News & Notes: Oct. 31

Oct. 31, 2012

Boy Scout book drive under way

Mequon - Eagle Scout hopeful Jon Gitter of Mequon is working with Next Door Foundation of Milwaukee to bring books to underprivileged Milwaukee children.

Gitter's book drive will run through Oct. 31. New or used book are acceptable, as well as picture and board books.

For more information, contact Gitter at (262) 242-9312.

Brown Deer officials certify district's 2012-13 tax levy

Brown Deer - The School Board voted in favor of a certified property tax levy increase of 0.38 percent. The figure is the same amount approved by residents at the district's annual meeting earlier this month.

Across its various funds, the district will be levying $13.31 million for the 2012-13 school year.

Director of Finance Emily Koczela said there were few changes from the budget projections shared earlier this month at the annual meeting. One notable alteration: The district is receiving $2,462 more in state aid than anticipated.

Bay district board approves certified levy

Whitefish Bay - The Whitefish Bay School Board approved a certified 2013 tax levy of approximately $21.8 million morning.

The updated levy is approximately $750,000 less than the levy approved at the district's annual meeting, and is slightly less than the 2012 district levy.

The tax rate (per $1,000 of equalized value) decreases from $10.79 last year to $10.70.

Mequon-Thiensville board approves certified levy

Mequon - The Mequon-Thiensville School Board voted, 5-1, Monday to approve an approximately $37.6 million 2013 certified tax levy, a reduction of about $233,000 from the 2012 levy.

Board member Cheryle Rebholz voted against the action.

The certified levy represents an increase of approximately $42,000 from the levy approved at the district annual meeting, the result of a somewhat larger decrease in state aid than originally projected and a limit exemption for special education.

Though the levy is down from last year, the tax rate (per $1,000 of equalized value) will increase due to a decrease in district property values, from $8.68 to $8.91 this year.

A resident with a home valued at $350,000 would pay $3,119 to support the district's 2012-13 levy.

School Board sets 2012-13 student achievement goals

Brown Deer - The School Board approved a number of measurable goals around the theme of student achievement for the 2012-13 school year.

Goals include eliminating achievement gaps between different subgroups within the district, increasing the number of students taking advanced placement tests by 10 percent and improving on the high school's existing graduation rate.

The goals had been compiled in recent months and hashed over recently at the board's Teaching and Learning Committee.

Village renews contract for crossing guard services

Shorewood - The Village Board voted to renew its contract with Twin City Security in 2013 for crossing guard services.

During school hours, the firm provides crossing guards in a number of busy roadways, namely along Oakland Avenue and Capitol Drive. Twin Cities provided the village with a quote of $17.49 per hour, or about $64,485 for the year.

Two other firms provided proposals, but village staff recommended staying with Twin City, noting the firm's current exemplary performance record within the community.

Village reviewing policies, ordinances on rezoning requests

Shorewood - The village is in the midst of reviewing its existing policies and ordinances on rezoning requests. The preliminary process involved a comparison of what other communities have on their books.

Two area communities - Whitefish Bay and New Berlin - require applicants to place a sign on a property that could be rezoned. In Shorewood, officials have discussed adopting a similar requirement so people are clearly aware.

The village currently mails a notice to property owners living within 200 feet of a property. The notification includes information on a public hearing, which is required before any rezoning is granted.

Erika Lang, planning and zoning administrator, said she does not recommend posting signs on properties.

"The village has zero to two zoning petitions a year," Lang said. "All zoning amendments require two Plan Commission meetings and one public hearing by the Village Board across a three-month period."

The board took no action on the issue, but the issue could be revisited at a later date.

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