News – March 18, 2009

Prayer Resolution Tabled by Board of Supervisors

3/18/09 – In an effort to avoid any potential future legal issues, a resolution to allow for prayer at the beginning of the Dodge County Board of Supervisors meetings was tabled last night to allow the county’s corporation counsel to finish investigating and creating a similar but more specific set of parameters for the prayer. Supervisor Eugene Wurtz’ resolution would have allowed for a non-sectarian prayer performed on a rotating basis by local clergy. Before the resolution was tabled by a vote of 29 to 7, Wurtz encouraged his fellow supervisors to vote their convictions and allow for the board to get back to the business for which they were elected. The Executive Committee will review the resolution put forth by corporation counsel at their meeting in April and possibly forward it to the full board for approval.

Fox Lake to Discuss Consolidation of Police Department

3/18/09 – The Fox Lake Common Council will discuss a proposal by Sheriff Todd Nehls to consolidate its police department with the Town of Fox Lake and the village of Randolph at their meeting tonight. In a letter to officials from all three municipalities, Nehls suggested consolidation to allow for 24/7 coverage of the area. He said the resignation of Fox Lake Police Chief Pat Lynch last month provides an opportunity for officials to engage in consolidation talks as a service to taxpayers in eliminating some redundancies in the departments during a time of higher taxes and lower revenues. The council is also expected to talk about the Waupun School District budget cuts passed earlier this week that will close Fox Lake Elementary.

Alcohol a Factor in Two Crashes Yesterday

3/18/09 – St. Patrick’s Day saw two serious crashes that resulted in a number of people in the hospital and two men being arrested for OWI. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the first accident occurred on County Trunk O near Harding Street in the Town of Ashippun, when 57-year-old Danny P. Gallo lost control of his vehicle and ran off the roadway. He was taken to the Oconomowoc Hospital and later flown to Froedert Hospital near Milwaukee. Authorities cited him for his first OWI. Later last evening, two people needed medical attention a crash in the Town of Portland. The Sheriff’s Department says Waterloo EMS transported the two after they were involved in a crash on County Trunk I near County Trunk T just after 7p.m. 31-year-old Landon Gaines was arrested for OWI 2nd offense. No word on the severity of the injuries in either wreck.

Columbus Holds Public Hearing on Assessments

3/18/09 – Last night’s Columbus Public Hearing on Assessments for the residents living in the

Williams Street and Dawn Court area drew some lively debate. Residents said that homeowners were being asked to pay a larger percent of the proposed costs because the City had not done the job right during the area’s development. Council Member Darrell Augustine agreed that the City should be paying a higher share of the $380 thousand dollar improvement project. How to spread the project cost assessments fairly will be a topic for continued discussion at next week’s Council session.

Columbus Council Discusses Udey Dam

3/18/09 – The Columbus Council voted on three issues last night that will finally begin action on the “eventual rehabilitation OR removal of the Udey Dam.” The Council voted unanimously on accepting General Engineering as their engineering partner. They also approved drafting of a State grant proposal for “repair” of the Dam. However, the Mayor had to break a 3 to 3 tie vote to approve submission of a grant proposal for “removal” of the Dam. The gates to the dam have been removed since a 2004 flood event on the Crawfish River in Columbus.