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News and Notes: Nov. 14

Nov. 14, 2012

Brown Deer police records storage down

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer Police Department has been dealing with a nonfunctional records storage system since late last week.

Officers have been typing up police reports in word processors outside of the department's typical records software as of press time. For this reason there is not a Brown Deer police report in the current issue of North Shore NOW.

Salary increase approved for district aides

Shorewood - Special education and health aides in the Shorewood School District will receive a 2 percent salary increase, effective for the current school year.

The School Board on Tuesday approved increasing the aide pay schedule by 2 percent, which was included in the district's 2012-13 budget.

The pay increase will be retroactive to July 1, 2012. Business Manager Mark Boehlke said it is the first wage increase approved for this year.

Employee WRS contribution to increase slightly

Shorewood - The required retirement fund contributions of Shorewood School District employees will increase slightly in 2013.

In a report to the School Board on Tuesday, Business Manager Mark Boehlke said the Wisconsin Retirement System contribution rate will increase 1.5 percent, with the district paying half of that increase and employees responsible for the remaining 0.75 percent of the increase.

Boehlke said the rate has gone up on an annual basis, but in the past impacted only the employer, not employees. He will be informing staff of the increase, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Bayside's 2012 capital projects wrapping up

Bayside - It was a busy summer for capital projects in the village of Bayside, but village staff is confident they will all be wrapped up before it snows.

The 2012 street improvement project that consisted of Payne & Dolan paving more than 10 percent of the village road system is complete, Village Manager Andy Pederson said.

As part of the long-range capital improvement program, the village completed necessary operations and maintenance repairs to the sanitary sewer infrastructure, located predominantly in the Pelham-Health subdivision. The sanitary sewer lining work has been completed.

The village also completed repairs to the sanitary sewer infrastructure located in the East Fairy Chasm Road subdivision.

Private lateral lining work is currently under way, as the Vac-A-Tee clean-outs have been installed on the 11 homes receiving work. Final lining should be completed by Thanksgiving, with final landscape restoration work is taking place in 2013.

Board may consider assisting students with field trips

Shorewood - District staff is already doing what it can to assist students who cannot afford to attend more costly field trips, but the district may consider how it could do more through scholarship funding.

In an annual report of the district's major scholarship accounts, School Board member David Cobb expressed concern that there are students who are unable to attend more extensive trips available to them, simply due to financial reasons.

He suggested the board consider establishing a scholarship fund that district families could donate to for the purpose of financially assisting those students.

Teacher Matt Joynt, whose request for a high school choir student field trip to New York in June 2013 was also approved by the board on Tuesday, said that numerous fundraising opportunities are provided to students who wish to attend such trips.

There was a time when more district funding was also available to assist students financially, Joynt said, but those funds have dried up and it is becoming necessary to look at more creative ways of addressing the issue.

Superintendent Martin Lexmond said the board could examine the matter further in a future policy discussion.

Wineries to be allowed in certain Mequon areas

Mequon - The Common Council approved amendments to the city zoning code which will allow wineries in rural residential, rural industrial, and rural business zones.

The change specifically accommodates Grafton-based vintner The Chiselled Grape Winery, which is looking to build a one-acre vineyard and tasting room at 14136 N. Port Washington Road. Alderwoman Pam Adams opposed the idea at first, saying the change would create a questionable precedent in residential areas, but was swayed by the council and later voted for the change.

At the request of Alderman Andrew Nerbun, the council will consider allowing breweries and distilleries as well.

District hires new librarian

Shorewood - Sara Kemp will serve as the next librarian at Shorewood Intermediate School and Shorewood High School.

The School Board on Tuesday approved hiring Kemp for the position. In addition to her background in library science, Kemp also has a master's degree in technology, with professional development experience in PowerSchool, PowerGrade and SMARTBoard systems, among other technology.

Kemp hopes to work collaboratively with teachers to create connections across the curriculum in order to improve learning for students, according to a memo.

Village receives state grant for Main Street reconstruction

Thiensville - The village recently received word from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that it is the recipient of a $544,784 grant for work associated with the reconstruction of Main Street.

As part of the grant agreement, the village will fund 20 percent, or $163,496, of the reconstruction project. The grant amount represents the remaining 80 percent.

The Village Board on Monday gave tentative approval to the grant while meeting as a Committee of the Whole. Final approval is slated for the regular board meeting Tuesday.

School Board modifies committee structure

Shorewood - The Shorewood School Board will merge its Ad hoc Finance and Land Use committees and establish a Human Resources Committee in order to better address issues facing the district.

Board President Rob Reinhoffer on Tuesday explained that there will now be four board committees - Policy, Curriculum, Human Resources, and Finance and Facilities.

Each of the four current board members will chair a committee, with Reinhoffer overseeing Curriculum, David Cobb chairing Finance and Facilities, Ruth Treisman chairing Human Resources and Colin Plese overseeing Policy.

Once a fifth member is appointed to the board, Reinhoffer said that person likely will rotate between the four committees to gain an understanding of committee operations.

Interested residents can apply to serve on the committees, with the chair of each committee responsible for appointing resident members. Information on how to apply is available on the district's website, at shorewood.k12.wi.us.

Dangerous dogs to be restrained at all times

Whitefish Bay - Whitefish Bay will update its ordinances to specify how dangerous dogs in the village are to be controlled.

The Village Board last week approved amending section 15.11 of the municipal code to state that any dog determined to be dangerous must be restrained at all times, either by indoor confinement, secure fencing, tethering within property lines, or a secure leash managed by a caretaker capable of controlling the dog.

Village Attorney Christopher Jaekels said the update was needed to close a gap in the ordinance. Although it took steps to define dangerous and vicious dogs and specify the regulation of vicious dogs, it did not previously spell out how dangerous dogs must be regulated, Jaekels said.

According to the ordinance, a dangerous dog is defined as one that has bitten or threatened the safety of a person or domestic animal while unprovoked, has a demonstrated propensity to attack, cause injury to or threaten the safety of humans and other domestic animals, or is noncompliant with the village's rabies control policy.

Alternately, a dog would be deemed as vicious if, when unprovoked, it has bitten and inflicted injury causing broken bones or lacerations that require sutures on a human, killed a domestic animal, or has bit, attacked or endangered the safety of humans or domestic animals after already being deemed dangerous.

The ordinance update will give the village more enforcement authority, Jaekels said.

Whitefish Bay revamping village newsletter

Whitefish Bay - The village will partner with Neighborhood Communications to begin distributing a monthly publication in lieu of its quarterly Bay Leaves newsletter.

The Village Board last week supported the change, which will cut publication production costs from an estimated $13,700 to zero.

Neighborhood Communications publishes newsletters for groups and communities, including Bayside, by incorporating advertisements into each publication to cover the printing and postage costs for which the village normally budgets, Jerod Hanaman, assistant to the village manager, explained in a memo to the board.

Neighborhood Communications would handle the compilation and editing of newsletter materials submitted by village staff, Hanaman said. A representative from Neighborhood Communications said the village would have oversight of the newsletter content.

Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said the change will also allow the village to get news to residents in a more timely manner, while improving the presentation of the information as well.

Talks to implement a facade grant delayed in Shorewood

Shorewood - The Shorewood Village Board last week decided to delay action on a multifamily facade improvement program for properties within tax incremental districts until TIF project and finance plans are finalized.

The program would offer matching grants for buildings within TIF districts to enhance the attractiveness of multifamily residences in those areas. If approved, the program would have a 25 percent grant match up to $10,000 without the ability to exceed that amount.

To be approved for the grant, the work would have to meet specific requirements. Work deemed as maintenance work would not be approved, according to village documents.

Village Board open to resale shops in Whitefish Bay

Whitefish Bay - The Village Board would prefer not to discriminate against secondhand stores that wish to do business in Whitefish Bay.

The board chose not to refer to the Plan Commission a proposed amendment to municipal code specifying that secondhand stores deriving more than 10 percent of total sales from the sale of used goods with a purchase price of less than $100 not be allowed to operate in the village.

The majority of trustees were opposed to such an amendment.

"My perspective is I would really like to attract more businesses into that Silver Spring corridor, and I'm not really thrilled about turning away a business that's interested in locating in Whitefish Bay," Trustee Lauri Rollings said.

Trustee James Roemer named ReThreads Clothing on Humboldt Boulevard in Riverwest as an example of a resale business that could be a good fit for Whitefish Bay, noting that resale shops have the potential to bring additional foot traffic to neighboring businesses as well.

Village staff indicated there was no need to proceed with the proposed amendment if trustees were not in support of it. No action was taken.

Little Free Libraries to be restricted in Bay

Whitefish Bay - In keeping with its existing municipal code pertaining to the placement of mailboxes, Whitefish Bay will prohibit "Little Free Library" structures from being constructed on front yards or sidewalks.

Following review of a resident's request to install a Little Free Library in September, the Village Board directed staff to develop restrictions that would apply to the structures.

However, trustees on Monday decided that rather than attempting to regulate Little Free Libraries - free-standing structures typically about 2 feet in width and depth and about 6 feet tall that aim to foster community book-sharing - the village should be enforcing the same regulations that apply to mailboxes.

Although trustee opinions varied widely, from Richard Foster's view of ignoring Little Free Libraries until they become problematic, to Brenda Szumski's support for allowing them throughout the village with regulations, several recognized the problems that could come along with the structures.

Trustee Jay Miller mentioned the possibility of the structures being vandalized, while Village Manager Patrick DeGrave noted that they might be used to distribute inappropriate materials.

Christ Episcopal Church on Lake Drive already has a Little Free Library, which would have to be removed from its current location, per the ordinance.

However, Village Attorney Christopher Jaekels said enforcement of the existing code would not prevent a person from having a Little Free Library in certain areas, such as affixed to their home.

"This behavior, this use … can still be engaged in, it just won't be a structure that's out on the sidewalk," Jaekels said. "It could be something that's on the front steps of the church or even on the front of somebody's house."

Shorewood approves use of lot for tree sales

Shorewood - The Shorewood Village Board last week approved the use of a municipal lot for the sale of Christmas trees and accessories.

The trees will be sold from Nov. 10 to Dec. 28 at 3505 N. Oakland Ave. The hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The village receives a $500 from the vendor as well as permit fees.

Village Board commends longtime officer for service

Bayside - Village of Bayside President Samuel Dickman read a proclamation at a board meeting recognizing Bayside Police Sgt. Fran Ehler for her contributions to the village.

Ehler has served as an officer for the last 20 years and is retiring from the department.

"Fran has performed her duties in an exemplary way," Bayside Police Chief Bruce Resnick said.

Two named dispatch supervisors in Bayside

Bayside - Liana Scharnott and Rachelle Dickau were named dispatch supervisors at the Bayside Police Department, which Police Chief Bruce Resnick announced during a Village Board meeting.

Both women assumed their new positions about a month age, and Village Manager Andy Pederson said they are doing a "phenomenal job."

"We've had nothing but great comments from staff and the other agencies we work with," Resnick said. "We are very proud of the work they are doing."

Village of Bayside accepts Clean Sweep grant

Bayside - The village of Bayside was one of five municipalities throughout Wisconsin to receive a grant to offset the cost of collecting prescription drugs.

The $5,000 grant from the state offsets the cost of using the police department to collect the prescription drugs and disposing of them properly.

65 Incorporated launched to help guide seniors

Milwaukee resident Diane Omdahl has recently launched 65 Incorporated, an online resource meant to help seniors and their families through the Medicare planning process.

Those interested in the program and their Medicare options can learn more at 65incorporated.com.

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