Construction on project could begin within 30 daysJune 24, 2010Walworth — It took two rounds of bids, but on Monday night, the Village Board approved the contractors who will build a new Fire Department garage.
In March, the village received bids for the construction of a new garage, which will be located behind the fire department building at 227 N. Main St. Those bids came in between $141,000 and $256,000, which is much higher than the $80,000 to $90,000 price tag officials were hoping for.
After the bids came in higher than expected the village regrouped and changed some plans searching for a lower price tag.
June 24, 2010Walworth — It's hard for residents to ignore the smell of chicken during the volunteer fire department's annual barbecue.
Fire Chief Andy Long said it fills the air in town, which helps draw the community to the village's square.
"It's a pretty inexpensive meal and I think people look forward to it because they can smell it throughout town," Long said.
District planning for upcoming referendumJune 24, 2010Williams Bay — "We're a little light on membership tonight," School Superintendent Dr. Fred Vorlop said to nine other people Thursday, June 17, in the high school board room.
Recently, Vorlop publicly announced he will recommend the Williams Bay School Board essentially ask district voters to allow the school district to exceed state revenue limits. That may mean a referendum as early as Sept. 14. If district voters approve a referendum, it likely will mean a tax rate increase to ensure their schools continue providing its current level of services.
But there weren't as many people at the June 17 Referendum Committee meeting as there were earlier this month, when Vorlop suggested concerned district residents establish a committee and take other measures to promote the district's need to make up funds for the estimated $530,000 deficit projected for the past school year.
Recent Geneva Lake West
Residents have chance to review Master Plan draftOpen house June 23June 17, 2010Williams Bay — Finally, there’s a new plan for the next 20 years of village growth, redevelopment and preservation. But before it’s adopted, residents are invited to view the updated Williams Bay Master Plan and voice their opinions.The village is hosting an open house Wednesday, June 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lions Field House, Highway 67 and Stark Street.
Website provides details about lakefront projectVillage Board approves referendum questionJune 17, 2010Fontana — The village is launching a new website to ensure residents have plenty of information about the lakefront project before ballots are cast this fall.On Sept. 14, voters will decide whether the village should spend up to $2.8 million to reconstruct Lake Street, the adjacent parking lot and construct a Lakefront Activity Building. The village is launching a website — www.lakefrontbuilding.com — which includes a collection of documents related to the project, a history of the building, maps, explanations of tax increment financing and outlines of the proposal.
Couple faces insurance battleThree years after house fire,
Accolas waiting for paymentJune 17, 2010Elkhorn — Fontana’s Jim and Suzy Accola are living through an insurance nightmare. Although the courts have ruled in their favor — to the tune of about $3 million — they still are uncertain whether they will see the money.About three years ago, Jim began building a home through his company, Fontana Builders, in the Geneva National subdivision. When the house was completed, the couple planned on moving into it.However, on June 28, 2007, those plans came to a screeching halt when rags used for staining the home interior ignited burning down the house.
Committee to be established for referendumVorlop presents
severity of growing deficitJune 10, 2010Williams Bay — About 30 community members gathered in the lecture center Monday to hear Superintendent Fred Vorlop make a case for why the school district will need to establish a referendum by late summer.His suggestion was that the concerned residents form a referendum committee, establish leaders and activate group members to promote the district’s need to make up funds for a preliminary $530,000 deficit projected for the past school year. That deficit is expected to reach $1.4 million by 2015.“I’m going to recommend to the School Board to consider a September voter referendum,” Vorlop said. “They have not yet voted on this issue and they have not decided on an amount for the referendum, which they would have to do as well.”
Construction begins on Mercy’s $45 million expansionOfficials: response and enabler of community growthJune 10, 2010Geneva Township — With bulldozers and shovels ready last week, Mercy Walworth Medical Center officials unveiled the details and artist renderings of a $45-million expansion.A traditional groundbreaking ceremony started the construction project on what is now a dirt and grass lot next to the current facility at the intersection of highways 50 and 67.The project will expand the current center from 60,000 square feet to 200,000. Additions will include a birthing center, more patient rooms, intensive care unit and an outpatient clinic. There also will be a sleep disorders lab, a cafeteria with an outside courtyard, a chapel and community education rooms, screenings and presentations. The radiology, physical therapy and pharmacy departments also will expand.
Village ponders moratorium on land use issuesFontana looks at rewriting codesJune 10, 2010Fontana — When land use issues are discussed at Village Hall, it isn’t unusual for crowds to gather to fight development and preserve the current character of the community. In an effort to prevent unwanted changes, the village is planning a complete rewrite of its zoning and land use codes. The current code was written more than 40 years ago. Over time it has been altered and changed to the point where it is no longer effective or coherent.
Business Association proving doubters wrongJune 03, 2010Williams Bay — “There were a lot of people who said it would never happen in Williams Bay. They said ‘there’s not enough business in the community,’ ‘no one will join the group,’ ‘it’ll fizzle.’”Seven years later, Jim D’Alessandro said the Williams Bay Business Association has surpassed even its members’ own expectations.The co-founder and leader of the group admitted it took a couple years to get the organization up and running, but the number of businesses that work with the association have tripled since its conception in 2003.
Former teacher avoids prison for drug possessionJune 03, 2010Elkhorn — Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gibbs sat forward in his chair and warned former Walworth Elementary School teacher Katie Luessenhop that one more mistake will land her in prison for 3-1/2 years.“Time is waiting for you if you do anything else,” he said during her sentencing Thursday, May 27. “The next time you look at drugs, a line of heroin, decide whether you want to give 3-1/2 years of your life away.”Luessenhop, 28, Clinton, was found guilty on Feb. 5 of drug possession after purchasing and using heroin in the Huber dorm bathroom on Oct. 16, 2009, while serving for a previous conviction of drug possession. During the sentencing, Luessenhop said she is a recovering drug addict and has been sober for about eight months.
Veterans share World War II storiesMay 27, 2010Walworth — Frank Ontl still proudly wears his original World War II jacket, although the slim veteran jokes that he gained weight and it is now snug.Inside of his home, the 89-year-old Ontl recently discussed his service in World War II, as he paged through documents from an era that soon only will be known in history books and films.Ontl is one of only 15 World War II veterans who are still part of the Ingall-Koeppen American Legion Post 102. Years ago the number of World War II veterans in the legion was much higher, but as time passed those numbers have dwindled.
Fontana school going green?District looks at becoming ‘green certified’May 27, 2010Fontana — Suzy Accola wants the village’s elementary school to decrease its impact on the environment. Accola, a district parent and certified green consultant, has offered to help make Fontana Elementary School “green certified,” which will recognize it for decreasing its impact on the environment. “Like most of you I’m concerned how we affect our environment,” said Accola, who is donating her services to the district.