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News & Notes: Dec. 18

Dec. 18, 2013

District to model

retirement, financial data

Shorewood — The School Board on Tuesday approved a $8,000 contract for a five-year financial model and authorized an actuarial study to update the amount of the district's retirement benefit liability.

Produced by PMA Financial Network, the financial planning tool will use five years of historical data and allow detailed projections five years into the future. The $8,000 contract will need to be renewed each year to continue the service.

"You can spend more time strategically thinking about decisions," Board Member David Cobb said of the forecasting. "It will be a good tool for the School Board."

The updated actuarial study will refresh the estimate of how much the district will owe to current and future retirees over the long-term. Interim Business Manager Mike Garty said he will shop around for quotes on the study.

He expects the cost to come in around $4,200.

Anaba Tea Room to close;

Asian eatery will fill space

Shorewood — Anaba Tea Room is closing its doors.

The 10-year Shorewood staple will close shop for good on Dec. 29, according to an Anaba news release. The separate, upstairs Garden Room will remain open.

Taking Anaba's place will be TOCHI, a modern Asian fusion restaurant specializing in Japanese ramen. TOCHI will offer a wide selection of teas. Anaba Tea Room gift cards will be honored by the new restaurant.

Student council

collecting memorial funds

Shorewood — The Shorewood High School Student Council is leading donation collection for the memorial fund of recently deceased Deundra Hemphill, whose two siblings attend Shorewood schools.

Those interested in donating to the memorial fund can drop off their gift at the Shorewood High School principal's office, and can contact SHS Principal Tim Kenney at (414) 963-6920 with questions.

Checks should be made payable to Shorewood High School with "Deundra Hemphill" on the memo line.

Guidance counselors are available for any student in need of support.

Board adds to façade

improvement program

Shorewood — The village will allocate at least $50,000 in additional funds in 2014 to its façade improvement program, which offers grants to local businesses to spruce up their properties.

The Village Board on Monday considered the funding request from the Community Development Authority, but decided not to immediately allocate all the money.

Rather than designating $150,000 in Tax Incremental Financing District 1 funds for the program through 2016 as requested, the board opted to start with a $50,000 allocation, with the understanding that it would review the TIF finances in a joint meeting at the beginning of the year to determine if additional funding should be granted.

Jim Plaisted, executive director of the Shorewood Business Improvement District, which manages the façade improvement program, said it has been "enormously popular" among business owners, primarily due to how easily accessible it is.

The program offers two types of grants to business owners: concept design grants, which cover 90 percent of design projects up to $2,000, and façade improvement grants, which cover 50 percent of eligible improvement costs up $25,000. To date, the CDA has awarded 55 small and large grants through the program.

The additional funding granted by the Village Board will primarily be used to help business owners complete smaller projects, Plaisted said.

For information, including eligible projects and how to apply, visit www.shorewoodwi.com, go to the "BID Info" tab and select "Programs for BID Businesses."

Few try to pay wrong

tax amount in Shorewood

Shorewood — Since mailing out miscalculated tax bills earlier this month and quickly correcting their mistake, the village says fewer than 100 people have attempted to pay the wrong bill.

Village Manager Chris Swartz updated the Village Board on Monday concerning the issue, in which Shorewood sent out statements that showed an estimated 5 percent reduction from last year's tax bills, due to a clerical error.

Staff caught the error quickly, but not before a majority of the incorrect bills were mailed.

Although the correct bills, which were promptly posted to the village's website and mailed out last week, reflect a higher amount owed, residents have been very gracious, Swartz said.

The fact that most bills were still 1 to 2 percent lower than the previous year's tax bills likely helped the situation, Village President Guy Johnson noted.

In the future, Swartz said the village will take precautions to verify the accuracy of its tax bills, such as having them reviewed by the village's financial advisor as well as internal staff.

Trustees commented that no matter how many checks and balances are in place, mistakes can still happen. They praised Swartz for taking responsibility for the error and working to correct it.

Shorewood, Bayside

ratify NSFD formula

The Shorewood and Bayside village boards this week ratified the proposed North Shore Fire Department funding formula that was approved by the NSFD board in November.

The proposed formula is the product of 10 months of work among NSFD board members, city and village administrators, the Southeastern Wisconsin Public Policy Forum, and, recently, some tense negotiations among NSFD member communities. If approved by all member communities, the new funding arrangement takes effect in 2016.

So far, all the member communities except River Hills have approved the formula. River Hills is expected to vote on the formula at its upcoming January meeting.

Thiensville to

switch recycling

Thiensville — Beginning Jan. 1, the village will switch to bi-weekly recycling pickup and new service provider Waste Management will deliver 96-gallon rolling bins to homes.

When the new carts are dropped off in January, residents will have 90 days to decide whether they want smaller carts, after which they would have to pay a $25 fee to make the switch.

According to Public Works Director Andy LaFond, the Waste Management arrangement should save the village about $6,000 annually beginning in 2014, and by the end of the 10-year contract, about $10,000 annually.

Thiensville to solicit

beer garden bids

Thiensville — The Village Board on Monday authorized village staff to solicit proposals for a village park beer garden.

A request for proposal will be distributed by the village on Jan. 15 and proposals are due back by Feb. 15, Village President Van Mobley said.

A Village Park beer garden had been the subject of debate among the Village Board over the summer but did not materialize in 2013. If approved, the beer garden would likely open in summer 2014 at the two concession stands along the river at Village Park.

Footbridge Friends

pass 75 percent mark

Fox Point — Due to generous donations from the Ralph Evinrude Foundation and Wisconsin Energy Foundation, nonprofit fundraising group Footbridge Friends has passed the 75 percent mark of its original $625,000 goal.

The group was tasked last year with raising the $625,000, or half of the estimated cost, for a new footbridge across the Bridge Lane ravine, as well as $30,000 to repay a seed grant from the village.

The Evinrude Foundation donated $7,500. The Evinrude family was a longtime resident of Fox Point and is considered on of the village's founders, according to a Footbridge Friends news release.

The Wisconsin Energy Foundation donated $1,000.

Both donations will be matched by an anonymous donor who is matching all donations of $1,000 or more through Dec. 31.

In the release, Footbridge Friends President Barbara Schwartz noted that the group may actually be closer to its goal if recent cost estimates hold true.

Bayside approves

chiropractic, insurance offices

Bayside — The Bayside Village Board on Tuesday approved the operation of a chiropractic and insurance office.

The board approved a conditional-use permit for Knut Feiker on behalf of the Healing Point Chiropractic to operate a chiropractic office at 500 W. Brown Deer Road, Suite 220.

The board also gave the green light to Bruce Gendelman to operate an insurance agency at the same location, in Suite 101.

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