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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Plunkett Raysich Presentation:

Plunkett Raysich Presentation at Buildings and Grounds Meeting on February 21, 2007--Costs of Options discussed in the PRA report are detailed. Options Explained. Costs range from 30 Million to 44 million.


Notice: Town of Magnolia, Planning and Zoning to hear zoning request for wind measurement tower-Mar 8th, 7PM

On March 8th, 7PM, the Town of Magnolia, Planning and Zoning Dept, will hear a request from EcoEnergy to install a wind measurement tower for a period of not to exceed 36 months to determine the feasibility of erecting a wind turbine. The property is at 702 N. State Highway 213, Brodhead, Wi. 53520.

Town of Magnolia to Hold Town Board Hearing at Magnolia Town Hall Re Larson Acres Proposal on Sat, Mar. 3, 2007, 9AM

The Town of Magnolia will be holding a Town Board Hearing on Saturday, March 3, 2007 at the Magnolia Town Hall 9AM to consider a conditional use permit application request for Larson Acres to operate a livestock facility to house 1,500 animal units. This is located in the SW 1/4 of Section 29. The address is 17162 W. County Rd. B, Brodhead, Wi. 53520

Gazette Corner: Janesville Schools makes cuts---adds three charter schools---adds audio from board meetings to site

Click on the post to see the latest from the Janesville Gazette on the Janesville Schools moves to cut 1.9 million from their budget. They made the cuts, and added three charter schools to their offerings. They also added a network administrator positon plus added costs for bandwith (this handles the virtual audio and video).

Also noted on the Gazette article was the audio that the Gazette has added in its coverage of the Janesville school board meeting. This is on the right border of the article. Enjoy.

Re: Press Release: Chili Cook-Off

<

****************

Chill in the Air? That Means Chili Down at Level 8!

Evansville Community Partnership’s 7th Annual Chili
Cook-Off on Saturday, March 3rd

It’s that time again! Chili lovers all over town are
dusting off their tasting spoons and Matthias James
bowls. And the chili makers are pulling those crock
pots off the shelf, tweaking their recipes, and
dreaming of winning the grand prize bowl on the big
day!

The Evansville Community Partnership’s 7th Annual
Chili Cook-Off will be held on Saturday, March 3rd,
from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. at Level 8 (formerly the Red
Barn), 7530 North County Trunk M. For the second
year, judging will take place prior to the arrival of
the general public.

Once again this year there will be no shortage of fun
activities for the whole family to enjoy. Dance to
your favorite songs. Belt out a tune during Kombat
Karaoke. Bid on some exciting items during the silent
auction. Win prizes. Sample the contestant’s
entries, and, of course, enjoy a bowl of the delicious
all-you-can-eat house chili—or spaghetti and sauce for
the chili-shy! There will also be fun activities for
the kids.

Tickets are $15 prior to the event and $20 at the
door. Kids under 13 are free. Pre-event tickets are
available for purchase at: Ace Hardware, Bank of
Evansville, Eager Free Public Library, M&I Bank, Night
Owl, Piggly Wiggly, Real Coffee, UB&T, and the ECP
office. Once again, with each paid admission
attendees will receive a hand-thrown pottery chili
bowl made by local artist Matthias James.

For cooks who would like to throw their chili into the
ring, the registration fee remains at $25.00 and
includes a voucher for $10.00 worth of ingredients
(generously donated by Evansville’s own Piggly
Wiggly), two tickets to the event, and a chili bowl.
The 2007 Registration Form is available in the
Evansville Review, or at the ECP office. Interested
contestants can also request a form by contacting
Robin Lopez-Grignon via phone at 608/882-0598 or via
e-mail at ecpi@eishome.com. The deadline for
registration is March 1.

The 2007 ECP Chili Cook-Off is sponsored in-kind by
Mathias and Lisa James, Piggly Wiggly, and Level 8.
In addition, the following local businesses have
contributed to ensure that this year’s event is a
record-breaking success: Allen Realty, Bank of
Evansville, Baumberger Foundations, Coldwell Banker
Realtors, Dave Mosher & Associates, Evansville Auto
Auction, Flatwork Design, Hagen Insurance, Heacox &
Sons, Inc., Kids Korner, Landmark Services COOP, M&I
Bank, Magee Construction, Maple Grove Dental, Nelson
Young Lumber, Petterson Plumbing, Roger Roth CPA &
Associates LLP, and Shannon Law Office. Baker
Manufacturing and UB&T are corporate sponsors.

For more information on the 2007 ECP Chili Cook-Off,
contact Robin Lopez-Grignon, ECP Coordinator, at
608/882-0598 or ecpi@eishome.com.

###




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Briefing: School Beat: Prep for March Board Meeting.: J.C. McKenna---ADA deficient?

(Ed. note: This audio from the February 2007 Building and Grounds meeting occurs as Plunkett is discussing option #2 which would be to build a new middle school to replace J.C. McKenna.

Students will note a classic rule of questioning that is used by Art Phillips, board member. Rule # 1: When asking a question in direct examination, always begin by asking a question that you already know the answer to.

As a result of the questioning, it is extablished that J.C. McKenna is legally compliant under the ADA law. The Observer calls this three question dance step-----how to get a case dismissed in three easy questions.


Under questioning by Art Phillips, Plunkett partner admits that the ADA does not require 100% compliance and that J.C. McKenna is in legal compliance. It "maybe, might be not meeting the "spirit of the law, " according to the Plunkett partner.


Wall Street: The latest from Marketwatch

Click on the post for the latest from Marketwatch.

Energy: Madison: Mother Jones Magazine: "The Hypermiler"--Wisconsin style

Click on the post for a classic story in Mother Jones magazine about the champion driver from Madison, Wisconsin, a.k.a. ---the "hypermiler"---- that shares his techniques for getting 100mpg. Enjoy.

Click and Paste Analysis: What do you feel caused the market crash yesterday?

(Ed. note: The challenge of this post is to fashion an instapundit analysis using at least three of the following items into a sentence that you FEEL best explains what happened on Wall Street yesterday. Do not fret if the result does not make sense. Feel free to add a reason of your own if necessary. )

1) The computer glitch

2) The crazy Chinese stock market and the proposal to tax 20% of capital gains on Chinese investors.

3) The comments by Alan Greenspan that the US may go into recession

4) Stocks being overvalued

5) The sub-prime mortgage crisis where many homeowners who have sub-par mortgages are facing foreclosure due to rising interest rates.

6) The winter snowstorm

7) The pothole that opened on State Street

8) The drop in the durable goods number for January that was a big surprise to Wall Street.

9) The prospect of unending war

10) The rise in gasoline prices

11) The Wisconisn Badgers losing two games in one week.

12) Lack of confidence due to the unsolved recent fire at the Coach House

Yahoo: Video News : Update:

Chinese market bounces back; Other Asian Markets and Europe fall. Stay tuned. Click on the post for the video headlines.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

OP Ed: Finance: Reflection: Fear/Greed; Stocks/Bonds

This sell off from the opening is bringing just a little deja vu for the Observer...... since I did trade through the Crash of 1986. The problem with the plunge overseas that triggers the market lower at the opening, is that any stop loss orders are triggered but at the lower price of market or the limit price-----It becomes a cascade of lower and lower prices as things keep going. Fear breeds on itself.

In each panic, the opposite of the panic is the greed---the bonds are going higher. ...and bond interest rates are going lower. Which means that for those who have have bonds or have mortgages, and have perfect or very good credit, one can sell the bonds at the top or look to refinance at the lower rates. So---in the market panic, there is always an opportunity to make a wise transaction on the other side--stay calm and look for it.

Click on the post for the current municipal and corporate bond rates, for various ratings and compare to last month, and yesterday. Enjoy.

Yahoo: Latest Video News:

Click on the post for the video version of the stock slide.

Dow Plunges

Click on the post for the latesf from Wall Street.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Minutes; Economic Development: February 20, 2007

City of Evansville
Economic Development Committee
Regular Meeting
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 5:30 pm
City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin

MINUTES
Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by Chair Tony Wyse. Present: Tony Wyse, Roger Berg, Dave Olsen, Gene Bass, Cheryl Dickert, and Fred Juergens. Absent: John Decker and James Otterstein. Also present: Dan Wietecha, Bridgit Larsen, and Judy Whalen.
Declare Quorum. There being a majority of the commissioners present at call to order, a quorum was declared by the chair.

Approve Agenda. Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to approve the agenda, as distributed. Motion approved unanimously.
Approve Minutes of January 16, 2007 Meeting. Minutes not submitted; consideration tabled until March 20 meeting.

Update on City Website.

Fred Juergens indicated that the learning curve has been steeper than expected, but his goal is to have the new website operational within a month. He noted approximately $1000 of the $1500 budget has been spent and city staff will be able to maintain the website after it is developed. He also noted that the digital camera will be installed on UB&T later this year but was alreasy payed in last year’s budget.

Update on Eager Building/Economy Store Renovation.

Dan Wietecha noted that the Department of Commerce has confirmed that the $300,000 in CDBG money has been awarded to the project. Ron Van Straten of Foth Infrastructure has been hired to oversee administration of the CDBG funds. Construction is on hold pending several legal requirements of the grant but is expected to resume in late March.

Update on CDBG Application for Main Street Streetscaping.

Wietecha said the application should be submitted within a couple weeks. He indicated the third block of brick pavers is seen as one essential element in the overall redevelopment efforts downtown. The bricks and streetscaping will enhance the neighborhood and encourage additional commercial investment. Revitalization of the downtown will economically benefit the downtown businesses and residences. Wietecha noted that tax increment financing in the district will be for other designated infrastructure projects or to work directly with businesses redeveloping their property; it really does not have extra capacity to pay for an additional block of brick pavers.

Update on Downtown Task Force. Tony Wyse and Fred Juergens noted the group has been meeting every two weeks and is really prepared to alleviate some of the downtown business concerns during the Main Street construction project. Plans are underway for additional signs and billboards, opening up parking areas, and a door-to-door advertising effort.


Review of Smart Growth Implementation.

Juergens said that copies of the plan have been burned onto CD for distribution and that letters to the “Big 5” were written and would be mailed. Wyse noted that the goal of partnering with neighboring communities and the counties is a goal for 2008 but we should keep our eyes open for opportunities to work with them in the meantime.

Update on Economic Development Funding.

Wietecha provided information on local funding opportunities through WPPI; they have a $1000 for member communities to use for local advertising and promotion. He noted that the Building Improvement Grant (BIG) program had adopted an open-pipeline application process. He noted that the revolving loan fund has not been used in several years. Since it was originally established using general fund moneys, the Common Council will decide if it is appropriate to keep the money designated for economic development.

Update on Trade Market Analysis.

Tony Wyse noted that the Common Council had approved applying for CDBG funding. It was agreed that the study would provide background information needed for attracting businesses. Judy Whalen noted that the committee should have some role in determining the analysis to make sure they do not miss some information that we see as essential locally.


Discussion on Economic Development Strategy.

Wyse noted this also comes from the Smart Growth Plan. He would like to see the committee do a better job at partnering with the Chamber of Commerce on the proposed economic development summit. Bridgit Larsen, promotional director for the Chamber, and Judy Whalen, Whalen & Associates, introduced themselves. Wietecha noted that James Otterstein had given the names of a couple of other consultants that might facilitate the summit.

Roger Berg noted past perceptions from the business community that the city bureaucracy has not been business-friendly; there will be some hard feelings to overcome. The city should still have zoning and other regulations, but they can be streamlined and more user-friendly.
A large part of the effort will be to remove current barriers and baggage so we can help our existing businesses, recruit new businesses, and encourage entrepreneurs.

An economic development summit—or whatever event may come of this initiative—is not the end goal. But it can be a catalyst for a sustained emphasis on economic development. A commitment to follow through with implementation will also be essential.

On a motion by Gene Bass, seconded by Fred Juergens, a subcommittee of Dave Olsen, Roger Berg, Bridgit Larsen, and Dan Wietecha was named to meet with Judy Whalen to define the project parameters for hiring a facilitator consultant, with a cost estimate dependent on the scope of the work. Motion approved unanimously.

Adjournment. On a motion by Fred Juergens, seconded by Roger Berg, the meeting adjourned at 7:25.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gazette Corner: Schools Review Longer Day

Schools in Mass. and Minn are experimenting with a longer class day for schools. Click on the post for an article in the Janesville Gazette.

Heart-health Corner: St. Mary's Hospital Holds Heart Fair ---Memories of the "Cola Wars" in Evansville

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the St. Mary's Heart Fair in Madison. I went in a supporting role, and to taste the various food samples offered as a way of educating a guy like me in the ways of eating more healthy.

After a wonderful buffet of food, I settled on the "meditteranean" cooking area and tried to learn how to make the adjustment from simple down home barbeque chicken to the more healthy way. I have to admit. I learn a lot just by eating a wonderful dinner....anyway....

I attended a lecture by one of the St. Mary surgeons on "atrial fib" and also a session by a nutritionist. Right in the middle of her presentation, she said that there are TWO signs of childhood obesity. Then she flashed two slides silently. The first was a lone picture of a COLA can. Then the lone picture of a TV.

She went on to say that where there is lots of cola or soda in the home, and there is "a TV in the bedroom of a child" there will be childhood obesity---or it is very likely.

The reason I bring this up-----two weeks ago I spent a few hours reviewing the Evansville Review from February of 2002. Very nostalgic. At the School Board Meeting in February of 2002 two decisions were made---to move to full day kindergarten, and to approve the cola contract....a contract that is up for renewal shortly I believe.

One lone school board member rose on the cola issue. That member said that the cola contract would be harmful to students, and in order for the contract to come out, every student in the district would have to triple their cola consumption. The proponents said: "No problem. We will do so."

Today. Five years later. More knowledge is available.

Today. If you see that former school board member in the grocery store, stop and offer contratulations for the courage to stand up for student health.

And for the record---it appears that far more time and analysis was spent on the "cola wars" than on the finanical analysis regarding the space and resource requirments for kindergarten short and long term. More on that later.

Gazette Corner: Edgerton: Market survey results in adjustments for Edgerton downtown development

Click on the post for the coverage in the Janesville Gazette today reporting that due to a market study, there will be some adjustments to the downtown development plan in EDGERTON due to lower than anticipated rental rates that can be charged.

This is very similar to the financing difficulty that is presented in the Economy Store project in Evansville, where the upper apartments that will have "upscale" features, will also have " low to moderate rents." Because traditional appraisal for commercial properties is done as a multiple of rental income, the low market rental rates is a big obstacle to a "cornerstone". The big bet is that the rents will improve. The bet is made by both the developers and the city, in that both benefit if, and only if, the downtown is reborn and the valuation after the TIF expires is much, much higher which would benefit the taxpayers and the owners.

It would be interesting to see the details of the report on Edgerton and see what the actual rental rates they presume are sustainable. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Plunkett Raysich Options Presentation

(Ed. note: This audio is published without editing from the 2-21-2007 meeting of Buildings and Grounds. It puts price tags on the options discussed in earlier discussions. Plunkett Raysich---the Movie---should be available next week. Stay tuned. )

Plunkett Raysich presents options for future school development for Evansville---Prices from 30 million to 44 million---2-21-2007


"Relax"---Dateline Minnesota---snowstorm looms

See how easy that is. Just say it one more time=====

"relax." O.K.

After the shock and awe of the recent range of price tags for the Evansville School vision by Plunkett Raysich, I thought some levity in order. Here are some further reflections:

1. The estimated costs are in "current dollars," i.e. 2007 dollars. Thus the price tags might double if the current rate of building costs continue and action was finalized in 2016.

2. The estimated costs do not include "site acquisition." Add .

3. For two years folks have been disregarding requests for studies that would analyze the cost impact of residential development. Each month, the planner simply states that no action has been taken further on this matter. NOBOBY wants to see. Thus-----the meeting last week was the wake up call. It was a shock. It was a necessary moment for our community. It will be 20 years for the taxpayer to see a tax benefit in TIF 6 or TIF 7, and 27 years till the taxpayer
sees a benefit from The Economy Store and TIF 5 projects.

When asked for a comment at the formal meeting of TIF 6, Supr. Heidi Carvin said she thought TIF 6 looked good as far as TIF's went, since it was commercial and industrial and would not bring students to the schools.---however, getting to the end of the TIF would be the real challenge. 20 years. Yes. That is correct.

4. Another shocker was the open question by Supr. Carvin whether "Smart Growth" limits would hold in light of the industrial developments in Evansville that look probable and could attract homeowners to Evansville. Also, developers near Oregon and Janesville have dreams of development that would impact Evansville schools that were NOT considered when Smart Growth was finalized. Thus, Supr. Carvin notes in her comments that there might be a danger in being too conservative in estimates of student demand.

25 New jobs at a plant is not enough to spark a buying panic. However. The community will weigh in as to the picture of impact that was presented last week, and the larger impact that would be felt if development was not controlled but opened up further. These are worthwhile questions to ask, and timely ones. Some of the previous answers may have to be revised. Stay tuned.

5. Another positive of the meeting last week was the verification that the current TRIS site and Levi Leonard and the new high school will be a viable middle school and high school site long term. Thus the current athletic facilities will be maximized and no further athletic facilities would be necessary to be constructed. Plus---this site with some "enhancement" of space could sustain long term. The consultants "flip flopped" on their report and said that TRIS was a solid building after all. That is what the original folks of Building and Grounds said in 2001 and seemed to be verified by Joe Francis.

6. It is important to define the "problem" precisely in planning documents---before the "solutions" are discussed. To do otherwise creates just confusion and dissension. So---my conclusion is that we need to discuss further the "problem" and the "development plan" discussion the city will be holding this year will be part of the definition of the situation. I look forward to these discussions. So until these details are ironed out, I urge folks to .....

relax.

and get the snow shovel out.------and the snow blower.

I am standing by in the eye of the storm, with pen in hand, ready to transmit the latest of info.
Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer. We do the local news. We leave the beer, bait, ammo and sports stories to others.

Dateline Normal: Evansville Observer: Executive Session considers Expansion Plan

The Evansville Observer staff is meeting in executive session sometime this weekend to consider the requests of citizens of other communities for local news coverage that will be similar to Evansville. These solicitations of interest have been most gratififying. Citizens have requested neither beer, bait, ammo, nor sports stories, but .....heaven forbid....just local news with colorful video and audio.

A lucrative architectual study is not necessary.

No HVAC and plumbing analysis is anticipated.

No seven year time delay is anticipated.

No bricks are required.

Action is anticipated shortly.

Stay tuned.

Minutes: Redevelopment: February 20, 2007

Evansville Redevelopment Authority
Board of Commissioners
Regular Meeting
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 7:30 pm
City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin

MINUTES
Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm by Chair Chris Eager. Present: Chris Eager, Bill Hammann, Betsy Ahner, and Tony Wyse. Absent: John Decker, Tom Calley, and Roger Roth. Also present: Executive Director Dan Wietecha and Greg Ardisson.
Declare Quorum. There being a majority of the commissioners present at call to order, a quorum was declared by the chair.

Approve Agenda. The agenda, as distributed, was approved without objection.
Approve Minutes of January 16, 2007 Meeting. Bill Hammann moved, seconded by Tony Wyse, to approve the minutes as distributed. Motion approved unanimously.

Old Business.
Bill Hammann noted that the Common Council had approved the development agreement for the Eager Building Historic Renovation Project at its February 13 meeting. Hammann asked that Dan Wietecha make available for the Council copies of the January 16 financial memo from Ehlers and Associates regarding the project.

New Business.

Night Owl proposal.

Greg Ardisson gave an update and overview of his proposed renovations. He still intends to make the lower level into a quiet, family-oriented restaurant and to keep the main level as a sports bar and grill. Maintaining the historic structure, state requirements for a fire suppression system, and other factors have pushed the estimated cost several hundred dollars over budget. Ardisson will be re-evaluating portions of the project to reduce some of the expense, but he needs some indication from the RDA if TIF will be an option on the renovation.

The board noted this is an important building in Evansville’s history and an essential piece of the downtown revitalization. They indicated they would likely be willing to use TIF along the same lines as other recent, significant projects and asked Ardisson to work with Wietecha on financial projections for the proposal.

Building Improvement Grant (BIG) program. Wietecha relayed that the BIG committee recently decided to adopt an open pipeline basis for accepting applications. Betsy Ahner added that the Historic Preservation Commission had loosened their restrictions to allow the BIG committee to apply their funds to assisting with back entrances as well. It was also noted that the program needs to be better advertised in the future.

North Union / Allen Creek Master Plan.

Wietecha distributed an email from City Planner Tim Schwecke proposing development of a master plan and design guidelines for redevelopment of properties in the gateway and corridor entering Evansville from the north. Hammann noted that this comes out of the development of the “big box” standards and is meant to address commercial buildings in the 10,000 to 25,000 square foot range. Wietecha noted that he felt such plan would be premature and recommended waiting some six to eight months to see what comes of an initiative by the Economic Development Committee and the Chamber of Commerce to develop a citywide economic development strategy. Eager noted that some concept or vision for the area is needed to avoid a knee-jerk reaction when a development proposal comes forward.

Bill Hammann moved, seconded by Betsy Ahner, to draft a request for proposals (RFP) for the Allen Creek Master Plan, including properties north of the city limits, for review at the March meeting. Motion approved unanimously.

Promoting TID #5. The board noted that the east end of downtown is in difficult condition with the Angus Haus burned down and a neighboring vacant lot. It may be possible to consolidate several smaller parcels into one larger property for development here. There was a consensus that this area needs to be a priority because of its prominent location.

Adjournment. Chris Eager moved, seconded by Bill Hammann, to adjourn the regular February meeting. Motion approved unanimously at 8:25 pm.

Beloit Turner Schools Consider Expansion Needs

Click on the post for the latest from Beloit Turner Schools.

Music World, Evansville mourn loss of Ethan Willoughby

The Observer joins all of Evansville in mourning the loss of Ethan Willoughby. Click on the post for a story about his achievements in music.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Gazette Corner: Evansville Schools----$$$$ in the Spotlight

Click on the post for the article written by Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette that highlights the options for Evansville Schools that were listed by Plunkett Raysich last night at the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting.

The audio of this meeting is available on The Evansville Observer above this post. Enjoy.

Agenda: Public Benefits Committee--Friday, February 23, 2007--Wind Project on Agenda

PUBLIC BENEFITS COMMITTEE
EVANSVILLE INITIATIVE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2007, 7:30 a.m.
VILLAGE SQUARE RESTAURANT

Call to order.
Roll call.

Introductions.
Discussion and possible motion to recommend to Evansville Water and Light Committee energy conservation assistance to Greg Ardisson for low income housing units.

Discussion and possible motion to recommend to Evansville Water and Light Committee Roger Berg Wind Project.

Distribution of requested WPPI materials.

Discussion of Public Benefit Committee appointments.

Determine next meeting dates.
Adjourn.

Minutes: Evansville Senior Center Planning Committee--Feb 21, 2007

FRIENDS OF THE EVANSVILLECOMMUNITY/SENIOR CENTER
February 13, 2007
Corrected February 21, 2007

1. MINUTES
The minutes of the January 23, 2007 meeting were approved.

2. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
New Committee members were introduced.
A complete current roster of Committee membership is attached.

3. SCHOOL PRESENTATION
School Superintendent Heidi Carvin presented School enrollment projections and anticipated building needs. School need for the space currently utilized by the Primetimers is not anticipated for at least two years and as long as five years. The Schools are fully committed to serving the needs of the Primetimers.

4. YMCA PRESENTATION
YMCA Executive Director Tom Den Boer expressed interest in working with the Evansville project, especially in the areas of program services, staffing and management. They currently offer a strong senior program in Janesville and would be interested in exploring a possible partnership with a swimming pool in Evansville.

5. SITE OPTIONS
Jeff Farnsworth presented a preliminary design concept for the Eager Building.
It is anticipated that an expanded and revised concept for the Helgesen property will be available for the next meeting.
Asking price for the Wickersham property on 5th Street was reported to be $325,000.
It was suggested that the status of the Angus Restaurant site, recently destroyed by fire, should be determined.
It was agreed that a Site Committee consisting of Janis Ringhand, Karen Bass and Phil Kress would work with developers and designers as site options unfold, and report regularly to the full Friends Committee


6. ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
Attorney Dave Ross reported that the Friends have been granted nonprofit corporate status by the State of Wisconsin.
Draft by-laws were distributed.
Boris Frank will proceed with application for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.

6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The following Officers were elected:
Janis Ringhand President
Phil Kress Vice President
Elaine Strassburg Treasurer
Karen Bass Secretary

6. FISCAL AGENT
The Evansville Community Partnership was selected to serve as Fiscal Agent for the Friends. A revised 6-month agreement will be forwarded to the Friends for signature reflecting the election of Friends’ officers, fund signatories, the requirement of two signatures for any disbursement of $5,000 or more. An unedited draft of the agreement is attached.

7. DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS INSURANCE
Boris Frank will complete applications to David Mosher & Associates and Hagen Insurance..
Farnsworth Insurance American Family Insurance are not able to provide D&O Insurance at this time.

8. OPERATING BUDGET
Boris Frank will work with the Site Committee in developing an operating budget for the Friends.

9. RELATIONSHIP WITH DONOR
David Ross will continue to pursue formalization of the relationship between the donor and the Committee.

10. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for 8:30 AM, Friday, March 9th at the Evansville Fire Station.
EVANSVILLE SENIOR CENTER
PLANNING COMMITTEE ROSTER
February 21, 2007
Gordon Andrew Town of Magnolia
876-6965
andrew2@eishome.com
Karen Bass Evansville Community Partnership
882-5578
kgb5006@sbcglobal.net
Wally Baumberger Legion/VFW; St. Paul’s Church
882-6085
wbaumberger6085@charter.net
Sandy Decker Mayor
882-5528 (H)
882-2267 (O)
sandy.decker@ci.evansville.wi.gov
Dave Fellows Center Township
882-5867
jollygud@litewire.net
Phil Hamilton Porter Township
882-5757
philham@mailstation.com
Cindy Hurst Primetimers; M&I
882-6495 (H)
882-6166 (W)
cindy.hurst@micorp.com
Phil Kress Boy Scouts
882-4011
nancphil@charter.net
Janet Porter Ward Funeral Home; Congregational Church
882-4410 (W)
wardfuneralhome@charterinternet.com
Janis Ringhand Former Mayor
882-5879
jring@ticon.net
David Ross Attorney
882-4322
tallguy@ticon.net
Elaine Strassburg Evansville Fund
882-6590
usrebs@ticon.net
Steve VerKuilen Lions
882-6775
theverkuilens@sbcglobal.net
Facilitator
Boris Frank Boris Frank Associates
845-3100
borisfrank@tds.net
Evansville Community Partnership Fiduciary Representative Agreement

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

School Beat: Agenda: Buildings and Grounds: Plunkett Raysich On Agenda--- TODAY--Feb 21st 4:30PM

EVANSVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE AGENDA
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
4:30 p.m.
District Office Conference Room
340 Fair Street

Note, public notice of this meeting given by posting at the District Office, Levi Leonard
Elementary School Office, Theodore Robinson Intermediate School Office, J.C. McKenna Middle
School Office, High School Office, Evansville School District Web Site:
www.evansville.k12.wi.us, and by forwarding the agenda to the Evansville Review, M&I Bank,
Union Bank & Trust and Eager Free Public Library.

Committee Members:
Heidi Carvin Deb Olsen
Joe Francis Dennis Knudson
Dennis Hatfield Arthur Phillips


Agenda:
1. Approve January 4, 2007, Minutes

2. Plunkett Raysich - Details on Options

3. Report From Buildings and Grounds Manager
o Roof Bids Being Finalized
o DDC Bid for Elementary and Intermediate Schools
o Waterless Urinals
o Middle School Gym Windows

o 5 Year Plan

4. Safety – Levi Leonard Elementary School Parking Lot
5. Other
6. Set Next Agenda; Agenda Items and Date
o Use of School Facilities, Policy #830
o Wind Turbine
This notice may be supplemented with additions to the agenda that come to the attention of the Board prior to the
meeting. A final agenda will be posted and provided to the media no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting or no
later than 2 hours prior to the meeting in the event of an emergency.
Persons needing special accommodations or more specific information about the agenda items
should call 882-5224, Ext. 3387 at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Posted: 2/16/07

Dateline Normal: "The Phonebooth"-Fiction

The classic story of how Normal, Minnesota complied with the "Open meeting law" by creatively integrating "The Art of War" with "The Rules of Civil Procedure" by Billy Bob.


Gazette Corner: Details on the Drug Court for Rock County

Click on the post for the latest.

Nostalgia: What difference a year makes--School Beat: Facilities review

(Ed.note: In preparation for the Building and grouds meeting today at 4:30PM at the Evansville District Office Conference Room at which Plunkett Raysich will be presenting the costs associated with the various options they have identified as possible solutions to the problem they have defined in their assessment---I have presented below the minutes of the famous appearance of Supr. Heidi Carvin before the Evansville City Planning Commission on Dec. 5th, 2005. This is a meeting that The Observer had long encouraged. The minutes reflect that the school system was at 83% capacity about a year ago-----that was BEFORE Plunkett redefined "capacity" and changed the number from 2100 students to 1874. I have printed these minutes for all you that are going to come to the meeting today. Enjoy.")

Planning Commission Minutes--12-5-2005

Plan CommissionRegular MeetingTuesday, December 5, 2005, 6:00 P.M.City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WIMINUTESThe meeting was called to order by Mayor Ringhand at 6:00 PM. Present were: Mayor Ringhand, Ald. Aikman, Ald. Hammann, Cheryl Dickert, Gil Skinner, Dave Sauer, and Jeff Vrstal. Staff present: Tim Schwecke, City Planner; Bill Connors, City Administrator; and Jim Beilke, Clerk/Treasurer. Ald. Cothard, Juergens, and Sornson were present in the audience.

The Plan Commission move item (7-A) regarding the discussion on the impact of residential growth in the school district facilities and finances after item (5) citizen appearances. The agenda, as amended, was approved.Motion by Hammann, seconded by Skinner, to waive the reading of the November 1, 2005 Minutes and approve them as printed. Motion carried.Citizen Appearances Other Than Those Agenda Items Listed. None.New Business.

The Plan Commission discussed the impact on the school district facilities and finances from residential growth in the school district. Heidi Carvin, Evansville School District Superintendent, distributed a pie chart on the school district population by township showing the student population consisting of 50% from Evansville, 22% from Union, 8% from Magnolia, 5% from Porter, 5% from Center, 6% from Janesville, and 4% from others (attached).

Next, Ms. Carvin distributed the school district enrollment projections, noting the most growth is in the K-5 grades (attached). With this growth, the school district facilities are now at 83% capacity (attached). Ms. Carvin asked the communities for input regarding residential growth. The City of Evansville has agreements with two major developers limiting them together to an average of 70 new lots per year for next 4 years.

Mr. Connors added that future agreements would need to require fewer new lots than 70 per year if the City of Evansville is going to meet the targeted population growth rate of 27% over the next 10 years.

Kendall Schneider, Town of Union Chairman, stated that currently the town is considering limiting growth to 44 new lots per year in the new Start Growth Plan, but that plan is not yet adopted.

Ms. Carvin stated that the school districts facilities will be above 90% capacity within the next 10 years, and state revenues are not keeping up with the costs to run the schools. The state revenues are based on enrollment and/or Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 1993, the Wisconsin school revenues were capped, and it is illegal to exceed the revenue cap unless authorized in a district-wide referendum.

Since then, the CPI inflation was lower than the inflation schools face, such as, insurance, wages, fuel, and textbooks. In 2005, the medium growth in budgets allowed by revenues limits was 2.5%, and the medium growth in the cost of schools was 4.2%, which leaves a typical gap between the cost growth rate and revenue growth rate of 1.7%..........."

Minutes: Economic Development: January 2007

CITY OF EVANSVILLE
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
MINUTES
Regular Meeting
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
5:30 p.m.

1. Roll call. The meeting was called to order by chair Wyse at 5:36 p.m. Present: Gene Bass, Roger Berg, John Decker, Cheryl Dickert, Fred Juergens, Dave Olsen, James Otterstein, Tony Wyse. Absent: None. Also present: Mayor Sandy Decker, City Administrator Dan Wietecha.

2. Approval of agenda. The agenda, as distributed, was approved without objection.
3. Approval of minutes of December 19, 2006 regular meeting. So moved by Berg, seconded by Juergens. Approved by voice vote.
4. Citizen appearances, other than on items listed below. None.

5. Update on City web site. Fred Juergens displayed the new design for the web site, which will permit easier updates and improved navigation. Fred and City staff will update the information on the site, but there have been delays in doing so becasuse of an organizational glitch and the move of the City offices.

Discussion ensued as to the "point person" concept for new business inquiries, and sources of demographic information for the "site selection" aspects of the site. Discussion was also held as to coordinaton with the Rock County economic development offfice, and the Location One web site.

6. Economy Store CDBG update. Ron Van Stratton of Foth & Van Dyke will serve as the city's advisor on administration of the grant. Wage levels will not be an issue, but paperwork to demonstrate compliance with the Davis/Bacon Act will be a burden. Formal subcontracts and payroll records will be required.

7. Update on CDBG for additional streetscape funding. The city's engineering firm will finalize and submit the application; Ron Van Stratton also is handling this assignment. The engineers are still considering which project delivery method (multiple prime contracts, prequalification of brick subcontractors, or a delay in award of streetscaping contract work) will be most advantageous.

8. Discussion re: Rock County Planning & Development Agency. James Otterstein noted that Evansville has been listed on the County's web site, but that two factors precluded Evansville's listing in the Location One portion of the site. First, Evansville did not have a "product" available for listing (i.e., specific available real estate for industrial or commercial development). Second, the Location One site was sponsored and underwritten by a utility company, whose rules didn't permit a listing. Those rules subsequently have been liberalized. As soon as site-specific information can be furnished to the County (e.g., with respect to the newly-annexed commercial and industrial land on the east side) it will be listed on the site.
The City Planner and City Administrator can can work on getting Evansville development information onto as many web sites as will be helpful. James Otterstein will advise Dan Wietecha what he needs for the County web site.

9. Update on trade market analysis. James Otterstein has submitted the preliminary grant application, and has received a favorable response from Department of Commerce staff (though no guaranty the final application will be approved). The final application will need a Common Council authorizing resolution.

Motion by John Decker, seconded by Juergens, to recommend to Council an application for a CDBG - Planning Grant for a trade market analysis, with project expenses not to exceed $20,000.00, and with the required 25% local match to come from the TID #6 project budget, previously approved. Approved by voice vote.

10. Report from Downtown Reconstruction Task Force. An informational meeting was held at Hagen Insurance on December 21 to give business owners and operators an opportunity to see the streetscape plan and to ask questions and give direct input to the City Engineer and to the Public Works Director. About 30 persons attended from the business community. The Task Force continues to concentrate on signage and promotional issues.

11. Discussion of business development summit. Mayor Decker noted that the Smart Growth Plan calls for the community to create a business development plan. Wisconsin Public Power (WPPI) has $1,000 in grant money available to help defray expenses.
James Otterstein volunteered to suggest persons to serve as facilitator, and said that the proposed summit can create a platform for communication input for the proposed trade market analysis.

Berg moved, seconded by Decker, to have the committee invite Chamber of Commerce promotional director Bridget Larson to to the next committee meeting. Approved by voice vote.
Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to have the committee send "can we assist you" letters to Evansville Manor, North Prairie Productions and Landmark Services. Approved by voice vote.

12. Final review of chapter 8 of Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan. The chair noted that Chapter 8 calls for continuing review of economic development issues, and that the specifics are best addressed in connection with Chapter 12.

13. Begin review of chapter 12 of Smart Growth Comp[rehensive Plan.
Item 1 Web Page. Work is in progress, as previously discussed.
Item 2 Land Use. Tony Wyse will follow up with the City Planner.
Item 3 Distribution of Plan. Cheryl Daniels will review and suggest which portions of the Plan document will be most useful to the real estate community. Dan Wietecha will also meet with Bridget Larson to see that a copy of the document is available at the Chamber/ECP office; it would also be helpful to have a copy of the Town of Union Smart Growth Plan available.
Berg moved, seconded by Juergens, to authorize production of 6 compact disks, to be sent to the community's largest 5 employers. Approved by voice vote. Fred also suggested that copies on CD be distibuted to each economic summit invitee.

14. Adjournment. Berg moved, seconded by Wyse, to adjourn to the next regular monthly meeting in February. Approved by voice vote at 7:26 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
John Decker, Secretary

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tentative --- --School Board Vote Results as of 9PM

(ed. note. These are unofficial .)

Hammann-235
Woulfe - 231
Herbers--228
Lahti--159
Rehfeldt--152
Swanson--121---

Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer.

Gazette Corner: OP ED: WIAA does disservice to athletes

Click on the post for the latest from the Janesville Gazette.

Monday, February 19, 2007

ELECTION DAY----REMEMBER to VOTE-----

You can see the video of the candidate forum below this post. You can also hear the audio for your Ipod to listen while you are commuting. You can read the complete transcript of the forum in the Evansville Review. Never before have the voters had the chance to be informed about the issues of the Evansville School Board race.

Now is the time for the voters to decide.

You make the call.

Candidate Forum--Feb 3, 2007

Evansville School Board Forum--February 3, 2008 Moderated by Jim Brooks and Karen Aikman


Evansville School Board Forum--2nd Question

Second Question: "The School Board is asked to respond to the needs, wants and demands of many stakeholders in the district. Who is the primary customer of the school board and why?


MP3 File

School Board Forum Question #3

Question #3: We read each week of the competing demands placed on the school district and upon the board. Please focus on those that you consider to be the top two issues facing te board after the election and how you would balance them with the remaining issues.


MP3 File

Evansville School Board Forum: Question #4

Question #4: There are six candidates to fill two seats. Why should the voters of the district hire you? What skills and experiences will you bring to the board making you the best candidate for the position?


MP3 File

Evansville School Board Forum--Question #1

Evansville School Board Forum--Saturday, February 3, 2006, Karen Aikman, Jim Brooks Intro of Candidates and First Question: What are the two reasons you have decided to run for school board; Gary Rehfeldt, Tris Lahti, Richard Woulfe, Melissa Hamman, Kathi Swanson, Jeff Herbers


Nostalgia: Joint Meeting of School and City Of Evansville re growth impact

(Ed., note; A regular reader has pointed out to me that I omited this link in an earlier article. This was the famous and rare meeting of the city and school regarding impact of residential construction on schools, where the land that was heretofore disignated on the future land use map as for future school use was noted to be swamp land and unsuitable.

Click on the post and enjoy.

There are two versions of these minutes for historians---in the first version of the minutes the presence of the school before the planning commission was not even noted in the minutes. After the protest of The Observer and other citizens, the minutes were revised to admit their attendence at the meeting.

Mailbag: Slammer writes on Plunkett Raysich:

(Ed. note: "Slammer" has commented on the change of numbers of capacity in the schools from 2100 to 1874. I have posted it separately for better visibility along with my response. )


slammer said...
"When the buildings were inspected by Plunkett Raysich, in light of more modern space requirements that they deemed appropriate, the capacity was determined to be 1874."I think this is all that needs to be said. Plunkett Raysich gets paid (handsomely mind you) if we build a new school. The 24,000 we already paid them is nothing to what they would have coming their way if we did build one (or two) schools. Why there are not two or more companies bidding to be the architect is just assnine to me. I would expect that people reading this has had second opinions on many household purchases. Read between the lines we were sold a line of crap in 01 when we were told we can hold 2100 students, they now want us to believe the "new numbers" of what our schools can hold.I also like the "in light of more modern space requirements" what the hell does that mean? Fatter kids eating up all the extra space? How does the old saying go? Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice...
12:38 PM


Evansville Observer said...
Slammer:The phrasing "in light of modern space requirements" is my phrasing that summarized an opening 10 minutes of the Plunkett rep that went over how modern specific areas were "configured" etc. In the audio of the meeting, you can hear Art Phillips and others questioning this section. The irony is that this is the SAME total facility that is developing $300 per child higher than the average facility costs compared with our peers according to the DPI web site. It cannot be both too small and too large at the same time. As you point out, these folks are being paid to spin.The meeting will be on Wednesday February 21st at 4:00PM at the District Office to discuss the cost estimates of the various options and then there will be the presentation at the March board meeting. It is time for citizens to show up at these meetings and ask the very same questions that you are asking. Thanks.
1:20 PM

Supr. Carvin Speaks on School Space------ The numbers have changed from those told the voters

Supr. Carvin speaks to Seniors meeting on Tuesday Morn 8:30AM in 3rd floor of City Hall midst the hammering of construction---be patient with background noise. It is not the Observer.




At the meeting with the seniors this morning, Supr. Heidi Carvin was scheduled to speak on the space for the seniors at the high school, but her comments have shed light on the current hot topic in Evansville---the space needs of the schools.

The voters who approved the referendum in 2001 had been under the impression that the space they were to be paying for would last till 2017, or till roughly the bonds would be paid for. In her remarks, Supr. Carvin said that the original Building capacity told to the voters was district wide 2100 students. This would have lasted till 2017. When the buildings were inspected by Plunkett Raysich, in light of more modern space requirements that they deemed appropriate, the capacity was determined to be 1874. If one assumes that 1874 is the correct number, then the buildings reach capacity in 2011---and are in fact close to capacity RIGHT NOW.

In addition to the "base line model" there is a "5 year trend model" that projects capacity being reached in 2011----however it is not clear that the past 5 year rate of building can be sustained since it was at 27% and it appears that things have slowed drastically.

One board member at the recent Buildings and Grounds meeting said that the voters were just confused about the enrollment projections told to them------correction. NO. The numbers have just been changed.

If you listen closely in the noise of the construction zone, you can hear Supr. Carvin say that the truth lies somewhere in between the two notions of capacity.

The enrollment projection graphs presented at this meeting can be found on the school district web site.

The other interesting fact was that in the graphs presented, "kindergarten regression" graph or the impact of new births to enrollment was flat---no growth. The graph of folks moving to this district is where the projection 2 year and 5 year goes up sharply.

If we would plot the plunge of building permits in the graphs---indeed---and extend the graphs downward---the results might have been different----

Thus---the Observer concludes that any projection will have to be done with caution since no population study can predict the folks moving here on a rolling moving average--conditions change. Folks move here for lots of reasons.....Affordable homes....jobs.....low interest rates...good schools.....close community.....churches.....and yes...paving bricks..... It is not just population that is the key, but all the rest of the factors. And the Economic Development budget.

Stay tuned.

School Beat: Ch15: Taher to go trans fat free by Sept 2007

Click on the post about the change in food offerings at schools using Taher--they are going trans fat free by next September.

Gazette Corner: Low turnout for Primary Predicted-------

Click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette. Every vote will count tomorrow. Don't forget to vote.

Gazette Corner: Evansville celebrates new retail center

Click on the post for the latest from Gina Duwe on the new retail center on the eastside.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Debt Blogging---a path to financial freedom?

Click on the post for the latest.

Law Corner: Click on the post for recent podcasts from Hamline Law School

WSJ: Doyle Budget: Daycare funding issue comes to front burner

Federal assistance for low income daycare subsidy had been flat for years, and the proposed subsidy from the state does not meet the needs of high cost residential areas---like Dane county.

Click on the post for the article in the Wisconsin State Journal that reviews this issue.

OP: Beloit Daily News: Sees problems with Gov. Budget

Click on the post for the OP of the Beloit Daily News on Gov. Doyle's budget.

Friday, February 16, 2007

PBS Corner: Shields and Brooks Podcast

Click on the post for the latest podcast of Brooks and Shields from the News Hour. You can also subscribe to receive this each week. Enjoy,.

School Beat: Evansville Schools conducts self-evaluation--invites comments

(Ed. note: The following was found in the Evansville Schools web site and is republished without
editing.)

Evansville Community School District News

Pupil Nondiscrimination
Posted 2007-02-15

The Evansville Community School District provides assurance that no student is discriminated against because of the student's sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability.

The District is currently conducting a self evaluation of its status of pupil nondiscrimination. Residents of the community have an opportunity to provide comments in regard to the following areas of student activity:

Methods, practices, curriculum and materials used in instruction, counseling, and pupil assessment and testing.

Participation trends and patterns and school district support of athletic, extracurricular and recreational activities and; trends and patterns in awarding scholarships and other forms of recognition and achievement provided or administered by the District.
Comments on the status of pupil nondiscrimination in these areas can be sent prior to March 2 to:
Director of Student Services
Krista Jones
340 Fair Street
Evansville, WI 53536
(608)88-3384 or jonesk@evansville.k12.wi.us

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Legal: Gazette Corner: You make the call----

Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette on the award determination by a jury against the city of Evansville.

Stay tuned.

Biodiesel Corner: North Prairie Nears Investment Goal; Excitement Builds

North Prairie Productions has announced in a recent newsletter that they are at $23.5 million in their equity investment drive. They are looking for a groundbreaking in March. The biodiesel company has announced that they have completed preliminary engineering and permitting requirements.

Click on the post for further info from North Prairie. If you would like some info on the Offering Memorandum, call 877-299-2435

"Downhome Nostalgia: Orig 1-16-2007: School Beat: Finance: EHS Construction Course Planning Discussed--Financing, Liability, Developer Support etc.

( UPDATE ) Ed. note. If Dave Sauer as city engineer says the lot proposed for this course is suitable, I would support the site selection fully.

The point of this post is that this home is the first of the school course to be built, and I hoped to have the best possible location for it. As a regular feature of this course, I would hope that an independent engineer approve all site selection. This is a matter of prudent decision making and not a reflection on the lot, or the seller. I have expressed privately at the meetings that I understand the developers have done everything possible to mitigate risk. That being said, I always like the higher lots for risk avoidance. Thus I admit I am conservative and risk averse.

The other concern not detailed is the supervision of the actual digging of the foundation, which is a whole story in itself, and complicated. It goes without saying that the folks who do this know what they are doing and follow the number on the deed as to depth.

Finance Committee discusses EHS Construction Course, funding, concerns etc.



MP3 File


Well. The day after Valentine's Day really brings back the memories of yesteryear.

At the Evansville School Board meeting the other night, the subject of the proposed construction course was brought up, with the instructor presenting the proposal of purchasing..... on generous deferred payment terms........, a lot at 6th and Badger Drive. In fact, there was a choice of three that were available.

Yesterday, just to get the real down home feel for the location, I went to 6th and Badger to get the lay of the land----and I certainly hope all my beloved readers do the same.

Standing there at 6th and Badger I felt overcome with all the memories. If you click on the post, you will see the first of my memories. The famous meeting--joint meeting---between the city of Evansville Planning Commission and the Evansville School District on December 5th, 2005, at which Supr. Carvin presented the enrollment projections and asked for consideration of the impact of residential growth on school enrollment in their planning decisions. Then---the planning commission did not even include the discussion in the minutes. Only after the protest of local residents, and yes the Observer, were the minutes revised to admit that yes indeed, the School district had been heard.

The real story is the rest of the story-------As the meeting opened, the minutes do not fully reflect the drama----Mr. Bill Hammann had the honor of informing the school district that the land that had been previously designated as planned for" future school development"---well---had been found to be unsuitable. ........ There was a pause as school officials looked puzzled. Then Dave Sauer, the City Engineer, gave the specifics---the land was in low land....and unsuitable.

Thus, standing at 6th and Badger yesterday, all these fond memories flooded over me as I gazed at the lots that were being considered for the building of the house for the school construction course. As I gazed upward toward the adjoining lots I felt as though I was down in the valley of the darkness and looking up to the light of .....maybe sea level. (Developers do dispute this and say it is the same level.)

Click on the audioblogger for the discussion in the Finance Committee a month ago in which I asked some questions about the liability of the school district in the event of...heaven forbid.... water problems.

You make the call.

Remember. We're the Blue Devils. We build on the high ground.

Minutes: Town of Union; February 1, 2007; Eager Library

Town of Union Page 1 of 3 Monthly Board Meeting Minutes - February 1, 2007
TOWN OF UNION BOARD MEETING
Minutes for February 1, 2007
The Town of Union Board regular monthly board meeting was called to order on February 1, 2007 at the
Eager Free Public Library, 39 W. Main Street, Evansville, W I at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Kendall
Schneider. Supervisors George Franklin and Don Krajeck were also present. The Pledge of Allegiance
was recited.
Having read the minutes, Supervisor Franklin moved to waive the public reading of the minutes. Second
by Supervisor Krajeck. The minutes of the January 4, 2007 meeting were approved as written.
Sharon Franklin, Treasurer, distributed a revised December 2006 report and fund balances as of January
31, 2007 as follows:
Local Government Investment Pool General Fund $1,018.40
Park and Recreation Fund $11,451.61
UB&T Money Market Sweep Account $1,106,065.71
Of which $50,000 is Contingency Fund
UB&T Checking Account $21,000
Leedlemill Bridge Certificate of Deposit $16,607.20
Wayne Disch Memorial Park Fund $1,496.53
Morning Ridge Stub Road Certificate of Deposit $17,455.84
Treasurer’s report approved as read.

Constable’s Report & Dog Retainment Issues
Constable Kim Gruebling reported Tom Sawyer requested Kim to serve a Notice to Vacate at 16326 Cty
C, Evansville, WI 53536.

Building Inspector’s Report

Town of Union Building Inspector, Bob Fahey, reported issuing two (2) building permits and one (1)
driveway permit last month:
Date Permit
#
Parcel # Name Address Description Construction
Cost
Permit Fee
$
Inspector's
Fee Due
12-Jan-2007 07-1-B 6-20-86.4 Elaine Olson
Estate
10422 N Hwy 14 Electrical Service $110.00 $100.00

20-Jan-2007 07-2-B 6-20-284 O2 Investments
/Jason Olson
4945 W alker St/ 39 W alker St Remodel home $10,000.00 $230.00 $220.00

17-Jan-2007 07-1-D 6-20-244.6A John Morning7902 N Hwy M Driveway $400.00 $110.00

Public Comment: 5 minutes max/issue.
Street sign names: Northfield and North-Field, Forest Hollow and Forrest Hollow, Brooklyn- Evansville
and Dumphy vs. Dunphy street signs missing or misspelled.

Final CSM Approval of Park Land
Ron Combs surveyor for R-Four, Inc. presented a Plat of Survey Map for approval regarding the parkland
contribution for the Conifer Hills Subdivision. He state that a Warranty deed would be used for the saof of
adjoining properties since the townships owns the parkland (Wayne Disch Memorial Park) next to the area
in question and because there is no road access to the parkland.
Motion by Chairman Schneider to accept the warranty deed instead of the Certified Survey Map which
would satisfy the parkland dedication requirement of 2.65 acres for the entire Conifer Hills Subdivision.
Rohloffs will place a fence in the northwest corner once the township takes control over the land. Chuck is
currently using it as a hayfield. Second by Supervisor Franklin. Motion passed by unanimous rollcall vote.
Town of Union Page 2 of 3 Monthly Board Meeting Minutes - February 1, 2007
Board Action: Teresa Shea and Allen Booth, 10244 N. Harold Dr., Brooklyn, WI 53521 request a
land division and zoning change for Parcel 6-20-67 located in the NE 1/4, SW 1/4 of Section 9. The
current parcel is 19.4 acres and zoned A1. The owners request to split off an 1.88 acre RR parcel
for the purpose of a relative building a home on the lot. This parcel is located at the south end of
Harold Drive. Plan Commission recommended denial on January 25, 2007.
Motion by Chairman Schneider second by Supervisor Franklin to deny the application request because the
request was not consistant with the Comprehensive Plan. Motion approved by unanimous roll call vote.


Board Action: Stella Krumwiede, 6516 N. Weary Road, Evansville, WI 53536 requests a land
division, conditional use permit and zoning change to create a new 3.1± acre parcel zoned B1 from
a 35.24 acre A1 parcel (6-20-311) for the purposes of constructing an electric sub-station. The
remaining 31.5± acre parcel would be rezoned A2. Plan Commission recommended approval of
conditional use permit only, no land division or zoning change on January 25, 2007 .

Ron Combs indicated according to our ordinance someone cannot have more than a ten year lease
without dividing off the land area being leased (Section 16.06(B)) of the Land Division Ordinance.

Ron suggested approving the conditional use permit and approve a certified survey map to create a new
parcel which would be a non-confirming A-1 for the 3.1 acre parcel and a non-confirming A-1 for the
remaining 31.5 acre parcel.

Supervisor Krajeck moved to refer this matter back to the Plan Commission to have them look at
accepting a certified survey map for creating a new 3.1± non-conforming parcel zoned A1 from the 35.24
acre A1 parcel (6-20-311) for the purposes of constructing an electric sub-station. The remaining 31.5±
acre parcel would become a non-conforming A1. Second by Chairman Schneider. Motion approved by
unanimous roll call vote.

Board Action: Paul Maas, 17816 W. Evansville-Brooklyn Rd., WI 53536 requests a land division and
zoning change to separate off a 1.5 acre RR parcel from the current 77 A1 parcel. Parcel is Parcel
# 6-20-150. The owner requests this split for his son to build a house on.
Plan Commission on
January 25, 2007 recommended denial.

Motion by Supervisor Franklin to deny the request because it does not fit the current Comprehensive Plan
and citizen concerns.

Second by Chairman Schneider. Motion passed by 2-1 roll call vote. Chairman
Schneider Y Supervisor Franklin -Y Supervisor Krajeck - abstained. Supervisor Franklin noted a lot had
been previously divided.

Notice of Claim from Aloysius Dahmen & Steven Evers
The claim from Dahmen and Evers is for $3,059 for the damage to daylilies which they said was damaged
during the roadwork done on the intersection of Territorial Rd and Cemetary Rd. MSA indicated the item
about the placement of the stakes is incorrect and that the stakes had been placed in the correct place.
Chairman Schneider will request the MSA documentation to determine what information and proof they
have of the stakes being correct.

Territorial Rd Project Finalization
There are still items needing attention by McGuire. Supervisor Krajeck felt McGuire should finish what is
in the contract and that if we run into extra interest costs for the bank loan that we should charge that back
to MSA and/or McQuire. Kendall will be in contact with MSA. No action at this time. The loan has been
extended to April 20, 2007.

TRIP Funding Reimbursement & Application
The township cannot apply until all costs are paid.
Ordinance modification to allow reclamation gravel pit as a conditional use under A1.

Brett Frank indicated the current Special Purpose districts were put into effect in 1997. A public hearing
would be required to change the ordinance to allow a reclamation gravel pit under A1 conditional use.
Town of Union Page 3 of 3 Monthly Board Meeting Minutes - February 1, 2007

Ron Combs indicated that with a legal description the parcel could have two different zoning types.
Brett will be going to see Andrew Baker (Gravel pit contact for Rock Co. Land Conservation Dept.)
regarding his reclamation plan. Chairman Chairman Schneider and hopefully Plan Commission Alvin
Francis will join in that meeting too.
Review A3 zoning conditional uses.
Motion by Chairman Schneider to have the Plan Commission review an ordinance modification for A3
zoning conditional uses for telephone, telegraph and electric transmission lines, buildings or structures.
Second by Supervisor Krajeck. Motion approved by unanimous voice vote.
Resolution modifying fees for zoning/conditional use/land division applications
Motion by Chairman Schneider to change the application fee language for the Conditional Use Permit
(Non land Division) to $500 + actual costs incurred by Town of Union for attorney fees and engineering
fees and all other costs associated with the application review and approval process; and to change the
application fee language for conditional Use Permit (Land Division A1, A2, or A3) to $750 + actual costs
incurred by Town of Union for attorney fees and engineering fees and all other costs associated with the
application review and approval process. Second by Supervisor Krajeck. Motion carried by unanimous
voice vote.
Discussion of special meeting to address procedure concerns for modifying the Comprehensive
Plan and addressing zoning/conditional use/land division applications.
A meeting will be held on February 8th with an agenda to be set by Chairman Schneider and Alvin Francis
to discuss procedural items for the Plan Commission and Town Board in processing applications.
Information Sharing of New Buildings with Rock County for County Maps.
Motion by Chairman Schneider to make Supervisor Franklin the contact person and Supervisor Krajeck as
the alternate for updating the county maps for buildings.
Operator’s License for Red Barn & Union Tavern & Bob Hall
Chairman Schneider moved to approve operator license for Lisa Rivers and Erik Bradley at Level 8 and
Bob Hall as an independent operator expiring June 30 , 2007. Second by Supervisor Krajeck. Motion
approved by unanimous voice vote.

Reimbursement request for voting machine
Clerk O’Leary will be completing the request for reimbursement from the state.
Pay bills
There being no further business to come before the board, a motion was made by Supervisor Krajeck,
second by Chairman Schneider to adjourn the meeting. Bills were approved for payment and the meeting
was adjourned.
Linda A. O'Leary, Clerk

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gazette Corner: Coach House Fire Origin under investigation

Click on the post for the latest from Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette.

School Beat: Monday night: District establishes fund balance objective; Switches bonds, saves money--on why fund balance objective matters

Last October in the finance committee meeting, members discussed the state of the fund balance and what the objective of the school district was. Click on the audioblogger and you can hear that the target was set at 7% and Mr. Pierick goes over how that will be calculated.


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Previously in August, Art Phillips had asked about the fund balance in connection with the motion to restore operating cuts and fund the Plunkett Raysich study. he asked for specific targets and was told there was none.

In the April 2006 School Board District Administrators report, Supr. Heidi Carvin had noted the necessity of addressing the fund balance issue and that taking money from the fund balance to make up energy cost spikes could not continue-- she said:

""Planning for 2006-07 School Year: When fund balance is used for unanticipated costs, it is important to make budget adjustments the next year. This prevents the fund balance from eventually going to $0 and the District becoming bankrupt. The struggle to build the fundbalance back up also continues. "


On Monday night, the public saw the very first result of the long process of discussion in meetings as the policy of the fund balance was given FIRST READING. Yes. Things happen slowly in large organizations. As the representatives from Paine Webber were making their presentation on the routine switch of bonds that could save the school district money since interest rates had declined 2%, they mentioned that a key part of ensuring the school district could get a replacement bond at A3 rating by Moody's was the establishment in board minutes of a target for the fund balance.

The public can search on the blog and see the disasterous results for Monroe and other school districts that have not maintained their balance in difficult times. The cost of financing goes up dramatically--and money that could be spent on teachers is spent for higher debt service payments due to higher interest rates.

So---on Monday night, Paine Webber representatives praised the school board for their policy---at first I thought this might be sly humor since it was after all only the very first reading of such a policy---but after further reflection, I would agree that it has been a process of dialoge over the past months about this matter and a understanding has been reached ---thus----

When the construction project was bought up right after the GO refinancing, and the proposal was to consider the offer of a contractor to sell the district a lot at 6th Street and Badger Drive with deferred payment option and to construct a house with students of the construction class---they were told that the funds necessary for this project will be BORROWED commerically and NOT from the fund balance. In the Observer's view this was very correct and consistent with the fund policy targets talked about only minutes, or SECONDS ago in the school board meeting. Right in my immediate memory span.

Readers can search the blog for other articles on the fund balance issue. The Observer salutes Art Phillips and other board members that have raised questions on this issue. They are performing their duties as board members. This is not "micromanagement" but rather the essential management of policy that board members must perform. Thanks.

Comedy: Political: Valentine's Day

click on the post for the weekly radio address.

Gazette Corner: Milton Schools: Sticker Shock: 83 Million for High School?

Click on the post for the latest.

Channel 3000 Covers Coach House Fire:

Click on the post for the coverage of the Coach House fire from Channel 3000.

WSJ: Belleville: Blue Devil Wrestlers in the Spotlight

The recent wrestling WIAA meet in Belleville got some press in the Wisconsin State Journal. Click on the post. Lots of excitement about wrestling in Evansville right now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Evansville Observer Launches Coupon Corner

If you scroll down to the lower right of the blog you can see "Coupon Corner". Visitors to the Evansville Observer can now not only subscribe to receive agendas for meetings, but to receive the latest coupon offer from area merchants. Click on the post to see the first coupon available.

The very first coupon is for a restaurant special for Valentine's Day, courtesy of "Irish Waters."

Once you are on the Coupon site, scroll down to the end and you can subscribe so the coupons are instantly shown to you as they are posted. So many coupons...so little time...Enjoy.

Common Council: Closed Session to consider legal defense

(Ed. note. The following was noted in the minutes of the Common Council for tonight. Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer for the latest.)

"Upon the proper motion and approval vote, the Common Council will convene in closed session pursuant to Sec. 19.85(1)(g), Wis. Stats., to confer with legal counsel for the governmental body who is rendering oral or written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the body with respect to litigation in which it is involved (Deicher and Mezera v. City of Evansville et al)"

Evansville Review has the scoop----School Board Candidate Forum transcript

The Observer tips his hat to Tammy Pomplun and The Evansville Review for their complete coverage of the recent Evansville school board candidate forum----every word of it is in print. Quite an awesome effort. I had hoped to have the movie on the Evansville Observer, but due to a technical glitch the sound is garbled. Maybe later. So----the scoop award goes to--The Review.........on newstands citywide now.

Evansville Coach House Destroyed by Fire:

The beloved Coach House on East Main street was destroyed by fire early this morning about 1:30AM. Firefighters have been dousing the flames in difficult freezing conditions ever since. It is unclear where the fire started.

I chatted with Jeremy with the film crew of Ch 3, so expect some film from them. Also, Jeff Vrstal, who has an adjacent sign shop, Main Street Signs, said his business suffered some water damage but will survive. Jeff does have some photos of the structure engulfed, and I will post them when I receive them.

Nostalgia: (Orig Post 2-16-2006) School Beat: Audit Firm of Smith & Gesteland give Evansville Schools High Grades

(Ed. note. I have reposted this note from 2-16-2006; I guess I just get sentimental when I remember the words of our audit firm ------that the most important quality of a school board member is WHAT? Yes. To ask Questions. )


At the School Board meeting on Monday night, the audit firm of Smith & Gesteland presented their overview of the audit they recently performed on the books for the year 2004-5.

They gave high praise for the systems in place and for Deb Olsen in particular for her performance. Of special note to The Observer were the comments relating to what the role of the School Board is in fulfilling their duties and as acting as one of the checks and balances to make the whole process work effectively.

The senior partner explained that in addition to the Finance chair of the board, members who have questions about items should not hesitate to ask a question. If they have a question, silence is not acceptable.

One of the strengths of the current board at least as I have observed in the meetings I have attended, is that board members are asking questions in the public session and I assume even more in private session. This, according to the auditors is an essential part of their role.

Again, congrats to Deb Olsen and Finance chair Art Phillips.

Agenda: Community/Senior Center Planning Committee: Tuesday, Feb 13th ; 8:30AM. Supr. Carvin to speak

COMMUNITY/SENIOR CENTER PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Community/Senior Center Planning Committee will meet Tuesday, February 13th, at 8:30 AM in the Evansville Fire department

AGENDA

1. Call to order

2. Introductions

3. Committee and Board composition

4. Presentation by School Superintendent Heidi Carvin

5. YMCA discussion - Y Executive Director Tom Den Boer

6. Discuss site options

7. Articles of Incorporation

8. Election of Corporate Officers

9. Fiscal agent

10. D&O Insurance

11. Operating budget

12. Other business and next steps

13. Next meeting date

14. Adjourn

Althouse Corner: On Anna Nicole; What does your inner Anna Nicole want today?

Click on the post for the latest from Althouse.

yahoo: No. Korea Agrees to Nuclear Disarmament

Click on the post for the latest.

Notice: School Beat: Plunkett Raysich on Agenda at Building and Grounds Meeting on Feb 21st--4PM---District Office

Last night at the Evansville School Board meeting it was announced that Plunkett Raysich will be presenting the cost estimates of the various options listed in their study on Feb. 21, 2007 at the Committee meeting of the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting in the District Office at 4PM.

This meeting will be a preview of the presentation at the March school board meeting. The Observer would welcome members of the original Buildings and Grounds committee dating back to 2001 as well as residents with construction knowledge to attend to review the Plunkett study and provide input.

As I left the board meeting last night I chatted with Joe Francis, the head of Buildings and Grounds and mentioned that specifically beginning on Page 4 of the Plunkett Raysich study, residents, former board members, as well as construction types were questioning the impression that the TRIS with respect to roofs was in disasterous shape---the percentages given would suggest that over half the roof needed repair or replacement NOW.

He explained that NO this was not correct. These figures from the report were based on "warranty" numbers ---for example even in the new high school, the warranty on the roof would expire after 7 years or so-----that did not directly translate to replacement. In fact, in the TRIS and all the buildings, there is a regular annual roof repair program, and usually one roof or a section of one is replaced each year. Further, when he came on board with the district in 2001 he also assessed the TRIS as being sound. The text of the Plunkett study seemed to suggest that there had been a lack of maintanance during the past 6 years. Joe said that this was not so.

I asked him whether there had been budgeted amounts for roof repair that had been transferred into the general fund and not been used as intended. He said that usually they simply find money in the operating budget to repair a section each year.

The school board had discussed in finance committee the possibility of a special account for roof repair, but The Observer is not sure where that proposal stands at present.

In summary, beginning in committee on Feb 21st and then at the regular March school board meeting,, the Plunkett Study will come to the front burner and feature the money price tags for the 9 possible solutions identified.

The Observer is still at the problem identification stage. I am hoping that the tool and engineering folks can help out on this matter. Without a proper identification of the problem.....it could be a very muddled month of discussion.

Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer.

We ask the questions.

Comedy Corner: The latest on Obama

Click on the post and enjoy.

Monroe Times: On Rising Corn Prices----

Click on the post for an article in the Monroe Times that gives the longer range perspective of corn prices. Enjoy.

"Grumps" speaks on the "Frankenstein" Veto

Click on the post as "Grumps" weighs in on the veto power and the abuse of power it has become. Enjoy.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Observer mourns loss of "Clarice"

(Ed. note. "Clarice" was a frequent commenter during the glory days when comments were fast and furious and the road construction was in high season. May she rest in peace. )


Clarice Lynn O'Bel, 59, Evansville, died Saturday at St. Mary's Hospital, Madison. There will be private family funeral services. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at Ward Funeral Home, Evansville.

Naps might help----

Click on the post all you folks that think that the mid-day siesta is ....well....sloth .....

It sure works with those Greeks in the test study. Before you order a sofa for the office, check with purchasing and your boss. Good luck.

Nostalgia: Classic VideoObserver: Jamie Fellows Speaks: "What's the Point?"

Current Daycare providers serve 142 childrens of possible 150 in Evansville. 4K proposal is duplication of services.


Gazette Corner: On growth and schools in Evansville

Click on the post for the article by Gina Duwe in today's Janesville Gazette on the situation on school space needs in Evansville.

While Plunkett Raysich has presented the findings of their report to the Buildings and Grounds committee( audio in the blog), the community has never been presented the findings nor formally asked for input. The item in tonight's agends is listed as an "Update" and it is still not clear when the community will be presented with the options, or asked what any additional thoughts of theirs might be.

Stay tuned.

Gazette Corner: Gov. Doyle to double levy limit for Property tax to 4%; Proposes funding 4k partially

Click on the post for the latest of headlines on Gov. Doyles budget proposal. Last year the levy limit was 2% or the rate of increased construction for the prior year, whichever was higher. The later was the amount that Evansville used. In the coming year, the decrease of building permits had presented the prospect of a very tight budget---if the 2% forumla was applied. It is unclear how tight the upcoming budget will be since this is just a proposed budget from Gov. Doyle. Stay tuned.

Also, in Gov.Doyle's budget he proposes partial funding of 4k for the inital year. It is always interesting when politicians add new programs with partial funding when current programs are being cut----not a good sign. It is unclear whether the essential formula for school funding will be changed, which is the essential question. Stay tuned.

Tech Corner: The New $150 Laptop

Click on the post for the latest on the $150 laptop that is being unveiled for developing nations. If they have a few to spare, it would be nice if we could get some here. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

otro via mas sin verte

----video by Mr. Ojeda's Spanish class
Compliments of RKM Studios. Ryan K. McNeal


NPR: Prof. Althouse v. Prof. Duerst-Lahti : on The War, Anna Nicole and much much more

Click on the post and scroll down to hear the audio of Prof. Ann Althouse and Prof. Georgia Duerst-Lahti on last Friday NPR. Enjoy.

Classic Observer: School Board Forum

Observer: The Aqua Velva Man, Plans on voting not abstaining due to conflict of interest; On improving media relations; On why improving public trust is essential to school administration success.




Download File

Classic Observer: School Board--2-2007

School Board Forum: February 2007: "On Focus--What is important and What is NOT. 4K and Half Day Kindergarten are settled issues. Governance. Open Media. Developing Public Trust




Download File

Classic Observer: Why running for School Board

Evansville School Board Forum; February 2007. Whay are you running for school board.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Classic Observer:

The Taxpayer is the customer: Classic Observer; Evansville School Board Forum: February 2007


Classic Jeff Herbers:

New School Board Member Jeff Herbers: Video from School Board Forum February 2007


School Beat: Classic Melissa Hammann

(Ed. I have republished an enhanced video of one question from the recent school board forum. It is classic Melissa Hammann talking about facility cost. The earlier video had jerky motion and audio and I wanted to let you see how it should look. Enjoy.)


New Evansville School Board Member Melissa Hammann: School Forum Feb 2007---Discusses School Finances and Facilities Cost for Evansville School District


EMT Snow Softball Tournament---Feb 24th--

FUNDRAISER FOR EVANSVILLE EMT

What: Snow Softball Tournament

Where: Lake Leota Park

When: Saturday February 24th

Donation Amount: $100.00/teamTeams will be guaranteed at least two games. We will also be selling Hot Chocolate, Chili, and other items to keep you warm. We will not be selling any alcoholic beverages but we have been granted a permit for the day for teams to carry-in their own.

While everyone will be attempting to be competitive this is a fundraiser and is attended to be a good time. In the even of bad weather all donations will be returned. Donations collected goes to EMT clothing and other equipment not covered by the city budget.Teams interested please contact Kevin Sam at 235-3875 or Mary Beaver at 882-2266 (City Hall M-F)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Observer speaks: Weekend Update

On Hip blog uses of audio and video; Observer moves uptempo from Bob Dylan; On Evansville water rates...and much much more....


Mr. Steve talks about compromise

On compromise


"In Loco Parentis"--the Crazy Parents

A scientific discussion of "In Loco Parentis" and the theory of high school education


Reunion: Nostalgia: School Beat: Old Buildings And Grounds Committee from 2001 Class Reunion----Fiction or Fact?

(Ed. note. I was unsure of how to classify this post so I have posted it as fiction and fact)

Recently after the Evansville school forum, I had a wonderful dream----it was right in the middle of winter, and there was a reunion of the old Buildings and Grounds Committee that did the original facility study review of the buildings of the Evansville School District. They were called to the meeting where the Plunkett Raysich folks were presenting their findings about the state of facilities in 2007.

The presentation began pretty smooth---the power point was working pretty well ---this is unusual given the way it normally works with the laptops. Everyone was in a wonderful mood.

Then they came to page 4 of the Plunkett Raysich Report---the section that essentially says that the old high school, or the TRIS is currently unfit in many, many ways---and in fact goes over in quite detail the water problems that have not been fixed that were longstanding and should have been resolved years ago.

Then the burly guys that were on the Buildings and Grounds committee rose in unison-----the former facility "owners rep", Mr. Mike Huffma , also rose and tried to restrain them from physical assault. He did remind them of the rules of conduct for public meetings. The usual 5 minutes for speaking on one point did not seem to apply. So many points seemed to be essential. ...........

Then suddenly with a loud thump....I awoke. It was morning. The dream was interrupted.

Still. It sure would be good to finish that dream. And it would be even better to finish that dream in real life.

On Monday night, February 12, 2007, the Evansville School Board will be discussing the Plunkett Raysich report as an "Update"------Stay tuned. Will my dream happen for real life on Monday night. Will the contents of the original Facilities Study of 2001 be released to the media. Is the Sky falling? Or just Mostly falling.

Still. I just love those old reunions. All those wonderful memories. Sure do not want to miss it.
I will bring the movie camera. I wonder whether I should bring Starbucks too. It might be a long meeting. I will just Observe. This should be fun.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

From Print to Internet

Click on the post for an interesting story about the publisher of the New York Times.

Evansville School Board Forum:

Question #3: We read each week of the competing demands placed on the school district and upon the board. Please focus on those that you consider to be the top two issues facing te board after the election and how you would balance them with the remaining issues.


Jan 2007: RDA: Part II:

The Economy Store--the Movie---Part II, RDA, January 2007, Developers Agreement between City of Evansville and Dysis II Partners for The Economy Store Restoration




At the Redevlopment Authority meeting in January, the RDA presented the draft developers agreement for review and discussion with Dysis II, the developers for the Economy Store.

Presenting for the City of Evansville was the new Evansville City Administrator, Dan Wietecha.

Readers will well remember the famous meeting on December 7th, where it became clear that the parties had some homework to do regarding the details of the development financing and the developers agreement.As the meeting opened, Greg, the representative from Ehlers and Assocates, the financial advisors for the City of Evansville, presented the finanical analysis that showed that the project would support the investment of the city for TIF #5 of about $500,000. For purposes of the analysis, he assumed that there was ZERO inflation. Greg also stated that considering that there is a ramp up period of the investment for revenue purposes, for the purposes of the CDBG, Community Development Block Grant, it was usual and customary for the first 5 years to be no payment.

After considerable discussion, it was agreed that the term would be 5 years of no payment, followed by 25 years of payments on the Block Grant, assuming that it was approved by the Department of Commerce. Mr. Berg stated that the developers had every intention of complying with the requirements of the Bacon-Davis Act, and all the other requirements of the Block Grant. It was essential that this grant be secured for the project to go forward.He wanted to make sure that all the parties understood that if for some reason, the Block grant was not secured, there might be a delay of the project for a month, a year or whatever, but that this would not be a breach.

The developers would seek the TIF and the Block Grant money when the project was completed, so a delay would not affect the dispersal of funds. The dispersal of funds for the Block Grant would be on the "Occupancy Permit" being approved. Chris Eager reviewed the fact that this was a profitable venture and not non profit, and indeed that was in incentive for developers to do the project and for others to do more. Also, he went over the fact that the projections by Ehlers were assuming ZERO inflation.

Greg from Ehlers said that he expected the figure to be 2% or higher. Readers who do the numbers can see that a project that would assess at 1,600,000 upon completion, would over 27 years assuming a constant inflation factor of 4% would be valued at$4,613,387. The problem with this of course, as pointed out many times by the developers in both meetings, is that regardless of inflation, the critical measure of value in a commercial building for appraisal purposes, and thus sale purposes, is the RENTS, and in downtown Evansville, the rents have been sub-par. This is something that this cornerstone project is hoping will be the turning point of that problem-----however---there are no guarantees as to this happening.

With respect to the bills for legal, financial advisor services, and engineering services, City Administrator Dan Wietecha said that he could not speak for the past, but for the future, and developers would pay for these bills, and indeed the developes agreement currently being drafted for the biodiesel plant had the very same conditions. In short, all developments were being treated the same.

With respect to the possiblity that a member of the developer-owners might not live for the full term of the TIF period of 27 years, it was pointed out that the city had their name on the deed and had the ability to control future change of ownership.Mr. John Decker did ask that language be inserted in the agreement that specified that in the event of any breach during the TIF period of 27 years that in addition to remedies of equity, there would also be given to the city, the remedy of cash damages. "The Economy Store---the Movie" is currently in production. It will be placed on The Evansville Observer when it is completed.