Monday, August 31, 2009

Mayor Chesmore Schedules Next Listening Session

Mayor Chesmore has scheduled his next public listening session for 5 - 7 PM on Thursday, October 1st. The session will be held in the upper level of The Gathering Place at 715 Campus St. These sessions are intended to give the public an opportunity to speak with the Mayor in an informal setting regarding any City topic. In particular, this session will occur just as the 2010 City budgeting process begins, so this would a good time for citizens to discuss issues related to City funding and budget priorities.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rock County Flu Clinics Scheduled

Rock County has scheduled the seasonal flu clinics for 2009. Note, that this is not for the H1N1 virus, but for the regular flu strains. The closest clinic will be at The Gathering Place in Milton on September 15th from 1 PM - 3 PM. The full schedule and additional information is available on the County website at, or call 757-5440.

Reminders About Fall Yard Waste Collection Programs

The first day of fall is September 21….less than a month away. Fall is a great time of year to get our yards cleaned up for the winter. The City is here to help you do that in several ways.

  • Yard Waste: The city provides a yard waste bin at the Public Works Garage (behind the Fire Station). This bin is open 24/7 April 27- November 20. This is intended for grass clippings, leaves, small green twigs, raw garden waste, tree seeds, pine cones, and flowering plants. Those using the drop-off bin should be responsible by throwing trash in the trash cans and using the bin for ONLY yard waste. Please do not leave bags in the bin.
  • Brush: City crews will pick up brush during the month of September. Place your brush in the terrace in neat organized piles with the cut ends all facing towards the curb. Brush should be less than 6” in diameter and less than 10’ in length. That is all the chipper machine can handle. Now is a good time to check your trees and shrubs near sidewalks and streets. City ordinances require clearance of 8’ above sidewalks and 15’ above streets. If you do not get your brush out during this time, the next collection is scheduled for January.
  • Curbside Leaf Collection: The City will have the leaf vacuum, otherwise known as the "elephant truck", on the streets October 10-November 22 (time and weather permitting) to suck up leaves you have raked into the curb area. Please do not rake other waste into the street. The elephant truck can only handle so much and other items plug up the "snout". Also keep in mind that the elephant truck has problems getting right up close to parked cars. The Public Works employees travel throughout the city checking every street several times throughout the collection time frame. Remember that putting your leaves to the curb for collection helps the City's stormwater system. Uncollected leaves end up making their way to the stormwater inlets, which clogs the mains and also adds debris to the detention basins.

Anyone with questions about these programs should contact the Public Works Department at 868-6914 or by e-mail at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Property Assessment Q&A Video Now Available

The City's assessment and revaluation process can be very confusing. Terms like "full value maintenance", "equalized value", "fair market value", "Board of Review", etc., are not widely understood by the general public. People often are confused about how property values and taxes inter-relate with one another.

I can certainly understand the confusion. For this reason, City Clerk/Treasurer Nancy Zastrow and I worked together with City Assessor Lee DeGroot to record a Q&A video. The goal of this video is to answer in a straight forward way many of the common questions and misunderstandings regarding property assessments.

To view the video, visit Then select "Assessment Q&A" in the drop down menu and click "Submit". Click on the black box to play the video. If you have additional questions after watching the video feel free to contact Nancy or me at City Hall at 868-6900 or by e-mail at

Sept. 2nd City of Milton Projects Tour on Bicycle

Call it "Tour de Milton" (or whatever works for you)... Here's the details:
  • What: Bicycle Tour of various municipal projects (both current and future) occurring in Milton. City Administrator Todd Schmidt will guide the tour.
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 2nd - Leaving City Hall Parking Lot at 4:30 PM for a 2-hour ride. (In the event of rain or strong threat of rain, the ride will be cancelled and scheduled for a later date.)
  • Details: Milton City Administrator Todd Schmidt invites anyone who has interest in learning about city projects and enjoys bike riding to participate in this event. This bike tour will include stops around the city to highlight and explain some of the major public infrastructure projects that are or will be occurring in 2009 and 2010. The level of biking experience needed will be minimal. There will be some hills, but the pace will be relatively slow. Those participating should plan to wear light colored clothing and bike helmets. The group will enjoy a Milton Police Department Bike Patrol escort during the ride.

For questions please contact me (Todd) directly at 868-6900 (x4) or

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Park Vandalism Concerns

The City of Milton Police Department and Public Works Department have noted an unusually high number of vandalism complaints at our municipal parks this year. Last week, Central Park was broken into and several hundred dollars of tennis balls were stolen from the tennis team. These incidents cause concern to our staff for a variety of different reasons. Damage to our parks potentially makes the parks less enjoyable for citizens to use. Our city DPW staff works hard to maintain our parks with a great sense of pride in our community. We do not want citizens to have to look at inappropriate carvings or spray painted words upon these facilities.

Secondly, the clean up and repair of damaged parks costs our citizens and all who pay taxes in Milton a fair amount of money. Be it the Officer taking a report of the incident or the Department of Public Works cleaning up the spray paint or repairing the damage, staff time dedicated to this problem begins to add up quickly, and prevents staff from working on other issues that need to be addressed.

In an effort to curb the on-going problem the police department has deployed an intern officer on bicycle patrol to try to identify and apprehend those damaging our parks. However, that effort has not been successful yet so we are asking for greater citizen assistance to help us stop this problem. We are asking citizens to report any and all suspicious behavior in and around our parks to the Milton Police Department immediately. We are also asking anyone with knowledge about these previous incidents to call us, so that we can stop this problem and keep our parks a place that all our residents and visitors can continue to enjoy. While it is our desire to keep parks and park bathrooms open and available as much as possible, continued vandalism may be the cause to consider changes to how long and late park access is available.

Anyone wishing to report suspicious information as it takes place or has knowledge about previous incidents of vandalism at our parks can contact our agency directly by calling the Rock County non-emergency line at 757-2244 (which will have an officer dispatched to you), or you may call the Janesville/Milton Area Crime Stoppers at 756-3636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

ATC Milton Project Open House

Due to a growing need for electric services in the area and specifically in the City’s developing Crossroads Business Park, Rock Energy Cooperative has been exploring the options for construction of a new substation. The “Red Hawk Substation” will be constructed near Milton Harmony Town Line Road and County M. Rock Energy Cooperative desires to work with area communities and residents to develop a plan that will be the best option for everyone involved.

As part of this project, the American Transmission Company (ATC) will need to construct a new 69 kilovolt transmission line to provide electric service to the substation. They will be connecting it to the existing 69 kilovolt line that runs parallel to County Highway Y from Janesville to Milton.

In order to help residents understand the project, ATC would like to invite area residents to an informational open house on August 26, 2009 from 4-7 p.m. in the lower level meeting room of the Gathering Place. Residents will be able to ask ATC and Rock Energy Cooperative representatives about the plans and possible routes for the project.

Click here to view a map of the possible routes or click here to view a copy of the letter that was recently mailed to potentially affected land owners.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicken BBQ / Arts & Crafts on the Lawn

The Annual Chicken BBQ / Arts & Crafts on the Lawn will be taking place this weekend on Sunday, August 16th. This also means Hwy 26 from E. High Street to Madison Avenue will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Traffic headed north will be detoured to utilize E. High Street, Parkview Drive, and then Madison Avenue. Traffic headed south will be detoured to utilize Madison Avenue, Parkview Drive, and then E. High Street.

Two businesses located on Hwy 26, Patty’s Plants and Northleaf Winery, will remain open. Patty’s Plants will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Northleaf Winery will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each business will put up signs to help direct traffic to their businesses. Otherwise, when you’re done eating chicken and exploring the other vendors at the BBQ, you can make the short walk over to Patty’s Plants and Northleaf Winery.

Click here to read the press release from Police Chief Jerry Schuetz of the Milton Police Department.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Street Seal Coating

The process of seal coating some City streets will begin this week. "No Parking" signs were posted today in the project areas, which include Lukas Ln., Bree Dr., W. Sunset Dr., and Rivendell Dr. The seal coating process should be completed by the end of this week. Homeowners along these streets also received a written notice about this work.

Seal coating is routinely completed each year around the City to preserve the pavement and extend the service life of the roadway. The process involves the application of oil and rock chip seal to the road surface. Residents with questions regarding the Seal Coating project may contact the Public Works Department at 868-6914 or

Collection of Broken Tree Limbs

Some of you may have found broken limbs and branches on your yard after storms this weekend. While the City's regular brush collection begins in September, you may set out limbs from this recent storm at the curb for collection this week. City crews will be making the rounds on Monday and then again later in the week. Please cooperate by just setting out the limbs and branches that fell as a result of this most recent storm. Please save the remainder of your brush until the regular scheduled collection in September.

Friday, August 7, 2009

August Monthly City Report

Check out the City's August Monthly Report, which includes updates from all City departments. It's available on-line at If you'd like to receive this report and other City information by e-mail, you might want to sign up for the City's E-Notify System. It only takes a moment to sign up, and you can un-subscribe at any time. Find out more on-line at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Milton's Weekly Paper, The Milton Courier, Now On-Line

Check out the on-line version of the Milton Courier at Great job to the whole crew at the Courier. The site looks great!

Is That TP on City Streets?

Residents may have noticed what appears to be toilet paper striped along City streets. In fact, that’s what it is. City crews are currently “crack sealing” a number of streets. This is an important part of maintaining and lengthening the life of our street infrastructure. Open cracks allow water to seep into the sub-surface of the street. When that water freezes, the cracks expand and create new cracks. Sealing these areas helps to slow this process. When the fresh sealant is put down on the streets, we roll toilet paper on top of it to keep the sealant from getting on tires, shoes, or anything else that might come in contact with that area.

Photo courtesy of the Milton Courier (take from their website at

School Supplies

I've heard this question quite a bit lately... What school supplies do I need for my child attending public schools in Milton? All of that information is on the School District's website at I'm wondering if they still make Trapper Keepers??? I remember one of mine from grade school had a bright red Lamborghini on the cover. OK, enough reminiscing for now... back to work!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Love Hostas?

If you've got a green thumb and particularly like hostas, there's a place in rural Milton that you must visit. Land of the Giants Hosta Farm is located just north of the City, and was recently rated as the 5th best hosta farm in the nation!

The owners, Jeff and Penny Miller, spoke at the Milton KIWANIS club lunch today and talked about their business. I was particularly impressed with the story behind their business, which involves Jeff leaving his job at GM to start the hosta farm with his wife (who had to leave her job because of a disability).

They are a lovely couple with what has become a very successful business. I plan to visit their farm soon, and you may want to do the same. Find more information on their website at

Closure of County M

Here's the latest from DOT Project Engineer Tara Weiss regarding the closure and detour of County M as part of the STH 59 project:

"The contractor plans to close the intersection of CTH M and Townline Road beginning August 17, 2009 - September 15, 2009. Closure is expected to take about 30 days per the contract in order to reconstruct this intersection. The detour is CTH KK and existing STH 59." (taken from 8/4/09 e-mail from Tara Weiss)

Tornado Siren Test Today

A note from Rock County Emergency Management:

Once again, testing of the outdoor tornado sirens will resume with a test at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, with a steady tone of 1-2 minutes.

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. Remember, siren testing will not be conducted if there is inclement weather within the county.