Jefferson County Board Meeting Votes on Amendments for 2014 Budget

On Nov. 12, Jefferson County Board members debated and voted on amendments for the proposed budget for 2014.

Jefferson County’s tax levy for 2014 is $27,004,367 with a mill rate of 4.2655. A tax levy is the amount of tax money that a governing authority expects to collect during a fiscal year.

Homeowners pay taxes on the assessed value of their property to different jurisdictions in the state. The county receives money from the property taxes and uses it for  different departments that help function the county.

Every year the board gets together to discuss and vote on amendments of the proposed budget. This past meeting brought up many concerns about the county’s park and recreation spending.

Even though the parks budget is only 3.7 percent of the total 2014 budget, it was heavily discussed and debated at the meeting.

The Park’s Department aims to “preserve natural resources for public use and conservation, to operate and maintain a parks system with resource oriented recreation, trails, and special use parks; and to expand the parks system for environmental and land use benefits.”

Gregory Torres, District 12 Representative, proposed amendments that would eliminate money from this part of the budget.
“We have a wonderful park system and plenty of parks in this county, we should maintain what we have and not keep adding to it. This money should be saved for future issues and needs,” Torres said.

Very few other board members agreed by saying that the county must create a boundary somewhere within this budget. In 2000, the budget for parks and recreation was at $200,000 but has now increased to $900,000.
Some other amendments that were voted against regarding parks and recreation included:

  • Add $3 million in bonding authority to be used if and only if needed to complete bike trail between Waterloo and Oconomowoc.
  • Eliminate $278,0003 farmland expenditure from the budget
  • Elminate $10,000 from Parks Department for installation of 9 hole disc golf course at Carlin Weld Park
  • Eliminate $13,000 from Parks Department for installation of a well at Garman Nature Preserve (This well will provide a water fountain for park users)
  • Eliminate $45,000 from Parks Department for recreational equipment purchases

The county members voted that that the Park and Recreation’s Department proposed budget was vital in order to keep the county attractive. Many of the members argued that the outdoor recreation greatly contributes to the economy.

A new highway shop was approved in the budget and will be built at the start of 2014 for the Highway Department.  This highway shop will be built outside of Jefferson in replacement of the former Countryside Home site.

The shop will contain large heated storage area for snowplows and equipment, a mechanic shop, office space and meeting rooms.

John Molinaro, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors, said that the investment in the highway shop is necessary and will help to maintain the roads throughout the area.

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

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Beth Moore Takes Over Daytona Beach

moore

 

With coffee cups and Bibles in hand, more than 9,000 women lined up outside Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fl., on Nov. 8 and 9 to attend Beth Moore’s Christian Conference.

At her last event for the 2013-year, evangelist leader Beth Moore drew a crowd of women of all ages from over 25 states.

The conference is designed for women to take a weekend off and learn more about their Christian faith and beliefs.

Moore, 53, has traveled and spoke at more than 12 events for 2013. Her conferences over the past years have impacted more than 1.8 million women.

She is best known for her charming southern personality, bestseller Bible studies and teaching guides that touch on meaningful life topics.

The Start of it All

Born on an army base in Green Bay, Wis., Moore was the fourth child of her family. She then moved to Arkansas where one of her youngest memories was handing out popcorn at the local movie theatre that her father managed.

It was during her time in the cinema that she began to develop a love for story telling and writing.

Moore was raised in a Baptist church and knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life in ministry after her graduation from Southwest Texas State University.

After getting her feet wet in speaking at women’s church events and teaching Christian aerobics, Moore founded Living Proof Ministries in 1994 with the hopes of teaching women more about the Bible and their faith.

Moore has traveled for speaking conferences in all 50 states and many other countries since the start of her ministry.

Moore and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.

Living Proof Ministries Final Event

The Daytona Conference took place right near the beach and downtown Daytona.

As thousands of women flooded the room, Moore’s partner Travis Cottrell played piano and sang worship songs alongside his band.

Travis Cottrell is an American contemporary Christian  songwriter and recently won a GMA Dove Award for his song “Jesus Saves”.

The worship team opened the conference with many upbeat songs that had the room clapping and dancing in worship.

After worship, Moore taught the audience about 10 ways to understand what the “hand of God” means for Christians.

Her 10 points included:

  • The is nothing like the hand of the Lord upon us
  • Jesus gave flesh and bones to the outstretched hand of God
  • We are not only in God’s hands; we are also in his arms
  • We stretch out our hands to his outstretched hands
  • Jesus knew firsthand what it was like to be a human
  • We need to stop listening to the world in order to listen to what God is saying
  • When God’s hand is heavy, he wants something handed over
  • We have one sure way to get back beneath his hand
  • Often times his hand raises us up after the thing that nearly killed us
  • Christ is seated at God’s right hand until we see him split the sky one day
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Whitewater Common Council Discusses Sewer Smoke Testing and Water Conservation for the City

 

Last Tuesday in a bi-weekly council meeting, the Whitewater council announced that the city would begin smoke testing on the west side of town starting Sept. 23. The purpose is to check for illegal clear water entries through sewers with hopes of finding breaks in the line.

Smoke testing allows the city to see where cracks or breaks in the sewer line need to be fixed so that the system can be more efficient, especially when large rains occur which cause overflow at the water treatment facility.

Councilmember’s say that there are no major problems so far within the sewer system but want to take precautions to make sure it’s secure for the future.

City Manager Cameron Clapper said smoke may appear in residential areas such as basements, roof drains, cracks in the pavement, lawns, or other areas around the home that are connected to the sewer.
Residents who experience this are encouraged to run water down any plumbing fixture or drains. The smoke is not dangerous and will not do any damage to the plumbing fixtures that it may appear in.

The council reassured that if a resident’s home is in violation of these sewer or plumbing codes that they will not be fined as long as they are compliant to working with the city to fix the issue.

Residents who are concerned about utility smoke testing can also get answers to their questions here.

The council also discussed a water conservation program called H2Oscore that was passed in order to help the residents and companies of Whitewater to conserve water usage and save on costs.

An online dashboard makes it easy for users to check their water usage and track their spending. Since Whitewater is home to a college university, there are many advantages for college landlords to use this system.

Landlords can earn rewards based upon their water conservation. The rewards include discounts to local restaurants or businesses. Since a fair amount of landlords in Whitewater pay for the water bill for the tenants, the landlords can use these rewards as an incentive for their renters to keep the water costs down.

The system could also potentially help residents to find out if there is a plumbing leak in their home. It’s a convenient way to check on the water activity that a household is using.

McGee Young, a professor from Marquette and founder of the water project, said that the start of the H2Oscore had some glitches but after working with students and other faculty they have been able to improve the program. The system took almost two years to create.

“It’s a great system and just shows that when we pull together as a community we can do amazing things,” Young said.
This conservation system will cost a minimal $500 for the city to implement.

Other topics discussed at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • Discover Whitewater Series Race will take place on Sunday, Sept. 22. So far the half marathon has about 400 runners, 63 sponsors and 5 charity partners. The city hopes to make this an annual event each fall.
  • Whitewater public library launches a new mobile app for members that can be found Google Play store or App Store under “WW Public Library”.
  • The popular local transportation system, Brown Cab, reports that their ridership numbers are increasing because of the aging population, poor economy, and the younger generation are postponing buying a care right away. The company wants to extend its hour of operations for 2014.
  • Councilman Clapper reviewed what is expected to be Whitewater’s annual budget and expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

 

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Capstone class

Howdy, friends. Here is my first post for my capstone class blog! Recently I’ve been really interested in companies that sell merchandise for good causes. Since I love getting involved in missions, I love that these companies are trying to do their part from overseas. It’s making a big impact and they make it easy for their customers to help as well.  Here is a link to my favorite stores, maybe you’ve heard of them.

Warby Parker is a company that sells eyewear. The eyewear that they sell is sort of hipster and they try to keep up the latest fashions. There are people in some countries who don’t have access to eyewear so Warby Parker has promised to  donate a pair of glasses to someone in need with each purchase. They want to see people’s vision improve so that they can be more effective in their work and communities.

Same with the company Sevenly. Sevenly sells t-shirts, hoodies & tank tops. They pair up with an organization each week and donate $7 from each shirt to that organization. Every week the cause is new and they never remake the same shirt. This weeks cause is for starving children in the Phillipines. One shirt bought means that one child gets food for a whole month.

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