July 14, 2010

Government notes for July 14

  • The Health Board voted Tuesday to allow the city to draft an ordinance to allow homeowners to keep chickens in their yards. The board voted 7-2 in favor of drafting the ordinance after an expert from the University of Wisconsin allayed fears of disease and uncleanliness.
  • The city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Board meets today at 5:15 p.m. in the City Hall Annex, Room 110. Key items being considered: 
The board will take another look at negotiating a long-term agreement with the Racine Art Museum. The item has been before the board since February 11, 2009. 
ATM Financial wants to place an ATM machine at Horlick Field. 
The Boy Scouts of America want to install soccer goals at Lockwood Park and is seeking a waiver of fees and charges for use of the field. The Finance and Personnel Committee agreed to waive $900 in fees. Letter from Director of Boy Scouts on the proposal.
Board proposal: Request to the Common Council to revise Ordinance 30-41 to change verbiage relating to composition of Board from “citizens of the City” to “citizens of Racine County." The proposal was deferred in June. Ald. Sandy Weidner supports the change, noting in June it's hard to find people to serve on the board. 
Parks Director Donnie Snow is asking the board to allow for people to walk dogs on a leash on the Lake Michigan and Root River pathways. Pets are now prohibited on the pathways. The proposal requires amending ordinance 70-90. 
Focus on Community is planning a 5K run/walk during Party on the Pavement Oct. 2 from 8:30-10 a.m. Here's the proposal, including route information.
Alderman Kaplan wants No Park signage from Hoffert Drive from Barker Street to English Street. 
Claudius Adebayo of OIC wants the city to donate, or sell at a nominal fee, a plot of land at 2138 N. Wisconsin Street. 
The city is working on an agreement with the Downtown Racine Corp to provide supervision and related services of the Laurel Clark Memorial Fountain/Splash Pad. 
The Milwaukee Wave wants to use North Beach to host a Beach Soccer Match on Aug. 7.  
  • The Human Services Department will be holding 2011 Budget Deliberations on Tuesday, July 13, Wednesday, July 14 and Thursday, July 15, 2010.  County Board Supervisors are invited to attend.  There is a chance of a quorum, but no business will be conducted.
  • Agenda for the County Board's Public Works Committee on Thursday: 

1 . Call to Order, Roll Call
2 . Public Comments
3 . Approval of the Minutes of the June 24, 2010 Meeting
4 . Consideration and Approval of Resolution to purchase ROW using land sales account, CTH-C from Airline Rd to Sunnyslope Rd
5 . Update on Highway Projects
6. Update on Old Settler’s Park new concession building
7. Special Use Requests
a. Miscellaneous Requests
8. Communications and Referrals
9. Miscellaneous Public Works Business
10. Adjourn
  • The Racine Unified Board of Education's Legislative Committee will meet on Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. in the Board Room at 2220 Northwestern Ave. Here's the agenda: 
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Legislative Committee Minutes of May 27 and June 2, 2010
3. Elect Chairperson
4. Presentation: Voces de la Frontera
5. Discuss Next Steps After Meeting With Elected Officials
6. Set Next Meeting Date
7. Adjourn
Committee members include: Pamala Handrow, Melvin Hargrove, Don J. Nielsen, Kim Plache, Gretchen Warner, William S. Van Atta, Ex-Officio

  • Press release from Sens. Feingold and Kohl ... 
Deal clears environmental hurdle in 3 to 0 vote
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold announced that the Export-Import Bank of the United States met today to approve the environmental aspects of the deal between Reliance Power Ltd. in India and Milwaukee manufacturer Bucyrus International Inc. to purchase $600 million in mining equipment. The 3 to 0 vote is the first step in reversing a decision by the Ex-Im Bank last month to deny loan guarantees for Reliance, after Kohl and Feingold worked intensively with Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg and Bucyrus chief executive Tim Sullivan to allow the transaction to move forward. Chairman Hochberg notified the Senators on June 30th that the Ex-Im Bank would reconsider its decision if Reliance could present a new proposal including an increase in the amount of renewable energy produced in India, with a preference for American-made equipment.
“We did not want to see jobs in our state jeopardized and did all we could to be effective advocates for Bucyrus International’s workforce. Chairman Hochberg was open-minded and reasonable throughout this process, and Tim Sullivan worked tirelessly for his employees. The facts prevailed in this case, and we’re encouraged by the way the proposal is progressing and hopeful that it will lead to more good manufacturing jobs for our state,” Kohl said.
“I am pleased the Export-Import Bank Board approved the revised proposal, and kept this deal alive. With Wisconsin unemployment already near double digits, killing this deal would have only made a bad situation worse while effectively sending even more American jobs to China. When given a level playing field, American businesses and American workers can compete with anyone in the world. I will continue to be a strong advocate for Wisconsin’s manufacturing base, and for the level playing field that Wisconsin’s workers deserve,” Feingold said.
This is the first in a series of three votes the Ex-Im Bank will conduct before the Reliance/Bucyrus deal is finalized. Following this approval, there will be a vote – possibly in late August – on financial aspects of the deal, then a 35-day period where the deal is sent to Congress for review, and then a final vote by the Ex-Im Bank board in fall.

  • Also from Feingold ...  

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold announced today that the next round of rebate checks is on its way to Wisconsin seniors to help pay for prescription drugs.  The checks will be mailed tomorrow to assist even more Wisconsin seniors who fall into the gap in prescription drug coverage in Medicare Part D known as the “doughnut hole.”  Filling the Medicare doughnut hole was a major provision of the new health care reform law and the one-time rebate checks are the first step in closing the gap in coverage.  Checks will be mailed monthly for those newly reaching the doughnut hole.  By the end of the year, more than 74,000 Wisconsin seniors who fall into the doughnut hole will receive the one-time $250 rebate check.   By 2020, this gap in prescription drug coverage will be completely closed, covering 155,000 seniors in Wisconsin.