Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Business in Milton - Charming B's Coffee Shoppe

Beth Drew and Bonny Gunther recently opened the Charming B's Coffee Shoppe at 819 E. High Street, a former church and Small Wonders Learning Center.

Click here to read a recent article from the Janesville Gazette.

Congratulations Beth and Bonny!

Details for 2011 Accelerate Your Business Plan Contest Released

Below is a press release from Rock County 5.0 that was released on March 29th regarding the 2011 Accelerate Your Business Plan Contest.  

Details regarding the 2011 Accelerate Your Business Plan Contest were released today. The Contest, which is designed to encourage the development of effective and strategic business plans, serves as a platform to match available financial and technical resources with local needs. This year’s prize package is valued up to $35,000. Support for the 2011 Contest will derive from Rock County 5.0, Murphy Desmond Lawyers S.C. and other contributors.

While last year’s inaugural Contest was a success, various modifications have been implemented for the 2011 offering. First, the Contest has expanded its eligibility categories. Existing businesses with up to $5MM in annual sales and up to 35 employees can enter the contest. Meanwhile, new or emerging start-ups with fewer than 5 employees and annual sales less than $250,000 are encouraged to enter, as well.

Second, the Contest’s workshops and mentor sessions have been retooled. For example, an extra mentor session has been added to ensure that contestants receive more personalized attention. Third, various online enhancements will increase administrative efficiencies for contestants, mentors and judging panel members alike. Lastly, the upgraded prize package affords the judging panel with the discretion to possible consider multiple awards.

The Accelerate Your Business Plan Contest kicks-off on May 1st, with a solicitation encouraging contestants to submit their business ideas online. These ideas or summaries are due June 1st, along with the Contest Registration Forms. Then these contestants will be required to participate in a series of structured workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions. The Contest concludes with the culmination of the contestants’ final business plans, finalist selections and then an awards presentation later this fall.

Individuals or businesses interested in lending their talent, expertise or in-kind business services are encouraged to apply online. For additional Contest information, visit the “Business Resources” section online at

Rock County 5.0 is a five-year public / private economic development initiative designed to reposition and revitalize Rock County’s economy. The initiative’s efforts are focused on the following five economic development strategies: Business Retention & Expansion, Business & Investment Attraction, Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Real Estate Positioning and Workforce Profiling.

For additional Rock County 5.0 information, visit

Crime Prevention Fundraiser - Cinco de Mayo Taco Dinner

Mark your calendars!  On May 5, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the City of Milton Police Department will be hosting a fundraising event for the Crime Prevention Fund.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we will have a taco dinner which will be held at the historic Milton House Museum. Tickets are $5.00 and must be purchased in advance at the Milton Police Department.

The dinner will include all you can eat tacos, refried beans, and rice. Refreshments will be sold separately. There will also be a raffle in conjunction with the event.

All proceeds will go directly to our Crime Prevention Fund which is used to support a wide variety of proactive police programs, equipment, and community presentations.

For further information please contact the Milton Police Department at (608) 868-6910.

Learn More About the Council Candidates

The April 5th election is right around the corner, and the local newspapers have written stories recently about the Council candidates.
City of Milton residents vote in the Council Chambers located on the lowest level of the Shaw Municipal Building, 430 E. High Street.  Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kiwanis Candidate Forum - Available Online

The Milton Kiwanis Candidate Forum was held on March 22, 2011.

Voters can view the full candidate forum online at:

The polls will be open on April 5th from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Voting will take place in the Council Chambers located on the lowest level of the Shaw Municipal Building, 430 E. High Street.

New Process for Siren Testing

Below is a recent press release from Rock County Emergency Management Coordinator Shirley Connors regarding siren testing.  The first siren test of the year will occur on Wednesday, April 6th at 12:05 p.m. 

NEW PROCESS:  In the past, there have been occasions that sirens were not tested due to inclement weather conditions occurring one or two months at times.  This year, if sirens are unable to be tested the first Wednesday of the month due to inclement weather, they will be tested on the second Wednesday of the month instead.

Tornado warning testing of the outdoor tornado sirens will resume with a test at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2011.  The TEST SIGNAL will be 1-2 minutes long.

The steady tone of 3-5 minutes will be the take cover signal that a tornado warning has been issued for Rock County and citizens should immediately take shelter and tune to your local broadcasting stations or weather radio for information.

If residents find the siren located in their area is not working, they should call 758-8440. It would be helpful if someone could be near each community siren for the first test of the year.  Remember, in case there is inclement weather within the county; siren testing will not be conducted.

"Code Corner" - Junk Vehicles

Below is the latest "Code Corner" from Code Enforcement Coordinator Officer Laura Hauser about the ordinance relating to junk vehicles.

Let’s think spring! Spring brings us outdoors, cleaning up and hopefully putting our shovels away. When we think “clean-up” lets think about Milton Police Department's city ordinance 50-154.

This ordinance talks about “vehicles that are disassembled, inoperable, unlicensed, junked, or wrecked vehicles, will not be allowed to be stored or allowed to remain in the open or public or private property within the city for a period of time." The time is three days (unless in connection with an automotive sales or repair business).

So make sure the vehicles sitting in your driveway are in working condition and have a current license plate on it.

If your vehicle is not in compliance with this ordinance, you may receive an orange pamphlet from the Milton Police Department explaining the violation. It will also have a correction date on it. If you see a neighbor with a violation of this ordinance, please let me know by calling the police department at 868-6910.

I am very willing to work with you on any ordinance violation as I know all situations are different. Please give me a call about your situation or your complaint.

Curbside Brush Pickup is Happening Now

The Department of Public Works will be making their way around the city through April 25th collecting brush. Don't worry; you won't be missed.  Public Works travels the city on a routine basis.

Here are the rules for brush collection:
  • Brush shall be no longer than 10 feet and have a diameter no larger than 6 inches.
  • Brush should be placed butt-end toward the street in the terrace right-of-way, in neat organized piles.
  • Brush shall not be placed in the street or curb area.
The next brush pickup will occur July 11 through July 31, and the final collection in 2011 is scheduled for September 5 through September 30.

If you have any questions, contact the Department of Public Works at (608) 868-6914.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Absentee Voting Basics

City Hall has received many phone calls and inquiries about absentee voting for the upcoming election on April 5th.

Here are the basics:

1. You must be registered to vote in order to apply for an absentee ballot.
  • Registration applications are available at city hall or online.  
  • A drivers license and proof of your current address is required when you register.  Proof can be a lease, electric bill, tax bill, etc.  Junk mail will not be accepted. 
 2. Absentee voting applications are available at City Hall and online.

3. Ballots cannot be taken out of City Hall.  Voters can either vote in house, or have their ballot mailed to them.

4. Thursday, March 31, 2011 is the last day that ballots can be mailed to voters.
  • This helps to ensures City Hall will receive the completed ballot in a timely manner.  
  • If the ballot is not received by the end of the election on April 5, the vote cannot be counted.  
  • Voters may vote by absentee ballot in person at City Hall until 4:30 p.m. on April 4, 2011.

Polls will be open on April 5th from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Voting will take place in the Council Chambers located on the lowest level of the Shaw Municipal Building, 430 E. High Street.

If voters have any special needs that does not allow them to come inside the Shaw Municipal Building to vote, a registered voter does have the right to request curbside voting.  Pollworkers will assist any voter that is unable to come into the polling place on election day. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Assessors are Coming to the City

Beginning Monday, March 21st assessors from Accurate Appraisal, the contracted city assessment company, will be visiting certain residences in order to maintain “full value” assessments.  All Assessors will be wearing an identification badge and will be carrying a letter from City Hall that also identifies them. 

Full value assessments are important to maintain in order to make sure that all properties are valued on a fair and equitable basis so each property owner pays only their fair share of the property taxes.  They will begin the process by knocking on your door making contact to perform an inspection.  If you are unavailable, they will leave a note on your door asking you to call their office to make an appointment for an inspection.
Property owners should expect the assessor to visit their home if they meet any one of the following criteria:
  1. New construction, exempt status changes, and zoning changes.
  2. Properties affected by legal description changes, building removal, fire, significant remodeling, or other major condition changes.
  3. All sale properties.
  4. Requests for review by property owners of the City's Board of Review.
  5. Inclusive of the properties listed above, Accurate Appraisal will also inspect approximately 25 percent of the non-manufacturing parcel count as shown on the prior year's final City Clerk's Statement of Assessment.
Please refer to these documents for additional information:
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Clerk/Treasurer Nancy Zastrow at (608) 868-6900 x.5.

Friday, March 18, 2011

City Hall Closed 3/23/11, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

City Hall will be CLOSED for one hour on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for an all City employee meeting.

Payments for bills can be dropped off in the outside drop box. City Hall will re-open for regular business at 12:30 pm.

"Milton Reads" Photo Shoot, Kick-off, and More!

Milton Public Library is sponsoring their 3rd Annual “Milton Reads” city-wide reading project in cooperation with a Big Read grant led by the Irvin L. Young Library in Whitewater, the Arrowhead Library System in Rock County and UW-Whitewater’s Young Auditorium. The book this year is Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.  “We’re so excited to be reading tales and poems by Edgar Allan Poe this year,” said Library Director Lisa Brooks. “He may be a 19th century writer but he is very popular. His works are creepy, scary, mysterious and beautiful.” 

Each year the library has coordinated a community photo shoot to help publicize the event and encourage participation. This year’s shoot will be on Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Milton Middle School gymnasium. Anyone is welcome to attend and be a part of the picture. Milton Courier’s Rick Miller takes the picture, and it is then blown up into several huge photos that are placed around the community.

The photo shoot is just a preparation for the real fun. On Friday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m., Milton Reads will kick-off at Northleaf Winery on Hwy 26 in Milton. The event will include refreshments, a reading by a surprise guest, and free giveaways.

The Edgar Allan Poe book discussion will take place on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. and will be led by a graduate student from UW-Whitewater. Books are available now for checkout at the library

The project will conclude with a teen event called “Poe”-pular Culture on Thursday, April 21 from 3-6 p.m.

The Big Read project in southeastern Wisconsin includes 20 public libraries in Rock, Walworth, Jefferson and Racine counties. To see a complete listing of activities and events in Rock county and throughout the area go to:

The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Support for The Big Read has been provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Boeing Company, the Poetry Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company. Regional sponsors support from American Family Insurance and Associated Bank. Media sponsors are the Janesville Gazette and the Daily Jefferson County Union.

For more information about Milton Reads, call 868-7462, stop at the library, 430 E. High St., or visit the library website:

Milton Kiwanis Pancake Day - March 20, 2011

The Milton Kiwanis Club's Annual Pancake Breakfast will take place this Sunday, March 20th from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Milton High School Cafeteria. For the third year in a row, the Pancake Breakfast will be a joint effort with BSA Troop 471.

This is the Kiwanis Club's only fundraiser for the year, and the proceeds go to support the youth programs the Club assists. This is also BSA Troop 471's major fundraiser. The Kiwanis Club's 2011 goal is to have even more funds available to help assist in making a better impact on our community and surrounding area. Troop 471's goal is to raise funds to go towards a Troop canoe trip to the Boundary Waters plus a long term Summer Camp this coming summer.

Tickets are $6 at the door.

The Kiwanis Club and BSA Troop 471 hope you will stop out at to support their clubs.

Reminder: Dog & Cat Licenses Due April 1st

Friday, April 1st is the deadline to have your dogs and cats licensed in order to avoid a $10 late charge per animal. All you need to license your animal is proof of a current rabies vaccination with an expiration date. The fee schedule is below:

  1. Fixed (spayed or neutered) - $8.00
  2. Not-fixed - $15.00
If you are unable to come to City Hall during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), then you can mail in the appropriate amount, rabies vaccination information, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Staff will process the payment and mail the rabies vaccination information back to you with your license.

Feel free to contact City Hall at 868-6900 or if you have any further questions.

Rent a Plot at the Community Garden

Test your green thumb this summer and avoid digging up a part of your yard by renting a plot of land at the Milton Community Garden.

The Milton Community Garden is located behind the cemetery. The plots are 500 square feet, and the permits cost $10 for the whole summer.

Click here to read the rules and access an application form.

Completed applications and permit fees can be dropped off at the Public Works Garage located at 620 W. Madison Avenue. Forms and fees can also be mailed to City Hall at 430 E. High Street, Suite 3. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Brenda Mathews at the Public Works Department at (608) 868-6914 or by e-mail at

Milton Kiwanis Council Candidate Forum

The Milton Kiwanis will be hosting the Council Candidate Forum on March 22nd at 6:30 p.m. in the City of Milton Council Chambers located on the lowest level of the Shaw Municipal Building, 430 E. High Street.

The candidates who will appear on the ballot, in no particular order, are:
  • Maxine Striegl
  • Dave Schumacher
  • Brett Frazier
  • Don Vruwink
  • Anissa Welch
If you have any questions about the forum, please contact City Hall at 868-6900.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Press Release: Bomb Threat on School Bus at Northside Intermediate School

The following is the press release from the Interim Milton Chief of Police Jerry Schuetz and Superintendent of Milton Schools Bernie Nikolay regarding today's bomb threat situation at Northside Intermediate School in Milton.

At approximately 8:47 am Officers of the Milton Police Department were dispatched to Northside Intermediate school for a report of a possible bomb on a school bus parked in the parking lot at the school, accompanied by threats made by a student on the bus. The bus driver evacuated all students from the bus when he saw a student with a device that looked like a bomb with batteries and wires on it. The bus driver further indicated that he heard a student nearest the device state that he had a bomb and threatened to detonate the device either on the bus or in the school.

The bus driver notified school district administration immediately who pursuant to their critical incident response plan evacuated all students and staff and sent them to Milton Middle School. The Milton Police Department requested the assistance of the Rock County Sheriff’s office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad Unit, maintaining a perimeter around the bus until responding units could arrive. The joint of Milton/Town of Milton Fire Department and EMS were also staged on standby throughout the incident.

At approximately 10:45 am the Rock County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team approached the bus and was able to successfully negotiate with the 11 year old student, encouraging him to move away from the device and exit the bus. The student did so and was taken into custody without incident. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s office bomb squad removed the device from the bus and safely destroyed it. The device was a child’s video game with a series of wires and batteries attached to it simulating a bomb like device. There were no actual explosives associated with this incident.

As a precautionary measure, law enforcement personnel and school district administrators did a cursory search of the school. Nothing suspicious was found. The 11 year old student remains in police custody at this time.

Parents of students at Northside school were notified of the incident via the District’s phone messaging system. School was cancelled for the remainder of the day and will resume as normal on Thursday, March 17th, 2011.

NOTE: Pursuant to the directive of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court rule 20:3.6, trail publicity, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Police Commission Selects New Police Chief

Please read the press release below that went out to local media outlets related to the Milton Police Commission's selection of a new Chief of Police:

After interviewing highly qualified candidates for the position of Police Chief on March 12th, 2011 and taking into consideration input from civic leaders, selected community members and city staff, the City of Milton Police Commission has selected Daniel L. Layber to serve as the City’s next Chief of Police. Mr. Layber accepted the conditional offer of employment from the Police Commission over the weekend.

Prior to appointment to the position, Mr. Layber must successfully complete a thorough background investigation, psychological & medical examination and drug screening as required by Wisconsin Statutes. The timeline to complete this process has not yet been determined but will be done as soon as practical. The final stage in the appointment process will include Milton’s City Council approving the terms of a compensation package associated with Mr. Layber’s appointment to the position.

Mr. Layber has been the Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee office of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for the past 19 years. He has been employed with the DCI since 1983 acting in a Special Agent capacity before his promotion to supervisor. The DCI is tasked with investigating crimes of statewide importance such as homicides, arson, drug trafficking, public corruption and internet crimes against children. Mr. Layber is a graduate of the FBI National Academy which is a three month law enforcement executive management course in Quantico, Virginia. He has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College and advanced training in many areas of law enforcement such as SWAT Commanders school and the DCI Death Investigation School. Mr. Layber also served in the US Army as a Military Policeman and Military Police Investigator from 1979 to 1983 in California and Germany.

Mr. Layber is married and has five children and is currently living in the Town of Genesee in Western Waukesha County.

"The Police Commission was very pleased with the quality of the candidates presented by Moffett & Associates," said Commission Chairperson Dave Ostrowski, "In addition, civic leaders, community members and city staff were also able to meet the finalists and were likewise impressed with them." Ostrowski further stated, "While the choice between the finalists was difficult, we felt Mr. Layber would be the best overall fit with both the community and the police department; having the skills and expertise to continue and expand on the excellence already demonstrated by the department under the leadership of Jerry Schuetz."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rock County Clean Sweep 2011

Rock County Clean Sweep 2011 for all Rock County residents will be held at the following locations:
  • Friday, April 29, 2011, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Milton Public Works Garage, 620 W. Madison Avenue, Milton, WI 53563
  • Saturday, April 30, 2011, 8 a.m. to noon at Beloit Public Works, 2351 Springbrook Court, Beloit, WI 53511
Additional information is available on the Rock County website:

The Rock County Rx Round Up will be held on April 30, 2011. Additional information on this event will be posted as it becomes available. If you are unable to take your prescription medications to the round up, please place them in the Prescription Drug Drop-Off Box located outside of the Milton Police Department, 120 Parkview Drive.

Milton Fourth of July Parade Seeks Entrants

The following press release was sent to the media last week regarding the Milton Fourth of July Parade Presented by Air Products. Click here to access the Parade Entrant registration form.

Applications to participate in the Milton Fourth of July Parade are now available at Milton City Hall, 430 E. High Street, Suite 3 and on the City of Milton website ( The 2011 parade theme is Stars & Stripes, and awards will be presented for “Best Use of Theme.” The Milton Fourth of July Parade is presented by Air Products.

Participants are asked to submit completed applications to City Hall by June 17, 2011 at Noon. In an effort to assist with planning, no late registrations will be accepted. Registrations for horses need to include documentation of the last Coggins test in order to be eligible to participate in the parade. All motorized vehicles must be driven by a licensed driver, and a copy of their driver’s license is required with the registration form.

The Celebrate Milton Committee is also looking for volunteers to help at the parade by lining up parade participants. If you are interested, please contact Inga Jacobson at 868-6900 ext. 4 or by e-mail at

For additional information about the parade contact City Administrator Jerry Schuetz at (608) 868-6900 ext. 4 or by e-mail at

Milton Area Youth Center Grand Opening

Below is an announcement from the Milton Area Youth Center about their Grand Opening Celebration.

The Milton Area Youth Center is pleased to announce its grand opening scheduled for two days, Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25 from 3 – 7 p.m. each of those days. Please stop by to check out our facilities and operation. This is a great opportunity for you and your family to come do a walk through and meet some of our Board members and volunteers. Our location is the lower level of Main Hall on the Historic Milton College Campus. The street address is 513 College St. with parking available in the rear.

Regular programming as an after school drop-in center for School District of Milton students in grades 7 – 9 will begin on Monday, March 28 from 3 – 6 p.m. each day that school is open. Come check us out. Volunteer opportunities are still available. For more information call Jon Cruzan at 290-6465 or Nate Crandall at 322-8824. Check us out on Facebook.