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Library lot costs nearly double

Sept. 02, 2014 9:05 p.m. | The bill has come in a bit bigger than expected for the City of Brookfield for its renovations to parking areas adjacent to the Brookfield Public Library.

Having originally budgeted approximately half a million dollars to the project, Tuesday the city's Common Council approved nearly doubling the expense, with an increase of $485,000 to the project's expenditure account.

"The bids originally came in higher than expected and then we ran into a few things," City of Brookfield Director of Public Works Tom Grisa said.

Among the unanticipated expenditures was bid prices coming in well over the $500,000 budget. The contract was awarded to D.F. Tomasini Contractors, Inc. for $650,000.

Other additions to the project's cost have included the addition of an originally unplanned parking lot to the east of the library. After the city's initial plans, a small area adjacent to other parking lots remained unused. Poor soil conditions in the construction zone also contributed to the increases to the bottom line.

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Westbound I-94 reopens after car fire at Brookfield ramp

Jan. 27, 2015 2:05 p.m. | Crews have cleared the scene or a car fire that closed all lanes of westbound I-94 at Brookfield for about 45 minutes Tuesday. The incident occurred at the offramp to Highway 18 in Brookfield. The lanes reopened about 1:45 p.m.

Residents invited to explore Germany

Jan. 27, 2015 12:24 p.m. | Brookfield residents are invited to join their fellow residents and mayor in exploring the country of Germany this summer.

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The Brookfield Sister Cities Committee and the Brookfield International Friendship Association are organizing their bi-annual trek across the Atlantic to join with the people of Germany, and more specifically of Brookfield's sister city, Seligenstadt. The trip is planned for July 10 through 21.

Mayor Steve Ponto has been on two such trips to Germany already and encourages any interested parties to consider joining the convoy.

"It's a really great experience. We travel with a group of Germans who you get to know and you get insight into them and their country," Ponto said.

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City could spend over $12 million in providing aid for Irgens' The Corridor

Jan. 22, 2015 3:22 p.m. | The city of Brookfield's Community Development Authority will be the first of the municipality's voting bodies to take on the request of Irgens' request for financial aid for the proposed project of The Corridor next Tuesday.

The current proposal calls for the city to spend approximately $12.1 million in the form of a tax incremental financing district (TID) in order to assist Irgens in developing approximately 65 acres of lands commonly known as the Ruby Farm and former Journal Communications property located west of Calhoun Road between Interstate 94 and Bluemound Road.

The city would provide just over $7.5 million in grants for The Corridor with the total bill reaching a bottom line of $12.1 million after including capitalized interest, costs of borrowing, and debt issuance costs. The new TID would be the fifth in the city's history.

The tax value expected to be generated by the the first phase of the new development would be approximately $48 million and new tax dollar would reimburse the city for its $12.1 million investment over a 16-year term.

Brookfield council tables quarry project citing unanswered questions

Jan. 20, 2015 10:17 p.m. | After a few weeks of smooth sailing, the Regal family and the developer MRCR's proposal for an apartment complex south of Burleigh Road was met with rough going at Tuesday night's Brookfield Common Council meeting.

The proposal, to build 113 housing units on approximately 10 acres of land btween the quarry and Burleigh, was in the midst of a request for approval of a Planned Development District (PDD) that would have allowed greater unit density and floor-area ratios than are currently allowed on the property.

Last week, the city's Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of the process, albeit with a pair of aldermen noting that they would like to see more public access granted to the quarry as the project moves forward.

On Tuesday night, the project was met with stiffer resistance as its PDD request and the corresponding ordinance were tabled by the council.

Signs of discontent

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Brookfield officially changes water dept. schedules

Jan. 20, 2015 1:11 p.m. | The city of Brookfield's water department will be flowing at a different pace starting Feb. 2.

In recent weeks officials have been looking at ways to restructure the work schedules of water operators in order to streamline efficiency.

On Monday, the city formally notified the water department in writing that it will be changing to four 10-hour work days per week from five 8-hour days.

In addition to that change, second shift will be eliminated from the schedule.

City of Brookfield Director of Public Works Tom Grisa says that the change will allow residents to have water operator service up until 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. Half of the city's water operators will work a Monday - Thursday schedule, while the other half will be on duty Tuesday - Friday.

Suspected getaway driver in deadly robbery tells police being helpful 'in her nature'

Jan. 19, 2015 10:55 p.m. | A Milwaukee woman told police she agreed to be the getaway driver in a deadly Waukesha armed robbery because, "it was simply in her nature to help people," according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Jerica L. Cotton, 23, said she was being helpful to Kenneth Thomas, 19, and Darrin Malone, 28, when she drove them to the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave., where Thomas allegedly shot clerk Saeed Sharwani, 65, shortly before 11 p.m. Jan. 13, according to the complaint.

Thomas was charged Monday with first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery and other counts. Cotton was charged with felony murder and armed robbery.

Malone, 28, who is considered armed and dangerous, was still at large Monday.

The three are suspected of a half-dozen armed robberies in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, including those of a bank in Milwaukee and of a 7-Eleven store in the Town of Brookfield where multiple shots were fired.

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Registration for fee-based Elmbrook Preschool opens Feb. 5

Jan. 19, 2015 10:53 a.m. | The Elmbrook School District has recently launched a website for its new preschool option, which begins this September.

The Elmbrook School Board unanimously approved a fee-based preschool option Dec. 9, after years of discussion focused on early education.

Elmbrook Preschool will be held in Dixon Elementary School, 2400 Pilgrim Square Drive, for three-hour morning and afternoon sessions, five days a week, during the school year.

Preschool will be open to any child who is 4 years old on, or before, Sept. 1.

The Elmbrook Preschool will not be a 4K program, which provides universal access to early education for students within the district. Instead, the preschool will be funded through enrollment fees.

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2 arrested in fatal Waukesha Citgo robbery linked to violent spree

Jan. 16, 2015 5:35 p.m. | Waukesha police on Friday announced the arrests of two-thirds of a suspected violent trio believed responsible for the killing of a gas station clerk during a series of robberies in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Kenneth Thomas, 19, and Jerica L. Cotton, 23, were arrested in connection with the robbery and shooting death of Saeed A. Sharwani, 65, shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday at the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave., according to a news release from the Waukesha Police Department.

Thomas, who is suspected of having fired the shot that killed Sharwani, was arrested by West Allis police executing a search warrant for Milwaukee police.

Cotton is suspected of being the getaway driver in the robbery.

Authorities are still seeking Darrin Malone, 28, and believe the three are responsible for at least six robberies in West Allis, Milwaukee, the Town of Brookfield and Waukesha, including that of a bank in Milwaukee and a robbery in the Town of Brookfield Jan. 10 during which multiple shots were fired.

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Redevelopment plan proposed for Town of Brookfield Kmart site

Jan. 16, 2015 11:53 a.m. | The former Kmart discount store in the Town of Brookfield would be redeveloped into a retail center for five separate businesses under a proposal pending before town officials.

Continental Properties Co. would divide the 108,748-square-foot building, 18200 W. Blue Mound Road, into two spaces of around 54,000 square feet each, according to the plans.

Continental also would build a new facade for the portion of the building that faces the road.

The development would include a new 6,000-square-foot building, divided into spaces for three tenants, constructed on just under 1 acre in the southeast corner of the parking lot, near Blue Mound Road.

The plans don't disclose the names of any prospective tenants.

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Suburban Selfies contest extended through Jan. 25; two selfie solutions to get you started!

Jan. 15, 2015 9:30 a.m. | My Community Now and Lake Country Now are extending the second annual Suburban Selfies contest through Sunday, Jan. 25. Contest answers and winners will be announced Jan. 29.

Below, and in the above video, are two free riddle solutions to get you started!

Check out the contest at mycommunitynow.com/selfies.

Solution One:

Lake Country Now contest riddle: My body is silver but you can see through me. Waukesha's hometown boy was famous for playing me. (Location: Waukesha)

» Read Full Article

Brookfield East High School's Business Education Department recognized by council of Gov. Scott Walk

Jan. 14, 2015 11:40 a.m. | Brookfield East High School's Business Education Department, which offers a personal finance class — one of the school's most popular elective courses — was recognized by Gov. Scott Walker earlier this month.

The department was named a recipient of the 2014 Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award on Jan. 9.

The East Business Education Department was one of 17 individuals, businesses and organizations across the state to receive recognition by Governor Scott Walker's Council on Financial Literacy. Award recipients were selected from 38 nominations submitted.

Criteria for the Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award centered on four categories: innovative implementation, demonstrated measurable results, collaboration with partners, and focus on needs-based groups.

"These worthy individuals and organizations are making a difference by increasing the personal financial knowledge and skills of Wisconsinites of all ages," Walker said in a news release. "By improving their financial capabilities, our citizens can improve their quality of life and, in the process, help strengthen the Wisconsin economy."

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Construction planned for I-94, Brookfield bridges

Jan. 13, 2015 3:39 p.m. | The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is planning a project that will affect a large portion of I-94 in the city of Brookfield.

The project would include the demolition and subsequent rebuilding or two bridges that cross over I-94 at Elm Grove Road and Sunnyslope Road. In adddition, the department plans to add two auxiliary lanes to I-94, one heading each direction, in order to help alleviate traffic congestion between the Zoo Interchange and Moorland Road.

An informational meeting is being held at the city of Brookfield Public Safety Building, 2100 N. Calhoun Road, in the municipal court room at 5 p.m. on Jan. 15.

The project will be divided into two phases with the first seeing the demolition and rebuilding of the Elm Grove Road bridge and the second consisting of the demolition and rebuilding of the Sunnyslope Road bridge as well as the addition of the aforementioned auxiliary lanes. The first phase is set to begin in early-2016 and will take around six months and the second should begin in early-2017 and take most of the year.

Makeovers for pair of Brookfield shopping centers move on to Common Council

Jan. 13, 2015 11:32 a.m. | The city of Brookfield's Plan Commission was privy to plans to upgrade a pair of shopping centers at its Monday night meeting.

Two months after being sent back to the drawing board, HSA Commercial, Inc. returned to the panel with a revamped proposal for the planned makeover for Plaza 173, 17300 W. Bluemound Road.

Chicago-based HSA plans to attempt to rejuvenate the shopping center located on the northwest corner of Bluemound Road and Calhoun Road with a 16,000 square-foot addition and a major facelift.

The Plan Commission was also presented with plans for a makeover for Shoppers World of Brookfield, 12575 W. Capitol Drive.

DDR Corp. Development Manager Andrew Iarussi briefed officials on the company's plan to make the building more attractive to potential tenants. Much like HSA, Iarussi was told that commissioners would like to see more vertical articulation in the architecture.

» Read Full Article

Brookfield officials approve of apartment project, lament lack of lake access

Jan. 13, 2015 11:30 a.m. | A proposed 113-unit apartment project between Burleigh Road and the quarry received approval from the city of Brookfield's Plan Commission Monday night, but it was not without commissioners expressing some concerns.

Hidden Lake Preserve at 13275 W. Burleigh Road is the latest in a long line of projects proposed for the area pertaining to and surrounding the quarry. As recently as last year, the site was being considered for dumping, a plan that was vehemently opposed by a group of residents, including Mark Regal.

Regal obtained the property in December of 2013 and he and MRCR, LLC now plan to build their apartments on a parcel of approximately 10 acres located northwest of the quarry. The land is currently zoned for up allowance of up to 29 units and, as such, MRCR requires a Planned Development District (PDD) in order to proceed with the proposed number of 113. MRCR also requires the PDD in order to have floor-area ratios of 39 percent, which exceeds the city's regular limit.

The issue of the number of units planned for Hidden Lake Preserve was brought to the forefront by Alderman Rick Owen, who noted that the decision to grant the flexibility of a PDD by the city is weighed against the public benefits provided by the applicant.

MRCR is proposing to donate a parcel of land approximately 13.7 acres in size to the city to be used in the future as a city park. It also is donating a small strip of land along Burleigh Road to the city so as to provide better access for municipal workers to the water tower on Burleigh. MRCR has also agreed to grant an easement to the city in an area south of the quarry for exploration of a pedestrian path that would stretch from neighborhoods to the south and connect them to the future park.

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Brookfield printing company Wisconsin Web Offset to close

Jan. 09, 2015 9:43 a.m. | A Brookfield-based commercial printing company, Wisconsin Web Offset, will be closing its doors and ceasing all operations by May.

Wisconsin Web Offset, 21045 Enterprise Ave., will be consolidating its services into a pair of J.B. Kenehan facilities in Beaver Dam and Waukesha.

Wisconsin Web Offset and J.B. Kenehan are both owned by the Iowa-based Mittera Group.

Last week, it was reported that 56 workers at Wisconsin Web Offset would be laid off; however, Mittera spokeswoman Elyssa Shapiro said that all employees will be offered jobs at the Beaver Dam or Waukesha locations.

"We will be working with our leadership here and our HR to make sure that employees have the opportunity to get transitioned to another location," Shapiro said. "All employees will be offered a chance to transfer to another facility."

» Read Full Article

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