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News & Notes: May 8

May 8, 2013

Police departments enforcing seat belt use

Fox Point - The Fox Point and Thiensville police departments will join hundreds of other police departments throughout Wisconsin for the annual "Click it or Ticket" mobilization from May 20 to June 2.

The program puts special emphasis on stopping motorists who are not buckled not just because it's the law, but because it saves lives.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, more than half of the Wisconsin drivers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing their safety belts and approximately one of five of them do not wear safety belts.

"Tragically, too many people are needlessly injured or killed because they believed a crash would never happen to them so they don't buckle up," Fox Point Sgt Doug Dubnicka said.

Fox Point Police Chief Thomas J. Czaja pointed out it only takes a few seconds to "click it" and that may avoid a traffic stop, a ticket and most important the lives of drivers and passengers.

Walmart proposes store on former Lowe's site

Brown Deer - Walmart announced Tuesday the company will submit plans to the village of Brown Deer to convert a former Lowe's home improvement store at 6300 W. Brown Deer Road into a new Walmart.

Walmart is hosting a neighborhood meeting to present the project and seek community input at 6 p.m. Monday at Brown Deer Middle School, 5757 W. Dean Road.

Walmart's news release said it is one of the leading retailers to incorporate sustainability into its store concepts and will work to include environmentally friendly features into its Brown Deer location.

The proposed Walmart store square footage will offer shoppers a wide variety of general merchandise, a full line of grocery and pharmacy services. The new establishment is expected to create about 300 full- and part-time jobs.

Health Department increasing fees

Brown Deer - Plans are in motion to increase fees for services offered by the North Shore Health Department. Health officer Jamie Berg is proposing a 3-percent increase in an effort to maintain existing services and cover rising costs incurred by the department.

Approval from all seven participating municipalities is necessary for the increase to take effect. Berg brought her proposal to Brown Deer on Monday night, and officials unanimously approved it. The request will be presented to other communities in the near future.

NSHD cannot make a profit, Berg said. The fee increase proposal is merely designed to cover costs.

Parking restrictions changing on Kensington

Shorewood - Parking along both sides of the 1700 block of Kensington Boulevard will now be restricted to two hours.

The Village Board voted to approve the change on Monday, at the recommendation of Police Chief David Banaszynski.

According to a memo from Banaszynski, the change will help alleviate confusion related to parking restrictions along the block, which currently includes one-hour, two-hour and unlimited parking areas. A two-hour time limit is consistent with the rest of the business district, Banaszynski noted.

The new restrictions will apply to the stretch of Kensington between Oakland and Bartlett avenues during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Sundays and holidays.

Fire station getting new

air conditioning system

Whitefish Bay - The Village Board on Monday voted to put $15,000 toward a new air conditioning system and an electrical service upgrade to accommodate it in the Whitefish Bay fire station.

The board originally allocated this $15,000 toward a different air conditioner, but found that the system did not meet required regulations and that it was too small for the stations. The new system will cost about $25,000 with electrical service upgrades costing another $19,000 and about $4,000 in reserve for a grand total of $43,000.

To make up for this short fall, the board reallocated its $15,000 to the new system, the fire department contributed $7,000 from its budget, and the rest will come from funds left over after the village insurance plan was $350,000 lower than expected.

The system will go into North Shore Fire Station, 4, located at 825 E. Lexington Blvd. in Whitefish Bay.

Board defines new position's qualities

Mequon - The Mequon-Theinsville School Board on Monday decided that the director of communications and alumni relations needs to have experience in three areas: marketing, public relations and community relations.

The School District will select a communications firm to provide infrastructure for the employee hired to serve in that position.

Interviews for the preferred communications firm and the director of communications will take place next week.

Bay close to allowing

little free libraries

Whitefish Bay - The Village Board passed a resolution on Monday instructing Village Manager Patrick DeGrave to rewrite an ordinance that would allow residents to build "little free libraries" in their yards.

The resolution was championed by Trustee Dick Foster, who explained in his resolution that little free libraries are compartments built into front yards that allow neighbors to exchange books with one another as taking and leaving books as they walk past them. Foster explained that these have sprung up in communities around Wisconsin, including Shorewood.

However, having compartments built on lawns violates an ordinance that forbids permanent structures in front yards.

The resolution calls on DeGrave to write legal language to be adopted by the board that dictates that little lawn libraries are acceptable as long as they are placed on top of a pole stuck in the ground, are no more than 3-feet wide, long and tall in size and are planted between the sidewalk and the house.

Shorewood recognized as top high school

Shorewood - Shorewood High School has been ranked as the No. 1 high school in Wisconsin and among the top 500 schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The Village Board on Monday presented the high school with recognition for the award. According to the recognition, the magazine used a method developed by Washington, D.C.-based firm American Institutes for Research to evaluate more than 21,000 public high schools throughout the nation.

Shorewood received a gold award as one of America's Best High Schools from U.S. News & World Report for the achievement, which is based upon the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, and that it must produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

To view the rankings, visit usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

Village names interim treasurer-comptroller

Brown Deer - Susan Hudson has been named interim village treasurer and comptroller in Brown Deer, following approval Monday by the Village Board.

Bridget Souffrant recently resigned from the position. Hudson has been serving as deputy treasurer the past four years.

"(Hudson) is very knowledgeable in the duties of municipal treasurer and is certified by the state and International Municipal Treasurer Associations," Village Manager Michael Hall said.

Hudson will receive an increase in pay until a permanent person is named to the position.

Brown Deer Village Board OKs committee appointments

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer Village Board on Monday approved a number of appointments to boards, committees and commissions. Village President Carl Krueger recommended each of the appointments to the full board.

Julie Cook-Quirk and Beverly Lieven will serve on the Beautification Committee, while Barbara Bechtel will sit on the Board of Health. Ron Kundinger has been named to the Community Development Authority.

Ray Erbe has been named to the Finance and Public Works Board, while Marie Lieber will assume a seat on the Park and Recreation Board. Don Druckrey has been appointed to a seat on the Personnel Committee.

Bill Hoffmann and Al Waters will serve on the Plan Commission, while Mary Lynne Kust will have a seat on the Police Commission.

Four residents have been named to the Traffic and Public Safety Committee: Roger Gordon, Mike Kass, Bob Wazniak and G. Neil Wood.

Candidates sought for two department head positions

Brown Deer - New department heads will soon be named to the public works and finance departments, Brown Deer Village Manager Michael Hall said Monday.

Hall said four candidates are being considered for the DPW position, and a number of existing department heads are interviewing each of the four candidates next week.

The village recently began posting for the position of treasurer and comptroller, and Hall said he plans to review applications in the near future.

Village to replace additional garbage carts

Shorewood - Shorewood will spend an additional $7,100 on garbage cart replacement this year, in order to address faulty carts no longer covered by warranty.

The Village Board on Monday approved the request to replace 108 garbage carts, the amount for which is in addition to the $4,000 typically budgeted for annual garbage cart replacement.

Many of the carts have required replacement, due to a design flaw, Trustee Jeff Hanewall said. Replacement costs were previously covered under a warranty, which has now expired. The issue has been resolved in the new carts the village is purchasing, Assistant Director of Public Works Paul Wasemiller said.

Village plans for implementation of sustainability goals

Shorewood - Shorewood is prioritizing its sustainability goals as it plans for continued implementation of recommendations outlined in the Sustainability Action Plan adopted by the village last year.

In an update to the Village Board on Monday, village staff provided an overview of projects that already have been or will be completed in 2013, as well as priorities set by both staff and the Conservation Committee, to be considered in the 2014 budget process and long-range planning.

So far the village already has made significant strides with the overarching goal of using materials that are mindful of the environment - for example, taking steps to eliminate the use of Styrofoam, identify more environmentally friendly product alternatives for purchasing, and consider the environmental impact and local producers when writing bid documents, all of which have been fully or nearly completed.

Several other projects are set for completion this summer, including the installation of energy-efficient lights in municipal parking lots, following anti-idling regulations for village vehicles, and incorporating sustainability policies into the employee handbook.

Other projects ranked highly by either staff or committee members for completion within the next four years include conducting a detailed energy audit of all village facilities to establish baseline energy usage data and developing a best management practices list and specifications for future project incorporation.

Staff is in the process of reviewing the priorities to determine feasibility and create project budgets for upcoming long-range planning and 2014 budget discussions.

Board OKs signage

at Bradley Crossing

Brown Deer - Developers of the Bradley Crossing multifamily housing complex, 4375 W. Bradley Road, will be permitted to have two signs at the development, following approval Monday by the Village Board. The provision is an exception to village code.

Nate Piotrowski, community development director, said the dual signs will "help direct residents, visitors and traffic." He recommended granting the amendment to JFS Housing, the organization overseeing Bradley Crossing.

Deerwood Crossing development entering second stage

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer Village Board on Monday approved the second phase of the Deerwood Crossing senior residence development at 4195 W. Bradley Road.

Plans in the development include 41 percent masonry - a deviation from village code, which calls for at least 50 percent masonry on all multifamily developments.

Nate Piotrowski, community development director, said the reduction in masonry materials is designed to provide complimentary designs between phases one and two of the development.

Contracts awarded for street resurfacing, water main work

Glendale - The Glendale Common Council awarded contracts to several firms for street resurfacing and water main work this spring and summer.

Street resurfacing will take place along portions of Acacia, Lawn and Range Line roads, while water mains will be replaced along portions of West Mall Road.

The projects were included in the city's 2013 capital improvement budget.

Shaw appointed council president

Glendale - The Glendale Common Council voted unanimously in favor of appointing 6th District Alderwoman JoAnn Shaw as council president.

Shaw was the only of the six aldermen nominated to serve in the position. As council president, Shaw will preside over meetings if Mayor Jerome Tepper is absent.

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