County

Sat
27
Nov
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Village Bumps Tax Rate in 2022 Budget

CROSS PLAINS–Owners of a $300,000 house will have their village taxes increase by $35 to $2,553 as the Cross Plains Village Board Monday adopted the 2022 budget and tax levy.

Tax bills are expected to be mailed out next month along with taxes imposed by the county, school district and technical college district.

The village’s mill rate increased by 1.35 percent to $8.51, up from $8.40 adopted in 2020. The increase is less than the rate of inflation while still giving employees a raise, Finance Director Bobbi Zander wrote in a memo to the village board.

On the spending side, the general fund budget which includes expenses for police, fire, public works, administration, and other village functions is $4.46 million, up by 1.42 percent from the 2021 budget. Employee wages and benefits increased by 3.93 percent lead by a 7.9 percent increase in health insurance costs.

Sat
27
Nov
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Town Lowers Mill Rate

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–The Town of Middleton’s 2022 budget cuts the tax rate, lowers borrowing and the deficit while boosting spending.

The mill rate lowers from $2.36 per thousand assessed evaluation last year to $2.16 this year, which reduces the town’s taxes on a $600,000 house by $139 to $1,270. The town’s taxes on a $400,000 house are lowered by $91 to $851, according to budget information presented at a Nov. 16 public hearing.

Those figures don’t include taxes imposed by the school district, county and technical college district.

The town will borrow $1.176 million next year for road and stormwater projects. Road improvements estimated at $790,00 include repaving Almor Drive, Westman Way Court and Pamela Circle.

Sun
31
Oct
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Proposed Town Budget to Tap Cash Reserves

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Town of Middleton Board Supervisors Monday approved for public presentation the proposed 2022 town budget that will need $1.38 million from cash reserves in order to balance revenue and expenses.

The proposed budget will have a virtual public hearing on Nov. 16 beginning at 6 p.m. 

The 2022 proposed budget deficit is down from this year’s $1.65 million deficit and town’s financial picture should continue to brighten, said Town Treasurer Megan Hughes.

The salt shed construction loan was retired this year, the town’s portion of the Fire Station #1 debt is scheduled to be retired next year and borrowing for 2022 road projects declined from a projected $1.2 million to about $880,000.

Total revenue for 2022 is a projected $5.165 million while expenses are estimated at $6.648 creating the $1.38 million deficit to be financed from cash reserves.

Sun
31
Oct
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Town Poo-poos Dogs on Trails

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Town Board members weren’t ready Monday to open recreational trails to dogs.

A proposal advanced by the Park Commission and presented to the board on Oct. 18 was aimed at making the town more “dog friendly” and educating residents on where leashed and licensed dogs can be walked and the requirement that owners to pick up after their pets.

Park Commission member Tony Praza said the proposal responds to a recent Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan survey that indicated that about 45 percent of residents owned dogs and a similar percentage wanted to walk their leashed dogs on the town’s extensive trail system.

The proposal prohibits dogs in Pope Farm Conservancy and Knoll Valley Conservancy, Praza said.

Fri
22
Oct
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Officer Injured, Suspect at Large After Incident at Festge Park

DANE COUNTY–A Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy was injured in Festge County Park, located on Scherbel Road between Cross Plains and Black Earth, Thursday night when she responded to a call of a suspicious person in the park. 

In a social media post, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) said the suspect allegedly attacked the deputy with an “edged weapon.” She responded by firing her weapon during the altercation. The man then fled on foot. 

She was treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital and released.

The sheriff’s office urged area residents to stay inside with their doors and windows locked on Thursday night during the incident.

Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene last night, and the sheriff’s department tweeted they were in the Town of Berry searching for the suspect at 10:40 p.m.

Thu
07
Oct
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Burglars Steal Car, Personal Items from Home

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Homeowners in the Town of Middleton were asleep when someone broke into their home stealing a car and other items.

At 3:17 am, Dane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 7600 block of Westman Way Road for a home burglary.

The suspects were able to gain access to the garage with a garage door opener from an unlocked vehicle outside the home. Once inside the garage, they entered the home and took the keys to another vehicle. The suspects got away with a vehicle from the garage, along with the homeowner’s purse and credit cards. The residents were asleep in their beds at the time.

Anyone who may have witnessed this activity or has information is asked to call the Dane County tip line at 608-284-6900. 

The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens that this activity has become all too common and securing vehicles and all doors is essential. Removing valuables and garage door openers from vehicles at is also recommend.

 

Wed
06
Oct
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Mask Mandate Reupped

DANE COUNTY–Effective Oct. 8 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through Nov. 5, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) is issuing Face Covering Emergency Order #3. No changes were made to the existing face covering order, which requires that everyone age two and older wear a face covering or mask when in any enclosed building, where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, could be present.

The rate of cases in Dane County has risen rapidly since the Delta variant became dominant. On July 19, our weekly case rate per 100,000 was 22, and on Sept.19, our weekly case rate per 100,000 was 209. On Sept. 27, our weekly case rate per 100,000 was 157. While lower than in early September, Dane County remains in CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) high level of community transmission.

Sun
03
Oct
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Cross Plains Police to Get Body Cams

CROSS PLAINS–The Cross Plains Village Board Monday approved a policy and funding for police officers will begin wearing body cameras.

Approving the BWC program leaves only the law enforcement in the City of Madison, the Villages of Maple Bluff and Blue Mounds, and the Dane County Sheriff’s Department without body cameras. Although Madison requires Special Weapons and Tactics teams to wear them and is beginning a BWC plot program for the northeast district.

Cost and staffing have been municipalities main reasons against using BWCs but the computer server Cross Plains replaced last year is the biggest cost component of the BWC program.

The cameras and charging equipment will cost about $8,000 which the Village Board has already moved from a 2022 capital request to a 2021 expenditure.

Sat
25
Sep
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Town Passes on Child Care Decision

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Town Board supervisors this week found Dane County’s zoning ordinance too ambiguous to act on a request for an in-home daycare in a secluded residential neighborhood.

The town board asked the county to interpret its zoning ordinance and decide whether Bright Beginnings Day School (BBDS) can operate a childcare facility for seven young children at a residence at 7069 Applewood Dr., in a subdivision adjacent to the Holy Name Catholic Center, off S. Junction Road.

The request has been met with unanimous opposition from the Applewood Hills Home Association which filed a lawsuit alleging the request doesn’t comply with the association’s restrictive covenants against businesses.

At Monday’s town board meeting, BBDS owner and town resident Sarah Tuttle, said she has operated childcare facilities for 18 years and the Applewood Drive location would the firm’s fifth in the area

Sat
25
Sep
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Village Pay Becomes Budget Priority

CROSS PLAINS–In a year when it lost two Public Facilities employees to other Dane County communities, the Cross Plains Village Board has made staff compensation a priority in next year’s budget.

The village conducted a wage study in 2015 but since then wages have been a “back burner” matter Village Administrator Bill Chang said Tuesday.

At a June meeting, the board made employee pay a budget priority for 2022 and administration began studying what the village pays its staff compared to other municipalities in Dane County and statewide.

“Compared to cities and villages our size, about 4,000 population, we’re doing pretty well statewide. Compared to other communities around Madison, we’re lacking,” Chang said.

Not wanting to lose employees to its competitors, it comes down to determining who are the village’s competitors in the employee marketplace.

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