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9/12/13 Verona Press
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Thursday, September 12, 2013 Vol. 48, No. 16 Verona, WI Hometown USA ConnectVerona.com $1
 Verona Press
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Seth Jovaag
Unifed Newspaper Group 
Epic Systems Corp. will transforminto the final frontier next week whenroughly 8,500 health care profession-als come to Verona for the company’sannual Users’ Group Meetings.Combined with Epic’s workforceof 6,800, the company’s campus will
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Photo by
Jim Ferolie
Empathetic and emphatic
Laura Roberts and her three dogs cheer on Ironman Wisconsin triathlon competitors Sunday from the end ofher driveway on Cross Country Road. “I’m a huge fan,” said Roberts, a three-time Ironman Wisconsin competi-tor who has also volunteered at the race. Sunday brought excellent race weather and the traditional thousands ofvisitors at the Loop festival, as well as spectators all along the race route, which included Midtown Road, NineMound Road, County Highway PD, Main Street, East Verona Avenue, County Highway PB and Whalen Road.
Ironman Wisconsin 2013City of Verona
Council turns down hiring money
Bu cssn wcnnu cun
Jim Ferolie
Verona Press editor 
Some members of the VeronaFire Department might be feel-ing a bit more secure in their jobsafter the Common Council votedby the thinnest of margins Mon-day to deny funding of $4,000 forrecruiting and hiring new person-nel.Then again, how the counciland Police and Fire Commissionwill work out this recent and cru-cial issue of staffing the depart-ment as it becomes a city entityhas yet to be seen.On the face of it, the voteappeared to force the PFC andfire chief Joe Giver to bring overexisting members of the depart-ment Jan. 1. But the commission,which has statutory authority overhiring, had already decided lastmonth to conduct open hiring –essentially starting over fresh.And commission presidentDelora Newton said Tuesdaythe hiring process is continu-ing as planned and the chief hadreceived “many” applicationsalready by Monday’s deadline.“It’s my understanding they’vesquashed funding for recruitmentcosts, but it’s still our due dili-gence to move forward to screencandidates,Newton said.After the council emergedfrom a 40-minute closed ses-sion Monday prior to the vote,Mayor Jon Hochkammer wasuncharacteristically silent duringthe ensuing short discussion.“I think it was a huge mistake,”he told the
Verona Press
after themeeting.Hochkammer’s influence overthe council has waned consider-ably, however, since four incum-bent alders were defeated in Apriland a fifth resigned that samemonth.Monday he likely would havehad an opportunity to cast thedeciding vote on the issue hadone of the three continuing aldersnot been absent – council presi-dent Mac McGilvray (Dist. 1).McGilvray, who was counted as“excused” and said he had a priorfamily commitment, had scoldedthe newer alders last month foreven discussing withholding thefunding.But without his vote, the fund-ing went down 4-3 on a requestedroll call, with Alds. Scott Manley(D-2), Brad Stiner (D-3) and DaleYurs (D-2) dissenting.
More photos
See more photos
Page 7
City of Verona
Jim Ferolie
Verona Press editor 
The Common Council and PlanCommission approved several multi-million-dollar projects over the pastweek, including an expansion of achemical plant in an industrial park,a 64,000-square-foot food servicebuilding for Epic and a 91-room hotelon the west side of the city.In addition, the city approved a
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September 12, 2013
 The Verona PressConnectVerona.com
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smaller retail project on theeast side of the city that isdesigned to accommodatetwo or more restaurants anda warehouse addition in thecity's oldest industrial park.That project got the mostdiscussion, as it required anexemption to a city buildingorientation policy that appliesto all new buildings on Vero-na Avenue.At least two of the projectsare expected to begin con-struction within a few weeks.
Epic addition
The biggest of the proj-ects, Epic's yet-unnamed foodservice building, requiredlittle discussion for the samereason most of Epic's newbuildings do. Its architectural,structural and environmentalplanning far exceeded most of the city's standards.The architectural won-der from Minneapolis-basedCuningham Group resemblesKing's Cross Station in Eng-land and features an old din-ing car that employees andvisitors can take lunches in.Each of Epic’s buildings hassome sort of theme inside,and newer buildings have hadexterior themes, as well, suchas the Farm Campus’ eerilyrealistic coop, barn and stable.It has two 32,000-square-foot levels but still needed anexemption to the city’s heightlimits because of its 48-foot-tall clock tower.Situated just north of Kohoutek, the northernmostbuilding in Campus 2, it willshare an underground con-nection with that building, thenew Deep Space auditoriumand Campuses 4 and 5. It willhave about 300 seats inside,as well as outdoor seatingduring warmer months.It is expected to beginconstruction soon after thecompany’s annual Users’Group Meetings next week.
New hotel
Commissioners and aldershad some questions aboutparking and traffic around theFairfield Inn and Suites hotel,which will be located onHalf Mile Road, just a block from the Holiday Inn andSuites. Some of the concernsstemmed from questionsraised by Verona VeterinaryMedical Service, which sitsacross the road.Ultimately, though, noneled to any lasting objectionsother than a few contingen-cies and items that will becontained in agreements yetto be signed. It passed 7-0.One question, for example,was about whether the citywould want to, need to or beable to enforce alternate-sideparking like it does through-out the rest of the city. If thecity were to do so, it wouldsignificantly limit parkingat the hotel from Novem-ber through April, but in anycase, the parking would becity-owned and on city landand therefore the city wouldhave the option to do as itchooses in the future.The 16,000-square-foothotel will also be built andowned by Lee Fischl, whosecompany built the Holi-day Inn Express. It’s calleda “select service” hotel,described as catering to busi-ness travelers – and undoubt-edly it will be kept full duringthe week with some of theroughly 1,000 people whovisit Epic daily. The com-pany’s submittal to the cityalso mentions other nearbycompanies and weekend traf-fic for the various sportingevents held in the city.That letter to the city alsopredicts construction willbegin this fall, though thedeveloper still has to work outa deal with the state for thepurchase of right-of-way thatallows for a land-swap agree-ment with the city.Fischl has tried to developthe site for several years,but its difficult geography(including a sharp hill next toa low stormwater pond) andthat right-of-way issue havebeen difficulties.
Industrial growth
Two projects were fast-tracked by the Plan Commis-sion, skipping the commis-sion's optional initial review,with both tucked into indus-trial parks.One was a previouslyplanned addition to the Sig-ma Aldrich Fine Chemicals(SAFC-Pharma) pharma-ceutical plant in the Vero-na Technology Park. The16,000-square-foot expan-sion includes both warehouseand laboratory space and isexpected to bring 15-20 jobsafter it is commissioned, anevent that is tentatively setfor next June. The companyhas plans and available spacefor even further expansion atsome future date.The other was a smallerwarehouse addition to GabbeiMeats. Neither of the projectsdrew much discussion.
Eastern retail
One of the smaller projectswas among the most con-tentious, at least at the PlanCommission.However, by the time theproposed retail center onHometown Circle reached thecouncil, alders had consideredand answered concerns abouthow the angle of the build-ing's face matches up withthe road in front of it, voting6-1 to approve. The commis-sion had been more skeptical,voting 4-3 to forward it to thecouncil.City planning directorAdam Sayre and the project’sarchitect went through anextensive explanation of theirreasoning for an exemptionfrom the city’s Verona Ave-nue Overlay District, whichstates that all buildings alongVerona Avenue must be ori-ented on a true east-west axisrather than angled with theroad, which curves in variousplaces. Prime examples of this are the Klinke Cleanersbuilding, Capitol Bank andthe Eagles Nest Ice Arena.Not subject to this code were,for example, the McDonald’s,Park Printing and Culver’sbuildings.Far more buildings betweenLegion Street and LincolnStreet are set to an east-westaxis than outside of thoseboundaries. Sayre researchedthe origin of the code anddetermined that one possiblereason the city adopted it wasbecause most rear lot linesdowntown are set to true east-west, as are most streets northand south of Verona Avenue.Combined with formerplanning director Bruce Syl-vester’s urban design stan-dards, which mandate thatparking be located behindunits, this rule has made forsome difficult planning attimes. With this project, May-or Jon Hochkammer noted,Hometown Circle runs paral-lel to Verona Avenue makingthe east-west orientation extradifficult.Sayre told the commissionthis wasn’t so much of a prob-lem for small buildings suchas the Dairy Queen two lotsover but would have forceda project like this to have amuch smaller footprint and inthis case clearly would havekilled it, as there wouldn’t beenough time for a fix beforeconstruction season ends.On Thursday, commis-sioner Patrick Lytle expressedsome irritation at being“backed into a corner” in theapprovals process but votedfor it anyway, ultimatelyagreeing that the orientationwasn’t necessary here.“I find myself not want-ing to vote in favor,” he said.“Going forward, I would rath-er see us review the guide-lines, revise them and thenaccept an approved orienta-tion.”Comimssioner SteveHeinzen agreed with thatsentiment, saying the com-mission didn’t have enoughinformation to be sure it wasacting consistently and nottreating one developer morefavorably than others. He,Janie Ritter and Jack Lindervoted to oppose the project.On Monday, the CommonCouncil did not vote on thesite plan but rather a condi-tional use permit allowinga drive-up window and twopatios. Ald. Brad Stiner (Dist.3) voiced the only objectionand did not explain his vote.The 8,620-square-footbuilding will house up to fourtenants, including two poten-tial restaurants. The restau-rants themselves would needseparate conditional use per-mits.
 Ridge SkylightClock  Aluminum Curtain Wallwith Insulated Glazing 
Orient ExpressTrain Car
Left, the new Epicfood service buildingwill resemble theKing’s Cross railwaystation in London.Below, the FairfieldInn and Suites willsit atop a hill andhave undergroundparking.Both projects areexpected to getunderway this fall.
Commission, council OK waiver of Verona Avenue building orientation rules
Continued from page 1
September 12, 2013
 The Verona PressConnectVerona.com
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Girard joins UNG staff 
Scott Girard has joinedthe staff of Unified News-paper Group.Graduating in May2013, the Madison nativerecently served as editor-in-chief of the Universityof Wisconsin-Madison’sDaily Cardinal. He alsointerned for the Isthmus, aMadison weekly publica-tion, in summer of 2012.At UNG, he will fill avariety of roles, most nota-bly covering education inVerona and business inall four of UNG’s com-munities– Verona,Oregon,Stoughtonand Fitch-burg.GirardsucceedsSethJovaag,who is leav-ing the company this week after more than seven yearscovering education to pur-sue freelance opportunities.
City of Verona
Council beginsbudget talks
Jim Ferolie
Verona Press editor 
Verona has a mostly newCommon Council this yearand an emerging economyoffering all sorts of newrevenue and spendingpotential.That leaves alders with alot to consider as they work out the city’s budget overthe next two months. Andthe process begins in ear-nest Monday, with a budgetkickoff meeting at VeronaCity Center.Much of the work on thebudget is done behind thescenes by finance directorCindy Engelke, city admin-istrator Bill Burns and otherstaff, and then the three-alder Finance committeetakes charge once the num-bers get more concrete.But all of the above willbe attempting to follow thepriorities and directives of the council majority start-ing next week.The first step in the pro-cess is a general overviewof the city’s challengesand opportunities – such asincreasing costs, staffingrequests from needy depart-ments and revenue fromthe state and other sources,such as building permits.Alders must also considerthe priorities and intereststhey have gleaned from dis-cussions with constituents,long-term debt implicationsand looming changes in thecity’s resources, such asthe closure of the Epic tax-increment financing districtin two years and the cost of making the fire departmentinto a city entity next year.After Burns and Engelkeoutline the existing issuesfor the council, they will beseeking direction on howmuch alders might be will-ing to spend, what sort of priorities they’ll have andeven the process itself.For example, while levylimits are typically a veryreal limitation problem formost municipalities, theyhave been more perceivedthan tangible for Veronain recent years, as the cityhas carryover capacity fromprior years’ debt spending.Instead, the real issue issimply how much they feelcitizens are willing to havetaxes increase – a numberthat has ranged from zeroto roughly 5 percent for thepast several years.And while city taxes areonly part of the budget, theyhave to consider the largerpicture and how much tax-payers will feel the cumula-tive effect of increases fromall taxing jurisdictions.Given the large numberof new alders, it also wouldnot be surprising if theyhave priorities that have nottypically been addressed oremphasized in prior years.Or if they wanto to adjustthe finance committee-heavy process – whichdoesn’t return discussionsto the larger body until theweek before budget pas-sage.As Burns put it Mon-day night, it’s about“big-picture policy issues.”The smaller picture hasplenty of important details,too, however.For one thing, the city’slevy limit will reflectVerona’s enviable growth– a significant increasein total property values –but because much of thatincrease will come fromconstruction that is in a tax-increment financing district(at Epic) it will thereforebe inaccessible to the city’sgeneral funds. That meanseven if it limits tax increas-es to “net new construc-tion,” the city can spend farmore than the city’s growthwill pay for.Another issue alders willdiscuss is compensationand benefits, something thatpreviously was determinedby collective bargainingagreements. Burns saidMonday that health costsare expected to rise around10 percent this year. Andthe city will look at wagesfor positions in comparablecommunities this year.As always, there arepotential increases in staff-ing. Among the expectedrequests are one or morelibrary positions – some-thing library director BrianSimons’ hinted at stronglyMonday as he discussedVerona’s “Library of theYear” award – as well asfor police (based on thedepartment’s strategic plan)and public works/utilities.If there are no changes tothe budget process, depart-ment heads will likely pres-ent their budget proposalsin early October, then theFinance committee will sortout priorities later in themonth and decide on a finalproposal that will be pub-lished in the
Verona Press
 in November. Historically,the council has discussedthe proposal in a non-tele-vised Committee of theWhole meeting the Mondaybefore Thanksgiving andthen repeated the presenta-tion the following week,passing the budget with fewor no changes.That process varies fromcity to city, with somemunicipalities involvingtheir own council (or vil-lage board) further into theprocess either formally orinformally and some evencutting out the Financecommittee altogether andentertaining a seeminglyendless series of amend-ments at the council level.Monday’s meeting isheld in a Committee of theWhole format, so it willnot be televised or postedonline.
If you go
City budget kick-off discussion
6 p.m. Monday
Verona CityCenter, 111 Lincoln St.
Deputies seek hit-and-run driver
Dane County Sheriff’sdeputies are looking fora driver that struck andinjured a bicyclist Tuesdaymorning in the Town of Verona.According to a newsrelease from the sheriff’soffice, the bicyclist was trav-eling eastbound on Hwy. PDnear Country View Road atapproximately 7:20 a.m.,when a blue sedan, pos-sibly a Nissan, clipped theman with the passengerside mirror of the vehicle.The vehicle will have vis-ible damage to the passengerside.The impact threw the58-year-old man from hisbike. Witnesses stopped tohelp him, and he was latertransported by EMS to alocal hospital with non-life threatening injuries.Anyone with informa-tion on the driver or theblue sedan is asked to callthe Dane County tip line at284-6900 or leave a tip atdanesheriff.com.
VASB approves teacher deal
The Verona Areaschool board unanimouslyapproved a new contractwith the Verona Area Edu-cation Association, as wellas wage proposals withnon-union support person-nel and administrators atits meeting Monday.The biggest change in thenew contract will increasea starting teacher’s sal-ary, one with no experienceand a bachelor’s degree,from $36,040 to $40,615.That will be the higheststarting teacher salary inDane County, according toVerona Area School Dis-trict Director of HumanResources Jason Olson.Teachers currently mak-ing between those twonumbers will have theirsalary increased as well.Teachers with less than 10years experience receiveda 3 percent wage increase,those with between 10 and20 years received a 2 percentwage increase and those withmore than 20 years receiveda 1 percent increase.Board member KenBehnke, who sits on theboard’s personnel com-mittee, said the new salaryschedule will make the dis-trict competitive in attract-ing new teaching talent.“The goal is to put our-selves in a position to getthe best recruits,” he said.Overall, all three groupsreceived a 2.1 percentincrease in wages.The board also approvednew employment provi-sions for the non-unionsupport personnel.
Town of Verona
Assessments available online
The Town of Verona hasput its residential assess-ment information online.Like many municipali-ties, it had been using anincreasingly obsoleteprogram for many yearsbefore this year’s revalu-ation. During the revalua-tion process, it upgraded toa newer, Windows-basedprogram called MarketDrive, which has a fea-ture that can allow onlineaccess to parts of theassessment files.This year’s revaluationwas completed in April andthe town held state-mandat-ed Open Book sessions inMay. During Open Book,assessor information isavailable to anyone stoppingby Town Hall and wantingto either check to see theaccuracy of their property’sinformation or compare to asimilar property.With the switch to Mar-ket Drive, this informationis available year-round.Town clerk John Wrightexplained that rather thanhave individuals pay foraccess, the town choseto spend $237 per yearto make the informationavailable to everyone andsimplify administration of the site. It includes suchinformation as square foot-age, date built, neighbor-hood type and in somecases, a photo of the home.Market Drive is used bythe state Department of Revenue and Dane County,and the state has encour-aged municipalities to con-vert so they will be betterarmed to produce reportsand generate other infor-mation more quickly. TheCity of Verona also madethe switch this year.To access the informa-tion, visit assessordata.org.For help navigating thesite, visit the town’s web-site at town.verona.wi.usand click Assessmentsunder the Governmentdropdown menu.For information, callTown Hall at 845-7187 orassessor Paul Musser at712-0236.
 – Jim Ferolie
Police rePorts
Information from Veronapolice reports:
July 1
11:05 a.m.
A 50-year-oldman reported that a tenanthe was evicting on the 800block of Hemlock Drive wasnot cooperating with hisrequest to be gone by noon.The evicted left the propertyafter he and the landlordexchanged multiple shoves.
10:55 p.m.
A callerreported two vehicles being“Vaselined” on the 100 blockof Monte Cristo Circle. Nophysical damage was doneto either vehicle, but thevehicles were found coveredin Silly String and maxi pads.No suspects.
10:58 p.m.
A Super 8employee called police toreport an “extremely intoxi-cated” individual heading toMcDonald’s. The 49-year-old man explained to officersthat his affected speech andmobility was due to the braintumor surgery he’d recentlyundergone.
July 2
4:54 p.m.
Police respond-ed to a neighbor dispute onthe 100 block of Paoli Streetinvolving threats, vulgar lan-guage and slammed doors.Police told the two men, 43and 41, and a woman aboutwhat would happen if furtherproblems continued.
July 3
9:29 p.m.
Police checkedon a vehicle parked at thedead end of Northern LightsRoad. The 20-year-olddriver said he was waitingfor his mother to go to sleepand he did not want to talk toher because she wouldn’t lethim play video games.
July 4
2:02 a.m.
Police observedtwo men, 25 and 23, playingwith a fire hydrant markernear the intersection of Wil-liam St. and South JeffersonSt. The men were warnedand replaced the marker,then continued on their wayto their friend’s house.
– Kimberly Wethal 

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