Local News Briefs Thursday 2/25/16

Washington County House Fire

Four fire departments responded to a house fire in the Town of West Bend late Wednesday morning. Washington County Sheriff’s officials say the first deputy arrived at 11:17 a.m. and flames were coming from the first floor close to where a gas meter enters the home. The deputy also saw flames around a space heater in the living room. The fire was extinguished and the cause of the blaze is being determined. No one was in the residence at the time of the fire at 5566 West Lake Drive. 

Charges Being Considered Against Waldo Man

The 42-year-old Waldo man whose house was the site of a small explosion last weekend is being held on a probation hold while possible charges are being weighed. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco  says he’s reviewing reports about the explosive making materials found in the home of Daniel Shilts Junior. DeCecco says there’s a possibility the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee could file federal charges, which could take the matter out of his hands.

Downtown FDL Exploratory Committee Applications Due

There are only a couple days left to apply to be a member of the newly formed Downtown Fond du Lac Exploratory Committee. Applications are available on the City’s website. The City Clerk will be collecting applications through Friday. Paper copies will also be available at various locations throughout the City. Applications can be returned to 160 S Macy Street or emailed to [email protected] The Committee will be answering the question, “How can our Downtown be better?” This committee will operate similarly to the Lakeside Park Exploratory Committee with a facilitator and meetings that are open for all to attend. The final outcome will be a report with recommendations. The final report is estimated to be completed by the end of 2016 or early in 2017. Please call your City Council members or the City Manager if you have any questions.

Adjusting To Voucher Changes

North Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Aaron Sadoff says they are adjusting to the new way school choice is being funded in the state. This is the first year that public schools levy taxes for voucher students. He says in North Fond du Lac they only have 5 students that attend WLA or St. Mary’s Springs. He says after they get billed by the private schools for voucher students there was supposed to be a small surplus, which would be used for expenses like busing. He says it looked like some bigger districts would have quite a bit of money left over so the legislature reached a compromise to prevent that from occurring. Sadoff says the school district will simply levy accordingly to cover expenses.

Refinancing Will Save Waupun School District Over $300,000

The Waupun School District will be saving taxpayers quite a bit of money by refinancing some old debt. District Superintendent Tonya Gubin says the school board approved the refinancing Monday night. She says the refinancing of the two years of general obligation bonds took the interest rate down from 5.3 to .7 percent. She says it’s a savings of over $300,000 ($317,000). She says that means levying that much less to taxpayers over the next two years. She says when they were quite surprised when they found out from their bond consultant about the opportunity for that much savings. She says they work with a firm out of Milwaukee.

Deadline For Business Improvement Grants Drawing Near

Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership Executive Director Amy Hansen says now is a good time to make improvements to your business or start one if you’ve been considering it. She says people have until next week to apply for business improvement grants if they own a business downtown. She says applications are due next week and this year they are giving out $75,000 in grants to business owners to help renovate their properties. She says there are also financial advantages to starting a business in the downtown. She says there are a number of grants and low-interest loans available and because it’s a redevelopment zone interest rates are lower than you would typically find throughout the rest of the City. She says the DFP can be quite helpful to existing downtown businesses or those considering locating in the downtown. She says she works with businesses getting started, those who want to make improvements or who want to expand their businesses. If you would like to know more give her a call at (920) 322-2007.

Consults Laboratory Accredited

Consultants Laboratory in Fond du Lac, has achieved a two-year accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. Dr. Nidhi Kumar, Consultants Laboratory medical director, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the excellence of the services being provided. Consultants Laboratory is one of the only 7,700 CAP-accredited laboratories worldwide.

For more click here.

Community Garden Registration Underway

Community Garden registrations for the 2016 gardening season have begun.  If you are interested in growing your own fresh garden produce, but don’t have space to do it where you live, call Patty Percy, the Community Garden coordinator at UW-Extension Fond du Lac, 920-929-3172. There are plenty of very nice garden spots available.  Registration forms and additional Information can be found online at the Fond du Lac County UW-Extension website.