Local News Briefs Friday 4/10/15

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of a constitutional amendment voters passed this week has been denied. A federal judge denied the request Thursday. The amendment allows justices on the State Supreme Court to choose a Chief Justice every two years. Currently that’s done by seniority. The new selection method won’t go into effect until at least April 29th.  Given the current make up of the court Abrahamson is expected to voted out as Chief Justice. Abrahamson still has the opportunity to reintroduce her motion to the federal court if she can come up with new evidence to support her case. A hearing date has been set for April 21st. 

Downtown FDL Development

Fond du Lac City Council President Sam Meyer says he didn’t realize how much development began during his two years on Council until it was recapped during this week’s Council meeting. Meyer’s term on the Council is nearly complete and he was thanked for his service during the meeting. City Manager Joe Moore recapped some of that development. Meyer says a lot of that development will start reaching fruition over the next year including the Marian project and Commonwealth’s headquarters. He says there will also be some development done with the Retlaw Hotel, but nothing has been officially announced yet. Meyer says the development of downtown apartments is also important because it will draw more business downtown.

Highway Garage Land Purchase Held Up By Drainage Issue

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says if they can work out a deal over a drainage issue a piece of property for a new County Highway garage in Fond du Lac will be purchased. The County Board last November included $850,000 in this year’s budget to buy the 37 acres of land near the Highway 151 bypass. Buechel says in order to work out a drainage issue they would have to build up an additional three feet in addition to height of the garage. He says Wisconsin Power and Light has an easement on the property for some high tension power wires. He says the power company has to give the County permission to add that additional two to three feet for proper drainage. He says it wouldn’t interfere with the power lines, which would still have about 35 feet of clearance. The new garage site would eventually replace the current one the County is using on Dixie Street, but Buechel says there are no immediate plans for building yet. 

FDL City Council Gives Consensus On Last Minute Item

The Fond du Lac City Council this week gave the nod to City Manager Joe Moore to sign onto a letter along with other cities supporting the continuation of a federal historic tax credit program. Moore apologized to the Council for bringing it up at the end of the meeting saying he’d received information on the issue last minute, but knew the Council valued the credit. He said it wouldn’t commit the City to anything. Moore says a number of cities have already signed on, but felt the City should add its voice in favor of the tax credit. He says the City Council has been very supportive of the tax credit for the past three or four years.

FCEDC Establishing Quarterly Business Climate Survey

The Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation will be doing its own version of a quarterly economic confidence survey. FCEDC President Steve Jenkins says the Business Climate and Economic Health Survey will be an electronic survey that businesses can take anonymously. He says it will gauge the business climate and try and understand how people feel about the upcoming quarter in terms of economic health. Jenkins says it will be good know what the confidence level is locally. He says they will also be establishing an anonymous business forecast panel in the fall. He says they will feed information to the FCEDC on what they expect to see over the next year.

Ground Broken For Plymouth Food Science And Agriculture Center

Plymouth School District officials this week broke ground the addition of a new Food Science and Agriculture Center at the Plymouth High School. The center will include a greenhouse and lab space. It will allow students to get hands-on experience in seven academic areas: agriculture, food science, culinary arts, science, engineering, health, and business. The Plymouth Education Foundation made the center possible by fund raising over $1 million in donations from businesses, individuals and organizations. The new center will be ready for use next fall.

Authors Fair Saturday At FDL Public Library

The Fond du Lac Public Library will begin its celebration of National Library Week with a couple of different activities Saturday. Community Information Coordinator Terri Fleming says the Drop Everything and Read program celebrates reading. She says it will also include a local authors’ fair. Local authors will be there as part of the authors’ fair. She says they will be selling and signing copies of their books, there will also be a bake sale and free popcorn. They will also be kicking off the Food for Fines program. The program removes $1 in overdue fines for each donation of a non-perishable food item that will be given to local food pantries. Food for Fines runs through April 25th. The Drop Everything and Read program and Authors Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Downtown Library.

NEBAT Hosts Shred Day Saturday

National Exchange Bank & Trust will host a free “Shred Day” Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the 130 South Main Street office in Fond du Lac. It’s an opportunity for community members to dispose of documents containing confidential, personal information in a secure method. Due to limited truck space it is asked that you bring confidential information only and that you package it in a method where you are able to lift what you bring. Shredding will be limited to non-business items only and paper only. For more information call National Exchange Bank & Trust at (920) 921-7700.