News – November 8, 2011

Beaver Dam Balances Budget With One-Time Fix

11/8/11 – The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee last night found a way to balance the 2012 budget without having to increase health insurance deductibles for the city’s police and fire personnel. Officials went into the meeting having to trim around $127,000. With little support for layoffs, furlough days and delaying payments on debt service, city officials were saying they were out of options. After voting down plans to decrease mayoral and aldermanic salaries, the committee zeroed-in on some one-time accounting maneuvers that would cover the shortfall. Director of Administration John Somers says the city projecting an $80,000 surplus from this year, which can be applied to next years tax levy. Some of the savings comes from unused money in the snow plowing fund but Somers says other savings came as the result of collective bargaining reforms. Another $40,000 is coming from a one-time opportunity from the state that allows municipalities that had not maxed-out their allowable tax levy in previous years to collect additional revenues if approved by resolution. Several firefighters were in the audience at last night’s committee meeting. Committee Chair Don Neuert cautioned that the new found money may have only been a one-time fix and the issue could very well come up again next year. The total proposed budget is $13.7 million dollars, of which the city plans to levy for $8.4 million, that’s an increase of four-and-a-quarter-percent (4.25%) or roughly $342,000 higher than the current budget. The estimated mill rate is $8.26, up 39 cents from this year. The public hearing and consideration of the 2012 budget on the council floor will be on Monday, November 21.

BD Holds First Reading on Concealed Carry

11/8/11 – The Beaver Dam Common Council held first reading last night on an ordinance that would prohibit concealed weapons inside city buildings. City attorney Mary Ann Schacht says it modeled after similar ordinances in other communities that are restricting firearms in public buildings. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held when the ordinance comes up for a second and final reading during the Common Council’s next regularly scheduled meeting in two weeks on Monday, November 21. A copy of the ordinance can be found here:

Beaver Dam Extends Contract With Building Inspector

11/8/11 – The Beaver Dam Common Council last night approved a six-year contract extension with its current building inspector. The contract with Wisconsin Building Inspections calls for the company to keep all of the revenue generated from building permit fees up to $100,000. The city would get 10% of revenue generated between $100,000 and $200,000 and split everything 50-50 after that. Under the previous contract, the city did not see any money until $200,000 in fees was collected. The average collected from building permit fees over the past five years is $210,000. The city will continue to keep 100% of the money generated from code violations.

MacNeill Selected as Chief in Mayville

11/8/11 – Captain Chris MacNeill is now the Chief of Police in Mayville. That’s after the Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved his appointment last night. MacNeill has been with the department for about the past 11 years and had been serving as the acting chief since the beginning of this past summer. PFC President Mike Schmidt says MacNeill was the entire commission’s first choice and feels the decision was made even easier after MacNeill took over as acting chief and “galvanized” the department and raised the morale. MacNeill replaces Bill Linzenmeyer who retired earlier this year after 37-years on the job.

DCSO K9 Team On The Beat

11/8/11 – Dodge County Patrol Captain Molly Soblewski says the first month of the Sheriff’s Department new K-9 team has been (quote) “fantastic.” She says the two dogs have been out on

numerous calls and in three schools already. There have been seven successful “sniffs” with drugs being found. The dogs also were able to track down a driver who had left the scene of a traffic crash, and the man was arrested. Soblewski says she expects the dogs and their deputy handlers to continue to improve as they get more experience together. The dogs were sworn-in at the Dodge County Fair in August but were not fully certified until last month.

Oconomowoc Woman Accused of Stealing From Ashippun BP

11/8/11 – An Oconomowoc woman faces felony Theft charges for allegedly stealing over $5000 from the gas station where she worked. Jessica Benning is accused of taking cash, cigarettes and other items from the Ashippun BP over a nine-month period ending in September. Management was tipped-off to the theft from an anonymous tip. The 21-year-old reportedly admitted the thefts to investigators and said she leaned a trick with the cash register to cover her tracks from a former employee. The charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence upon conviction. Benning had a signature bond set at $1000 during an initial hearing yesterday in Dodge County court and will be back in court later this month to see if there is enough evidence for her to proceed to trial.

50 Dogs Rescued From Green Lake County House

11/8/11 – About 50 dogs that suffered ringworm have been removed from a woman’s home near Green Lake. They’re quarantined and housed separately at the Green Lake Area Animal Shelter. Sheriff’s and health officials acted on an anonymous tip when they visited the woman’s home last Thursday. According to shelter manager Janine Ruback, the woman agreed to give up 37 Toy Fox Terriers and Terrier-Chihuahua mixes. Ruback said the woman apparently never intended to have so many dogs. She had done some breeding in the past. And Ruback said she tried to end the process, but could not afford to spay and neuter all those pets. The Green Lake Animal Shelter will be looking for groups to help treat and the dogs and neuter them.

Signs Damaged In Beaver Dam

11/8/11 – There was damage reported to two signs in separate incidents in Beaver Dam over the weekend. The flashing road sign on Madison Street that alerts northbound motorists of a sharp curve over the Beaver Dam River was found to be snapped-off at the base. It was discovered early Sunday morning. There was no evidence left at the scene. In addition, a 33-year-old Mayville man was cited for Inattentive Driving on Friday afternoon after crashing into the Murray Funeral Home sign at the intersection of North Lincoln and East Maple Avenue.

Democratic Party of DC Gearing Up For Recall

11/8/11 – The Democratic Party of Dodge County is getting ready to help an effort to recall Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. The organization plans to officially open headquarters in Beaver Dam next Tuesday at 116 Monroe Street. Those wishing to sign the petitions to recall Walker and Kleefisch are being invited to come to the office on November 15th from 9 a-m to 9 p-m. After that, the office will be open Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p-m and from 10 a-m to 6 p-m on the weekend. Walker and Kleefisch are being targeted for their support of the law that virtually ended collective bargaining for local and state employees.

Four-Hour Training Requirement Nixed

11/8/11 – Wisconsin legislators have voted to scrap the four-hour training requirement for those who want to carry concealed weapons. The Legislature’s Rules Committee voted 6-to-2 Monday not to set a minimum time length for the training. All Republicans voted yes, and both Democrats voted no. The weapons’ training is part of the concealed carry law which took effect sevendays ago. But as Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder pointed out, lawmakers did not specify a minimum time period. He said the Legislature’s intent was to leave it up to the applicants to determine how much training they need. Attorney General J-B Van Hollen angered the National Rifle Association by drafting a four-hour training mandate last month. Van Hollen said yesterday that his department will probably have to accept any training certificate in a request for a concealed carry permit – and some of them might be bogus, and awarded after just a few minutes of instructions. Governor Scott Walker will have the final say. He approved the four-hour training period last month, but only because he didn’t want to hold up the law’s implementation. Walker said he wanted requirement dropped in the permanent rules he’ll act on next year.