Oktoberfest Board and City Meet Today to Talk Fees
A solution to an Oktoberfest dilemma could be reached today. Representatives from the fest board and the city meet to discuss thousands of dollars in new fees the city wants from the board for its parades. The board has suspended planning for its parades in response. Expectations from today's talks? We asked fest executive director, Tina Severson
Severson also wants to settle the fee issue not just for this year's fest but for upcoming years as well.
Boat Launch Permit Sales Exceed Expectations
It's possible, the city of La Crosse parks department may have to go back to the printers to get more boat launch permits. Depends on how many they sell in the first year of the passes. But they're a hot commodity so far. Recreation supervisor Jay Odegaard says he's sold more than five hundred since the first of the year. Impressive, considering there was ice on the river until just a few weeks ago. We asked Odegaard if that's what he expected. Not really, he says
Odegaard expects a big push for the boat launch permits once spring is more than a couple days old.
Governor Fixes Warrens Snafu
Last year, the Department of Revenue admitted to an error that would have created a huge property tax increase for a Monroe County town's residents. Governor Scott Walker has seen to it that it won't happen. The Governor signed a bill, authored by State Senator Kathleen Vinehout and Senator Julie Lassa, that will permit the Village of Warrens to correct for an error made by the Department of Revenue in assessing the value of a TIF district. While the error would lower tax bills in the short term, the correction would result in a property tax increase of nearly 100 percent the following year. The bill permits temporary adjustments of levy limits to allow Warrens to even out tax levies over two years.
DNR Both Burns and Warns About Burning
A state agency is simultaneously warning about fires and planning to set them. The DNR has warned about the high potential for wildfires across Wisconsin so far this year. Greater, apparently, than in years past because of the lack of snow cover. But the DNR also sent out notice this week that it plans its regular prescribed burns for this spring.
The agency says without the use of prescribed burning as a management tool, Wisconsin could lose many of its native grassland, wetland, woodland plant communities. Typical burns range in size from 10 to 25 hundred acres and the DNR says they only burn when it's safe to do so. Meanwhile, the agency has responded to nearly two hundred uncontrolled wildfires so far this spring.
Wisconsin Leads Nation In Grad Rate
Wisconsin graduated more high school students in 2009 than it did in 2002 and is just shy of a 90% statewide graduation rate, according to a new national education report released this week. The La Crosse School District's Troy Harcey talked with WIZM news about the report.
The district's graduation rate is at 94%. Wisconsin's graduation rate was 89.6% in 2008, an slight increase from 84.8% in 2002.