News – March 8, 2016

Beaver Dam Paves Way For Business Park Occupants


3/8/16 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved a series of resolutions that pave the way for three potential occupants in its newest business park along with major infrastructure work and a new Tax Increment Finance district. The council approved developer agreements with WDS Construction, Vintage Parts and GG Barnett Companies – all existing industries in the city that will be expanding into the new 151 Business Park on the northwest side of town. As an incentive, each company is being offered the parcels for one dollar. The largest purchaser is GG Barnett Companies and its subsidiary Beaver Dam Cold Storage, which is expected to add over $9.25-million to the tax base and will get ten-percent of that back in incentives – estimated in excess of $925-thousand dollars but capped at $1-million dollars. Owner Greg Barnett says he plans to construct a 130-thousand square-foot building on 22-acres for a refrigerated, cold-storage facility. The new facility is expected to bring up to 25 new jobs and joins a cold storage building south of Beaver Dam that employs eight people. WDS Construction had planned on moving into the Lakeside Business Park off Corporate Drive but the council last night allowed WDS to instead acquire seven acres in the new park. Owner Ben Westra says he is planning for a 28-thousand square foot corporate headquarters with an estimated value of $4-million dollars.  Vintage Auto Parts is looking to expand onto 13-acres, building a 124-thousand square foot structure valued at $4.2-million dollars.


TIF Planned For Beaver Dam’s New Business Park


3/8/16 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night hired MSA Professional Services to begin the process of creating TIF #7 on the footprint of the new 151 Business Park. City Finance Director John Somers says TIF #7 is currently part of the much larger TIF #4 that is due to expire in four years. Somers says the city will be able to use the remaining funds in TIF #4 to perform infrastructure work in the new TIF #7 while also utilizing the new tax base for future needs. The city will use tax increment from the current TIF District #4 to install temporary roads in the next month so the new businesses can start construction in the vacant park. By September, the more TIF #4 dollars will be used to install permanent infrastructure – like roads, water and sanitary sewer. Revenue from the new TIF will pay the million dollar incentive for Beaver Dam Cold Storage along with additional needed infrastructure in the park and possibly even road improvements in the immediate area around the park. The hope is to have the new TIF in place by the end of the year.


Beaver Dam Approves Borrowing For 2016


3/8/16 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night adopted the city’s five-year Capital Improvements Plan. The CIP, as it’s called, lays out infrastructure improvement needs, street repairs and major equipment purchases over the next five years while outlining a specific borrowing plan for the current year. The city has been acting under a council-adopted policy for several years that limits borrowing to no more than $1.6 million per year. The cap was championed by Council President Jon Litscher in 2010 who tells us it may be time to revisit the self-imposed cap to adjust for inflation. The city has no complete road reconstruction planned for the next two years. City Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says there is still plenty of work being done. This year’s CIP includes $275-thousand dollars for the reconstruction of the Third Street parking lot following the demolition of the former senior center and the construction of a state-DNR mandated water filtration pond; South University Avenue from Stone Street to the city limits will be pulverized and repaved at a cost of $110-thousand dollars; East Burnett from North University to McKinley Street will see mill and overlay at a cost of $300-thousand dollars.


Beaver Dam Borrows Part Of Water Rescue Hovercraft


3/8/16 – The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night voted to borrow $52-thousand dollars of the $75-thousand dollar cost of a water rescue hovercraft for the fire department. The fire chief says the current hovercraft has saved three lives but is 16 years old and, while currently working, is “unreliable.” The city has been asking lakefront townships and now the county to cover the remaining 25-percent of the hovercraft. Mayor Tom Kennedy says hopefully there will be resolution with the other parties so that the item could be purchased. The city attorney says the delay in purchasing is a statutory issue that has not yet been resolved.  The lakefront townships contend a water rescue team is the responsibility of the county. Sheriff Dale Schmidt argues that would be a waste of taxpayer dollars since a county team would duplicate services already offered in a more timely fashion by Beaver Dam.


Dodge Co. Water Rescue Team Could Cost $500,000


3/8/16 – In his presentation to the Dodge County Executive Committee yesterday, Sheriff Dale Schmidt said it would cost his department roughly $500,000 to create and train a county-wide water rescue dive team.  Schmidt believes that would be a poor use of taxpayer dollars since the Beaver Dam Fire Department has a rescue team that can respond far quicker than the proposed county-wide team in Juneau.  Debate started last fall when the City of Beaver Dam asked the five townships that contract fire services with the city to pay 25-percent of the cost for new rescue equipment, including a boat and hovercraft to replace the current, aging water vehicles.  The townships said the county should pick up the cost, possibly by using revenues from its half-a-percent sales tax.  During yesterday’s presentation, Sheriff Schmidt said Dodge County is fulfilling its obligation to conduct rescue operations as it can call upon dive teams from local fire departments and six of seven neighboring counties.  Town of Beaver Dam Board Member Jeff Schmitt says the county should contribute funds since water rescue is the sheriff’s responsibility.  Schmitt believes it is strange that almost all the sheriff’s offices in neighboring counties have dive teams while Dodge County does not.  County Administrator Jim Mielke says he backs the sheriff’s stance as Dodge County is fulfilling all water rescue requirements listed in state statute.  The Dodge County Board plans to discuss the matter this spring.


Name Released In Dodge County Weekend Fatal Accident


3/8/16 – The name of the driver who died in Saturday’s single vehicle accident in the Town of Herman has been released.  23-year-old Alan Heider of New Berlin reportedly failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Highway DW and Idaho Road.  The SUV struck a tree and caught on fire.  Heider was pronounced dead at the scene.


Bond Set For Friesland Man Accused Of Beating Girlfriend


3/8/16 – Cash bond was set at $10,000 in a Columbia County courtroom yesterday for a Friesland man accused of beating his girlfriend.  Justin Bryce is facing five felony counts; two Battery, two Strangulation, and one False Imprisonment, along with six misdemeanors.  According to a press release from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the department received a call in the early hours of March 3 reporting an injured, naked woman going door-to-door screaming for help.  She said Bryce strangled, hit, and kicked her before threatening to kill her with a knife.  The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for lacerations, bruises, a black eye, and a broken bone in her neck.  The 26-year-old allegedly beat her multiple times over the span of a few weeks.  A preliminary hearing is set for March 17.


Man Accused Of Watertown Assault Has Bond Set


3/8/16 – A Jefferson man accused of having inappropriate contact with an underage girl in Watertown while she was sleeping had bond set at $1,000 yesterday.  Vincent Nunez is facing one felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of an Unconscious Victim.  The victim says she awoke last November to find the 19-year-old trying to assault her.  If he is found guilty, Nunez faces up to 40 years in prison.  A preliminary hearing is set for April 28.


Bond Set For Neosho Man Accused Of Attacking Minor


3/8/16 – Bond was set at $1,000 yesterday for a Neosho man accused of throwing a child down a flight of stairs in Watertown.  Anthony Owen is facing one felony count of Child Abuse.  According to the criminal complaint, the 42-year-old was intoxicated when he attacked the underage victim after an argument in January.  Owen says he was defending himself after the child started pushing him.  If he is found guilty, Owen faces up to six years in prison.  A preliminary hearing is set for April 28.


Horicon Man Accused Of Attacking Nurses Has Bond Set


3/8/16 – Bond was set at $1,000 yesterday for a Horicon man accused of acting out against two nurses.  Dustin Burton faces one felony count of Battery to an Emergency Worker along with two misdemeanors.  According to the criminal complaint, the 37-year-old was taken to the hospital last August after he told a dispatcher he wanted to kill himself while mixing Oxycodone and alcohol.  Once at the hospital, Burton demanded pain medication.  When he did not receive it, Burton allegedly spat on one nurse and caused bruising to another nurse’s hand and forearm.  If he is found guilty on all counts, Burton faces up to seven years in prison.  A preliminary hearing is set for April 28.