Local News Briefs Friday 8/7/15

There’s good news for drivers in Fond du Lac, the West Johnson and Hickory Street intersection will reopen to traffic by 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Motorists have dealt with taking detours with the West Johnson Street Bridge closed. That’s put traffic on Peters Avenue, Scott Street and North Main, which was the official detour. It’s lead to backups including one on Scott Street Thursday afternoon where people waited up to 40 minutes due to get through while a train passed.

UW FDL Student Housing RFPs Due Today

Developers interested in the UW-Fond du Lac student housing project have to have their request for proposals in for the project today. Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says he knows several developers have interest in the project. He says the proposals will be reviewed and a recommendation will be given to the County Board next month. He says much of the groundwork for the project was already done by the previous developer Bluffstone who was dropped from the project because they couldn’t get the project underway in a timely fashion. Buechel says that will help the next developer get the project done in time to open the housing by the Fall 2016 semester.

Quit Your Whining FDL GOP Advises Secretary Of State

The Fond du Lac County Republican Party is advising Secretary of State Doug La Follette to “quit your whining” and get back to work. A press release from the local GOP party attacks La Follette for filing a frivolous lawsuit over the loss of his cushy office. Local party treasurer Rohn Bishop says the Secretary of State’s office has had its duties steadily reduced over the last 20 years. Bishop says La Follette is wasting the taxpayers’ money. Bishop says the lawsuit filed against Governor Scott Walker and the state’s taxpayers is more about losing an office with a view than not being able to catch up on what little work he has to do. La Follette’s office is now located in the state capitol basement next to the State Treasurer’s office.

FDL County Clerk Suggests Election Law Changes

Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg worked with area legislators to help change a few elections laws during this past legislative session. Freiberg says State Senator Rick Gudex and State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt are always willing to listen to suggestions. She says one of the changes will no longer allow write-in candidates to register as a candidate on Election Day. It now has to be no later than the Friday before an election. She says another change will no longer require board of canvassers to meet the Friday after an election if they have no outstanding ballots to count. She says another change requires town and village caucuses to be held by January 21st instead of by the last Tuesday in January. She says that will help her get the ballots ready for the spring election.

Waupun School Facilities Study Underway

A long range facilities planning process is underway in the Waupun Area School District. An architectural firm was hired in late May and has been working with the district. District Superintendent Tonya Gubin says the firm is looking how energy efficient the district. She says accomplished by looking at the age of their boilers and how energy efficient their windows are. She says how they utilize the space in their buildings is also important. A report of the firm’s findings will be given during the School Board’s October 5th meeting. She says after that a task force committee will be put together including community members to discuss the next steps in the process. She says that will include a community survey and could lead to a referendum. She says their high school will be paid off in 2018.

Habitat Home Dedication In FDL Saturday

Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County will hold a dedication ceremony in Fond du Lac Saturday morning for the 26th home they’ve built over the years. The dedication for the Morris Family Home will be held at the home site at 596 South Main Street at 10 a.m. Habitat Board of Directors President Julie Woznick says they’ve gotten a lot of nice comments on the home. Habitat Executive Director Paul Osterholm says the family will receive some gifts during the ceremony including food from the Fondy Food Pantry. They will also receive books from Altrusa and the Linus Project has donated blankets for the two boys in the family.

Home Sprinkler Demonstration In FDL

Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue teamed up with J.F. Ahern to install a home sprinkler system in the new Habitat for Humanity home at 596 South Main Street in Fond du Lac. The partnership with JF Ahern has provided the opportunity to install a sprinkler system in the Fond du Lac County Habitat Homes for the past four years. A demonstration on the importance of home sprinkler systems will be held at Fire Station #1 following a press conference at the home site. The fire station is just up the street from the new home and a side-by-side fire demonstration will be held at the fire station. The press conference starts at 11 a.m.

Waupun Fire Equipment Donation

The Waupun Fire Department received a near $30,000 donation from Koch Pipeline Company this week.  The donation consisted of an 18-foot trailer stocked with emergency response equipment needed for dealing with hazmat incidents.  The equipment included absorbents, pumps, compressors, and generators.  Fire Chief B.J. DeMaa says the items will help his department greatly improve public safety in the city.