Friday, February 26, 2010

March 2nd Council Meeting Commentary

Welcome to March! The Council will hold its first meeting of the month tomorrow night, March 2nd, at 7:30 PM in the Council Chambers (lower level of the Shaw Municipal Building, 430 E. High St.). Here's a copy of the agenda:

One item I'd like to highlight is #5.b on the agenda, "Proposal to Add Citizen Members to Council Standing Committees". The Council has three committees which are made up entirely of members of the Council. The Public Works Committee, Public Safety Committee, and Personnel and Finance Committee are each made up of three Council members.

In order to promote government transparency and citizen interaction, the Council will be discussing the possibility of adding citizen members to these committees in addition to the Council members. While this may seem like an easy thing to change, it could actually be quite difficult. The committee membership for these three committees is created by the City's "charter ordinance". And, when changing a charter ordinance, it is possible that a referendum may be required.

This item is in the initial discussion phase. Should the Council wish to pursue this further, there's be future agenda items on the topic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Milton PD to Host March 3rd Public Forum on Prescription Drug Safety

Below is text from a recent Milton Police Department Press Release regarding an upcoming public forum on prescription drug safety:

In response to recent prescription drug overdose incidents in the area, the City of Milton Police Department has scheduled a public forum on the topic for March 3, 2010 at 6:00pm. The event will be held in the City Council Chambers located at 430 E. High Street in Milton.

We are fortunate to be partnering in this event with Jeanne Erickson from “Club Today Not Tomorrow” (TNT). TNT is based out of Madison and focuses on youth safety initiatives, and also hosts a weekly television show on Channel 14, TV-W, on Saturday mornings at 11:00am. Ms. Erickson is the Program Director for their Youth Safety First-Lock It Up Campaign. The campaign focuses on the importance of properly securing prescription medications in homes, as well as their proper disposal.

Ms. Erickson will give a presentation on the “Lock It Up” campaign, and that will be followed up by a question and answer period involving a panel of local law enforcement and other community officials.

We are also working with Ms. Erickson and the Milton School District to package a presentation which will be presented to students in the high school at middle school very soon after the public forum.

An additional step our agency has taken in response to these incidents has been to partner with the Rock County Health Department and participate as a drop-off point for their “Prescription Drug Roundup” to be held on April 17, from 9:00am until 1:00pm. That roundup will be held at the Gathering Place in Milton, located at 715 Campus Street. The event was already scheduled to be held in Clinton, Edgerton and Janesville on that day, and now we’re proud to be able to offer that service in Milton.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

March 1st Public Informational Meeting - Penn Color Project

Today the City issued a press release regarding an upcoming public informational meeting regarding the Penn Color project. On March 1st from 6 - 8 PM at The Gathering Place representatives from Penn Color will be providing information to the public about their manufacturing project planned to be located in the City's Crossroads Business Park. Click on this link to view the press release:

Milton PD - Special Traffic Enforcement

Below is text from a recent press release issued by the Milton PD and Chief Jerry Schuetz:

The Milton Police Department began deploying special traffic enforcement patrol assignments in February of 2010. The deployments are in response to a review of 2009 annual report data which indicated that there were 91 traffic accidents in Milton. Officers and administrators will be dedicating specific segments of their work shift to engage exclusively in traffic enforcement. Even the Chief is out on patrol, issuing traffic citations and warnings.

As we reviewed 2009 numbers, I noticed that in a variety of areas we were a very reactive agency. 2009 also had several more large scale incidents in terms of burglaries and drug investigations that forced officers away from traffic enforcement and our response to traffic related incidents was more reactive not proactive. Some personnel changes also required officers to be off the street conducting interviews and background investigations that impacted patrol time as well. Proactive traffic enforcement was not emphasized as much as it could or should be due to some of these issues that taxed our resources. In 2010, now at fully authorized staffing levels, we have vowed to improve traffic and code enforcement efforts because we can and will do better. 91 traffic accidents in Milton is too high of a number for a community our size. We are asking for drivers to drive more safely, slowing speeds and coming to complete stops at stop signs as speed, failure to yield the right of way and failure to obey traffic signs or signals were the most frequent causes of accidents in Milton in 2009.

We intend to notify the public that our Officers will be out to enforce traffic laws in greater force and with greater visibility than they saw in 2009. Our goal is not to write more tickets, but to slow traffic down and make sure traffic laws are being followed in Milton so that we can reduce the number of traffic accidents we have in our community in 2010.

Monday, February 22, 2010

April 17th Rock County "RxRound-Up"

All households in Rock County are invited to bring in old prescription drugs, veterinary drugs and medical patches and creams for free and safe disposal. All drop-offs are confidential. Rock County officials hope to arrange more frequent prescription drug collections to keep unused prescription drugs out of the hands of people who might abuse them. Below are the details:

What: Rock County “Rx Round-Up” prescription drug collection and disposal
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 17.
Where: Janesville Water Utility, 123 E. Delavan Drive, Janesville; Beloit Department of Public Works, 2351 Springbrook Court, Beloit, or Edgerton City Garage, 315 W. High St., Edgerton.

For more information on this event check out the following links:

Monday, February 15, 2010

February City Departmental Report Available

The City's Monthly Departmental Report for February is now up on the City Website. Sorry, it's a little later than usual. Check it out by following this link:

February 17 Council Meeting Commentary

The Common Council will hold their next meeting this Wednesday, February 17th, at 7:30 PM (view full agenda here). While hiding in the agenda at item 3.g.1., the purchase of a new Vacuum / Jetter truck for the City's Wastewater Utility is a significant item. This is a $240,000 truck; a major purchase for the utility.

What does this truck do, you may ask? This equipment is used for cleaning storm drains, catch basins, combination sewers, sanitary and storm sewer cleaning, water leak repair, emergency evacuation, and sewer line bypass for sewer repair/relining/replacement work. It is the epitome of a multi-use vehicle, and is replacing our existing equipment which dates back to 1981 and 1969!

While the amount for this truck is a big deal, the benefit to the utility will be huge. I would encourage you to take a peek at the analysis regarding this purchase that is contained in the packet for the Personnel & Finance Committee agenda packet (pages 11 - 22).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Police Department Offers Boating Safety Course

On March 29 - 31, the Milton Police Department will be offering a boating safety course for people 12 years of age and older. Click on the image to the left for more information. Advance registration is required. Please contact Lt. Brad Smith at or by calling 608-868-6910 ext 24. for details.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Lesson in Plowing

The City recently purchased a new plow truck, and for the first time we have a truck that includes a "wing". With this latest snow, I spent some time in the truck plowing with DPW employee Donnie Zimmerman. Thought I'd share some of that experience with you...

So, here's the new truck. You can see the wing, which is lowered in this picture. It lifts and tucks up next to the passenger side of the cab when not in use. First thing I noticed when I hopped in was that Donnie keeps it nice and toasty warm in the cab. I found out, however, that's not all for comfort. It helps keeps the windshield warmer, which helps melt the blown snow that can come up from around and over the plow blade.

We plowed City streets for about an hour, and cleared Bowers Lake Rd. That road used to be plowed by two trucks with one pass in each direction (or one truck with two passes in each direction), but with the wing added to the truck it can be cleared with one truck and one pass in each direction. While on Bowers Lake I stuck my head out the window and snapped these pictures of the main plow and wing in action.

I learned a few things from Donnie about what is challenging for plow drivers, and what motorists should do when they are around a big plow truck like this. First, don't follow very close. It's hard for the driver to see you. And, if the plow pulls into an intersection and stops to move snow or back up, please don't just stop behind the truck and sit there. Make your way around the plow and get out of the intersection. Finally, there's lots for a plow driver to be aware of while plowing. You can make it much easier as a motorist by signaling all of your movements, and avoid quick turns in front of the plow. If possible, give the plow truck the right-of-way and be patient.

As for those of you who care to shake your fists and throw your shovels at the trucks for putting snow back in your driveways, please know that our drivers don't enjoy ruining your clear driveway. It's just the fact that snow has to go somewhere. Next time you are inclined to shake your fist, why not remember that these guys work very long hours to keep the streets cleared for you and your neighbors. Consider a friendly wave instead...

Donnie, thanks for the ride. Also, thanks for not whacking any mailboxes with the wing while I was leaning out the window taking pictures. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Job Center Service Provider Fairs

Sadly, unemployment benefits will be exhausted very soon for many Rock County residents. It is very important for people in that situation to connect with various service providers that can be of assistance sooner than later. Therefore, if you or anyone you know might be in this situation, please consider attending an upcoming Service Provider Fair.

These events will include information form organizations who specialize in assisting dislocated workers and those who are struggling economically. Topics will include educational opportunities, child care resources, food and health resources, job search programs, and health care programs.

Click on the brochure above for more details. To obtain additional info, please contact Gregg Bosak at (608) 741-3463 or .

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Roddy, Odor Consultant, Gathering Data on Ethanol Plant Odors

Bill Roddy, who is performing a review of odor issues related to the United Ethanol Plant, will be seeking input from residents and businesses on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held in the City of Milton Council Chambers in the lower level of the Shaw Municipal Building located at 430 E. High Street in Milton. This meeting is in addition to an array of personal meetings Mr. Roddy is having with most of the plant neighbors and those who have previously reported odor complaints.

The key purpose for this meeting is for Mr. Roddy to collect information regarding the odor experiences that people have had related to United Ethanol. Mr. Roddy will be using this information to complete an odor analysis and report which will provide specific recommendations to United Ethanol for minimizing odor impacts. The final report will be made available to the public in March.

The City encourages all interested parties to attend this event to provide Mr. Roddy with as much information as possible to help develop his report and recommendations. This meeting will not be intended to provide information to the public, but is intended for the gathering of information about the public’s experience. Those who have personally noticed odors that are believed to be from United Ethanol are specifically encouraged to attend.

Mr. Roddy has decades of experience working with environmental issues in the United States and abroad in the public and private sectors. He has approximately eight years of experience working directly with the ethanol industry. Mr. Roddy is currently employed in Kansas as the corporate manager of environmental affairs for an ethanol plant design and engineering firm and is considered to be one of the top experts in his field.

For additional information, you can contact me at (608) 868-6900 ext. 4 or by e-mail at Private appointments by phone or in person can be arranged for those who may not be able to attend the meeting but would like to speak with Mr. Roddy. If interested in a private appointment please contact Inga Jacobson at City Hall at (608) 868-6900 ext. 23 or e-mail at