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News & Notes: Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2013

Bay decides details

of stormwater rebates

Whitefish Bay — The Whitefish Bay Village Board on Monday approved the Storm Water Utility Credit Manual, as well as approved a resolution that establishes rebates and credits for residents who have taken steps to improve stormwater quality or lessen the quantity of stormwater runoff.

A rebate application will be available for residents to fill out. There is no rain barrel application fee, according to village documents, because they want to encourage the use of rain barrels. The rain garden and porous pavement application fee is $25, which goes toward the cost of reviewing the application and measurements to confirm it was constructed.

The credit application is available for residents who have added features that hold back the quantity of stormwater and discharges it at a lesser rate; stormwater quality that removes total suspended solids from stormwater; or an isolated property which partially or completely retains all stormwater on site. These credits are only given on the equivalency charge, which is 40 percent of the stormwater utility rate.

Fire Department

board approves budget

Amid the demonstration by North Shore Fire Department firefighters Tuesday morning, the board of directors approved a 2014 budget that includes a 1.5 percent increase to each member community's budget contribution.

According to a presentation by Fire Chief Robert Whitaker, the budget includes a two-person reduction of total nonadministrative staff, from 96 to 94. Whitaker said the positions will become vacant through attrition and won't be filled.

The board also approved a two-year capital resolution to purchase new radios, an ambulance, and turnout gear at a total cost of $425,000.

Whitaker called the 1.5 percent budget increase a compromise by the board, which had been considering budgets ranging from no increase — which would have necessitated significant staff cuts — to a 1.9 percent increase.

School Board moves

up annual meeting date

Shorewood — In order to set the tax levy sooner for cash flow purposes, the Shorewood School District has moved up the date for its annual meeting.

The School Board on Tuesday approved scheduling the 2013-14 annual meeting for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8. The meeting will be held at the Shorewood High School Library, 1701 E. Capitol Drive.

The annual meeting date was previously set for Oct. 22. However, the board is required to set the levy before it can engage in short-term cash flow borrowing, which needs to be done prior to Oct. 22. Superintendent Martin Lexmond said adjusting the annual meeting date is routinely done to address this issue.

District addresses flood

damage to orchestra room

Shorewood — The Shorewood School District is making progress on repairs to the orchestra room at the high school, after a failed boiler pump flooded the area about two weeks ago.

Superintendent Martin Lexmond provided an update on the repairs at the School Board's request on Tuesday. New drywall has been installed and the district is now working to get the walls painted and new flooring installed, Lexmond said.

District staff has requested that acoustic flooring be installed, which would cost the district about $4,000 to $5,000, as it would not be covered by insurance, he said. Required repairs have amounted to about $200,000 total, Lexmond said, but noted that the damage could have been much worse.

Maintenance staff is still in the process of evaluating the boiler pump issue to determine whether new equipment needs to be installed. This is the third time the area has flooded, Lexmond said, although the causes have varied.

Resident student enrollment

on the rise in Shorewood

Shorewood — The Shorewood School District is observing a continued trend of increased resident student enrollment as the 2013-14 school year begins.

In an update to the School Board on Tuesday, Superintendent Martin Lexmond said the district is anticipating the addition of 26 new resident students this school year, although that number will not be official until after the third Friday count later this month.

The district is also re-evaluating the Open Enrollment calculations it made in January to determine whether adjustments are needed, Lexmond said. To determine available open enrollment seats, the district uses 85 percent of the maximum class size for each grade level as a threshold and opens seats based on availability below that level, he explained.

By using that formula, classrooms are not filled to maximum capacity, to allow for additional space should more resident students enroll, Lexmond said.

This year, Open Enrollment seats were offered at Atwater and Lake Bluff elementary schools, Lexmond said. No seats were opened at Shorewood Intermediate School or Shorewood High School. The board has until the third Thursday of September to make any adjustments to Open Enrollment seats.

In response to parent concerns regarding large class sizes at Lake Bluff, Lexmond noted that the district likely will need to hire additional aides to provide support in classrooms with more students. Due to larger classes at Lake Bluff and available space at Atwater, the board may also wish to re-evaluate enrollment boundaries in the future, he added.

New principal

to start at Atwater

Shorewood — Kayla Russick will join the staff of Atwater Elementary as the school's new principal.

The School Board on Tuesday approved a recommendation to hire Russick as interim principal at Atwater, with her role to begin already on Wednesday.

Russick takes the place of former Atwater Elementary Principal Tim Kenney, who is serving this school year as interim principal at Shorewood High School, following the departure of Matt Joynt to the Mequon-Thiensville School District.

Russick served one year as an assistant principal for Milwaukee Public Schools just prior to taking on this role. Before that, she worked for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indiana.

Change order approved for Cahill Park work

Whitefish Bay — Village officials on Monday approved a change order for stormwater management work at Cahill Park in the amount of $112,669.

During the excavation of the lower pond area, H&H Construction encountered groundwater near the bottom of the pond area that is meant to be a dry storage area and usable once the stormwater runoff has drained out of the basin. The project was changed to alleviate the constant groundwater seepage into the bottom of the pond by adding a permeable layer of stone and adjusting the grades. The work will be paid for out of the stormwater capital borrowing fund, according to village documents.

Board endorses upcoming

public education rally

Shorewood — The Shorewood School Board is endorsing the Wisconsin Public Education is A Civil Right March and Rally, to be held later this month.

The School Board on Tuesday approved a resolution stating that in addition to endorsing and serving as a formal sponsor of the rally, the board "encourages students, staff, administration and parents to participate."

The board discussed the event at its last meeting and determined that it would support it.

The rally is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Ave. Participants including active and retired educators and school administrators, students, parents, civil rights groups and other community leaders will assemble for a three-mile march across the 16th Street bridge to Forest Home Avenue School, 1516 W. Forest Home Ave., where they will conduct a rally at 1:30 p.m.

Among other event sponsors are Parents for Public Schools-Milwaukee, Opportunity to Learn-Wisconsin, Women Committed to an Informed Community, the Wisconsin Alliance of Excellent Schools, NAACP, Voces de la Frontera, the Institute for Wisconsin's Future, the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope, members of the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of School Directors and other school boards, as well as teachers' unions from Milwaukee, Racine and surrounding communities, and various other community groups.

District's business manager

position remains vacant

Shorewood — The Shorewood School District is still trying to fill its vacant business manager position, although it now has a candidate in mind.

In a hiring update to the School Board on Tuesday, Superintendent Martin Lexmond said the district is making an offer to its original first-choice candidate for the position, who has already accepted an offer in a neighboring district.

Lexmond said the candidate is very interested in working for the Shorewood School District. Discussions with that person are ongoing, Lexmond said, but if they were to conclude successfully, the district could have a business manager hired within the next 30 days.

Erik Kass, who had been advising the district as its interim business manager, is now committed to Elmbrook Schools, Lexmond said.

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