News & Notes: Nov. 26

Nov. 26, 2013

Brine solution might

reduce salt use on streets

West Allis — On a pilot basis, West Allis will try pretreating streets with a water-and-salt solution so that less salt is needed to make streets safe during snowstorms.

At first, the brine solution will be used on only a couple of streets, said Michael Lewis, public works director. Workers have to be sure they are able to mix the solution exactly, he said, otherwise they could just end up laying down a sheet of ice.

Milwaukee County and Franklin have been experimenting with brine, and Wauwatosa may start this winter.

$50 a year could buy

assurance, compliance

West Allis — West Allis is considering a plan that would result in the city being better able to fulfill its obligation to get more rainwater out of storm sewers while cushioning homeowners from bills running into the thousands of dollars for collapsed sewer laterals.

The proposed plan would call for homeowners to chip in $50 a year. If they need emergency sewer lateral work, they would pay $1,000 instead of the $12,000 or $15,000 laterals often cost. Sewer laterals carry waste water from homes to the sewer in the street.

The city would have enough left over from the annual payments to be able to rehabilitate sewer laterals in four basins that let in too much rainwater because the laterals are so old.

After the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District dumped a massive amount of diluted sewage into Lake Michigan and rivers, it was sued by the state of Wisconsin. To settle that lawsuit, the MMSD agreed to get a certain amount of rainwater out of the sewage system. Huge amounts of rainwater got into the system during a storm and caused it to overflow into the water bodies. West Allis and the other communities the MMSD serves agreed to the settlement terms, also.

Working on private laterals all the way up to homes would be new. Cities that offer such programs stop at private property lines, that officials know of.

City attorney Scott Post will provide a legal opinion on the proposal.

Academy for prospective

school board candidates

West Allis — West Milwaukee School District residents who are interested in learning more about being a School Board member may attend a Board Academy at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in room 609 at the 1205 S. 70th St., School Administration, Recreation & Community Services Building.

Coffeeworks café

opens in Paradise

West Allis — Coffeeworks, a locally owned café, celebrated its grand opening this week inside the former Paradise Theatre.

Coffeeworks, 6217 W. Greenfield Ave., offers Stone Creek Coffee, as well as a variety of breakfast and lunch selections plus bakery from Grebe's bakery. In addition to sandwiches, soups and salads, the café offers some non-traditional café foods such as pretzel bites, nachos, and artisanal pizzas.

The rustic décor features up-cycled wooden barn board for walls and tables, galvanized metal wall accents, and other details constructed with inspiration from the industrial history of West Allis.

Guests can reserve a private meeting room free of charge for lunch and business meetings.

Coffeeworks is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Healthy cupcake

challenge raises $450

West Allis — Cupcakes for a Cause raised $450 for Two Lives, One Heart with its Heart Healthy Challenge on Nov. 17 at the Landmark in West Allis.

Debbie, Connie and Millie Hoppe won the People's Choice Award for their gluten-free pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Also, Karen Stiles won the Cause's Choice Award for her Skinny Monkey Cupcakes.

The next Cupcakes for a Cause competition will be on Feb. 23 with the theme "Flash Back: Cupcakes inspired by past decades" and will benefit West Central Interfaith.

Citizens to be asked

to rate police encounters

West Allis — Those who have encounters with West Allis Police Department soon will be able to rate how they felt the interactions went as part of the National Police Research Platform's Police Community Interaction Survey, administered by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The goal is to collect data that will help establish new benchmarks for excellence in policing and thus help improve the quality of police services. The West Allis department is one of about 100 agencies to participate in the national program.

Participating police departments will be able to use the survey data to identify where encounters were effective and where procedures or training should be changed.

As police reports are filed, a letter will be sent to those involved asking them to take a survey. The survey will be available in Spanish and English and taken either online, or by telephone.

The results provided to the Police Department will not include any identifying information.

Police encounters that involve traffic accidents and stops, as well as most non-violent crimes, will be part of survey. Encounters that result from domestic violence, sexual assault or juveniles will not.

More information is available from the National Police Research Platform, by calling (312) 996-0764 or emailing; or the West Allis Police Department, Captain Steven Beyer, at (414) 302-8018.

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