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Capstone Project

The Jefferson County board members voted on proposed budget-amendments for the year 2014, at 7 pm last Tuesday night in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The County Government provides the citizens with services in many departments including: health, highway maintenance, human services, and parks departments.

Jefferson has approved a countywide property-tax levy of $25.1 million and a mill rate of 4.2655 for the year 2014.  The increase from this year’s  tax levy is mostly due to the construction of a new highway shop.

The meeting opened up with a comment from Andy Didion, who supports the growth of the Parks Department and hopes to keep money for the parks to sustain them throughout the cold months and to add  attractions that will bring more people to Jefferson.

This year, the parks budget is 3.7 percent of the total 2014 budget, and most of  Tuesdays discussion was aimed towards taking away some of that money to go towards other things for the county.  Only one of the proposed amendments passed.

Amendments

Because Jefferson County is made up of many small towns, they take pride in their parks and often look for growth opportunities so the people and tourists in Jefferson can utilize them.  With more money being spent, businesses may look towards opening in Jefferson which will help aid in their overall economic development.

  •  Supervisor George Jaeckel proposed the elimination of capital equipment of $40,000 for a trail groomer/drag and $15,000 for the UTV. Instead, Jaeckel proposed the money should be used to purchase and replace two detective squad cars and/or other unmarked squads.

Jaeckel argued that the groomer was not needed because snow fall is only around 50 inches a year and the machine can only be utilized for few months.  He also argued that public safety is more important than a ski trail.

Members of the board argued that the groomer would increase tourism and attract skiers to the area, and the groomer would help maintain the trails and will keep tourists coming into town.

18 members voted to keep the money in the budget for the groomer/drag, and nine member voted to keep out of the parks budget.

  • Supervisor Gregory Torres proposed four Amendments that would all take money from the Parks Department.

-The first was to remove the entire county portion of $85,000, from the farmland preservation program

-Second was to eliminate $10,000 for the capital item 9 hole disc-golf course at Carlin Weld Park

-Third was to remove $45,000 in spending for parks equipment

-Lastly, Torres proposed to eliminate $13,000 for construction at Garman Nature Preserve in Waterloo.

All of Torres’ proposed Amendments were rejected by the board.  Torres voted against one of his own Amendments to take away money from the Garman Nature Preserve well, after hearing arguments to keep it.

New Highway Shop

The board approved a bond issuance of $1.1 million for the construction of a new highway shop, the bond will be spent on demolishing the old highway shop.  The new shop will be located at the former Countryside Home site.

County Board Chairman John Molinaro said “The new highway shop will be between 85 and 100,000 square feet, The facility will include a welding shop and a mechanic bay.”  Molinaro also said the shop would include office space.

Since the site was home to many other factories and businesses, the area will be tested for dangerous chemicals and other contamination’s.

“In order to get the highway facility done, that should be a stand alone bond issue and not add on all these other issues because it complicates the decision,” said Molinaro.

Molinaro said the project would begin in January, and he will begin looking to hire a construction supervisor.

The next county Board meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Jefferson County Courthouse at 311 S. Center Ave., Jefferson, Wisc.

VAL CHMERKOVSKIY, ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN

SHOCKING-  was last night’s elimination on week 9 of “Dancing with the Stars.”  The results had the ballroom astounded with the early elimination of Elizabeth Berkley.

Despite getting a perfect score on her trio performance with partner Val Chmerkovskiy and guest Gleb Savchenko, it was the end of her ballroom dancing career.

Berkley has been a front-runner all season, so the judges were on their feet in complete dismay Monday night when the star ended up in sixth place.

After the performances last night,  first on the leader board was Corbin Bleu & partner Karina Smirnoff  with their Viennese Waltz and jazz trio dance.  Second on the board was eliminated star Elizabeth Berkley & Partner Val Chmerkovskiy who also performed a Viennese Waltz and a salsa trio dance.

Second to last on the leader board was star Amber Riley & partner Derek Hough with their Quickstep and salsa trio dance with Mark Ballas.  Last place with the lowest scores was Bill Engvall & partner Emma Slater with the Charleston and a salsa trio dance.

During the results, the bottom two stars with the least amount of viewer votes ended up being “Saved by the Bell” alumni Berkley and comedian Engvall.

Berkley was surprised to be in the bottom two, having had top scores consistently, while Engvall was hardly shocked to find himself there, as he’s been there for the past three episodes.  Engvall’s partner Slater began crying when they were awaiting what seemed to be their elimination from the show.

However, Berkley was sent home and Engvall will go on to perform in the semifinals next week.

The judges and audience members stood up and filled the ballroom with boos and shouts of disapproval.  Although Berkley seemed like a contender  to win the competition, she said upon exiting, “I’m sad — there was some more things we wanted to do, but this is an amazing gift in my life. It’s a one in a lifetime but I’m going to take it with me in all that I do.”

Berkley was not the first shocking elimination of season 17.  Other front-running eliminated stars include:

  • Christian Milian & partner Mark Ballas
  • Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi & partner Sasha Farber
  • Brant Daugherty & partner Peta Murgatroyd

All of the stars eliminated had overall higher scores than these stars still competing:

  • Bill Engvall & partner Emma Slater
  • Jack Osbourne & partner Cheryl Burke
  • Leah Remini & partner Tony Dovolani

With the Mirrorball being awarded in just two weeks, the stars may be startled by yet another shocking elimination.  The semifinals start next Monday, and the stars have already began learning their dance’s for next week.

A new system that allows residents to track their water usage to help conserve water and save money will now be available in the city of Whitewater.  Dr. McGee Young introduced H20score to the Whitewater Common Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17.  The Common Council agreed to allow H20score provide the city with such services that could potentially cost $500 a year.

 

H20Score will provide residents with an online dashboard that will track their home water usage and compare it to other homes within a quarter square mile. H20score users are enrolled in a Conservation Rewards Program that gives discounts and store credits at participating local businesses.  Users can receive these rewards when reducing water consumption through the program.

The program is not restricted to only homeowners.  Landlords or anyone with a water bill can utilize the dashboard.

By providing incentives, Young hopes to get more people conscious about their water usage.

When Dr. Young, Political Science teacher at Marquette University, started to develop H20 score, he collaborated with professors from UW-Whitewater and other universities to further his developments.  The initial dashboard was hard to use and often stopped working.  But through the long and difficult process of developing this technology, Young continued to work with others to make the dashboard more user- friendly.

The system is now being used in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Whitewater, and a few other locations in Wisconsin.  With more positive results, Young is looking to expand to more areas in Wisconsin and to other countries such as Australia and France.

The new next generation dashboard is available and the Whitewater community will be the testing ground for the new program.  “A community coming together can make themselves stronger by becoming more sustainable,” Young Said.

Young will be talking more in depth about his program at the Water Smart Innovation Conference on Wednesday Oct. 2 in Las Vegas.

The City Council members also discussed:

–       A city wide smoke test would take place Monday Sept. 23.  They need to find the areas in which water enters into the city that shouldn’t be entering.  Testing the sewer system for any breaks in the line is easiest to find with the smoke test.  If you see smoke, call (262) 473-5920.

 

–       Strand & Associates is the company selected to conduct a storm water mitigation study.  Storm water has been a problem in Whitewater for some time, causing flooding in certain areas.  Whitewater hopes to fix this problem to reduce flooding and to save money.

 

–       The Brown Cab Public transportation system will be extending their hours of operation to run until 9 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.  There will also be one more driver available during these times.  These changes would only take place during the school year, when Whitewater has more residents.

 

–       The Discover Whitewater half-marathon will hopefully become an annual event for Whitewater.  Around 500 runners along with 63 sponsors participated in the marathon.  This event will help get Whitewater recognized and to hopefully draw more runners in the upcoming years.  The money raised went to five local organizations.

 

–       A class B liquor license to transfer from Robert Sweet to Day n Nite Inc. was approved at 204 W. Main St.  The location is known as the Downstairs sports bar or also as the Ly Brewery.

Hello!

Hello all!

My name is Chelsea Luchinski,  I’m 23 years old and finally finishing up my last semester here at UW-Whitewater!  Although I am excited that school has started, I’m sad to see summer end.  This past summer has been one of the greatest.

I started my summer vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida.  I spent ten days sitting on white sand beaches, soakin’ up the sun and riding the waves in the Gulf.  I also went parasailing for the first time!

About a month later I took a spontaneous weekend trip to Syracuse, New York, to visit my brother and his Fiance.  I drove for 13 hours by myself.  I’m never doing that again!  Although the drive was long and boring, the trip was well worth it.  Upstate New York is beautiful!

Come January, I’ll be taking my next vacation to the Dominican Republic as a new Whitewater Alumni!

Follow me on Twitter!

Panama City Beach