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Wausaukee School Reps at Wagner Town Meeting

Issue Date: January 17, 2020

The Wagner Town Board met Wednesday, Jan. 8th at 6:30 pm at the Wagner Town Hall, W2379 County Road JJ, Wausaukee.

Board members present were Chairperson Steve Renikow, Sr., Supervisors Mollie Arthur and Ed Delfosse, Treasurer Linda Larochelle, Clerk Cassie Brown. Also 14 members of the public attended.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said and agenda was approved.

Treasurer Larochelle stated the Town received notice of the 2020 final calculation summary for the general transportation aid. The total will be $148,140.36 which is $37,035.09 quarterly. The first quarter payment was received on Jan. 6th.

Chair Renikow stated he will not be present for the March Town Board meeting scheduled for March 10 so the meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 17. Clerk Brown stated she did not attend the approved security training in December due to a storm, and will have to reschedule.

The Dec. 11th meeting minutes, were approved and Treasurer Larochelle discussed the ending cash balances including real estate tax deposits collected by the County Treasurer.

Mike Caylor stated there were two fire calls since the last meeting totaling 40 calls for the year. The last two calls consisted of one lift assist and one structure fire. There was also 39.5 hours for maintenance. All DOT inspections and fire inspections were completed. The annual maintenance day was conducted Jan. 4th. The next meat raffle will be held at the Heritage at Noon on Jan. 25th.

Chairperson Renikow stated the cameras are completely installed at the Recycling Center. A snow fence was installed on Berg Road, and trees were cleared for snow plowing. Arthur questioned the amount of traffic at the Recycling Center on Wednesdays and Renikow stated there has not been a lot, but it is getting busier as time goes on.

Animal control had no calls. Jerry Micksch reminds people that if a dog has no tags it will cost $70 to remove from the Menominee Animal Shelter. Treasurer Larochelle will be at Town Hall on Jan. 25th from 9AM to 5PM to process dog licenses.

The town calendar has been completed with one update to the March monthly meeting. This will be held on Tuesday, March 17.

For emergency response for the Town Renikow stated the only suggestion received was to have an automatic generator put at the Town Hall, and this should be discussed at annual meeting. Caylor stated there is a generator but it is not automatic. Chairperson Renikow stated the power lines are going underground eventually, so this should help with power outages in the future. Also, members of the community have offered to help with residents who need temporary shelter.

For the WTA district meeting and certification training topic, Chairperson Renikow stated there is a Wisconsin Towns Association district meeting which includes board of review training. At least one person on the Board has to complete this training. Motion to approve attendance with per diem compensation and mileage on Jan. 25th, for Delfosse and Renikow.

Jared Deschane and Katey Ambrose discussed current events at Wausaukee School at the meeting. Deschane is the Administrator and High School Principal serving his 24th year at Wausaukee and 11th year in administration. Currently there are 50 staff members in total. Enrollment has been an area of concern as it continues to decrease. The total current enrollment is 398 students. The general fund is healthy with approximately $6M, and the school does not have to cash borrow noting 80% of the expenditures is staffing and the rest is instructional / materials. Most of the revenue is tax based and the current mill rate is 6.87 / 1,000 which is .05 less than the prior year. This is one of the lowest mill rates in the area.

Recent projects were a new roof, maintenance on the parking lot, LED lighting in the gym, interactive flat screens in the classrooms and updated flooring. A third room to the in-school daycare was added to provide additional childcare. Facility improvements also include the NWTC remodel where the automotive and welding programs now have their own environments. The automotive program participation has increased with 16 students currently. Also, an EMT class is now being offered. Most of these improvements were completed with local contractors. Breakfast participation has increased 144% due to the grab and go breakfast program, and this is the 3rd year in a row food service ended in a positive fund balance. The DOJ grants provided additional funds for security and mental health training.

Wausaukee had the conference champs in volleyball and girls' basketball. Recent changes include the 6th grade moving to middle school from elementary, reduction of bus routes and the purchase of adjoining property for a walking path to connect the school to village. Also, the art teacher's dog has been certified as a therapy dog which has had a positive impact.

Ambrose is the elementary and middle school principal, and has served 16 years in education. 15 of these years have been at Wausaukee. There are 175 kids in the elementary school, 12 full time teachers and 4 shared teachers with the middle and high school. The focus has been working together and working with community. The children are learning about different responsibilities within the community, and older children are helping younger children with reading, tutoring, projects etc. Art and music are experienced 2-3x a week. The middle school is focused on keeping kids engaged using science, technology and mathematics. They also emphasize positive self-image. The 2019 class graduated with 1,393 college credits which was an estimated savings of $200k. The school has implemented a wall of honor for military service after graduating from Wausaukee. Conrad Larochelle asked about school safety and Deschane explained that visitors have to check in and receive a badge. One of the advantages of having a smaller school is staff is always visible. All outside entrances are locked from 8 AM-3:25 PM. Teachers are trained and the school has a safety plan. There are cameras around the building and they are always working to improve safety precautions. Renikow stated he is glad to see they are preparing kids for the workforce.

Town Advocacy Council membership was approved and Clerk Brown is working to get W-2's and 1099's out in the next week, but will definitely have them completed by the deadline of Jan. 31.

Upcoming meetings are monthly Town Board meeting Wednesday, Feb. 12th at 6:30 PM.


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