Muskego aldermen will review whether a change they made last year to the city's purchasing policy is a little too hands-off.
The new policy came under criticism at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting because once the Common Council approves the budget for the year, aldermen have no more say over how the money is spent.
Priorities change and sometimes spending for a large project isn't such a good idea anymore, Alderman Daniel Soltysiak said. He would rather go back to the way it was before with the Finance Committee signing off on all contracts of more than $25,000, he said. Under the changed policy, no contracts or expenditures come back to the committee or Common Council, if they are in the budget.
Alderman Kert Harenda also criticized the new policy, saying that money saved on one project can be applied to another when the council might not want that to happen. He wanted more council oversight on such transfers.
The Committee of the Whole will meet with department heads as early as Jan. 22 to see if going back to the old policy or modifying the new one might be in order.
New Berlin — With a large tract of farmland almost ready for development, New Berlin officials want to establish a policy about when the city might form the special taxing units that many communities use to speed development.
A draft policy to use as a guide when developers ask the city of New Berlin to form a special taxing unit to promote their developments is now in the hands of aldermen who will hash out details in weeks to come.
New Berlin has already used the tax incremental finance district to advantage to develop the Westridge/Towne Corporate Business Park. The TIF promoted growth of the tax base from the original $5 million to more than $182 million today, according to city staff.
Under the draft policy, the city would retain its power to be picky about which developments it would back, requiring extensive financial information and guarantees to protect taxpayers.
Safeguards essential» Read Full Article
New Berlin — Parents who registered their children for fall New Berlin Recreation Department swimming lessons know that the fees shot up $18 or about 39 percent.
The same goes for two adult swimming pool offerings, also of the recreation department.
The reason is that the department wants to make the swim programs pay for themselves as the other recreation programs do, said Caitlin Vosberg, recreation program supervisor.
Fees for fall swimming lessons that had been $46 and $49 are now $64 and $67. Adult swim was $51 and is now $69 with adult Aquacise that was $35 now being $53.
Despite the hikes, enrollment seems stable compared to last fall, Vosberg said. And she hasn't had any feedback from disappointed parents.» Read Full Article
EISENHOWER GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
The Lions went winless, but played well, at the Menomonee Falls Invitational on Oct. 3.
Eisenhower lost to Germantown (25-19, 25-15), Menomonee Falls (25-20, 25-18), West Allis Hale (25-19, 25-21, 15-13), Kettle Moraine Lutheran (25-22, 19-25, 15-7) and Bay Port (25-23, 25-23),
The results from the South Milwaukee dual meet were not reported.
WEST FOOTBALL» Read Full Article
New Berlin —New building in the city such as the Walmart on Greenfield Avenue likely will keep the 2016 tax rate flat, officials said.
Although the proposed 2016 property tax levy is projected to be 1.16 percent higher than the previous year, value added this year to the city's tax base should cover the tax levy increase, officials said. Next year's proposed operating budget is $35.2 million, up 0.71 percent. The proposed levy is $24.7 million. A proposed tax rate has yet to be formulated because the budget is not yet completed.
A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, on the proposed New Berlin budget that is projected to be a zero-increase property tax budget for city purposes.
How individual properties will be affected by the proposed levy is complicated by last year's revaluation of all the property in the city for property tax purposes. The average citywide increase in property values was 2.5 percent. That means the owner of property that rose 2.5 percent in value would pay the same amount of property taxes, if the levy remained the same and if no property were added to the tax base. If the property value increased more than 2.5 percent, the tax bill would be higher. But if the property value increased less than 2.5 percent, taxes would be lower.
Budget highlights» Read Full Article
As the Muskego-Norway schools start the second of a three-year evidence-based leadership program, Superintendent Kelly Thompson reported the schools are seeing positive results already.
"We have seen an increase in employee satisfaction in all areas of our engagement survey," she said.
That is a sign that the evidence-based leadership initiative aimed at helping administrators better support employees to maximize their potential is not just on paper but is in everyday use.
Muskego-Norway has partnered with the Pewaukee and Kettle Moraine school districts to have leadership consultant the Studer Group teach district-level administrators and principals evidence-based leadership techniques.
"Studer has worked with us to embed 'evidence-based leadership' into our daily work," Thompson said.» Read Full Article
New Berlin West won the top three singles championships en route to winning the Woodland Conference Tennis Tournament on Sept. 29 and 30 at Greenfield and Greendale high schools.
The Vikings finished with 39 points, before Wauwatosa West (33), Pewaukee (30) and New Berlin Eisenhower (27). Naomi Bhagat, Teresa Wan and Alyssa Nelson each won a singles championship.
"Our conference tournament win was a total team effort," Vikings coach Chris Viste said. "Everyone contributed needed points. Naomi, Teresa and Alyssa continued to play extremely well at the tournament, as they've done all year. It was nice to see them carry through that competitiveness at the tournament."
It has been a long time since the Vikings won a title.
"I'm very excited and proud of the girls for winning the tournament," Viste said. "It's the first conference girls tennis championship since 1986. It was great to see them come together as a team and all contribute to the win. Everyone was needed."» Read Full Article
The New Berlin Eisenhower swimming team tallied another dual-meet victory Sept. 30 against crosstown rival New Berlin West, 105-80, and then placed fifth at the Cedarburg Bulldogs Invite on Oct. 3.
Against West, the Lions posted some noteworthy one-two finishes in the 200 medley relay, the 100 butterfly and the 100 breast stroke.
Finishing first were the 200 medley relay (1:57.21) behind Maddie Guman, Emma Oleniczak, Abby Carter and Shayna Putney and the 400 freestyle relay (4:01.68) with Abby Carter, Julia Carson, Guman and Paige Carter.
In the individual events, Paige Carter won the 200 IM (2:21.81) and the 100 free (57.03), and Abby Carter won the 50 free (26.87) and the 100 butterfly (1:03.34).
Guman in the 100 backstroke (1:01.47) and Oleniczak (1:14.59) were the other winners.» Read Full Article
It was a tough week for the New Berlin West boys soccer team, losing two Woodland Conference matches and going 1-2 in their own weekend tournament.
The Vikings opened the tournament on Oct. 2 by losing to eventual champion Hartford, 2-0. Both goals were scored late in the second half with the first by a penalty kick.
"We played hard throughout, but Hartford deserved their win," West coach Matt Drago said.
West then played Fond du Lac in the second round, losing a heartbreaker, 4-3. The Vikings got down, 1-0, and then tied the score, 1-1.
"After two missed clears in our 18, then an own goal by us, we found ourselves down 4-1 late in the first half," Drago said.» Read Full Article
With a big battle looming for the Badgers, Iowa graduate J.P. Cadorin talks about the dangers the Hawkeyes present. Also, while Aaron Rodgers has been excellent, there is another quarterback who's been just as impressive. And could a prep football powerhouse be left out of the playoffs this year entirely?
No one spoke at a public hearing on the New Berlin School Board plan to borrow $5.1 million to provide air conditioning and to revamp the HVAC systems at Poplar Creek and Orchard Lane elementary schools.
The hearing was held Monday and the school board approved going ahead with the borrowing that night, also. However, residents still have the right to petition to stop the borrowing plan. The deadline is Oct. 14. Both the school board and the annual meeting already have approved the projects.
The borrowing would add 6 cents per $1,000 to school property taxes on a home worth $250,000, school officials estimate, and the additional expense is already within the proposed 1.2 percent property tax levy for the current 2015-16 school year.
The air conditioning projects should start in December and be finished by the start of school next fall.
The projects are estimated to save $726,000 per year in cost avoidance plus $2,242 annually in energy savings, officials estimate.
New Berlin —"I'm still shaking," Jeanne Holden, founder and director of the New Berlin food pantry, said one morning last week after the pantry received a $10,000 donation.
It was from Mexican Accent, the New Berlin-based manufacturing plant owned by the Hormel Foods Corp.
"They said it would be a big donation," Holden said. "Big to me is $100 or $500, but $10,000, I didn't know what to say."
It was part of the Hormel Foods Plant community donations program, which gives employees the opportunity to assist local hunger relief organizations and strengthen the communities where they live and work.
"It is our privilege to team up with the New Berlin Food Pantry to help support the fight against hunger," said Stephen Moxley, plant manager of Mexican Accent, 16675 W. Glendale Drive.» Read Full Article
EISENHOWER GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
The Lions won the Port Washington Invitation on Saturday, Sept. 26, beating Sheboygan Lutheran, Ozaukee, Mayville and Port Washington in pool play.
Then they defeated fourth-seeded Port Washington and second-seeded Mayville to win the championship.
Eisenhower beat Sheboygan Lutheran (25-17, 25-22), Ozaukee (25-6, 25-7), Mayville (25-19, 25-19) and Port Washington (25-16, 25-17).
They beat Port Washington in the semifinal match (25-18, 25-19) and then defeated Mayville (25-12, 25-21) in the championship match.» Read Full Article
Work could start on the Aster Hills Estates Neighborhood Park and on three recreation trail segments if the Muskego Common Council approves the proposed 2016 budget.
The total proposed for Aster Hills is $200,000 that would give a start on the total $825,000 park project.
The subdivision near the new park won't be fully constructed by 2016, so the park cost is recommended to be split into phases.
Another $875,000 is proposed to create three recreation trail segments.
One would start from the Aster Hills Estates subdivision located west of North Cape Road and Durham Drive and south of Preigel Drive. The proposed trail would go south along North Cape Road to Highway 36. The segment would cost an estimated $540,000.The northern portion of the trail is being constructed this year by the Aster Hills developers.» Read Full Article