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News & Notes: Sept. 4

Sept. 4, 2013

Board discusses

establishing fund balance

River Hills — The River Hills Village Board in August discussed passing a resolution to establish a target fund balance.

The discussion was sparked by the 2012 comprehensive financial report conducted by accounting firm Reilly, Penner & Benton. Most municipalities have a target they try to hit for a fund balance and River Hills does not, Village Manager Chris Lear said.

The fund balance target will be a future discussion. As far as the 2012 audit is concerned, Lear said the financial condition of the community is healthy.

"It shows we have been fairly conservative with long-term debt and borrowing," he said. "It was a very good audit and the village is in a very good financial position."

Thiensville hosting

business forum

Thiensville — The Thiensville Business Renaissance Commission is holding an upcoming forum to chart the village's strategy for stimulating growth and development, according to a TBRC news release.

More than 100 developers, commercial Realtors, bankers, local business owners and public officials are expected to attend the forum, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Watermark at Shully's, 146 Green Bay Road. Village officials will offer an overview of the current business climate in Thiensville and the steps taken to encourage future development.

"We're upgrading our infrastructure, improving the look and feel of our main business corridor, and working proactively with developers to bring the right mix of business to our community," Village President Van Mobley said in the release. "The forum will help us showcase and celebrate these efforts."

The forum is invite-only. Those who have not received an invitation but are interested in potentially doing business in Thiensville can request an invitation from Greg Steinbrenner at greg.steinbrenner@gmail.com.

River Hills reviews

dispatch agreement

River Hills — The River Hills Village Board in September will vote on a new, 10-year, joint dispatch agreement with Bayside.

River Hill's original 10-year dispatch agreement with Bayside has expired. Since the original contract, Bayside has begun to contract with the other North Shore communities for joint dispatch. River Hills' new agreement will mirror the others. There will not be any operational changes, Village Manager Chris Lear said. There was a minor increase in cost, Lear said, to account for increases to the cost of living.

The Village Board was presented with the contract at its August board meeting. Board members wanted to take time to compare the old contract with the new and plan to move it forward at the September meeting.

Paper Source

opening in Bayshore

Glendale — Boutique paper retailer Paper Source is set to open a new location at Bayshore Town Center on Sept. 20.

The upscale paperie offers papers, invitations and announcements, gifts, gift wrap, greeting cards, custom stamps, as well as envelopes and cards.

In a news release, Paper Source spokeswoman Jennifer Stinnett said the company's mission is "to inspire you to do something creative every day — to spark ideas and celebrate life's moments with beauty, humor, originality and personal expression."

Paper Source is located on Northshore Drive, across the street from California Pizza Kitchen and next door to Express.

School Board approves additions to budget

Shorewood — The Shorewood School District continues to update its proposed 2013-14 budget as more pieces of the puzzle are revealed.

The School Board last week approved some expense additions to its approximately $14.6 million budget, following an update from Interim Business Manager Erik Kass.

Additions were made possible in light of state per pupil revenue increases of just over $250,000, as well as anticipated expense reductions of about $62,000 achieved through a decrease in business insurance costs, a zero increase in dental insurance premiums, the elimination of premium waivers and the administrative transition at the high school.

Additional expenses in the amount of nearly $280,000 were approved, which includes funding for a total of three additional teacher, aide and guidance counselor positions, separate Shorewood Intermediate School principal and special education director positions, data support specialist hours for development, staff training, an Open Enrollment payment reconciliation and Health Reimbursement Account deductible contribution for active employees, which would begin in January 2014.

The budget anticipates enrollment at 1,685 students, Kass noted, but actual enrollment will not be determined until the official enrollment count is conducted the third Friday in September.

Figures also are based upon an anticipated teacher salary increase of 2 percent, which board President Rob Reinhoffer said the board could re-evaluate at the request of Shorewood Education Association representative Sachin Pandya, to ensure it is an adequate amount to cover teachers' step and lane changes, in addition to accounting for a cost of living increase.

Knights of Columbus

honored by School Board

Brown Deer — The Brown Deer School Board last week thanked and honored the Knights of Columbus with a certificate for giving their annual donation to the School District.

Bob Moranski with the Knights of Columbus accepted the honor and said that as long as he is a Knight, he will see that donations are made to the district.

"It's an honor to see the good things happening in Brown Deer," Moranski told the School Board.

School Board approves

hiring slew of new employees

Brown Deer — The Brown Deer School Board last week approved the hiring of a slew of new employees.

The new hires are as follows: Judy Button, elementary school paraprofessional; Linda Cram, part-time ecology/environmental sciences teacher; Nicole Dake, educational interpreter; Sara Ford, math intervention specialist; Brittney Garcia, elementary paraprofessional; William Gartzke, elementary paraprofessional; Tim Hayden, high school cross categorical teacher; Scott Henderson, elementary cross categorical teacher; Cheryl Lewis, third-grade teacher; Heather Morgan, elementary paraprofessional; Yuepend Soung, high school science teacher; Catherine Troyer, part-time elementary music teacher; and Renee Wallschlaeger, high school English and reading teacher.

Superintendent Deb Kerr said they succeeded in hiring diverse staff to better match diversity among the students. Among the new hires were Hmong, Hispanic, African-American and Asian educators. The School Board commended these efforts.

Brown Deer plans to take

new budgeting approach

Brown Deer — Village staff and officials will be honing in on the top priorities for Brown Deer as the village prepares to shift its approach to budgeting.

In a presentation to the Village Board, Village Manager Michael Hall explained that the commonly used incremental budgeting approach is better replaced by priority-based budgeting during times of flat or declining revenue.

The philosophy of priority-based budgeting, according to Hall's presentation, is that resources should be allocated according to how effectively a program or service achieves the goals and objectives of the community. The shift to this approach will require the board to identify its most important strategic priorities, rank programs or services with how well they align with those priorities and then allocate funding accordingly.

The transition will take time, Hall noted, and it is likely that the village's 2014 budget planning will focus strictly on the aspects of identifying available resources and priorities. Some of the priorities mentioned by board members on Monday included focusing on the economic development and marketing of the village, and addressing blighted properties and property maintenance, including possible development of a code enforcement department.

Hall also outlined some of his 2014 budget-related goals for the village, including being more transparent, efficient and creative, and presented six main village priorities, taking into consideration the village's comprehensive plan, as follows: community and neighborhood livability, culture and recreation, economic health, high-performing government, safe community and transportation.

Priorities will be further discussed and determined by the board in the future, with the priority-based budgeting steps to be implemented gradually.

Nominations being accepted for award

Brown Deer — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Touching Lives award, presented by Horizon Home Care & Hospice, a nonprofit licensed, full service home care agency and hospice provider. The award honors those individuals who've made a lasting impact on improving the lives of others through their efforts.

Visit horizonhch.com/events/touchinglives.asp for a nomination form or contact Kelly Andrew at kelly.andrew@hhch.net or call (414) 586-6268. Nominations are due by Sept. 6.

Board considers creating

rummage sale ordinance

Brown Deer — Brown Deer is planning to create an ordinance regulating rummage and yard sales, to help address the issue of groups and residents from other communities holding sales within the village.

Trustee Terry Boschert brought the issue to the Village Board after recently observing a rummage sale being held in Brown Deer by an organization based in another community.

Village Attorney John Fuchs said he did not recommend requiring licenses or registration fees for rummage sales, but suggested an ordinance that would be complaint-based and would specify regulations for the frequency and hours of rummage sales, for example.

Police Chief Steven Rinzel said the village does encounter problems with rummagers who have continual sales on their properties, and described the regulations currently in place to deal with the issue as being incredibly time consuming, which could be resolved with an ordinance.

Fuchs said he would provide examples of similar ordinances in place in other communities and work with the board to draft a suitable ordinance for the village.

Horizon Home Care

expands Ozaukee unit

Mequon — Horizon Home Care & Hospice's renovated and expanded in-patient hospice unit at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee reopened Aug. 8.

The expansion was made possible through a $1 million gift from the Lawlis Family Fund through the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The renovated unit reopened as the Lawlis Family Hospice.

The renovation included expanding the size of each of the unit's 14 patient rooms by nearly 40 square feet, adding natural light to family/gathering spaces and creating nature views and outdoor space with the addition of a patio overlooking the nearby prairie. New amenities include a luxury shower room, refrigerators in each patient room and WIFI access. Overall the project added 400√ square feet to the three year-old hospice unit, bringing the total space to 13,400 square feet. Construction was managed by C.G. Schmidt.

Thiensville's estimated

population dips slightly

Thiensville — The Thiensville Village Board approved the Wisconsin Department of Administration's estimated population figure of 3,223 for 2013.

The number represents a slight decrease from prior years. In the official 2010 Census, 3,235 people were recorded as having lived in the village.

A year ago, the village attempted unsuccessfully to challenge the DOA. The state agency reported 3,228 people lived in Thiensville, but village officials asked for the number to be reconsidered since there were a number of families moving into the community.

Village to discuss handling

library's financial reporting

Thiensville — The Thiensville Village Board is expected to discuss a proposal to oversee financial reporting at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting.

The village has recently been approached about handling the administrative task on behalf of the Library Board overseeing the Mequon-based Weyenberg facility, which serves Mequon and Thiensville residents.

Board members had varied viewpoints during a brief discussion at a meeting. Many had concerns a community the size of Thiensville, with limited staffing, would be able to handle the task.

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