senate G-O-P finance chair Alberta Darling to task, for refusing to delay an already-started reconstruction of Milwaukee’s zoo freeway interchange.  Vos said the proposed cuts in highway borrowing — and its corresponding projects — should be spread equally throughout the state.  But Darling said any delays in re-working the state’s busiest freeway interchange would hurt traffic safety and affect commerce.  And she publicly accused her fellow Republicans in the Assembly of pressing for Senate support of increases in the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.  Vos and Nygren denied it, saying they’ve never brought up a gas tax hike — and a registration fee increase was scrapped after Walker made it clear he would not go along with it.   They called Darling’s remarks “disingenuous,” but she stood by them late yesterday. Meanwhile, Nygren said it would be “helpful” if Governor Scott Walker could enter the Republicans’ budget discussions.  The potential White House candidate worked on budget matters yesterday after returning from his trade mission to Canada.  Democrats said the G-O-P’s public spats raised questions about their ability to govern.  Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach of Middleton said Walker’s “absent leadership” is the “root cause” for the budget delays.


BDPD Searching For Attempted Burglary Suspect


6/19/15 – A would-be burglar was scared off after neighbors found the suspect breaking into a Beaver Dam apartment. It happened Wednesday afternoon at 1pm on the 800 block of South Center Street. The witness reportedly chased the suspect from the premises and he ran toward Hupf’s Repair.  The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s with dark hair last seen wearing blue jeans and a white shirt with a blue stripe on the left side. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Beaver Dam Police Department.


FDL Firefighters Involved In Dispute Over Unpaid Food


6/19/15 – A Fond du Lac restaurant has apologized, after it demanded that fire-fighters pay for food they ordered but couldn’t eat because they had to go put out back-to-back fires.  The Fond du Lac Reporter said a half-dozen fire-fighters ordered fish fries from the Cool River Sports Grill on June 5th, but couldn’t pick up the meals after extinguishing the two fires.  Division chief Troy Haase said they called several times to cancel the order — but they wouldn’t accept it, and one employee demanded that they pay the 80-dollar bill.  A lieutenant did so on Monday, saying he rejected the restaurant’s offer to cut the bill in half. Meanwhile, a woman wrote about the matter on Facebook Monday — and it was shared by hundreds of people.  The restaurant apologized the next day on its Facebook page, and restaurant owner Marilyn Kirchner met with Fond du Lac’s fire chief on Wednesday.  She the situation “wasn’t handled quite properly,” and she blamed social media for taking the issue “on a life of its own.”  Chief Peter O’Leary called it a “non-issue,” and is ready to put the episode behind them.