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News and Notes: Nov. 7

Nov. 7, 2012

Budget public hearing set for later this month

Whitefish Bay - The Whitefish Bay Village Board will hold a public hearing on Nov. 19 before taking action to adopt the proposed 2013 budget.

The hearing takes place at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 5300 N. Marlborough Drive.

The budget, which proposes setting the 2013 tax levy at nearly $10.6 million and the tax rate at $5.35 per $1,000 of assessed value, is available for public inspection in the Clerk/Treasurer's Office at Village Hall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sewer utility rate increasing in Whitefish Bay

Whitefish Bay - Whitefish Bay residents can anticipate a slight increase in sewer user charges beginning in 2013.

The Village Board on Monday approved a resolution to increase the sewer rate by 13 cents or about 5 percent, to $2.65 per 100 cubic feet. The increase amounts to an estimated $62,000 gain in revenue for the sewer utility fund in 2013.

Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said village staff tried to strike a balance to find an increase that would be palatable to residents while still building fund equity.

The utility has been relying on fund balance to cover operations in recent years, Finance Director/Clerk Jennifer Amerell said, and it will be important to begin adding to fund equity as the village prepares to undertake significant capital projects in the near future.

The rate increase 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.

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.

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 on Monday 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 on Monday 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 on Monday 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.

Shorewood Village Board amends fee schedule

Shorewood - The Shorewood Village Board on Monday approved an amendment to the Village fee schedule to include downspout connections to ensure that whenever a downspout is disconnected, a building inspector is required to review it.

The board also voted to forgo the disconnection fee; however, inspections are required.

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 on Monday 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 on Monday 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 last week 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 last week.

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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