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News & Notes: May 5

May 5, 2010

More construction ahead in the Bay

Whitefish Bay - Contracts for reconstruction of two additional segments of North Fairmount Avenue were awarded by the Village Board on Monday.

Vinton Construction was awarded a contract for $1,951,692 for reconstruction of Fairmount Avenue from Lydell Avenue to Diversey Boulevard. Super Excavators was awarded a $1,784,985 contract for the portion from Marlborough Drive to Lake Drive. The contract for the remaining piece of the road was awarded last month.

Village seeks residents interested in finance

Brown Deer - If you have an interest in finance, the village is interested in hearing from you. Village Manager Russell Van Gompel said the village needs some residents with an interest in finances to serve on its Finance and Public Works Committee.

The committee, which meets once a month, reviews all aspects of the municipal financial picture, from vouchers to contracts to the annual budget. Van Gompel said there is at least one vacancy, possibly two, on the committee.

To apply, go to the village website, browndeerwi.org. Click on the government tab and then on committees in the drop down tab to download an application.

Sendik's to expand in Whitefish Bay

Whitefish Bay - Sendik's Food Market will add a new entrance to its store at 5623 N. Lake Drive. A 1,113 square-foot bump out with doors on the east and west side will ease congestion at the front of the store. Two parking spaces will be lost as a result of the addition. The Plan Commission approved the plan last week.

First stage of Atwater Park plan to move ahead

Shorewood - The Village Board on Monday approved spending $18,000 from its Capital Reserve Fund to investigate grants for engineering studies for piers for the park, to engineer and design plans for the boardwalk and to fund two meetings between park consultant JJR, Giles and Bonestroo. Giles and Bonestroo are working on short-term strategies for bluff stabilization while JJR has developed the master plan for the park.

Village does not plan to renew BritInn liquor license

Shorewood - The BritInn, 4473 N. Oakland Ave., heavily damaged by fire more than a year ago, holds a village liquor license that expires June 30 and will not be renewed. The Village Board conditionally issued the Class B Beer and Class B Intoxicating Liquor licenses a year ago. The licenses were tied to the North Shore Fire Department, Shorewood-Whitefish Bay Health Department and building inspector approval of the premises and a requirement that an occupancy permit be issued within this year.

The BritInn has not been repaired or restored and, therefore, the board on Monday said it does not plan to reissue the license.

Library director coming back to Brown Deer

Brown Deer - Village Manager Russ Van Gompel announced Monday that Joe Rice will return as director of Brown Deer Library on May 10.

Rice, who resigned April 6 to take a job as director of the Colleton County, S.C., library, asked for his old job back after deciding the Colleton job was a poor fit for him.

Van Gompel said the Library Board approved his request Monday afternoon.

The village had posted the position and 16 people applied before the closing date April 30. The other applicants will be notified the job is no longer vacant, Van Gompel said.

Parents group to hold talk on Internet safety

Mequon - The Positive Parent Involvement of Mequon/Thiensville organization will host a program on Internet safety. The event is open only to parents and adults.

The discussion, led by guest speaker Eric Szatkowski, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. May 19 in the auditorium at Homestead High School, 5000 W. Mequon Road.

Szatkowski has been a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation since 1991. More recently, he has been assigned to the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Milwaukee.

BDHS science students give presentation at national event

Brown Deer - More than a dozen Brown Deer High School students recently attended an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Convention in Anaheim, Calif. The event was part of the students' involvement in studying pyruvate carboxylase, a molecule that could eventually be used to control type II diabetes.

Members of the school's science-themed SMART Team were the only students invited to speak on their findings at the nationwide event. BDHS science teacher Gina Vogt is adviser of the team and accompanied the students at the convention.

Members on this year's BDHS Smart Team are Amanda Arnold, Sam Bach, Andrew Faught, Eric Frisch, Alex Her, Austen Keller, Erica Kennedy, David McMurray, Charlie Mitch, Carlos Orozco, Collin Rice, Alana Rodgers, Andreas Sauer, Amanda Schulman, Aaron Suggs, Kim Surfus and Shavon Tucker.

Milwaukee County to staff Atwater Beach with lifeguards

Shorewood - Milwaukee County will provide lifeguards for Atwater Beach at a cost of $13,500. The Village Board agreed to the contract with the county which will provide the lifeguards from June 19 to Aug. 15. The village has $8,000 in its budget for the guards. Village Manager Chris Swartz said he could make adjustments to other accounts to bring the total to $13,500.

School Board OKs boiler, roofing projects

Brown Deer - The School Board on Monday approved capital improvement projects related to replacing boilers and roofs.

Aging boilers at Brown Deer Middle School and the District Administration Center are slated for replacement at a cost of $182,543, while roof work at Brown Deer High School and the ACS has been planned at a cost of $623,495.

The district went out for bid on both projects, and the board selected the lowest bidder in both instances.

Facilities Manager Robert Pocza said the capital work is necessary, particularly in the case of the boilers. The one at the middle school is original and about 40 years old, and Pocza said boilers generally have a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years.

It is possible the district will be able to apply stimulus funds toward the projects. Emily Koczela, business services consultant, has filed an application with the state to receive federal money on the district's behalf. The state is expected to begin dolling out funds in the near future.

"We're safely in line, well ahead of the deadline," Koczela said.

Fox Point-Bayside hires superintendent

The Fox Point-Bayside School District has hired Rachel Boechler to be its new district administrator.

Boechler will succeed Gary Peterson who is retiring effective June 30. Boechler will assume her duties July 1.

The School Board approved Boechler's contract April 20.

For the past five years, Boechler has served as the Chief Operating Officer of CPS Human Resource Services, a human resources consulting firm in Sacramento, Calif. She has more than 25 years of experience in education, including working as a middle school teacher in the Muskego-Norway School District; a guidance counselor and kindergarten through 12 guidance coordinator for the Wauwatosa School District; assistant principal in Sussex-Hamilton; and director of curriculum in the Sun Prairie School District.

School district looking to adopt policy on fund balance for budget

Brown Deer - A proposed policy outlining a specific series of guidelines related to the school district's general operating budget is being drafted by administrators and elected officials.

The draft set of guidelines were reviewed by several committee members, as well as the School Board, in April. The board last week approved an initial reading of the policy, which includes a stipulation the district maintain a fund balance of 12 to 17 percent of the district's total general fund budget. Based on estimates, the figure would represent between 45 and 60 days of the district's operations.

A second reading of the policy will go before committee members in the weeks ahead before going to the School Board for final approval in late May.

Policy on investing district funds being considered

Brown Deer - School officials continue to review a proposed policy outlining what steps should be taken when investing the district's funds. It could be enacted in May.

The policy as drafted includes a series of provisions, including one limiting investments to the safest types of securities and another calling for diversifying where funds are invested. The proposed policy also calls for a quarterly update to the School Board on the status of all investments.

The School Board approved a first-stage reading of the policy April 26. Further tweaks could be made when the policy is reviewed at committee meetings this coming month before being presented to the School Board for official enactment in late May.

Police Department gets go-ahead for promotion

Glendale - A police sergeant position left vacant since May 2009 when a 15-year-employee left the Police Department will be filled. Although not funded for 2010, Police Chief Tom Czarnyszka told the Common Council on Monday that the department needs a sergeant on its third shift.

By filling the position at this time of the year, the cost to the department would be $2,500 more than the cost of a patrol officer. Czarnyszka said he could find that money in the department budget.

The department will promote a patrol officer and the patrol position will remain vacant to help fund the sergeant's position for the remainder of the year, according to the plan approved by the council.

Sidewalk replacement to start June 21

Whitefish Bay - Replacement of sidewalk slabs in the village will begin the week of June 21 and be completed by Aug. 14. The village has notified property owners abutting the slabs who will be assessed $111 for each 5'x5'x5" slab. Bills and a payment schedule are sent after the work is completed. A&M Concrete Construction was the low bidder at $111,356.

The Village Board also awarded a $1,287,384 contract for the reconstruction of Fairmount Avenue between Diversey Boulevard and Marlborough Drive. The contract for Fairmount Avenue is being awarded in three phases. Depending on the bids for the other phases, the village may elect to build a concrete street instead of an asphalt one.

Policy on investing district funds being considered

Brown Deer - A formal policy on what steps should be taken when investing the school district's funds could be implemented next month.

The policy includes a series of provisions, including one limiting investments to the safest types of securities and diversifying where funds are invested. The document, as proposed, also calls for a quarterly update to the School Board on the status of all investments.

A first reading of the policy was reviewed by members of the Personnel and Policy Committee on April 19. It will go on to the full School Board for discussion and possible action Monday. If approved, a second reading will take place next month and could be in place by the end of May.

District looking to adopt policy on fund balance for budget

Brown Deer - A specific set of guidelines related to the school district's reserves in the general operating budget fund balance is being proposed.

The new policy, which was reviewed by members of the Personnel and Policy Committee on April 19, calls for maintaining a fund balance of 12 to 17 percent of the district's total general fund budget. Based on estimates, the figure would represent between 45 and 60 days of the district's operations.

This is a first reading of the policy. It will go on to the full School Board for discussion and possible action Monday. If approved, a second reading will take place next month and could be in place by the end of May.

East Capitol Drive streetscaping to wait for 2011

Shorewood - Based on a review of the final plans for the reconstruction of Capitol Drive, the Village Board decided not to award a landscaping contract for the 2010 streetscaping. Contractors will put in soil, level and mulch it as the project winds down in late fall.

The village will seek bids for the streetscaping in 2011, with all the work scheduled for that spring.

Sewer utility rates likely to increase

Shorewood - Sewer utility rates in the village have not increased since 1998 but will likely go up later this year. The sewer utility ended up with a loss of $478,277 in 2009 and Finance Director Stephanie Walker projects a loss of $740,313 for 2010.

The village's Finance Committee reviewed the losses and asked Walker to bring back a plan for increased rates that would cover the cost of operating and maintaining the sewers.

Village creates ordinance for Class C wine licenses

Brown Deer - The Village Board on Monday enacted a new ordinance that will allow restaurants that want to serve wine by the glass to apply for a Class C wine license.

Up until last month, the village had never received a request for the license. After Sammy's Express asked for one, the board decided to create the ordinance. Sammy's Express, however, will not get a license until back taxes on the restaurant are paid.

Board approves sales of bonds

Shorewood - M&I Bank was the low bidder for $3.885 million in Build America general obligation community development bonds and $4.725 million taxable general obligation corporate purpose bonds. The Build America bonds carry a true interest rate of 2.872 percent with the second bond issue having a 4.496 percent rate.

The bonds will be used for expenses in tax-incremental finance districts 1 and 3 and to refinance a State Trust Fund Loan. The Village Board approved the sale on Monday.

Board passes rule regulating multi-family ownership

Fox Point - In an effort to maintain the community's residential character, the Village Board passed an ordinance regulating how long it is permissible to have people other than property owners living at homes for short periods of time.

The so-called multi-family ownership ordinance applies to such scenarios as leasing, contracting and time-sharing homes. Short-term arrangements are permissible for up to 120 days, as outlined in the document.

Pavilion facility fee waived for market, baseball team

Fox Point - The Village Board permitted organizers of the Fox Point Farmers' Market and Nicolet High School's baseball program to use restrooms at the village-owned Longacre Pavilion facility, 7343 N. Longacre Road, this summer without paying a rental fee.

But organizations will be holding outdoor events throughout the summer at nearby Stormonth Elementary School, 7301 N. Longacre Road.

The village traditionally charges outside organizations a rental fee to use Longacre Pavilion, but decided to waive the fee in these two instances because the events benefit the community.

Tree analysis proposal scrapped following split vote

Fox Point - A split 3-3 vote by the Village Board means a proposal to take aerial photos of trees in the community will not move forward. Had the work taken place, the images would have been used to determine the number of ash and elm species in Fox Point and prepare for a possible infestation of Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease.

Scott Brandmeier, village engineer and director of public works, came before the board with the proposal, which carried a price tag of $57,000. An $18,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources would have gone toward the proposal, had it been approved.

Portions of aging municipal pool will be patched

Fox Point - The concrete deck at the village's municipal pool facility, 7100 N. Santa Monica Blvd., will be replaced this summer. The Village Board awarded a $10,822 to Glendale-based Munson to perform the service.

The deck area has been deteriorating in recent years, and the work is a short-term solution to a long-term issue village officials have been grappling with. The pool, a popular amenity in the village each summer, will likely need more maintenance in upcoming years to remain viable in the community.

Police chief to honor three officers for valor

Fox Point - Three Fox Point police officers will be presented with Commendations for Valor for their apprehension of an armed robbery suspect Feb. 15.

Chief Thomas Czaja will present the awards to Officers John Adamaitis, Benjamin Brouwer and James Hanna at 4 p.m. May 17 in Padway Hall, 7300 N. Santa Monica Blvd.

Community foundation helps to fund nature preserve signs

Mequon - Newly installed signs now help visitors find their way to the Mequon Nature Preserve. The largest sign, installed at 9801 N. Wauwatosa Road, will identify the Nature Preserve location for more than 25,000 people who drive by each day. The Mequon Community Foundation also funded a kiosk at the a trailhead parking lot, 8275 W. Donges Bay Road and two "You Are Here" signs that will assist visitors as they walk the five-mile trail system.

"Without the Mequon Community Foundation's help, we could not have put up this important signage," former Mayor Christine Nuernberg said. "People continue to ask me where the Nature Preserve is. With the foundation's great support, they will now more easily find it. For this I am truly grateful."

City awards paving, crack-sealing contracts

Mequon - The city has a budget of $2.3 million for 2010 road repairs and crack sealing but will hold $416,000 in reserve for its share of the cost of Port Washington Road reconstruction. The city's share of the $7 million project, scheduled to start in May, is $700,000. The city has additional money for the work set aside in a special fund and is determining how much of its share has already been spent on preliminary costs, such as design work.

The Common Council awarded Stark Asphalt Division of Northwest Asphalt Products a $1.8 million contract for road rehabilitation work, including pulverizing and paving on both local and arterial streets. The contract does not cover Port Washington Road construction, which is a county project.

The council also awarded a $32,000 contract to American Pavement Solutions for crack sealing.

Mequon set to adopt sex offender residency ordinance

Mequon - The Common Council will consider a sex offender residency restriction ordinance in May. It was recommended by the Public Safety Committee in March and had its first reading at the council in April.

The ordinance prohibits sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of certain public areas, such as schools, day care centers, parks and playgrounds. Sex offenders would be allowed to attend religious services or programs but could not participate in religious eduction programs for those under the age of 18. There would also be certain allowances for their presence in areas where they would normally be banned if their own children are present and require the offender's participation.

The ordinance allows offenders who previously lived in the city to return to it.

Currently both the state Senate and the Assembly have pending bills that prohibit sex offender ordinances from being enacted, but no action has been taken on either.

All abutting communities - Bayside, Cedarburg, Grafton, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Thiensville, and Brown Deer - have enacted similar ordinances.

Phase 1 of Majestic Meadows subdivision approved

Mequon- The final plat for the first phase of Majestic Meadows subdivision on West Bonniwell and North Wasaukee roads was approved. The first phase includes three lots and an out lot with a stormwater management pond. The council previously approved the plan in 2007 but the final plat was not recorded within the required time frame.

City wants to go to the birds

Mequon - The Common Council declared May 1 International Migratory Bird Day and will submit an application to become a "Bird City Wisconsin."

The Milwaukee Audubon Society has established the new Bird City Wisconsin program modeled on the Tree City program. Mequon will be the first North Shore community to apply for the designation.

One of the requirements for the program is the development of a program to celebrate the International Migratory Bird Day. The annual Go Green program held May 1 at the Nature Preserve filled that requirement as there were several workshops about birds.

If the city earns the Bird City designation, it would receive two street signs with the Bird City Wisconsin emblem and a Bird City flag.

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