News

Wed
30
Oct

Gillett residents OK 16% higher tax levy


Photo by Anne Renel

Gillett School Superintendent Todd Carlson welcomes attendees to the district’s annual meeting and budget hearing Thursday night. Carlson emphasized the educational success of the district, citing recent state report card ratings of exceeding expectations for the elementary and middle schools and above average ACT scores of high school students.

The Gillett School District annual meeting was quiet and businesslike Thursday night as school officials proposed a significant tax increase to residents.

Superintendent Todd Carlson told the audience a 16 percent hike in the tax levy was needed to cover significant decreases in general state aid to the district. He said when state aid is cut, school districts are forced to make up the difference to cover costs, which usually results in a higher tax levy.

Voters at the meeting reviewed a 2013-14 budget of $7.347 million for the district’s general fund and overall expenditures of $9.609 million, an increase of less than 1 percent from 2012.

Wed
30
Oct

Courthouse site set for proposed jail


Times Herald photo by Joan Koehne
Don Nerenhausen, former mayor of Oconto, speaks to the County Board Thursday, requesting a delay in the law enforcement center project.

The Oconto County Board charged ahead with its plan to build a law enforcement center in the middle of Oconto, snubbing an attempt to slow momentum on the project to consider alternative sites.

The board on Thursday approved a six-part resolution that follows its September decision to build the center adjacent to the courthouse. With the resolution’s 28-1 passage, supervisors reversed their decision to build on a 14-acre parcel in Little River and voted to put that land up for sale. They confirmed last month’s vote to build the center on the block north of the courthouse and agreed to begin the process of acquiring the 14 properties located there.

The county will negotiate with the city of Oconto to relocate utilities for the proposed center and vacate Adams Street from Park Avenue to Arbutus Street and two alleys on the block north of the courthouse.

Wed
30
Oct

Engineering hub planned in Gillett


Times Herald file photo
Renovations are under way for the Wausaukee Composites building on North Main Street in Gillett.

A Gillett manufacturing building, closed in 2012, will reopen as a center for engineering excellence, according to Paul Ehrfurth, director of the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation.

Ehrfurth said the project is a sign that the economic recession is reversing course.

Wausaukee Composites in Gillett, makers of Fiberglas components, closed its East Main Street facility in September, displacing 45 workers. Ehrfurth told the County Board on Thursday the building will be completely renovated to create an engineering center and accommodate one of the largest computer numerical control machines in the area.

“By the second or third quarter, they will have anywhere from 50 to 60 high-paying, designer engineer positions working out of that facility,” he said.

Wed
30
Oct

Proposed county tax rate climbs 1.5%

Expenditures will increase 13.5 percent for Oconto County in 2014, according to the county’s proposed budget scheduled for a hearing Thursday. The county proposes spending $48.2 million, $5.7 million more than 2013.

Part of the increase is due to $3 million for the initial costs of a proposed law enforcement center. The 2014 budget includes $1.3 million for engineering and $1.7 million for property acquisition for the facility.

Other increases in the budget are related to higher employee compensation costs, operation costs, workers compensation and property insurance rates.

County officials propose a tax levy of $18.2 million, a 1 percent increase over last year. This results in a tax rate of $5.23 for $1,000 of assessed property value, a 1.5 percent increase. Owners of a $100,000 home will pay $523 in property taxes for county operations, an $8 increase over last year.

Wed
23
Oct

Circuit Court

Proceedings from Oct. 16

Christopher L. Harris, 22, Oconto Falls, made an initial appearance on two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 which allegedly occurred between June 1 and Aug. 1 in Oconto Falls. His appearance will continue Nov. 12, and a $2,500 cash bond was set. Under conditions of the bond, he may have no contact with the alleged victim or any minor females except immediate family or incidental contact with minor females.

An arraignment will be Nov. 5 for Joshua P. Smet, 24, Gillett, who is accused of being party to a burglary, party to theft and party to obstructing an officer, all repeater charges. He was arrested Sept. 20 in Gillett. His bond was reduced from $2,500 to $1,500, and he is to have no alcohol or illegal drugs and no contact with the alleged victim.

^

Proceedings from Oct. 14

Wed
23
Oct

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 7:51 a.m. Oct. 16, a car driven by a man from Oconto Falls was traveling west on County Road I, west of Machickanee Lane, town of Stiles. His vehicle crossed the center line and struck an eastbound car driven by a woman from Oconto Falls. The woman suffered injuries and was transported to a medical facility. Severe damage was reported to each vehicle. The woman was cited for driving after her license was suspended and the man for operating left of center and inattentive driving. He told authorities he fell asleep.

At 11:30 a.m. Oct. 13, cars driven by a Green Bay man and a Little Suamico woman collided on County roads J at S in the town of Little Suamico, as the Green Bay man stopped at a stop sign and proceeded into the intersection. No injuries were reported to the drivers or to a passenger in each vehicle.

Wed
23
Oct

Oconto Falls food prices up this year

Oconto Falls consumers are spending just a little more at the grocery store than other state residents.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Marketbasket Survey showed that customers locally are spending $50.59 on 16 basic food items. The state average is $50.18, up from $49.60 a year ago.

Customers nationwide, on average, pay $51.54 for the same items.

In Oconto Falls, customers have seen prices go up on six items in the last 12 months, down on six items and stay even on three. Changes for the 16th item, Cheerios, are unknown due to the price being unavailable on WFB’s third quarter results in 2012.

Of the six items seeing an increase, three were meats. Ground chuck and chicken breasts each jumped up $1.31 per pound to $3.99 and $2.99, respectively, while sirloin tip roast jumped up 81 cents per pound to $4.59.

Wed
23
Oct

Gillett seeks 16% school-levy hike

Residents in the Gillett School District will be asked to dig a little deeper to support their schools, to compensate for waning state assistance.

Individuals at Thursday’s annual meeting will be asked to support a 16 percent jump in taxes — a proposed levy of $3.039 million, up from $2.610 million last year.

The tax rate is calculated at $11 per $1,000 of equalized value, meaning residents with $100,000 of property will pay $1,100 for the school portion of their property tax bill, according to school district projections. A year ago, taxes were $953.

“As your state aid goes down, your local support and mill rate are going to go up. It’s just the balance that happens,” School Superintendent Todd Carlson said.

Wed
23
Oct

Little Suamico loses two to retirement


Times Herald photo by Joan Koehne
Sandy Pagel, left, and Eileen Bardouche will retire from their positions of clerk and treasurer for the town of Little Suamico after more than 30 years of service.

The town of Little Suamico, in its search for a new clerk/treasurer, looks to replace more than 70 years of experience. Eileen Bardouche, treasurer for 33 years, and Sandy Pagel, clerk for 39 years, will retire at the end of 2013.

The Town Board voted to combine the positions and plans to hire one individual to do both jobs.

“It’s lots easier for one person to take care of it all,” Town Chairman Elmer Ragen said. He said Bardouche and Pagel have done an excellent job for the town and will help the new employee transition into the combined position.

Bardouche expects the transition to be a challenge, and she predicted a woman will be hired.

“It will be a little hard for her when she starts because she has to learn two jobs, and it will be the middle of tax season,” Bardouche said.

Fri
18
Oct

Schmidt guilty in double homicide

Although physical evidence was scarce, an Oconto County jury Thursday found a rural Shawano man guilty of two counts of homicide.

The jury deliberated almost five hours before announcing Daniel Schmidt, 30, was guilty of murdering his ex-mistress, Kimberly Rose, and her brother, Leonard Marsh, in 2009.

Family and friends hugged one another, wiping away tears after hearing the jury’s decision.

“I think the victims were pleased with the verdict,” said Assistant Attorney General Richard Dufour, who prosecuted the case. “It’s hard to have a lot of jubilation. There are two people that are dead and there’s another person whose life is probably going to be spent in prison, so I don’t know if there’s jubilation, but there’s relief justice has been done.”

Schmidt showed little emotion on hearing the verdict, but his wife, Stephanie, a key witness in the trial, put her face in her hands and cried.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News