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Menomonee Falls lays off eight public works employees

May 29, 2012 4:13 p.m. | The village of Menomonee Falls laid off eight, full-time public works employees last week in what the village says was preparation for shortfalls in the 2013 budget and fiscal year.

The layoffs of street and utility workers that occurred May 22 were a reduction-in-force and were due to declining revenues, said Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald.

Six workers were paid out of the general fund and two were utility employees. By the end of next week, the village is consolidating the public works facilities and closing down the office currently located on Water Street.

"By centralizing, eliminating facilities and ultimately centralizing management and supervision, we expect that we will be able to absorb issues and not reduce any service," Fitzgerald said.

Public works employees in the general fund are supported by the tax levy, which has limitations set by the revenue freeze and declining state revenues, Fitzgerald said. The utility workers were laid off due to the nongrowth economy and revenue losses in utilities. The two positions will be absorbed in the village and Fitzgerald said residents will not see or feel any changes as a result of the layoffs.

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New Kia dealership, Ford service center could be developed near Woodman's in Menomonee Falls

March 04, 2015 7:40 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A new Kia dealership and Ford Quick Lube and Service Center could soon be constructed near Woodman's along Highway 41/45.

A conceptual review of the plans at the March 3 Plan Commission meeting yielded positive feedback from commissioners like Randy Newman, who said the proposal "might be a nice fit there."

Located at N81 W12920 Leon Road, the proposal by the Boucher Group calls for development of a roughly 8-acre parcel to include two buildings on a property that was once occupied by an office building.

The 1960s building was removed from the site in 2000 to make way for development of the Westbrook Corporate Center within tax-incremental financing district No. 5, explained Director of Community Development Matt Carran. The parcel has sat vacant since then.

A Kia Automotive Dealership that includes new car sales and service and the Ford Quick Lub and Certified Sales center would both be opened under the Boucher Automotive Group.

» Read Full Article

Case involving former Germantown kindergarten teacher sparks lawsuit against Jefferson County Sherif

March 04, 2015 7:00 p.m. | Germantown — A lawsuit has been filed against the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department challenging a policy that came into question following the arrest of a former Germantown kindergarten teacher.

On behalf of the Wisconsin Reporter, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty ("WILL"), has filed a lawsuit challenging a policy calling for the wholesale redaction of identifying information from routine police reports and citations.

The law suit alleges that the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department illegally redacted information identifying a Germantown kindergarten teacher who vandalized Scott Walker signs at the Jefferson County Fair last July, according to a news release.

The teacher, April Smith, resigned from her role with the Germantown School District earlier this month, following a suspension from the first semester of work and reassignment to a new school starting in January.

WILL's lawsuit demands that the Sheriff's Department release unredacted copies of incident reports and citations, the release states. The 1994 Driver Privacy Protection Act could confuse things, according to the release as it generally prohibits the "disclosure" of personal information obtained from a "motor vehicle record, but ultimately the question on whether wholesale redaction is an overreaction remains unanswered.

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All lanes open after Highway 41/45 crash that injured four

March 04, 2015 6:16 p.m. | All lanes of State Highway 41/45 near Holy Hill Road in Germantown have been reopened following a multiple-vehicle crash that critically injured several people Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Five vehicles were involved in at least three separate crashes and three helicopters were called to the scene to transport three patients with critical injuries, according to Germantown police and fire department officials.

Another person was transported from the scene by ambulance and the crash also involved at least one extrication, officials said.

The crash, reported about 2 p.m. in the northbound lanes, forced the closure of all lanes of the highway for about two hours. The southbound lanes were reopened about 4 p.m. and all lanes were open by 5 p.m., according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

UPDATE: Northbound Highway 41 in Germantown remains closed following crashes, drivers stalled

March 04, 2015 5:04 p.m. | Germantown — Traffic is at a near-standstill even on side roads following crashes on Highway 41/45 earlier this afternoon.

Three serious injuries have been reported at the crash scene that briefly had Highway 41/45 closed in both directions. Northbound is still closed, and likely will be until at least 7 p.m. according to Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell.

"I've driven in some slow traffic in my life, but I've never seen anything like this," said Janice Finke, who took Appleton Avenue as an alternate northbound route home to West Bend. "I think I've been either at a complete standstill or going about six miles per hour for about a half hour now."

According to an update from Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell, five vehicles were involved in three related crashes. Four injuries were reported, including three serious injuries, Hoell said.

The seriously injured have been transported by three separate medical flights, Hoell said, and the fourth by ground.

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UPDATE: Three seriously injured in Germantown crash that has Highway 41/45 closed in both directions

March 04, 2015 3:38 p.m. | Germantown — Three serious injuries have been reported at the crash scene that has Highway 41/45 closed in both directions.

According to an update from Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell, five vehicles were involved in three separate crashes. Four injuries were reported, including three serious injuries, Hoell said.

The seriously injured have been transported by three separate medical flights, Hoell said, and the fourth by ground.

Southbound traffic should be open again shortly, but northbound will be closed at least four hours to complete the crash investigation.

No further information is available at this time.

Fast Signs of Menomonee Falls receives national attention

March 04, 2015 8:58 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Local signs and visual graphics provider FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls has been named one of the top centers out of more than 570 locations worldwide at the recent 2015 FASTSIGNS International Convention.

The locally-owned and operated business received the Pinnacle Club Award, which is given to the centers ranked 26 to 125 in the U.S. and Canada for sales volume from the previous year.

"This award commemorates all of the hard work and excellent service our team at FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls provides every day," said owner Patrick Yates. "We want to thank our customers for their continued support and we look forward to helping them accomplish their business goals for 2015 and beyond."

Located at W173N9170 St. Francis Drive, FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls has been doing business in the area for 10 years. The center provides comprehensive visual communications solutions, including wall, window and floor graphics, architectural signs, trade show displays, way-finding solutions, vehicle wraps, digital signage and more.

"With the evolution of technology and my team's knowledge and experience, FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls offers creative solutions for any industry or business challenge," Yates said. "We're so much more than just sign makers. We're visual communications consultants, innovators, designers and marketing specialists dedicated to help local businesses thrive."

Plans proceed for former Falls Starbucks in Rivercrest Center

March 03, 2015 3:26 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The former Starbucks location in Rivercrest Center will soon become a home to a new restaurant tenant.

The Village Board on March 2 unanimously approved a conditional-use permit that allows an addition to the northernmost tenant space in the building, which was vacated recently when Starbucks opened its new location with a drive-thru in Germantown on County Line Road.

Neighboring residents have spoken in favor of the proposed 712-square-foot addition, which would essentially fill in the existing footprint of the space, enclosing what was the patio space used by the coffee shop, with hopes to move in as soon as early spring.

The tenant has not yet been identified.

Water Council gathers at Bradley Corporation in Menomonee Falls

March 03, 2015 3:20 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Representatives from almost 200 companies recently gathered at Bradley Corporation in Menomonee Falls for this year's quarterly meeting of the Water Council.

Based in Menomonee Falls, the manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures and equipment hosted the Milwaukee-based council on Feb. 18 at Bradley's headquarters and plant in Menomonee Falls.

In addition to hosting the meeting, representatives from 166 companies related to the water technology industry had an opportunity to tour Bradley's plumbing fixtures manufacturing facility and product display centers.

With four manufacturing plants located in the U.S., Bradley's commercial plumbing products combine the newest materials and technologies with durability, user accommodation and water conservation.

Landscape company in Menomonee Falls to increase staff by 40 percent

March 03, 2015 1:48 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc. is looking to increase its workforce by 40 percent this year, starting with a job fair this month.

The company employs 250 people, but plans to hire up to 100 more to meet the demands of its fast-growing design, construction and maintenance business.

The job fair will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 7, at the Hilton Gardens Hotel, 11600 W. Park Place.

Immediate openings include positions for construction crews, general laborers, landscape maintenance technicians, truck drivers, customer service reps, office help and more.

"We believe that our success is directly related to the quality of our staff, and we're committed to developing this important resource by providing ongoing training, great benefits and real career opportunities," said Dave Frank, President and CEO.

» Read Full Article

Falls Plan Commission to review new commercial development plans near Woodman's

March 03, 2015 10:24 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The Menomonee Falls Plan Commission will tonight review a proposal by the Boucher Group to develop a new Kia dealership and Ford Quick Lube and Service Center near Woodman's along Highway 41/45.

Located at N81 W12920 Leon Road, the proposed commercial development is on the agenda for conceptual review.

An amendment to the comprehensive land use plan, as well as a rezoning request to allow commercial development rather than industrial as the land is now zoned, would both need approval prior to the plans moving forward. Both are on the agenda tonight as well.

The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Village Hall, W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road.

Germantown approves raises for village staff

March 02, 2015 8:10 p.m. | Germantown — A group of 70 village of Germantown employees will soon see a raise. For some, it will be their first in three years.

At an estimated total amount of about $68,000, the village board voted 6-3 on March 2 to approve a 1.5-percent increase to salaries and wages of non-represented employees and up to 1.5 percent for the public works and technical and clerical union employees, to be finalized in negotiations.

Though there was some disagreement between board members regarding the board's intent to eventually move to a more merit-based raise system, trustee Terri Kaminski said the increase is the least the village can do in the meantime.

"I do not think 1.5 percent is a huge increase and I think our employees deserve it," said Kaminski, adding that employees in both unions have not seen raises since 2011. "When you start squabbling about 1.5 percent and you look at what the surrounding areas are paying, I think we're foolish."

Regardless of the amount in question, the lack of follow through with the merit-based concept is a reason trustee David Baum cited for voting against the change

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Menomonee Falls remodeling company receives high honors at state awards

March 02, 2015 4:08 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — For the second consecutive year, Connor Remodeling & Design has won three gold honors in the 2014 Wisconsin Remodeler's Awards, a landmark achievement in the annual Milwaukee/NARI competition among local remodeling and design companies.

The Menomonee Falls firm collected the contest's highest honors in three categories, including a residential kitchen and two residential baths, as well as a silver award for a residential interior element, which included an elaborate fireplace.

The family-owned company brings more than 50 years of combined professional experience to its designs and manages a broad spectrum of remodeling projects encompassing whole houses, lower levels, kitchens and bathrooms.

Lutz named new Menomonee Falls football coach

March 02, 2015 3:14 p.m. | Working from within, Menomonee Falls High School is proud to announce that Dan Lutz has been named head coach of the football program.

Lutz takes over for John Baker, who left the position to pursue a school administrator's degree.

Lutz, a current Falls assistant coach who was previously the head coach at Brookfield Academy, is excited to take over the program that he started as a volunteer with in the early 2000’s.

From that time, Lutz has gained invaluable experience as an assistant at
Brookfield Academy and Sussex Hamilton. Brookfield Academy named him the head coach in 2007.

Lutz guided the Blue Knights from the bottom to the top of the conference as they won the Midwest Classic North title in 2008 and took a
share of the crown in 2009.

» Read Full Article

Germantown Village Board to consider compensation changes

March 02, 2015 10:32 a.m. | Germantown — Employee compensation increases for 2015 are on the agenda for consideration at tonight's Germantown Village Board meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, N112 W17001 Mequon Road.

Also on the agenda is a request by the Germantown Fire Department to fill a vacancy, and discussion on a developer's ageement in tax-incremental financing district No. 4, which includes the Germantown Business Park.

Germantown resident says friends feel like family at the Just Betweeen Friends sale

March 02, 2015 8:08 a.m. | Germantown — It's kind of like Black Friday for all things baby, toddler and beyond.

Everywhere you look, there are hangers adorned with everything from the tiniest footed newborn sleeper to your five-year-old son's next Halloween costume. (He'll be going as Spongebob Squarepants). There are more toys than any daycare could ever hope for, with activity tables and baby walkers and that talking puppy every new mom thinks her baby needs to have. And there are even the less glamorous items, like breast pump supplies, burp cloths and diapers.

All of that was more than necessary for Susie Bruns, who said the Germantown/Port Washington Just Between Friends sale has been an incredibly helpful resource for her and her family of five since she started shopping the sale for her Irish triplets in 2008.

"At the time, I was working non-profit and my husband was working as a teacher, (so) we were on a budget," said Bruns, of Menomonee Falls. After a complicated first pregnancy, it was a surprise to Bruns and her husband to find out four months later they were expecting twins.

"I decided to check out the sale and immediately I was hooked," said Bruns, who still shops the sale for her three girls, and now consigns in it as well. "The customer service is fantastic...the team leaders are always walking around talking to the shoppers, putting thing in the hold area, handing out bags and organizing."

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