Government

Sat
06
Jun
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Town Wants Voice on Airport Commission

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–The Town of Middleton will ask the city of Middleton to expand the Airport Commission by two members to be appointed by the town and the Town of Springfield.

Town Chair Cynthia Richson was appointed last year to the seven-member commission to fill the remainder of a three-year term of a member who resigned. Her term expired and the Middleton Common Council rejected her reappointment by a 5-3 vote at their May 19 meeting.

“I had the support of commission members, including the Chair John Hallick, but special interests came into the picture behind the scenes,” dooming her reappointment, she said at Monday’s town board meeting.

Her position remains vacant.

Richson had repeatedly urged airport officials to better address residents’ complaints about loud, low-flying aircraft from Middleton Municipal Airport–Morey Field.

Thu
04
Jun
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Council Moves Forward on Tiedeman Pond Pumping Station Upgrade

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council will vote on a budget amendment to add $575,000 to the 2020 budget under capital borrowing to replace the pumping station at Tiedeman Pond to handle greater capacity, at its June 16 meeting. The new pumping station would have the capacity to move enough water at a fast enough rate to mitigate the flooding that occurred in August 2018.

Late 2019 the council approved an agreement with MSA Professional Services for the final design of improvements at Graber and Tiedeman ponds. The funding source for this design work was a State Trust Fund Loan (STFL) that was approved at the end of 2019. The projects are not eligible for FEMA reimbursement as they are considered improvements rather than the repairs.

Thu
28
May
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Council Discusses Phase I Reopening Plan, Pool to Open

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Aquatic Center will open!

The Middleton Common Council voted to open the facility at their May 19 meeting, following guidelines set forth by Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC).

Before the vote council members asked questions of Rebecca Price, assistant director of recreation, including those about capacity, sanitation and social distancing. Price told them that in Phase I the pool can open at 25 percent capacity, but she sees the pool reaching that number gradually. All furniture will be removed, and cleaning procedures will be ramped up to ensure public safety. In addition, she said it would be unlikely that the pool could accommodate the Middleton Gators swim team with the restrictions, and reminded the council that swim meets are currently not being held.

At the beginning of the meeting Gators coach Matt Flannagan made a plea to open the pool.

Thu
21
May
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Dane County Announces Multi-Million Dollar Eviction Prevention Fund

DANE COUNTY–On May 18, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced a multi-million dollar effort to reduce evictions and improve access to housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis has brought more than 36,000 new filers to unemployment in Dane County, rendering thousands of those households unable to pay their rent due to job and income loss. The immediate needs to prevent eviction for those affected by the virus must be addressed. Dane County’s plan includes a $10 million eviction prevention fund, along with efforts to increase housing stability.

Thu
21
May
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Parisi Discusses County COVID-19 Response

DANE COUNTY–In a conference call with News Publishing Company editors, Dane County executive Joe Parisi gave an update of the county’s COVID-19 response.

He began by reminding that the Safer at Home order may have been overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but Dane County is still implementing its own order. He said Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) had put guidelines in place before the state order. The county had the first COVID-19 case in the state and the 12th in the country, with the first confirmed case on Feb. 5.

“That really kicked us into gear,” Parisi said.

When the state adopted its own order, the county followed those guidelines, and will continue to follow a similar order.

“Once the Supreme Court invalidated that order, we immediately reissued local orders,” he stated.

He said the county is working on increased testing and increasing staff numbers to do additional contact tracing.

Sat
25
Apr
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Town Property Assessments Likely to Climb

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Residents will see much larger property evaluations this summer, perhaps by $100,000 or more, due to a state-required re-evaluation of properties in the town,

Town Administration Greg DiMiceli said his assessment increased by $100,000, according to the Access Dane website, and Town chair Cynthia Richson said hers went up $111,000.

A call to Town Assessor Paul Musser regarding the hike in assessments wasn’t returned by deadline.

At Monday’s town board meeting, DiMiceli explained that the town assessor determines property values and that most of the property in the town is expected to increase as the town needed to conduct a property re-evaluation.

The Department of Administration requires each municipality to be within 10 percent of market value of taxable property once every five years. Assessed values are used to distribute the municipality’s tax burden among the individual property owners.

Sat
25
Apr
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Plan Commission Sends Airport Improvement List to Council, Gives Negative Recommendation on 14-Story Apartment Complex

MIDDLETON–Community members showed up in person, by phone and via the Internet for an April 14 public hearing during the Middleton Plan Commission meeting.

The hearing was to discuss a resolution concerning improvements at the Middleton Airport/Morey Field over the next five years. The plan is required by the Board of Aeronautics (BOA), and must be submitted every six years. Middleton last updated the plan in 2014. 

One point of contention with residents had been the language in the original resolution, which included use of eminent domain for land acquisition. City planner and zoning administrator Mark Opitz stated that the wording was simply boilerplate language provided by the BOA, and because none of the plans call for land acquisition, the airport commission removed it from the final resolution, which it passed unanimously at the commission’s Feb 8. meeting.

Opitz gave the following list of improvements:

Mon
06
Apr
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Voting Rules Constantly Changing Ahead of Tomorrow’s Election

In an April 2 ruling to allow a week-long delay in accepting absentee ballots, Federal judge William M. Conley of the Western District of Wisconsin criticized the State Legislature, Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The ruling extended the deadline for absentee ballots to 4 p.m., April 13 and extended the deadline for requesting absentee ballots to 4 p.m. on April 3. But an executive order issued by Evers on April 6 could change dates again.

Conley wrote that the Legislature and Governor “apparently are hoping … that the efforts of the WEC [Wisconsin Election Commission] Administrator, her staff, the municipalities and poll workers, as well as voters willing to ignore the obvious risk to themselves and others of proceeding with in-person voting, will thread the needle to produce a reasonable voter turnout and no increase in the dissemination of COVID-19.” 

Fri
27
Mar
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All Polling Places Moved to Kromrey

MIDDLETON–Due to a vast reduction in available workers at the polls, the City of Middleton, with the assistance of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, is consolidating all polling locations at Kromrey Middleton School on April 7.

At the Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote to be held on April 7, 2020, in the City of Middleton, the following polling place location will be used for the wards indicated:

Kromrey Middleton School, 7009 Donna Drive All Wards 1-22

Voters are asked to enter in Door 5. Parking is available in the lot accessed by Donna Drive or on the street.

All polling places will be open from  7:00 a.m.-8:00 p,/

For questions concerning your polling place, contact the municipal clerk.

Lorie J. Burns, 608-821-8350 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

All polling places are accessible to elderly and disabled voters.

Fri
13
Mar
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Safety Committee Recommends Use of ATVs on Paved Streets to Village Board

CROSS PLAINS–The village’s Public Safety Committee recommended last week that all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles be allowed on streets between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at speeds up to 15 mph.

A vote of residents attending the March 3 meeting showed that 12 approved and eight opposed the idea of allowing the four-wheeled vehicles to operate on streets within the village.

Village Board Member and Committee Chair Lori Zander said the intent of any proposed ordinance was to permit residents to operate ATVs “from to point A to point B,” as opposed to just aimless joyriding.

The committee developed discussion points for the Village Board to consider at its March 23 meeting. They included:

• Prohibited from operating on US 14 (Main St..), except to cross it

• A 15 mph speed limit

• Operators must be at least 16 years old, have valid driver’s license and ATV training

• Passengers under 18 must wear safety helmet

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