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News & Notes: May 26

May 26, 2010

First phase of library expansion plan under way

Glendale - As the owner of the North Shore Library space, Glendale will be the lead agency to prepare a required Wisconsin relocation plan and program for other tenants in the building at 6800 N. Port Washington Road. The first phase also includes a title search, appraisal and discussions with the owner of the building about possible acquisition of additional space in the building. Options include expansion on the first floor or on both the first and second floors.

City Administrator Richard Maslowski said phase one will cost an estimated $65,000 with the cost split among the four member communities based on the Joint Library Agreement. Bayside would pay $10,991, Fox Point, $17,127, Glendale, $32,968 and River Hills, $3,913 based on the $65,000 estimate.

Traffic study for Port Road intersection approved

Glendale - Traffic Analysis & Design will study the intersection of North Port Washington Road and West Henry Clay Street to determine if it meets the standards for a traffic light and if, with or without the light, the ban on U-turns in the intersection should be removed. The study will cost $4,937.

High school group honors military veterans with display

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer High School Student Activities Council is honoring residents - past and present - who have served in the Armed Forces with a Wall of Honor exhibit. It will be on display at BDHS, 8060 N. 60th St., from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through June 10.

The public is invited to view the wall, and names of service men and women can be added to the wall at any time.

For information, call the school office at (414) 371-7000.

District adopts policy on fund balance

Brown Deer - A policy outlining a specific series of guidelines related to the school district's general operating budget was approved by the School Board on Monday.

The guidelines, drafted and reviewed by the board and administrators in recent months, 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.

Fox Point-Bayside district borrows money

Fox Point - The Fox Point-Bayside School District approved the sale of $3.7 million of general obligation bonds at a 3.3 percent interest rate. The money will be used to fund the district's post employment benefits for retired employees. The district also approved the sale of $1.5 million to refund a State Trust Fund loan for the Wisconsin Retirement System unfunded liability.

Finally the School Board approved the sale of $1.6 million in bond anticipation notes that will provide intermediate funding until the district learns the outcome of its application for Qualified School Construction Bonds. The money will be used to fund energy efficiency projects and technology purchases. The School Board approved the sales last week.

Johnson Controls to do energy audit on schools

Fox Point - Johnson Controls will do an energy audit of the Fox Point-Bayside schools at a cost of about $22,000. The cost would be waived if Johnson Controls is later hired to implement energy savings programs in the district.

The School Board approved the plan last week.

Policy on investing district funds approved by board

Brown Deer - The School Board on Monday approved a policy outlining what steps should be taken when the district's funds are invested. The board and administrators have been reviewing language within the policy in recent months.

The policy 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.

Dunwood Center to be fenced

Fox Point - The Dunwood Center will be completely fenced to meet state directives for fencing for the YMCA Day Care Center located at the site, 7601 North Port Washington Road.

The School District, which owns the building, is also working on a new sign for the center. It will be illuminated if allowed by village code.

Subdivision to have additional single family lots

Mequon - The Plan Commission signed off on a request from the developers of Concord Creek Reserve, 124 acres north of Mequon Road on River Birch Drive, that will allow the sale of single family lots instead of single family condominiums. Financing for condominiums has become hard to come by since the economic downturn. Under the request, which must now be approved by the Common Council, 23 single family condominium units become 23 single family lots.

Technology director leaving Mequon-Thiensville district

Mequon - Valerie Schmitz, director of technology for the Mequon-Thiensville School District, is resigning in late June to assume the position of director of virtual learning for the Kettle Moraine School District.

Mequon-Thiensville is in the midst of developing a revised vision statement for how technology can most effectively be implemented in classroom with input from teachers, principals and administrators. Plans call for filling Schmitz's position.

"We thank Dr. Schmitz for all of her efforts on behalf of our schools and our students," Superintendent Demond Means said in a news release. "While she will be difficult to replace, the district remains committed to transforming how we can use technology in every classroom."

School Board approves staff changes

Brown Deer - The School Board on Monday approved a staff retirement, resignation and new hire for the 2010-11 school year.

Jan Williams, a 40-year veteran of the district, is retiring next month. She serves as a guidance counselor at Brown Deer Middle and High schools. Also leaving the district at the close of the school year is Robert Wells, an English teacher at Brown Deer High School.

The board issued a full-time contract to Margo Turner, who will serve as a speech and language pathologist at Brown Deer Middle School next year. The appointment was made, in part, because of increased needs at the school.

District joins cooperative aimed at finding cost savings

Brown Deer - The school district will participate in a newly formed organization aimed at cutting costs and pooling resources in an era of funding sources drying up.

Brown Deer will be a part of the North Shore Shared Services Cooperative, following approval by the School Board on Monday. NSSSC succeeds the recently disbanded North Shore Exceptional Education Cooperative. While NSEEC focused primarily on special education, the mission of NSSSC will be expanded, focusing on savings for regular and special education programs.

District Administrator Deb Kerr said some areas that could be reviewed by the NSSSC committee include early childhood programs and charter schools.

As proposed, other districts participating in NSSSC include Fox Point-Bayside, Glendale-River Hills, Maple Dale-Indian Hill, Nicolet, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay. Each School Board has to approve the agreement.

Community meeting to discuss sediment remediation project

Glendale - Residents are invited to attend a public meeting on the Lincoln Park and Milwaukee River channels sediment remediation project that will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. June 16 at the Blatz Pavilion in Lincoln Park, Milwaukee. Light refreshments will be served. To make a reservation, call (608) 266-9337, (414) 263-8708 or DHSEnvHealth@Wi.gov.

Requirements for planned development zoning change

Glendale - The Common Council on Monday approved a change to its planned development zoning. The zoning provides flexibility for development but will now carry a minimum fair market value requirement of $1.5 million or more upon completion. Setting the standard will remove the appearance of preferential treatment, according to a memo from City Attorney John Fuchs.

The Common Council approved the study Monday evening (May 24) along with stop signs at the intersection of Willow Glen Lane and Brantwood Avenue.

Students give of themselves with service projects

Mequon - More than 400 Steffen Middle School students teamed up with teachers, staff and parent volunteers recently at a service day event designed to promote learning about the environment and strengthening communication and team-building skills.

The event, held April 28 at YMCA Camp Minikani in Hubertus, is an extension of a long-standing relationship between the school and camp. Since 1967, Steffen students have participated each fall in a four-day outdoor education program at the camp. This year, for the first time ever, the community service day also was implemented into Steffen programming.

Participants were involved in a number of projects during the community service project. Tasks included trimming and cleaning hiking trails, spreading wood chips, pulling invasive garlic mustard, cleaning cabins and stacking wood.

Village adopts Lake Drive traffic calming suggestions

Whitefish Bay - The Village Board adopted several suggestions to slow down traffic on Lake Drive. Ayres Associates studied and reported on ways to slow traffic and increase pedestrian safety on the street.

Bold crosswalk markings at 11 locations, a white edge line to delineate a travel lane on Lake Drive, and gateway surface treatments will be installed. Two speed board feed back signs have already been installed, one on the north end of the drive, the other on the south end.

Plensa sculpture to have rectangular base

Shorewood - The Village Board decided to follow the artist's wishes for the base of the sculpture being given to the village by an anonymous donor.

Internationally known artist Jaume Plensa created the sculpture and wanted a rectangular base for it. JJR , a parks consultant, recommended a curvilinear base to blend with the landscape design of the park.

Village Manager Chris Swartz said plans call for the sculpture to be installed in Atwater Park in September.

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 April 12. 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.

Fox Point joins 'Click It' to encourage seatbelt usage

Fox Point - The Police Department wants residents to buckle up and not just because it's the law but because it saves lives.

The department and others from all over Wisconsin are participating in the "Click It or Ticket" mobilization from May 24 to June 6. The program puts special emphasis on stopping motorists who are not wearing seatbelts.

"Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin" Police Chief Thomas Czaja said.

He points out that those few seconds taken to "Click It" may avoid a traffic stop, a ticket and, most importantly, the lives of both drivers and passengers.

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