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News & Notes: March 12

March 12, 2014

Public invited to

pre-state tourney pep rally

Brown Deer — Members of the public are encouraged to attend a pep rally for the Brown Deer High School varsity basketball team to celebrate their recent state tournament berth.

Brown Deer held off the Ripon Tigers 65-53 to claim the sectional crown and secure its first state run since 2002. The pep rally will take place at the Novak Family Field House at 11 a.m. March 13.

The boys play Roncalli High School in the state Division 3 semifinal at 9:05 a.m. March 14 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Central growth area

plan moving forward

Mequon — The Common Council on Tuesday approved a land-use amendment which moves forward a plan for a new conservation subdivision in the city's central growth area, bordered by Wauwatosa Road, Donges Bay Road and Swan Road.

The council also passed a resolution allowing for extension of the sewer service area to accommodate the planned subdivision.

Still necessary are council approvals on rezonings, a development plan, and a planned unit development document, which will allow the prospective developer to hit density requirements with a combination of smaller lots and shared open space.

Council strikes down

term limit provision

Mequon — On a 6-2 vote, the Common Council on Tuesday struck down an amendment to the city charter which would have created 12-year term limits for elected officials.

The term limits would only begin counting on future terms.

Aldermen Ken Zganjar and John Leszczynski voted for the provision while aldermen Robert Strzelczyk, Dale Mayr, Mark Seider, John Hawkins, Andrew Nerbun and Pam Adams voted against.

"They felt (limiting terms) is what elections are for," Mayor Dan Abendroth said in a phone interview Wednesday. "People deserve a right to vote for a candidate of their choice."

Abendroth said that in his 27 years on the council he has seen natural turnover create an average of about six years, or two terms, for elected officials.

Zganjar, who suggested and sponsored the provision, said he understands the other aldermen's reasoning but said term limits would get more people interested in local office and therefore increase voter turnout and resident involvement.

"I don't think the words 'politician' and 'career' should be used together," Zganjar said. "Incumbency has its advantages, and it disappoints me that most Mequon aldermanic contests go uncontested."

Panels backs rezoning for car dealership

Glendale — The Plan Commission on Tuesday night unanimously recommended approval of rezoning to allow construction of a new Infiniti car dealership in the 6000 block of North Green Bay Avenue.

The two-acre site, between two dealerships, is currently occupied by three homes and a vacant gas station.

Resident Julie Reindl told the commission she has begun circulating petitions opposing the new dealership. A decade ago she circulated petitions against two dealerships proposed in the city. One proposal fell through, but a BMW dealership was built.

"I don't want it to turn into 76th Street, where dealerships come and go and we have vacant buildings," Reindl said. "I think Glendale has way too many car dealerships. I know it will bring more revenue to the area, but at what cost to residents?"

Range Line Road bridge

project proceeds with guard rails

River Hills — The Village Board on March 4 approved plans for the coming Range Line Road bridge rehabilitation project and a temporary easement for the construction of guard rails.

Though several trustees have spoken out against the inclusion of the guard rails, they are required by the state Department of Transportation, Village Manger Chris Lear said. The 90-foot guard rails will replace the current pole and guard-wire safety measures in place now.

Though the DOT had originally wanted to purchase a perpetual easement on the sites of the guard rails, which includes some residential and country club land, officials there have agreed to a temporary construction easement which does not require the purchase of the land, Lear said.

Village wants at-grade intersection at Green Bay Road

Brown Deer — Village officials continue to campaign for a flat, "at-grade" intersection at Green Bay and Brown Deer roads, contrary to the state Department of Transportation's plan for a rebuilt overpass design.

On March 3, the Village Board passed a resolution stating the village's desire to have the DOT change its plans, citing the village "comprehensive plan 2030." The vote was unanimous with the exception of trustee Tim Schilz, who was absent, and trustee Andrea Weddle-Henning, who abstained.

Village Manager Michael Hall said he will meet with DOT representatives, state Rep. Dan Knodl, and state Sen. Alberta Darling next week to advocate for change. Hall said the village is employing a traffic expert to gather data for the purpose of "countering" the DOT's rationale for an overpass and is circulating petitions against the overpass.

"A lot of people want an at-grade intersection for a lot of reasons," Hall said.

Shorewood developing program to control water system cross connections

Shorewood — Shorewood is planning to spend just under $25,000 this year to develop a residential cross control connection program and conduct related compliance inspections in the village, as required by the Department of Natural Resources.

The Village Board on March 3 approved entering into a one-year contract with Hydro Designs, Inc. in the amount of about $24,400 to conduct commercial cross control connection inspections and assist with the development of a residential program.

The village currently inspects all homes for potential cross connections to the municipal water system, but the DNR now requires a more comprehensive program. Annual inspections are required on 10 percent, or about 350, of all residential customers and 50 percent, or about 137, of all commercial customers.

The village is working to develop a plan to update its program to include record keeping, scheduling, public education and staff training to inspect residential properties, according to the memo. DPW staff would perform 250 inspections the first year, with the remainder to be done as training. Inspections for restaurants, bars and other commercial properties would be outsourced.

The village previously budgeted $30,000 to develop the program in 2012, but for work load reasons it was not completed, Public Works Director Leeann Butschlick said. The cost for staff to perform the inspections would be in addition to the contracted amount.

The board agreed it should further discuss how other communities are handling such inspections as it develops the program.

Thiensville trying to save some of its ash tree population

Thiensville — At the March 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Public Works Department shared its plan to save the village's ash tree population in its parks as well as along sidewalks and curbs.

The 10-year action plan to stave off emerald ash borer, a metallic green beetle, was instituted by the Public Works Department.

"To lose all the ash trees will be devastating to the business district in terms of aesthetics and shade," said Andy LaFond, Thiensville's director of public works.

Now in its fourth year of the plan, the department plans to remove ash trees under a 70 percent condition rating or less and replace them with ecologically safer species. Those trees which score above a 70 percent will be treated using either soil or trunk injections.

LaFond said there is value in having adult trees. The National Arbor Day Foundation states people tend to linger longer in shade areas, and properties rent faster when there are trees. Further, property values tend to increase with trees, he said.

Software company

expanding in Mequon

Mequon — Field workforce automation software maker MSI Data is expanding its Mequon headquarters, according to a company news release.

This is MSI's second expansion in the last two months, and the company more than doubled its staff in 2013.

The expansion is a 45 percent increase in office space to about 9,000 square feet and will make room for several new departments.

Fundraising under way

for 'Richards court'

Whitefish Bay — A volunteer fundraising committee is asking for donations to help rebuild the dilapidated "back yard" area at Richards Elementary School.

A two phase plan is set to begin in the spring. In the first phase, the existing tennis court area will be demolished replaced with the "Richards Athletic Court," composed of three tennis courts, three half-court basketball courts, several foursquare and hopscotch grids and backboards for kids to throw and kick balls against, according to a news release from the fundraising committee.

Phase two will focus on improvements to the existing playground equipment at Richards.

The committee encourages donations, which are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to The School District of Whitefish Bay with Richards Athletic Court in the memo line. Donations should be addressed to School District of Whitefish Bay Business Office, Attention: District Accountant — Penny Little, 1200 E. Fairmount Ave.

More information is available at "Richards Athletic Court" on Facebook or by contacting committee co-chairs Carol Fairborn at (414) 241-4086 and Leah Schneider at (414) 559-4397.

Kindergarten registration

upcoming

Mequon — The Mequon-Thiensville School District will hold 2014-15 school year kindergarten registration from 1-6 p.m. on March 19 and 20.

According to a district news release, children who will be five years old by Sept. 1 are eligible.

Parents should bring proof of residency, their child's immunization records, and their child's birth certificate. More information is available at (262) 238-8514 and the district website, mtsd.k12.wi.us.

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