News & Notes: March 5

March 5, 2014

Junior Woman's Club holding candidate forum

Brown Deer — The Brown Deer Junior Woman's Club is sponsoring a School Board and Village Trustee candidate forum March 20 and a "Bunco Bash" March 29.

The League of Women Voters will moderate the forum, which runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Brown Deer Community Center, 4355 W. Bradley Road.

The Bunco Bash is a community fundraiser that runs from 7-10 p.m. at Trinity Community Church, 9450 N. 60th St. Those interested in attending don't need to know how to play Bunco.

More information on the candidate forum and reservation forms for the Bunch Bash are available at the Junior Woman's Club website,

Range Line Road bridge

project proceeds with guard rails

River Hills — The Village Board on Tuesday 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.

Proposed sewer rate hike may flow into residents' pocketbooks

Thiensville — The Thiensville's Committee of the Whole discussed a possible disbursement of money out of the village's sewer fund balance to ease residents' $4 per quarter sewer tax increase for 2014.

The proposal was to use $60,000 of the $1.2 million balance in the sewer budget to reduce the rate hike. One possibility brought forth was to have the village subsidize $30,000. It would equal $2 per quarter reduction per household which equals $8 of savings this year.

Trustees Kim Beck and David Lange said the board should "take nothing" out of the fund balance and charge Thiensville residents the whole $16 per year sum.

Public Works Director Andy LaFond said the vilalge needs to fix a shared, damaged sewer pipe south of Mequon Road in Mequon. The total bill could run from $500,000 to $600,000 depending on future spring sewer assessments.

No action was taken. A new proposal regarding Thiensville sewer taxation will be presented at the next Village Board meeting.

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 Monday, 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 Monday 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 Monday's 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


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,


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