Local News Briefs Thursday 3/12/15

Unemployment rates for the City and County of Fond du Lac rose from December to January. According to federal labor statistics the unemployment rate for the City in January was 5 percent and for the County 4.9 percent compared to jobless rates of 4.2 percent in December. Those rates are still a full percentage lower than the unemployment rates for January of 2014, which were about 6 percent. For more click here.

EAB Found In Beaver Dam

Beaver Dam can be added to the growing list of communities in the state where the Emerald Ash Borer has been found. A City forester identified it Monday and the DNR Division of Forestry confirmed it the following day. City officials say it was found in the 100 block of Liberty Street. They are reminding residents that it is illegal to move firewood out of the quarantined area, which includes both Beaver Dam and Dodge County. Firewood is one of the ways EAB are spread.

Dodge County SWAT Team Beefed Up

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says six new members have been added to the County’s multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. For nearly a decade the SWAT team has included members of the Mayville Police Department and they are now adding two Beaver Dam Police Officers. In addition the team includes Tactical Emergency Medical Support to treat officers or members of the public if they are hurt during a SWAT team deployment. Two paramedic/firefighters each from the Beaver Dam and Watertown Fire Departments have been added to help with that support.

UW FDL Housing Could Be Rebid

Sometime this spring the Fond du Lac County Board will be asked to give a developer for student housing at the UW-Fond du Lac more time or rebid the project. County Executive Al Buechel says Bluffstone, Inc. asked for more time to do the project after running into delays at UW campuses in Baraboo and Marshfield, but work on those campuses should nearly be finished by the end of the month. He says the County has time to make a decision if opening the 84-bed facility is delayed until August of 2016. He says the goal is to provide students with proper housing and provide a good campus experience. He says that’s something Bluffstone is known for including the campuses in Baraboo and Marshfield. He says he has been talking with County Board committees and they think Bluffstone should be given more time. He says Bluffstone has invested hundreds of thousand of dollars in engineering and design for the housing at the UW-Fond du Lac campus and would be breaking ground soon if they hadn’t asked for more time.

Waupun School District Eyeing Referendum

Officials in the Waupun School District are taking a look at their long term facilities with an eye towards a possible referendum in November of 2016. Waupun Schools Superintendent Tonya Gubin says the referendum for their high school will be paid off in 2018 and they have the opportunity to do things with their schools that won’t put an increased burden on taxpayers. She says for example the boilers in their Intermediate School are 60 years old and the windows aren’t energy efficient. They would also like to have an athletic complex and specifically a track. She says quite a bit of money has already been raised for an athletic complex. Gubin says they are getting ready to send out request for proposals for a facilities study and will use the results to do a community survey in the fall.

Ripon Switching To Single Stream Recycling System

The Ripon Common Council this week approved switching to a single stream recycling program. The City had been using little totes and bins, but residents had to sort their recyclables. Working through Advanced Disposal they were offered lightly used 65 gallon containers from the City of Green Bay. City Administrator Lori Rich says the containers won’t cost them anything and a trucking company offered to ship them to Ripon at no cost. She says they have an estimated cost of $35,000 for the project, but that’s mostly a calculated cost for what it will cost for Department of Public Works employees to reassemble the containers and deliver them to residents and the time lost on work they could be doing. She says the new containers should be more convenient for residents and hopefully will encourage more of them to recycle.  

Senator Olsen Listening Session In Ripon Tonight

State Senator Luther Olsen will be holding a listening session in Ripon tonight. He will be at the Ripon Public Library in the Silvercreek Room from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight. The session is an opportunity for residents to share their ideas, ask questions or comment on the state budget.

Solutions Center Bunny Hop

The Solutions Center in Fond du Lac will be hosting its 4th annual Bunny Hop 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 4, at the Lakeside Park Pavilion. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the 5K starting at 9 a.m. A half-mile fun dash for children will follow. This community event is held during Child Abuse Prevention Month and seeks to raise awareness of child abuse in the community. Proceeds will benefit Solutions Center’s shelter and advocacy services. Major sponsors include Baker Cheese, FloorQuest and Agnesian Healthcare.  The Bunny Hop is family friendly, but caters to serious or elite runners. The event will be timed, with awards given to the top three finishers overall in the men’s and women’s divisions. Older children are invited to do the half-mile fun dash with awards given for the top three finishers. Younger children can meet the Easter Bunny and visit the Coloring Corner. The entry fee is $20 per adult and $10 per child 12 and under.  Pre-registration is encouraged.  Those who pre-register by March 18 are guaranteed a t-shirt in their size.   Bunny Hop registration forms are available at Solutions Center’s office, 39 N. Sophia St., or online at www.solutionsfdl.com