News & Notes: Dec. 19

Dec. 19, 2012

2013 wage and benefits ordinances approved

Shorewood - The wages and benefits for Shorewood employees next year have been set.

The Village Board on Monday adopted the 2013 Wage and Fringe Benefits ordinances for both general classification employees and police lieutenants and sergeants.

Village Manager Chris Swartz explained that police lieutenant and sergeant positions are a cross between management and nonmanagement, thus requiring a separate contract. According to a memo from Swartz, their contract is very specific regarding certain factors, such as work hours and overtime, vacation selection, retirement contributions and the educational incentive program.

Both ordinances include a 1.5 percent increase in wages across the board in 2013, except for a handful of positions for which wages will be increased above 1.5 percent.

The ordinances adopted exclude nonmanagement, sworn police officers, who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Nominate someone for hall of inspiration

Mequon - The Mequon-Thiensville School District is asking the community to nominate worthy candidates for the district's Hall of Inspiration.

Community members are asked to nominate district alumni who have gone on to make a positive impact in their profession and district staff who have made an impact on children.

Nominations are available on the district website through Jan. 7 at

Brown Deer awarded Safe Routes to School grant

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer School District and village of Brown Deer were awarded a Safe Routes to School grant, which will go toward fixing sidewalks on Dean Road and crosswalks on 60th Street.

The village of Brown Deer worked with the School District to apply for the federal Safe Routes to School grant, which totals approximately $217,000.

The grant will help offset the cost of installing sidewalks on Dean Road from 55th Street to Teutonia. Dean Road is a common route for students and pedestrians. The grant will also be used for some signage and crosswalk improvement on 60th Street near the school.

Superintendent Deb Kerr will attend a January Village Board meeting to discuss the grant.

Board to call families first week of January

Brown Deer - Brown Deer School Board members will call families who have decided to open enroll their children in a different school district the first two weeks of January.

Letters have been mailed to those families who send their children outside of the Brown Deer School District. The intent is to ask "why?" in an effort to gather information on how the district can improve.

"We aren't trying to sell them anything, we simply want information," School Board President Gary Williams said. "It's an opportunity for us, if there are areas of improvement, for us to address those areas."

The public will receive an update on the information gathered at its January board meeting.

Longtime DPW route collector to retire

Shorewood - Don Bentzien, longtime route collector for the Shorewood Department of Public Works, will retire at the end of this year.

The Village Board on Monday authorized filling the route collector position that will be vacated with his retirement, effective Dec. 31. Bentzien has more than 27 years of service with the village.

An eligibility list was created this fall in the process of filling another route collector position, and DPW Director Leeann Butschlick indicated in a memo that staff believes an applicant remaining on the list would be a good candidate for the position.

Butschlick also noted that additional vacancies are expected in 2013, as several other DPW employees are approaching the level of service needed for retirement.

Shorewood adopts employee handbook

Shorewood - Village of Shorewood employees now have an official employee handbook in place.

The Village Board on Monday, at the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee, voted to approve the village's 2012 human resources manual.

The purpose of the manual is "to establish and maintain a fair and reasonable system for administration of all personnel matters." The document covers factors including employment policies, pay practices and salary classifications, career development, hours of work and overtime, employee benefits, employee conduct, safety and end of employment procedures, among other topics.

Village Manager Chris Swartz said the handbook will take effect Jan. 1.

Brown Deer selects subcontractors for school remodel

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer School Board on Tuesday selected all the subcontractors for the middle school remodel.

Subcontracts went to companies to complete items such as electrical work, HVAC systems, masonry work and carpentry. As of Tuesday, 100 percent of the project has been bid and contracts subsequently awarded.

Currently, the project is $400,000 under budget, which will be rolled over into the construction contingency fund.

Consultant could be hired to review employee pay

Mequon - City staff and the Common Council last week discussed policies related to employee compensation. A proposal to hire a consulting firm at a projected cost of $22,000 was raised, but tabled for action until the council's January meeting.

City Administrator Lee Szymborski said he would like a consultant to conduct the study because most employees have not received salary adjustments since 2010.

The goal, Szymborski said, would be to examine what other organizations and companies pay comparable employees in the public and private sector.

Alderman John Wirth said he believed the analysis could be done in-house to save the consultancy fees.

City's 2013 sanitary sewer budget approved by council

Mequon - The city's 2013 sanitary sewer budget of $9.6 million was approved last week by the Common Council.

Established rates for nonmetered residential properties are $67.25 per quarter unit, or $269 for the year. Metered residences and all commercial properties will be charged at a rate of $4.97 per 1,000 gallons used within each quarter.

Mequon's sanitary sewer budget is independent of the general operating budget.

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