September 09, 2010Fontana — It's almost time for the voters to determine the fate of a project that has been in the works for more than eight years.
On Tuesday Sept. 14, voters will decide whether the village can spend up to $2.8 million to reconstruct Lake Street and the adjacent parking lot. Officials also want to build a new lakefront activity center.
If voters approve the referendum, the project would be funded with tax increment funds, which are the taxes collected from the increased value within the tax increment district. TIF is a tool used to make capital improvements.
Opponents say district needs plan before asking for tax increaseSeptember 09, 2010Williams Bay — Sept. 14 is decision day for the Williams Bay School District.
Voters will decide whether to approve an increase in their school district's revenue cap, or require the School Board to go back, crunch the numbers, do some planning and perhaps make some cuts.
During recent public meetings on the referendum proposal that would raise the district's cap over the next three years, Williams Bay Superintendent Fred Vorlop has argued that without permission from the voters to increase the state-imposed cap, programs and teachers will have to be cut. The leverage created by the 2003 revenue cap increase is running out and the district is running deficits, Vorlop said.
Recent Geneva Lake West
Small classes, big impact on Bay’s WKCE resultsSeptember 02, 2010Williams Bay — Sometimes small is better, especially when teaching students or testing them, said Superintendent Fred Vorlop.And at the bottom of the last page of the most recent Bay Window, the school district’s news letter, is the observation: “Good Schools come in small packages.”This year, Williams Bay’s high school’s juniors again ranked among the leaders in the ACT test. The test, with a maximum of 36 points, measures students’ skills in English, math, reading and science. With 94 percent of the class of ‘10 taking the test for college placement, they scored an average of 24, up from last year’s average of 23.7.
Pork sandwiches in Fontana? Must be time for Pig in ParkKids games, beer tent, live music part of plansSeptember 02, 2010Fontana — There is certainly a buzz for this weekend’s Pig in the Park and village officials are expecting a large turnout.On Saturday, Sept. 4, from 4:30 to 10 p.m., in Reid Park the village’s Park Commission will host its third annual Pig In The Park. The beer tent, music and kids area opens at 4:30 p.m. and food service starts at 5:30.A $10 ticket includes a pork sandwich, baked beans, chips corn, dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage. The pork sandwich can be substituted for a hot dog or a brat.
Cyberbullies face offline consequencesSchools, police address Internet issuesSeptember 02, 2010Walworth — Sexting and cyberbullying have made national headlines across the country, and local schools report these incidents have occurred within their walls, too.Big Foot Principal Mike Hinske said the district has experienced it. “We have seen some, but not a lot,” he said.Area educators are well aware of the issues spawning from new technology and expect to see more incidents in the future.
Williams Bay schools seek means to balance budgetAugust 26, 2010Williams Bay — School officials, like everyone else, need to live within their means.But what does that mean?Parents and taxpayers in the Williams Bay School District face the painful dilemma. Either they approve a rise in the district’s spending cap, which would increase the district’s means, but also increase property taxes.
All about the numbersLawsuit, room taxes throws budget out of whackAugust 26, 2010Fontana — In last year’s budget, there were two undesirable line items— an expensive lawsuit and a decline in room tax revenues.In 2009, Fontana collected $89,541 less than anticipated in room tax revenues and paid out $450,000 for two parcels after a lawsuit. It also had to pay $118,000 in legal fees.If it weren’t for lower than anticipated room tax revenues and the lawsuit, the village could have avoided shortfalls and overspending in 2009.
He sees the world different than a lot of usArtist displaying photos at Walworth LibraryAugust 26, 2010Walworth — Armed with a wide-angle lens, a tripod and a vision, Bill Karduk made his way through Venetian Fest Friday evening searching for appealing images.Nine months ago, Karduk began photographing Geneva Lake after the sun went down. He searched for scenes that captured the area in intriguing ways, but were simple in themselves.“It’s all kinds of stuff of no great importance,” he said describing what he photographs. He looked for scenes he found interesting, and of course, had lighting suitable for his camera.
Fire station debate to go silent — for nowAugust 19, 2010Williams Bay — Talk about a new fire station has pretty much come to an end. Although it could have come up at Monday’s Williams Bay Village Board meeting under soil testing of the proposed site, the issue was not raised.Trustee George Vlach, chairman of the board’s Protective Services Committee, said the issue isn’t dead, but it’s going to sleep for a while.
Walworth gets rid of engineer, hires new oneWatters: ‘Beloit Street was obviously a turning point’August 19, 2010Walworth — Village Board members dumped engineer Bill Dunlop after their relationship was strained over several issues, most of related to the Beloit Street reconstruction.Dunlop, who worked with Foth, oversaw the Beloit Street project, which went more than $200,000 over budget. “Beloit Street was obviously a turning point,” Village President Todd Watters said after a special session meeting Monday night.
Town ready to accept bids for facilityAugust 19, 2010Town of Walworth —Hopes are high that construction can begin on the new Town Hall by the beginning of next month.The bids are in, the community approved the project and there is an accepted offer for the old Town Hall. Warren Hansen, the project’s architect, said the town likely will accept the low bid submitted by Fischel Construction, Madison.
Corn, brats put bucks
back into communityAugust 12, 2010Williams Bay — The annual Lions Club Corn and Brat Roast is more than a good time, it’s also a reinvestment in the community.The Lions’ roast has been an annual event in the bay for about the last 40 years, said Jim D’Alessandro, past Williams Bay Lions president and a member of the club’s community affairs committee.Last year, the Lions Club served about 5,000 ears of Pearce’s Farm corn to visitors and raised about $25,000 that went back into the Williams Bay School District and the local library, D’Alessandro said. Not all of the $25,000 was raised at the Corn and Brat Roast, but it is the Williams Bay Lions’ biggest fundraiser, he said.