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Port city budget calls for tax break PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 18:40

    Port Washington city officials were poised to approve on Tuesday a 2013 budget that will decrease property taxes for most homeowners.

    The Finance and License Committee on Monday recommended the $8.65 million budget and corresponding $4.8 million tax levy for 2013.

    Committee members made a number of minor tweaks to the proposed budget, among them a decision to levy as much as possible for the coming year.

    Originally, they had proposed reducing the tax levy by about $3,200 — a number that grew to $4,900 after the state notified the city it would receive an additional $1,750 in revenue. ‘

    But because this levy would limit the city’s ability to tax next year, committee members agreed to increase the levy to the maximum allowed by law.

    The extra $4,900 will go to pay down the city’s debt, the committee decided.

    “Repaying debt is almost always a beautiful thing,” committee member Joe Dean said.

    Committee member Doug Biggs said he favored the measure because of the flexibility it will give the city next year and the fact the extra funds are directed to debt retirement.

    The proposed budget maintains city services and would fund projects such as the treatment of ash trees against the emerald ash borer and improvements to the walkway leading to the north beach.

      The estimated tax rate of about $5.75 per $1,000 assessed valuation is a decrease of about two cents from last year, City Administrator Mark Grams said.

    For the owner of a home valued at $225,000 last year that increased the average of .6% during the reassessment — to $226,350 — taxes will increase between $2 and $3, he said. However, this will be offset by an $11 decrease in the Daily-Pressrecycling fee. 

  The Common Council was expected to vote on the budget and levy following a public hearing Tuesday night.

 
County budget restores two funding cuts PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:06

    The Ozaukee County Board last week restored funding for the University of Wisconsin Extension family living educator and the Railroad Consortium to the 2013 budget — two items that a crowd of more than 50 people lobbied for during a public hearing.

    The $78.3 million county budget — which decreased 3.85% from the 2012 budget — was approved by the County Board Nov. 7.

    To support that budget, the board approved a tax levy of $19.3 million, an increase of 1% from this year’s levy.

    Of the total levy, $18.8 million goes to support county operations. This is .95% more than last year’s levy of $18.6 million.

    To raise that amount, the county set its tax rate at $1.85 per $1,000 equalized valuation, an increase of 4.46% from last year’s rate of $1.77.

    While this is the tax rate paid by most residents of the county, people living in areas not served by municipal libraries also pay a library tax to support the Eastern Shores Library System.

    The County Board set this levy at $532,000, an increase of 2.74%. To raise this amount, the library tax rate will be 27 cents per $1,000 equalized valuation, an increase of 5.66%.

    That means property owners living in so-called non-libraried areas will pay a tax rate of $2.12 per $1,000 equalized valuation, which reflects an increase of .93% from last year’s tax rate.

    At last week’s budget hearing, advocates for the railroad funding cited its economic benefits, noting numerous businesses rely on rail to transport supplies and finished goods.

    Other residents at the hearing argued that the family living educator provides an important service at a time when families are stressed.Daily-Press

    A number of residents also spoke in support of 4-H programs. While funding for 4-H has not been cut, the county has decided not to renew its contract with 4-H Youth Agent Gail Kraus, County Administrator Tom Meaux said. Instead, the county will recruit a new 4-H youth agent, he said.

    “Our intent is to do it quickly so we have a continuation of service,” Meaux said.

 
Town of Port budget calls for slight tax decrease PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 18:57

Small crowd of residents approve spending plan that trims assessed rate by one cent

    A handful of Town of Port Washington voters on Monday approved a $593,506  budget for 2013, an increase of about $46,000 from this year.    

    The residents set the tax levy at $448,000 — an increase of about $500  — and the highway expenditures for 2013 at $249,000.

    The highway expenditures include $50,000 from the town’s fund balance, which will remain at about $200,000 even after the withdrawal, officials said.

    The town is considering reconstructing Green Bay Road next year and also plans to make repairs to the bike trail bridge, potentially bringing it down to grade.

    Town Clerk Jenny Schlenvogt said she expects the tax rate to decrease by about one cent, to $2.21 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

    The majority of the discussion was raise by resident Terry Anewenter, who questioned why Town Clerk Jenny Schlenvogt’s pay is increasing from $35,500 to $42,000 next year.

    In addition to her salary, those amounts include $3,000 in per diem pay — $50 for each meeting attended to a maximum 60 meetings.

    “I don’t see a lot of people getting raises the last two years,” Anewenter said. “In this economy, I have a problem with this. They (salaries) should be frozen at their current rate.”

    The town should put any salary increase for any position to a referendum vote, he said.

    The clerk was the only position recommended for a salary increase, Town Chairman Jim Melichar said, adding the pay raise reflects the increase in the clerk’s workload.

    The workload has caused many townships to hire full-time clerks, he added.

    Although the clerk only has office hours two days a week, she handles town business on her cell phone and via e-mail throughout the week, Melichar added.

    “You need to make it an attractive salary,” Melichar said.

    Schlenvogt noted the duties of the clerk have expanded through the years, adding she is currently completing her work to become a certified town clerk.

    By a 6-2 vote, residents approved the salaries for town officials for the coming term, which runs from April 2013 to April 2015.Daily-Press
    The town chairman will be paid $9,500 annually and the two supervisors $5,000. In addition, they can receive 36 days of per diem pay, which is $50.

    The clerk’s salary will be $39,000, plus 60 days of per diem pay, and the treasurer will be paid $5,500 with 29 per diem days.



 
PWHS to hold Veterans Day program Monday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 18:36

Port Washington High School will host a community Veterans Day program at 10:20 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12.

    Three veterans — James Heiser, Robert Prom and Scott Krueger — will be named to the school’s Wall of Honor, which recognizes former Port High students and school district employees who served in the military.

    Also receiving recognition during the event will be the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, the Port Washington-based organization that has flown thousands of World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial built in honor of their sacrifices for the country.

    The Port High symphonic band and concert choir will perform during the program.  Senior Natalie Howard will deliver the introduction, and her classmate, Alex Mehre, will play “Taps.”

    After the program, the Van Ells-Schanen American Legion Post, 435 N. Lake St., Port Washington, will host an open house.

 
Teens cited when police visit party PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 18:48

When Port Washington police responded to a call about excessive noise in the 1000 block of South Spring Street shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, they discovered a teen party.

    The majority of the 17 youths there — all but one of them a teenager, and all of them under the legal drinking age — were cited for curfew violations and underage drinking, police said.

    One of the teens, an 18-year-old Port Washington man, was picked up on a warrant issued by the Saukville police.

    A 20-year-old Port man was cited for loud and unnecessary noise and providing alcohol to underage people, according to police. The police department also asked the district attorney’s office to charge him with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

    About 11:30 p.m. Oct. 23, police received a call from a man who lives in the 700 block of Milwaukee Street who said a man was lurking behind a tree outside his home but fled when the homeowner approached him.badge

    The suspicious man was described as tall with short hair or a balding head wearing a blue sweatshirt and gray pants, police said.
    A Port Washington woman reported that at about 8:20 a.m. Oct. 22, she and her son were crossing Holden Street at Walters Street when they were almost struck by a vehicle.

    Police tracked down the driver, who said the pedestrians should have stopped at the corner to check for vehicles before they headed into the crosswalk, and they did not do so.

    A 31-year-old Newburg man reported that about 7:25 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, he was standing in the 400 block of Franklin Street next to his vehicle when a passing vehicle struck him in the elbow and left the scene.

    A hit-and-run accident at the roundabout at highways 33 and LL was reported at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22.

    A vehicle driven by a West Bend man was traveling through the roundabout when a second vehicle entered without yielding, striking the West Bend man’s car.

 
Saukville cocaine dealer sentenced to 10 years in prison PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 18:45

    A 40-year-old Saukville man with a criminal past was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for selling cocaine and possessing a gun.

    Frederick Baker, who pleaded guilty to felony counts of manufacturing/delivering cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, was also sentenced to five years extended supervision.

    Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy chose the middle ground between a sentencing recommendation from the writer of a presentence report that Malloy said was too lenient and one from the district attorney’s office that he said was too harsh.

    Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Sisley argued for a 15-year prison sentence followed by 15 years extended supervision and probation.

    The presentence report recommended a four to five-year prison sentence followed by three to four years of extended supervision.

    Before sentencing Baker, Malloy questioned Sisley about an “inference” in the state’s case that Baker was a relatively powerful, mid-level drug dealer.

    “It seems the meat is missing from the bones when it comes to this inference,” Malloy said. “How did the (drug unit) arrive at that conclusion?”

    Sisley said that the characterization of Baker was based on reports drug-unit officers received from their sources.

    “If I had evidence that Mr. Baker was a larger-scale drug dealer, I’d be more inclined to agree with the state’s recommendation, but I think it’s speculative and I can’t sentence someone based on speculation,” Malloy said.

    According to the criminal complaint, Baker was arrested after selling $1,300 worth of cocaine to undercover officers on five occasions in April.

    When authorities searched his home in the 600 block of North Dries Street, they found cocaine packaged for resale, marijuana and a loaded .45-caliber handgun, the complaint states.    

     Baker told authorities he regularly bought cocaine in Milwaukee and sold it in the Saukville area to pay bills, according to the complaint.

    According to court records, Baker was convicted of one felony count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana in Milwaukee County in 1994.

    “This is a man who needs to go to prison,” Sisley said during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.

    Referring to the presentence report’s sentencing recommendation, he said, “The state doesn’t believe that’s sufficient. The message needs to be sent that if you decide you are going to sell cocaine in this community, you should go to prison for a long time.”

    Baker told Malloy he is a good person, the father of a 15-year-old daughter and a talented chef who made bad decisions following the breakup of his marriage.

    “I’m very good at what I do and plan to become an executive chef,” he said. “I have employers just waiting for me.”

    Malloy gave Baker credit for his stable work history but said he couldn’t overlook the seriousness of selling drugs.

    “We have a huge problem in this community involving controlled substances and it’s increasing,” he said. “It’s not just cocaine. Heroin and pain medications are flooding this community.

    “The disturbing thing is the drug dealer never gives a rip where his drugs end up. If they end up in the hands of a 15-year-old, that’s not his problem.”

 

   

 
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