RDA makes offer on MillFab

Rendering courtesy Vierbicher Associates. The MillFab property could be part of a larger redevelopment project. Pictured above is part of the city’s rail corridor neighborhood plan from 2009.

The City of Stoughton is looking to take over the former MillFab site to use it for future development. 

In a closed session March 11, the city’s Redevelopment Authority voted to make an offer to purchase the property for an undisclosed amount. The Common Council met after the Hub’s deadline in closed session Tuesday to discuss the offer. The offer would be contingent on the results of additional testing of the property.

This 6-acre property, which was the site of the MillFab/Holley Mouldings Corp., has been vacant since September. The company ceased operating then and is in receivership. 


‘Early’ voting ends April 3

Stoughton-area registered voters have until 5 p.m. April 3 to cast a ballot during in-person absentee voting at their local municipal clerk’s office.

The so-called “early” voting started March 23.

Regular voting will take place April 7 at normal polling locations throughout the city and townships.

In-person absentee voting works similar to the mailed absentee ballots, according to the states Government Accountability Board. Voters who cannot attend the scheduled election can go to the clerk’s office during the two weeks prior to the election, fill out a ballot and seal it in an envelope for counting on election day. Voters need to register prior to filling out an absentee ballot. 

Residents can also request a ballot be mailed to them. The deadline to request a ballot is Thursday, April 2. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 7.


DOT: 138 doesn’t need four lanes

A Wisconsin Department of Transportation study of the State Hwy. 138 corridor between Oregon and Stoughton has concluded the road does not require more lanes or additional right-of-way.

The DOT presented its conclusions to local officials at a Feb. 10 meeting in Stoughton. The study arose from public comments at a similar meeting in the fall of 2012 that drivers were traveling too fast on Hwy. 138 – especially given its frequent use by farm equipment.

“There’s no plans for four lanes in the near future,” Oregon public works director Mark Below told the Hub.


Final meeting set for I-39/90 expansion project

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has scheduled its last open house meeting for the south segment of the I-39/90 Expansion Project between Edgerton and the Illinois state line.

Meetings for the north and central segments were held earlier this month. 

These informal meetings will provide updated design plans and current construction schedule information for each segment.

The meetings will take place from 3:30-7:30 p.m., at the WisDOT Southwest Region Project Field Office, 111 Interstate Blvd. in Edgerton. 


Council extends Washington St. fix

The city will add a block of East Washington Street to a reconstruction project slated for this summer.

At its meeting last week, the Common Council agreed unanimously with City Hall officials to extend the project – but not until after a lengthy debate.

There was no disagreement over the logic of the city adding the block of East Washington Street that’s closest to the Yahara River – the block between South Water Street and South Division Street – to the street’s planned reconstruction. The debate arose over the timing of the matter coming before the council.

Ald. Tom Majewski (D-3) had complained before about items coming for a vote on the same day the Finance committee voted on the issue. He has argued the practice does not give alders time to review and make informed decisions before casting a vote.


Council considering rules changes

Debate over the Common Council’s meeting rules continued last week, and still no conclusions have been reached.

After a long discussion last Tuesday, the council referred proposed changes back to a committee that has been discussing the rules for months for further review. 

One proposed revision has to do with how Robert’s Rules of Order should apply at Committee of the Whole meetings. A potentially more complicated matter has to do with reading aloud emails from constituents during the public comment part of regular council meetings.

The rules matter was referred back to the Community Affairs/Council Policy committee for more work and will come back to the council. 

Alders took no action on the email question, which also will go to CA/CP.


OWI arrest follows multi-car crash on Main Street

Photos submitted by Cindy Gazso. A pick-up truck hit six vehicles on Main Street last week before coming to a stop near Water Street.

A series of crashes along Main Street last Thursday led to the arrest of an Indiana driver who remains hospitalized as of Monday.

Around 4:30 p.m. March 12, police, firefighter and EMS were called to the 100 block of West Main Street for a report of a multiple-vehicle crash.

It ended at Main and Water streets, near Studio 184, where owner Cindy Gazso’s truck was totaled.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” Gazso said, adding there were no screeching tires or squealing brakes leading up the crash. “My husband saw something pushing my truck right down to the intersection.”

Stoughton police chief Greg Leck told the Hub the crashes started on East Main Street near Hwy. N, where another driver reported minor injuries. A 59-year-old driver from Indiana “had struck six other vehicles throughout an approximately one-mile path,” Leck said.


County to get child care grants from HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has announced the award of an annual $980,000 Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant to Dane County Parent Council, Inc.

According to a news release from the department, the grant would go toward improving access to high quality early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers from low-income families. ACF developed the grants to encourage innovative collaboration between new or existing Early Head Start grantees and child care providers.

HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell said 60 additional children a year will be able to access Early Head Start due to the grant. ACF acting assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg said the grants will help support working families by “providing a full-day, full-year program for young children.”


PulsePoint app aims to save lives

The PulsePoint app will alert users if there is a nearby cardiac event in a public place, and provide a map to the location of the victim, below.

Cardiac arrest? There’s an app for that.

A new mobile app in Dane County could help save a person’s life by alerting others nearby to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The app – PulsePoint – was brought to Dane County through a partnership with Meriter-UnityPoint Health and Dane County Emergency Medical Services departments.

The app was introduced Feb. 6 and local EMS departments have begun to encourage their members to download and use the app. The goal is to have anybody trained in CPR use the app to respond to emergencies in public places.

Stoughton Area EMS director Lisa Schimelpfenig said her staff have been told about the app, and that city firefighters and police will be invited to use it, too. The next step is to get the word out to the public about how they can use it.


DaneCom vote puts extra radio tower in Stoughton

The Dane County Board voted Thursday to allocate an additional $3.75 million to increase radio coverage throughout rural areas and inside large buildings, including specific improvements targeted to the Stoughton area.

According to a county release sent Monday, the county will build three new radio towers, in Stoughton, Deerfield and DeForest, and take ownership of a third in Rockdale. The towers and associated improvements are aimed at improving what some saw as spotty radio coverage in the impending switchover to the new DaneCom radio system.

The new funding is in addition to $3 million already dedicated to improvements. It was approved as part of a larger resolution authorizing the issuing of bonds to pay for commitments already approved in the 2015 capital budget.