County

Fri
06
Aug
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Request to Rescind CHC Power Line Construction Denied in PSC Deadlock

MADISON–A request to rescind a decision to build a power line from Dubuque, IA to the Town of Middleton and investigate alleged improper communications by a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) was defeated last week in a deadlock vote.

PSC Commissioner Rebecca Valcq voted not to approve American Transmission Co. (ATC) and its partners’ request to rescind the construction decision after former Commissioner Michael Huebsch’s emails to ATC’s chief lobbyist came to light.

“I don’t think Commissioner Huebsch was biased or the record was flawed…I don’t think a rescission is necessary. Nothing has changed. The record I relied on, the procedures we followed, I stand by that today,” Valcq said.

Commissioner Ellen Nowak voted to rescind and reopen the power line case but also said there “was no evidence” that Huebsch was biased or that his ex-parte communications with John Garvin, ATC’s chief lobbyist, were improper.

Fri
06
Aug
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County, City of Madison to Require Vaccines for Employees

DANE COUNTY–Dane County and the City of Madison announced they will be implementing a vaccine requirement for all employees as well as mask requirements in their buildings. Employees that are not vaccinated will have the option of getting a weekly COVID-19 test.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Janel Heinrich Director of Public Health at Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) held a joint press conference Tuesday morning to make the announcement, citing the Delta variant and its faster and widespread infection rate as a reason for the change in policy.

Fri
06
Aug
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CP Water Rates Could Go Up 41%

CROSS PLAINS–Water rates would increase overall by 41 percent, or $12.44 a month, if the Public Service Commission (PSC) approves the rate request as submitted last week by the village of Cross Plains.

The village’s water utility needs additional revenue to fund a new $2.3 million well, the $1.2 million rehabilitation of an existing well and an upgrade of electronic controls, Kevin Krysinski, an auditor with Johnson Block, told the village board during last Thursday’s special meeting.

Village residents currently pay $30.35 monthly for 3,000 gallons of water, a 41 percent rate hike would increase that amount to $42.42 if the PSC determines that a 41 percent rate hike is needed for the utility’s long term financial viability.

Sat
17
Jul
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Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium Includes Wisconsin

MIDWEST–Nine people in Wisconsin and Illinois infected, with one hospitalization and no deaths

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and local health departments are involved in an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium.

Current public health data indicates that pre-packaged salad greens produced by BrightFarms, Inc. of Rochelle, IL are the source of a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak in Wisconsin and Illinois. Nine people are infected with one hospitalization (four in Wisconsin, five in Illinois). Illnesses started between June 10 and June 15. 

Thu
15
Jul
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Remains of Windsor Man Found, Son Charged with Murder

DANE COUNTY–The Dane County Sheriff’s Office continues to search rural Dane County and ask for tips regarding Krista Halderson, 53, who was reported missing on July 7 along with her husband, Bart, 50. His remains were found on July 8 in the Town of Cottage Grove, the same day the Windsor couple’s son, Chandler, 23, was arrested for providing false information in a missing person investigation. The sheriff’s office announced at a press conference on July 12 that the dismembered remains found were those of Bart Halderson.

Sheriff Kalvin Barret said Bart Halderson died of “homicide activity, including gunshot wounds.”

He asked those with tips about Krista Halderson’s whereabouts or any other evidence in the case to come forward. Krista Halderson is described as a white female, 5’3” tall 155 lbs. with red hair and blue eyes. Call the tip line at 608-284-6900 with any information.

Fri
11
Jun
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City Council Discusses Plan to reopen City, Hybrid Meeting Model

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council discussed a plan to reopen city buildings to the public and provide services and hold meetings in-person and continue a virtual option. The council directed staff to open city hall on June 7 and open all other city buildings by July 6. 

The council did not approve a resolution to end the emergency order which allowed the move to virtual meetings at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Gurdip Brar and some council members called for moving to a hybrid model of meetings continuing the use of Zoom to allow alders, committee members and the public to engage in meetings while not able to attend in-person.

Fri
04
Jun
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Commission Approves Update to Art Plan

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Plan Commission approved an update to the city’s master plan for public art and design put forward by the Middleton Arts Committee. The update to the plan outlines realistic and short term action goals for the city to promote, create and maintain public art.

In 2009, the city approved the original Master Plan for Public Art & Design which provided a 20 year vision for public art and design and identified several sites for public art, as well as a suggested timeline and a budget mechanism for implementing projects.

While progress has been made implementing the plan a lack of funding has been a barrier for several projects.

The update which will be added as an addendum to the master plan lays out five overarching goals.

Goal one includes supporting local artists and economic development goals through public art, as well as leaving visitors with a positive impression.

Mon
17
May
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Committees Could Curtail Public Comments

MIDDLETON–The public may be less involved in some public meetings as Middleton City Administrator Mike Davis has advised committee chairs not to put public comments on committee agendas.

In an exchange of emails Monday, Davis stated that this had been a long-standing position of not taking public comments at certain public meetings.

“The reason is that it is all too easy for a committee to start on a discussion that has not been publicly posted and could be a violation of the open meetings law. All such discussion items should be on the publicly posted agenda,” he wrote.

Davis also wrote that he and the city attorney have advised committee members for several years that public comments should not be on committee agendas.

Asked if not taking public comments at the committee level sacrifices timely public input, Davis disagreed.

Sat
08
May
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Plan Commission to Interview for Consultants Vying for Zoning Code Rewrite Project

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Plan Commission will interview three consultants that responded to the city’s request for proposals (RFP) to overhaul and update the city’s zoning code and ensure it is consistent with the recently adopted comprehensive plan.

In March the Middleton Common Council approved the request for proposals with a budget of $100,000 for a consultant to assist in rewriting the ordinance with a deadline set for April 2. The existing zoning ordinance has not been substantially updated since 1984.

A zoning ordinance working group was established to review the proposals composed of Planning and Zoning Administrator Mark Opitz, plan commission member Randy Bruce, sustainability committee member Spencer Schmacher and Justin Ballweg from the zoning board of appeals.

Sat
08
May
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Town Asks City to Cancel Airport Special Events

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Citing increased chaotic flying conditions and lead emissions, the Town of Middleton Board Supervisors Monday requested that City of Middleton Common Council deny three special events planned this summer at the Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field.

In February, the city’s License & Ordinance Committee conditionally approved airport-based Capital Flight’s special event request for the July 23 “Rock the Ramp” day but wanted more information on alcohol service, fireworks and an aerobatic display before granting final approval. 

Capital Flight’s President Matt Hofeldt said Tuesday that he hasn’t submitted that information but plans to when it’s available from other sources.

In the past, the event was held in advance of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture and welcomed pilots in route to the week-long Oshkosh airshow.

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