Local News Briefs Monday 8/31/15

City officials will include a request in the 2016 budget for a master plan for Lakeside Park. Fond du Lac Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says they will be budgeting about $20,000 for the project. He says a professional consultant will be able to do a better job of putting together a master plan than City staff would be able to. He says the consultant would be able to incorporate the Lakeside Park Exploratory Committee’s recommendations and other information the City has about the park into the plan. He says it would include the 5-year recreation plan, smart growth plan and the consultant would also meet with other stakeholders. Skiff says the master plan would help answer a lot of questions about planning for the future of the park. He says it would also give them more accurate costs estimates for improvements at the park. The plan would be completed by the end of next May.

Next Challenge For FDL Fire And Rescue Higher ISO Rating

Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue Chief Peter O’Leary says now that department has international accreditation it may make it easier for the City to seek a higher ISO or Insurance Services Office fire rating. In January of 2011 the ISO upgraded the City’s Public Protection Classification from Class 3 to Class 2. At the time there were 22 fire departments in the state with a Class 2 rating and none with a Class 1. O’Leary says they would like to get to ISO 1. He says the accreditation may help in that effort. A higher ISO rating would also help residents save on their insurance premiums. The ISO rates more than 45,000 fire departments across the country. 

Home Ownership Investment Program

It will need to be approved as part of the 2016 city budget, but a program could help homeowners convert their homes back to single family homes. Community Development Director Dyann Benson recently reviewed the program for the City Council. She says $100,000 would be budgeted to help out five different homes through the Home Ownership Incentive Program. She says hundreds of properties in the City that once were single family homes over time were converted to multi-family homes. She says that number is over 600. She says the loans would be forgivable if the homeowner holds title to the home for 10 or more years. Loans would be for $20,000. She says they hope to fund the program for three years and continue it if there is enough interest in it. She says the program has been a success in Madison and Green Bay.

Presentation To Nephew Of WW II Hero

Congressman Glenn Grothman will be presenting award certificates to the nephew of a World War II hero today. The presentation to Eugene Burg will be at the Congressman’s Fond du Lac office this morning. Staff Sergeant Herman Berg was killed on January 26th of 1945. He was posthumously honored with the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. However his military records were burned in the National Personnel Records fire on July 12th of 1973. Congressman Grothman’s Office was able to track down Herman Berg’s military records and will present Eugene Berg with award certificates this morning. Duplicate medals are not given to extended family.

Program Will Help Students With Mental Health Challenges

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says he’s glad to see the district participating in the Wisconsin School Mental Health Project. He says it’s another example of finding ways to help people who have mental health challenges. Parkside Elementary, the Sabish Middle School, and High School are participating schools. He says those types of issues certainly can affect a student’s ability to learn. In the Waupun School District participating schools will include Meadowview Primary and Rock River Intermediate School. Goals for the project are to train more school-community teams to develop policies, programs, and practices that support students with mental health challenges.

School Bus Safety Reminders

With school starting in the Fond du Lac School District this week a police officer has some traffic safety advice. Fond du Lac Police Officer Steve Olson reminds drivers to stop for stopped school buses with their flashing red warning lights. He says you must stop whether you’re in front or behind the bus for children that may be getting on or off the bus. He says drivers are not allowed to pass a school bus when it’s stopped like that. Olson also says you should stop for crossing guards who are escorting children through a crosswalk. He says you should be no closer than 10 feet and no further than 30 feet if you’re the first car. Fond du Lac public schools start on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

City Of FDL Observing Labor Day

City offices in the Fond du Lac City-County Government Center will be closed on next Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday. The Municipal Service Center will also be closed for all services, including refuse and recycling collection and bulky waste drop off. There will be no refuse and recycling collection that day. Refuse and recycling normally collected on Monday will be collected on Tuesday, September 8th with the normal Tuesday collection. Please have your materials set out by 5:00 am on Tuesday to accommodate the additional collections. Yard waste and brush may still be dropped off during the holiday hours.  The Senior Center and Fond du Lac Public Library will both be closed on Labor Day.  City Transit Buses will not operate on Labor Day.