Jefferson County Board Meeting

March 19th, 2019

Creating a Broadband Working Group

 The Jefferson County Board meeting on Tuesday, March 12 voted to create a Broadband Working Group in order to expand broadband access in underserved areas of Jefferson County.


Gaining broadband access involves the use of high-speed Internet. Jefferson County is getting great Internet access in their cities, but not so much in their rural areas of town like farms.


Jim Schroeder, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board, states that the rural areas having access to broadband are a “big boost for economic development”. In order to make the access more economically feasible, it will take both the county and town governments to contribute to funding for the project to happen.


Amy Rinard, County Supervisor, states “once you get across the line into Jefferson County, it’s a whole different story, and there are pockets just like that all over Jefferson County that are, if not just underserved, actual dead zones”. Economically, this issue is important because more and more children are doing their homework on the Internet, and it will also help increase property values.


The Broadband Working Group will include five to seven members picked from County Board Chair, Jim Schroeder. Members include supervisors, Jeff Johns, Dick Jones, Russ Kutz, Jim Mode, and Amy Rinard.


Members of the Broadband Working Group will be paid each day for meeting attendance in agreement with County policy, and the group will dissolve at the end of the 2018-2020 County Board term.


Barbara Frank Retirement


Barbara Frank, Jefferson County Clerk, is retiring from her position and had her last board meeting Tuesday. To celebrate, the board members had cake to share with everyone.


Her family also attended to celebrate her accomplishments, and took a family picture. They could not be more proud of all she has done in her work with the County Board.


Frank stood up to give a speech to the County Board stating, she has “loved working with every one of you and could not have picked a better place to be”.


Accepting Bids on Construction Projects


The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received bids from different vendors to construct a post frame storage building at the County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility in Lake Mills.


The bids were as follows:

  • Bos Design Builders- $70,495
  • Badgerland- $109,610


The board accepted the bid price from Bos Design Builders for this project at a cost not to go over $71,000.


The Human Services Department received bids to replace two boilers at the Human Services Workforce Development Building.


The bids were as follows:

  • Sun Mechanical, LLC- $50,500
  • General Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.- $53,995
  • 1901, Inc.- $58,250
  • Richter Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.- $64,968
  • Illingworth-Kilgust Mechanical- $65,483


The Building and Grounds Committee and the Human Services Board both recommended to forward the resolution to accept the bid from Sun Mechanical to the County Board. The bid from Sun Mechanical was accepted by the County Board at Tuesday’s meeting.


Proclamation of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month


The Jefferson County Board proclaimed the month of April 2019 as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month on Tuesday.


Child abuse and neglect has been an ongoing problem not only in society, but it also affects children in Jefferson County. There are many organizations that help raise awareness for this problem.


One of the main reasons for this is to help children and to think of future generations. The proclamation includes that every child is entitled to be loved, cared for, nurtured, and feel secure.


The next County Board meeting will be Tuesday, April 19 at 5 p.m. due to the spring election.

Common Council Discusses Shared Ride Taxi Service

February 26th, 2019

An Increase in Shared Ride Taxi Service


During the Whitewater Common Council meeting that took place on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the council voted to increase the fare costs of the Shared Ride Taxi Program due to a decline in ridership.


The Shared Ride Taxi Program, Brown Cab operates under the funding of WisDOT and US FTA grants but due to the fact that citizens are not riding as much, the city of Whitewater is responsible for any balance remaining if the grants fall short of program costs.


This means that fares will have to increase in order to reach the city budget-funding requirement. Previously, the Finance Committee reviewed the potential fare changes on Jan. 15 for it to be discussed at this meeting.


The fare changes include an hourly cost to operate, an increase from $28.87 in 2018 to $31.73 in 2019-2020. The expected amount of operating fare will increase to $32,370 from $22,934 taken from 2018.


To reach this goal, the recommended motion is as follows:


  • Agency/Package delivery fares: $9.50 per trip
  • Out of town mileage fare: $2.25 per mile
  • Additional wait time: $0.40 per minute


The members of the council agreed to these changes but as it was time for the public hearing, new concerns were taken into effect.


Brienne Brown, a citizen of Whitewater, spoke at the public hearing expressing her concerns with disabled citizens not being allowed to board the transportation systems at certain times of the day.


The council members explained that all vehicles are handicapped equipped. Lynn Binnie, Alderman of District Four, stated the disabled/elderly transportation fare “really is one of the most important services.”


The hours of operation had a factor in this concern because disabled citizens were not granted access to the transportation systems around 7 p.m., when the hours of operation state that Monday through Wednesday during the university session is 7 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.


The council discussed these issues and Brown stated, “that there needs to be better communication.” There were no other citizens that spoke during this time.


Cameron Clapper’s visit to Madison


Cameron Clapper, the City Manager, went to Madison on Feb. 20 to attend the League of Wisconsin municipalities Lobby Day event. This event involves meeting with local government leaders and state representatives to discuss current issues that impact local communities.


Clapper was in attendance to give an update on the 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda, which ensures sustainable funding and efficient delivery for municipal services.


One of the Legislative priorities is to strengthen local democracy. This includes restoring municipal powers such as regulating location of cell phone towers, creating regional transportation authorities, condemning property for bike and pedestrian paths, and prohibiting short-term home rentals.


Also included to strengthen democracy is the League disapproving legislation in regards to limiting municipal authority that relates to spending and taxing decisions, police powers, land use regulation, labor relations, tax incremental financing, and water/sewer utilities.


The Legislative Agenda was discussed briefly at Tuesday’s meeting. All of the council members approved of what was on the agenda, giving Clapper permission to present it to the League in Madison.


Clapper made a presentation thanking the citizens who have been removing the snow off streets and sidewalks on these cold and snowy days we have been having.


He also reminded everyone that Tuesday’s meeting did not appear on the local TV station because of a technical glitch, but is working to get it fixed as soon as possible.


Introducing Me

January 31st, 2019


My name is Allison Koper and I am a Journalism student at UW-Whitewater. I am set to graduate in May 2019 and am so excited to start searching for professional jobs.  My interests include binge-watching Netflix, listening to music, and going out with family and friends. I would love to travel the world some day because I love exploring different cities and cultures.  I am majoring in journalism because I find the news very interesting to write and talk about.  In the future, I would love to write about the entertainment industry because I like to talk about celebrity gossip!