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News & Notes: July 10

July 10, 2012

Hearings on rezoning for church/Walmart move

Greenfield - Two public hearings that address whether a church can operate in the soon-to-be-vacated Walmart building on Highway 100 will be held July 17, beginning at 7:15 p.m., at Greenfield City Hall.

The Ridge Community Church wants to convert part of the building at 4500 S. 108th St. and lease the remainder of the space. The hearings are on the proposed rezoning and a change in the city's comprehensive plan to allow the site to be used as proposed.

Already some unhappiness with the plan has arisen from those who don't want the city or other jurisdictions to lose the Highway 100 tax base. Walmart paid roughly $170,000 in property taxes last year. The church is tax-exempt.

In such cases, the city normally tries to get a payment in lieu of taxes to make up for the city's loss of revenue. Under its guidelines, the city could ask for $50,400 annually. There is no information on whether an agreement on a payment in lieu of taxes has been reached. But such an agreement would compensate only the city, not the schools or other taxing jurisdictions.

Walmart will move into the new store it has been constructing around the corner from its current one.

The Ridge currently holds worship services in leased space at Whitnall High School in Greenfield.

Parade gets off with minor adjustments

Greenfield - Even with record-setting heat last week, Greenfield's Fourth of July festivities went ahead with a few salutes to the oppressive temperatures.

For one thing, Bucky Badger didn't frolic past the crowd that had gathered for the parade despite the sweltering weather. Instead, Bucky hitched a ride on a convertible and waved as he glided by.

Also a unit marching toward the end of the parade came armed with lots of water bottles and handed them out to the hot crowd.

"That was very kind-hearted," said Dennis Ervin, parade committee chairman.

Road buckles under intense heat

West Allis - With last week's sweltering temperatures, roads buckled from the heat all over the state, including at Highway 100 and Greenfield Avenue.

At 11:15 a.m. July 5, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was notified about buckling at the intersection. Within four hours, a crew was there to put in a temporary fix that made the road safe until they can come back to do a permanent fix, said Michael Pyritz, communications specialist with the DOT's southeast region.

The buckling in West Allis was one of only three instances of heat causing roads to buckle in Milwaukee County, according to the DOT map pinpointing the locations of buckling roads. The others were in the 5200 block of Brown Deer Road in Brown Deer and on U.S. Highway 41 at Vliet Street in Wauwatosa, both on July 6.

In each case, crews cut out the damaged sections and put plugs in, Pyritz said. Although the temporary patches are sturdy, they are not permanent. Permanent fixes are needed to avoid future maintenance issues.

The plugs are normally in expansion joint areas designed to give paving room to expand in the heat. The plugs change the healthy dynamics of those expansion joints, he said.

Buckling happens under intense heat when the expansion space isn't big enough to accommodate the expanding paving, Pyritz said.

On July 4 alone, approximately 17 pavement buckles on major highways were reported to the DOT.

Greenfield native on leadership team

Greenfield - The Rev. Scott Wallenfelsz of Greenfield was elected to the leadership team of the Salvatorians who serve in 45 countries and on six continents.

Wallenfelsz was installed as consultor to the U.S. Salvatorian priests and brothers at Queen of Apostles Chapel in Milwaukee.

Salvatorians are a Catholic religious community of priests, brothers, sisters and lay people founded in 1881. Salvatorians serve in parishes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and elsewhere.

City objects to streetcar if it means higher bills

West Allis - The West Allis Common Council has approved a resolution objecting to Milwaukee's streetcar plan if utility relocation costs are passed on to non-Milwaukee residents in the form of higher bills.

Some local officials are concerned that relocating underground utility lines used by We Energies, AT&T and Time Warner Cable for Milwaukee's downtown streetcar project will prove costly.

"They can do whatever they want with their money," said West Allis Alderman Dan Roadt, as long as the costs should stay within Milwaukee's borders.

"There are a lot of unknowns here, and we just don't want to absorb it," he said.

Helmet giveaway declared successful

West Allis - More than 60 families participated in the West Allis Health Department's annual Bike Helmet Give-Away June 6 and the department is calling the day a success.

Bicycle helmets were properly fitted for 98 children, who were instructed to wear their new helmets when riding on anything with wheels such as in-line or roller skates, skateboards, scooters and even small tricycles. Parents also were shown how the helmet should be placed to assure protection.

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