Friday, May 28, 2010

What's That??? - May 28, 2010

Today is the debut of a new blog series called “What’s That???”. Click here to read more information about the blog series.

Pictured to the left is a photo taken at a Milton business. The first correct response received will win a $10 gift certificate to the business featured.

Please submit your answer to the City’s Intern, Inga Jacobson, by e-mail at or by phone at (608) 868-6900 ext. 4.

Good luck and thanks for participating!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What's That??? - A New Blog Series

Be sure to visit the blog at 9 AM on Friday, May 28th when we begin a new blog series called “What’s That???”. A unique or obscure photo will be posted on the blog of a Milton business. For example, the picture may be an extreme closeup of the doorknob, or a portion of the roof line, etc. You will then have a chance to correctly identify the business. The first person to contact City Hall with the correct response will receive a gift certificate or other item from the featured business. We'll be coordinating this series all summer long and you will be notified in advance of when the next "What's That???" post will be added.

There are two key purposes for this blog series. First, I hope this will draw more and more readers to the blog. Hopefully you'll be inclined to encourage your friends to subscribe. Second, this will feature some of the great businesses we have right here in Milton.

So, keep an eye on "Milton Matters", and be sure to check it at 9 a.m. this Friday, May 28th to see if you can identify the business and win!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Public Meeting Reminder - Parkview Drive Downtown Area

Just a reminder:

An interactive community meeting about planning for the Parkview Drive downtown area will take place this week on Thursday, May 27, 2010 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm in the lower level fellowship hall of Seventh Day Baptist Church (720 E. Madison Ave.). The planning session, also known as a “charrette,” will be an opportunity to learn about preliminary ideas and share input about the plan that is being developed.

The planning area encompasses Goodrich Park and the businesses and residences in the surrounding area. The charrette will be a lively, informal, and highly-interactive format with multiple opportunities for attendees to share input and ideas. Stations will be set up addressing Goodrich Park, the north end historic area (Milton House and surrounding properties), parking and school circulation, and business mix/district theme and character. Attendees do not have to participate in all topic areas, but can pick and choose the topic areas that interest them. A short formal presentation will be given around 5:45 pm, however attendees can come and go as schedules permit. Refreshments will be provided.

The City has contracted with Vandewalle & Associates to develop the plan. This project is funded in partnership by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the City of Milton, with assistance provided by the Milton Area Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism (MACCIT).

I hope you will be able to attend to hear from the planners from Vandewalle & Associates and to share your input.

Click here to read a previous blog about the event. The Milton Courier also published an article on this topic:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Milton to Participate in Click It or Ticket Campaign

The Milton Police Department will be participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign that will take place May 24th through June 6th. Below is a press release from Patrol Officer Kyle Johnson.

The Milton Police Department would like to announce participation in the upcoming national Click It or Ticket campaign. This initiative will take place May 24 to June 6. During this time, officers will be patrolling with extra attention focused on traffic violations. Specifically, officers will be looking for compliance with Wisconsin’s mandatory seatbelt law. Motorists are reminded enforcement of this law was broadened in 2009, and allows officers to stop unbuckled individuals, even if no other violation is observed.

Officers will be concentrating on seatbelt violations and tickets will be issued for those who need a reminder to buckle up. The purpose of this is not to issue more tickets, but to get compliance from individuals who may think they do not need to use seatbelts. Wisconsin has one of the lowest rates of seatbelt use in the nation, but this leaves room for improvement. Seatbelts are the best way to prevent people from being ejected from a vehicle during a crash. Quite simply, seatbelts save lives and prevent serious injuries.

As Memorial Day approaches, Wisconsin’s roads will become busier with vacationing motorists. Drivers are asked to allow extra time in case of congestion. With busy roads, there is no room for negligent behavior. Travel at safe speeds and avoid the combination of alcohol and driving. Drivers are asked to buckle up, and make all passengers do as well. With your cooperation, we can make the vacation season safer, and work towards Wisconsin’s goal of zero traffic deaths.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

June 8th - 7:00 PM - Public Info Meeting Re: High St. Construction

A special public information meeting regarding the High Street reconstruction / resurfacing project has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 8th beginning at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers (Shaw Municipal Building, Lower Level). More details on the project were included in an earlier post: Citizens with questions about property access, vehicular access, project timing, and other related issues are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tornado Siren Testing Resumes

Following is text from a recent press release from Rock County Emergency Management:

Tornado warning testing of the outdoor tornado sirens will resume with a test at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. 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. Remember, siren testing will not be conducted if there is inclement weather within the county.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 18th Council Meeting Commentary

The Common Council will hold their next meeting this Tuesday, May 18th, beginning at 7:30 PM (view full agenda here). One specific item to note would be Agenda Item #4.b. - Emergency Telephone Notification System.

City staff are recommending that the City Council approve an agreement with a company called Global Connect to create an emergency telephone notification system. Some of you may have experienced a system like this which the Milton Area School District uses when they make calls to notify parents that schools are being closed. In the City's case, we would use the system to notify residents of boil water orders, evacuations due to chemical or gas leaks, lost child alerts, etc.

The system is also interactive. For example, often a serious wind or snow storm can bring down quite a few branches around the City. We could make a call using this system to tell residents when crews will be by to collect branches. In addition, we could ask the resident to "press one" if they have branches available for pickup. The City then receives a report listing all of the properties which need branch collection.

You may wonder how the phone numbers would be entered into the system? The City would receive the numbers through Rock County's 9-1-1 system. Those with cell phones will be able to add their cell phones to the calling system by following on-line instructions on the City's website.

You may also wonder what a system like this will cost the City. Actually, it's surprisingly affordable web-based technology. Our first 12 months would cost $1,117, and the following two years would be $1,340/year. From a staff perspective, we believe this is a small price to pay for the potential benefits this system could offer in emergency situations.

As always, the full Council meeting packet can be viewed on the City's website at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Helicopter Traffic

Heads up (literally)... During the next few months you may notice low-flying helicopters in the area. The City was notified by American Transmission Company that these helicopters will be performing visual inspections on the high voltage transmission lines.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Update on High St. Project

Many people in the community have asked the City for details on the High St. reconstruction / resurfacing project. While all details are not yet in order, with this post I hope to provide some information. One complication is that this project was bid and is being administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation because stimulus funding is involved. So, that limits the amount of information that the City has at its fingertips.

I guarantee you that a public informational meeting on this project will be held prior to the beginning of construction. I'm anticipating a meeting to occur near the tail-end of May or very early June. We are currently working with the State's engineers to try and nail down a date. We also want the construction company involved in the meeting as well, but the lead representative from that company is now recovering from a serious illness. Long story short, we are trying to put all the pieces together and it is not as easy as just setting a date and being done with it. So, thank you for your ongoing patience. Please stay tuned for more information to be provided in the very near future.

Following are the currently known facts regarding the project:

  • Project Scope: Running east to west from John Paul Rd. to Janesville St., the High St. project consists of the removal of the existing pavement and base materials, placement of new base and asphalt surface, and spot replacement of curb and gutter. Generally, the new pavements will be reestablished to existing elevations. However, in areas where there are steep cross slopes (such as in front of the High School) the pavement elevations will be changed to lessen the severity of the slopes.

  • Start Date: Per the construction contract, work on this project may begin no earlier than June 14th. People may have seen and will be seeing other work happening in the area prior to that date. Alliant Energy has been lowering the gas main in the terraces. The City also has some work to do on some of the utility infrastructure along High St.

  • Street Closure: High Street will be closed to through traffic from John Paul Road to Janesville Street. Cross street traffic will be maintained at intersecting side streets. The detour route will be John Paul Road, Madison Avenue, and Janesville Street.

  • Driveway Access: Interruptions to driveway access will take place when excavation work is taking place directly in front of individual driveways and when concrete curb and gutter and/or driveway aprons are replaced. Driveway access must always be provided in the evenings, except in cases where a new driveway apron is poured (which is only a few of the properties in the project area). In cases like that the contractor will work with the homeowner regarding the timing of the project and alternative accommodations for parking.

  • 4th of July Activities: Between July 1st and July 5th, the contractor is required to maintain packed gravel access to the site at a minimum. Portions of the street may still consist of existing pavement. The traffic control signage will be adjusted to allow traffic into the park for that period of time. No work on the site will take place between July 2nd and July 5th and also September 3rd through September 7th.

  • Historic Features: The stone wall fronting the Milton College Historic District will not be modified.

  • Further Information: More information will be known once the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the contractor, Frank Brothers, Inc. provide the City with a schedule and conduct a pre-construction conference. That information should be known around late May and early June.

  • Contacts: At the yet-to-be-scheduled public informational meeting citizens will be provided with contact information for the contractor representatives. Local contacts include Howard Robinson, City of Milton Director of Public Works, at 608-868-6914 and Gary Vogel, City Engineer with Baxter & Woodman, Inc., at 262-763-7834.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wikipedia Article About the Library

Milton Public Library employee Ashlee Kunkel recently wrote a Wikipedia article detailing the history and other information about the Library. If you're interested in learning more about the Library, click on this link to access the page:

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 24th - Bicycle Tour of City Projects

Last year I began a tradition of guiding Spring and Summer bike rides around the City to provide information on various City projects. Here's a link to a blog post that highlighted the very first "Tour de Milton" which was held last September:

Below are details on the Spring 2010 Tour de Milton.

What: Tour of various municipal projects (both current and future) occurring in Milton. City Administrator Todd Schmidt will guide the tour.

When: Monday, May 24th - Leaving City Hall Parking Lot at 5:00 PM for about a 2-hour ride (although riders may leave the tour early if necessary). 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 projects that are or will be occurring in 2010 and beyond. 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 Police Department Bike Patrol escort by our very own Chief Jerry Schuetz.

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

Last Chance - Get Tickets for the PD's Community Recognition Dinner

This coming Saturday, May 15th, is the Police Department's Community Recognition Dinner. Be sure to get your tickets soon. You can check out this earlier blog post for more details:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reminder for Milton Men

Seriously guys, don't forget... It's Mother's Day this weekend. Unless you've got a really comfortable dog house, you are going to want to get something special for those mothers in your life.

I've got double-duty this weekend, with my wedding anniversary on Saturday as well. Thanks, Tonya, for 11 wonderful years!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May City Departmental Report Available

The City's Monthly Departmental Report for May is now up on the City Website. Check it out by following this link:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Keep Grass Clippings on Lawn

The Wisconsin DNR is cracking down on stormwater runoff. It is now against city ordinances to mow your grass clippings into the street. The idea here is that they are swept away with the rain to ponds where the nitrogen from the plant material encourages algae growth that starves out the fish. Most of our water goes to storm ponds but some of it does go to natural ponds with fish. If you find you must mow the clippings into the street, you need to sweep them up or blow them back onto the lawn.

The Census Continues

The 2010 Census Challenge between Milton and Edgerton is officially over. Milton beat Edgerton by 9% (85% to 76%). Great job Miltonites (or Miltonians, whichever you prefer)!

The second phase of the 2010 Census will be starting soon with Census takers going door to door to addresses that have not returned Census forms. They will visit a residence up to three times, and they will leave a Notice of Visit if the resident is not home. The Notice of Visit includes a phone number for the resident to call to schedule an appointment. The Census taker will also try to contact the resident by phone three times. Census takers will never try to contact residents by e-mail.

If a Census taker does visit your home, ask to see their official Census ID Badge. The ID will contain a photograph, Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date. Census takers may also have a black Census bag. Census takers will never ask to enter your home. They will also never ask for any kind of financial information or social security numbers. If you are suspicious of a Census taker, you can call the Census at the Chicago Regional Office at 1-800-865-6384. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Census taker will ask you for the responses to the 10 questions on the Census form. Residents should answer the questions for the entire family, and you must be at least 15 years old to answer.

The Census data gathered in 2010 will help decide Milton’s future for the next 10 years. The information gathered will determine how many representatives Wisconsin has in the U.S. House of Representatives, distribution of $400 billion from the federal government, and boundaries for electoral districts. Census data is also used during development of retail stores, schools, hospitals, new housing developments, and community facilities.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Keeping Milton Safe - Changing Our Culture on Underage Drinking

During the last few months of the school year (and with prom this coming weekend), the Milton Police Department will be working with the School District of Milton and Rock County Partners in Prevention to reduce underage drinking. Milton Police Chief Jerry Schuetz wrote an article about underage drinking in Milton. In order to continue to fulfill the Police Department's mission of "Keeping Milton Safe," Chief Schuetz said the culture on underage drinking needs to change. Click here to read the full article from Chief Schuetz.

Outdoor Water Meter Rentals

Summer is finally approaching, and many residents are filling pools and watering lawns and gardens. In order to save money, consider renting an outdoor water meter from City Hall. An outdoor water meter is pictured to the left.

The rental fee is $10 per month with a $75 security deposit. After the meter is returned to City Hall, the sewer charges will be credited to the water account. The break even point is 1700 gallons of water usage per month. Long story short, you'll still pay the cost of the water used, but won't pay the typical sewer charges that go along with that quantity of use.

To obtain an outside water meter visit City Hall (430 E. High Street) to pay the fee and security deposit and pick one up.