6/26/17 - The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre is one step close to realizing their vision of moving into a new building. Former Beaver Dam resident and owner of the Park Village Shopping Center Robert Keller has offered a matching grant of $100-thousand dollars towards the campaign. The organization’s Board President and General Building Manager Scott Eberle says that they have now raised just over $2-million dollars of their $2.4-million-dollar goal. Work is already underway in the former St. Patrick/St. Katharine Drexel elementary school with removal of asbestos and several interior walls. The new location will give the theatre an increase of almost 10-thousand square feet plus more seating in the main auditorium. Eberle adds that the auditorium will have ground floor access, a top-of-the line sound and lighting system, an orchestra pit, performance spaces, dressing rooms, and a large lobby with an entry addition on the west side of the building. The group plans on having the theatre ready for 2018 season, with new shows beginning as early as the spring. For more information on the project and on donating, you can visit www.bdact.org.
6/26/17 - Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson is reminding the public about changes in requirements for teen workers and the impact the changes will have locally. State work permits will no longer be needed for 16 and 17-year-olds to get jobs. Governor Scott Walker signed a bill Wednesday that repeals the requirement, in which older juveniles needed to get their parents' permission to go to work. Gibson says those 15 and under will still need a permit. She says a lot of employers might not realize minors 16 and 17-year-olds no longer need them. The bill's supporters said it would be easier for kids to learn the value of work and make some money for themselves but opponents feared it would make parents know less about what their teens are doing. Gibson says the county gets $2 dollars and 50 cents out of the $10 dollars for every work permit. With lost revenue close to $110 dollars each year, Gibson does not believe it will greatly affect her department. She says to complete the permit it must be done in front of the county clerk or, depending on the district, local schools. For more information call 920-386-3600 or you can visit the county website.
6/26/17 - There are a couple new online resources available for area residents through the Dodge County treasurer’s website. County Treasurer Patti Hilker says they have added a taxpayer resources page as part of an effort to make information easier to find. There is also information on tax foreclosures, mill rates, tax districts, municipal treasurer contacts, terms to know, and lottery credit forms along with a feature to pay taxes where visitors can find details about paying real estate bills. Hilker adds that that the second installment payment for property taxes is due at the end of next month but she says they can be paid now as there is no need to wait until July 31st. She says payments can be made in person in the county treasurer's office at the Dodge County Administration Building in Juneau, Mondays through Fridays from 8am until 4:30pm. For more information you can visit www.co.dodge.wi.gov, for the pay my taxes page go to www.co.dodge.wi.gov/i-want-to/pay/pay-my-taxes, or call 386-3782 during working hours.
6/26/17 - A $2-million-dollar upgrade to electrical substations in Juneau will make the power grid more reliable. That’s according to Mayor Dan Wegener who says Juneau is currently getting (quote) “dangerously” close to capacity. He says the upgrade will increase capacity citywide for years to come. A substation near Clearview is getting the major upgrade with unused parts from that upgrade being transferred to the substation in the park by the utility office; a third substation located in the industrial park will not be updated. He says if a substation that covers the west side of Juneau goes down they have the ability to use the substation from the east side. Wegener says while the current substations are operating close to capacity there is currently no concern with a power grid failure. In addition to an increase of energy-efficient equipment on the market for consumers he says there is also a great working relationship between the utility and its largest users. He says “if power does need to be throttled back, not shut down, but throttled back then [the utility] has the ability to do that.” Wegner says the utility does have the option of switching between substations if needed. The upgrade will take all of this year and most of next year to complete. The utility has been setting aside funds for this project for years and the mayor says utility rates should not see any immediate effects. There are approximately 750 residential using the city-owned utility in Juneau along with government facilities and large industrial users like Sensient Flavors. Wegener says that the power grid upgrades will only enhance offerings in the city’s industrial park where he notes there are “good-sized lots” available for purchase.
6/24/17 - One person was injured in a two-vehicle accident Friday afternoon on Highway 151 near Columbus. The incident involved a semi-truck and a passenger van and occurred just after 12:30pm in Dodge County at mile marker 122. Columbus Fire Public Information Officer Jerod Fox says the Jaws of Life were needed to remove the driver from the van. She was transported by Lifestar EMS to Columbus Community Hospital; the extent of her injuries is not known but Fox says she was conscious. Traffic was backed up for several miles and was down to one northbound lane for nearly an hour before being re-opened.
6/24/17 - Dodge County has prioritized the use of its half-percent sales tax revenue for next year. The county collects around $6-million dollars each year from the tax. In 2016, the revenue totaled $5.9-million and in the first five months of this year the county has taken in just over $2.5-million dollars putting the county on pace to collect just under $6.1-million. The sales tax allocation policy adopted by the county board this week directs approximately one-third of the money to debt payments for projects including the new Clearview facility and the county highway shop in Juneau. One-million dollars will be directed to county road and bridge projects. Third on the priority list is capital infrastructure repairs and maintenance of existing Dodge County buildings and grounds. If funds are still available, it will go to either parks or land acquisitions, capital items, and parks and recreational improvements. The half-percent sales tax was put in place two decades ago specifically to pay for the county jail but the scope of use was expanded in recent years to allow for general county projects.