Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Simple Steps for Safe Cyber-Shopping

From WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection:

MADISON – Shopping online for holiday gifts this year?  You are not alone.  The number of consumers using computers and mobile devices to compare items and prices, make purchases, and track shipments continues to increase each year.  While these e-commerce systems continue to evolve with a focus on security, the scammers are also evolving and honing their craft to find new potential scams and exploits. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection advises holiday shoppers to keep their devices and applications up to date and to watch out for too-good-to-be-true offers and fake shopping websites.

"Before consumers begin their online holiday shopping, we encourage you to take some basic measures in order to be better protected from scammers," said Michelle Reinen, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Check your devices for security updates before you start looking online for gifts, limit your transactions on public Wi-Fi networks, and be suspicious of questionable offers on unfamiliar websites and in social media posts."

Online holiday scams often feature in-demand products like electronics and fashion items to attract your attention. Scammers use fake websites, classified ads, social media messages, and text and email blasts to try to trick you into downloading malware or providing your personal or banking information. Beware of unrealistic offers, coupons, and other enticements – especially from websites with which you are not familiar.

Keep your online shopping experience safe by following these simple tips:

  • Update your device's operating system and antivirus software before you start shopping.
  • Make sure a website is legitimate before ordering. Check for the company's name, physical location, and contact information. Remember that identity thieves can create websites that mimic a legitimate business's site, so don't trust a site based solely on its appearance. Lastly, do some quick research to see if there are any warnings about the site online and contact Wisconsin's Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7182 or datcphotline@wi.gov) to see if complaints have been filed against the business.
  • Avoid social media posts or emails that appear to offer free vouchers or gift cards – they often lead to online surveys designed to steal personal information.
  • When purchasing gift cards online, be leery of auction sites selling discounted or bulk gift cards – you may end up with cards that have been tampered with, have been used or that are expired.
  • Make sure you are on a secure site before you enter your password or any personal or banking information. Secure sites start with "https" rather than "http" (the "s" stands for "secure").
  • Pay by credit card. If you use a credit card, federal law gives you the right to dispute charges if you report them to the credit card company within 60 days of receiving the statement.
  • Keep a paper trail. Print or save records of online transactions, item descriptions, and copies of emails sent between you and the seller. Carefully review credit card statements after the holidays to look for unauthorized charges.

For additional information or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wi.gov, or call the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.

Release Date: November 13, 2018

Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiconsumer or Twitter: @wiconsumer.


Village Offices Closed November 22 and 23

Village of Bellevue Offices will be closed on November 22 and 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Village of Bellevue Draft Budget

The Village of Bellevue 2019 budget hearing will be held Wednesday, November 14 at 6:30 pm at 3100 Eaton Road. You may view the full draft budget here: Village of Bellevue 2019 draft budget

Budget Highlights

The proposed 2019 budget sustains 2018 service levels for operations (annually recurring expenses).  The following increases to budget are required to maintain service levels
  • Increased budget for the Green Bay Metro Transit east side hub and route expansion that was implemented mid-2018.  2019 represents the first full year of implementation.
  • Vehicle operations and management fund:  used to replace, repair, and maintain village vehicles.  The proposed budget partially restores the fund to 2017 levels.
  • Invasive species (phragmites) control in the East River corridor to restore the view of the river and increase shoreline health (through plant diversity) and protect nearby property values.  This program was implemented mid-2018.
  • Increased snow removal budget to reflect increased cost of supplies (i.e. road salt).
  • Increased public works contracted services to accommodate increased concrete repair, roundabout maintenance, and right of way lawn care needs.

 2019 capital projects: Capital projects are those that purchase, plan, build, maintain, or restore village assets.  They are multi-year projects (i.e. are not annually recurring costs such as operations like snow plowing)
  • Asset management program to proactively manage village investments of equipment, buildings, and infrastructure.
  • Development of a village facilities master plan to identify needs and opportunities for village facilities including the community center/fire station 2/public works at 1811 Allouez Avenue, administration/public works at 2828 Allouez Avenue, fire station 1/municipal court at 1811 Eaton Road, and park buildings. 
  • Bedford Heights Park development
  • Josten Park lighting replacement
  • Road projects
o   Hazen Road reconstruction & sidewalk
o   CTH EA/Huron Rd (Willow-STH 29)
o   Manitowoc Road
o   Resurfacing
§  Jubille Dr
§  Casual Ct
§  Collier Ct
§  Leisure Ct
§  Marco Ct

  • Water utility projects
o   Water meter replacement program
o   Huron-Willow water main extension
o   Huron Road water main modifications
o   Verlin Road (Sterling-Bellevue) water main replacement
o   Eldorado/Seville – initial engineering for 2020 replacement
o   Manitowoc Road (Willow-Klondike) – initial engineering for 2020 replacement

  • Sanitary utility projects
o   Allouez Ave – replacement
o   Huron – Willow – relocation
o   Hazen Rd – sealing
o   Huron/STH 29 – reconstruction

  • Stormwater utility project
o   Bower Creek bank stabilization

  • Vehicle/equipment purchases
o   Ball field conditioner
o   Building inspection vehicle
o   Wood chipper truck & box
o   Brine truck
o   Fire command vehicle

2019 Winter/Spring LIFE Guide is Available Online

The Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department has released the 2019 Winter & Spring L.I.F.E. Guide online. Get your sneak peek of all the new programs and events before the guide hits residents' mailboxes this week. 
The guide features community recreation programs, special events and park facilities in Bellevue.  Check out some of the NEW Adult and Older Adult programs and clinics offered on pages 17 through 20!  All your favorite programs, events, and information are in this guide and many new ones too!

Copies of the guide have been directly mailed to Village residents this week.  Programs featured in the catalog run from December through May 2019. 
Registration will begin online for Village residents on December 1st. Non-residents will be able to register online for programs on December 15th.

For more information or to download a copy of the guide, visit the Village website here

Screening & Storage of Garbage & Recycling Carts

The Village of Bellevue would like to provide a friendly reminder about the storage of your garbage and recycling bins on non-collection days.

The Village Housing and Residential Property Maintenance Code requires that during the time period between collection days, the carts must be stored in an enclosed structure or building or must be screened from view of the public right-of-way (basically if you can see your bins from the adjacent streets, they are not being stored in compliance with the ordinance).  This also means not storing them in front of your garage.

The containers cannot be stored in the front or corner side yards along the street; on, under or along side of a front porch, stoop, steps, landing, accessible ramp, or deck fronting on a public way; or within 15 feet of a public right-of-way.

Except collection days, please ensure that your garbage and recycling containers are screened from view. If your carts cannot be stored in the garage, dense shrubs or fencing may be used to screen them on the side of the house. One section of fence or one shrub may not adequately screen the trash containers from view of the public right-of-way. Contact the Community Development Department at 468-5225 to discuss screening options.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Register for the 2018 Holiday Gala

Register now for the 2018 Holiday Gala

Join us as we kick off the holiday season with an evening of enjoyment! Bring your friends or meet some new ones at the event! Festivities include dancing to the live music of The Happy Days Trio, a tasty family style chicken dinner, a variety of raffles, door prizes, and even a 50/50 raffle! Register early to hold your space to this popular event!

Deadline to register is Monday, November 26 and pre-registration is required. 

Registration for the event is only $15.   Register online HERE

Date/Time: Friday, December 7th, 5:00-9:00pm

Location: Wally's Spot Supper Club, 1979 Main Street, Green Bay

Contact: Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department (920) 468-5225

Thank you to Bellevue Family Dentistry for sponsoring this annual event. 

Hunting in Bellevue

Please be reminded that the Village does permit hunting within the municipal limits of the community.  If you plan on hunting in the Village, please review our Approved Hunting Map and the regulations outlined in our Municipal Code in regard to discharging of weapons in the Village.

Residents and hunters should familiarize themselves with the various districts and what types of weapons can be utilized within Bellevue.  

The Hunting map can be found on our website here:  Hunting Map

The regulations regarding the discharge of weapons are found in the Village of Bellevue Municipal Code, Chapter 341 Peace and Good Order, Section 2 Weapons and Firearms Discharge, here:  Bellevue Municipal Code

As a reminder, rifles are not permitted to be used or discharged for hunting purposes anywhere within the Village nor is hunting on any Village-owned property permitted.

Stay Safe Everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hunters and Firewood: Buy it Where You Burn It, from WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection

Hunters and Firewood: Buy It Where You Burn It
Contact:  Donna Gilson, donna.gilson@wi.gov, 608-224-5130
                Bill Cosh, Communications Director, William2.Cosh@wi.gov, 608-224-5020

MADISON – If you’re heading north to a wood-heated cabin for deer hunting this year, do yourself and the North Woods a favor – leave your firewood at home. Instead, buy it near the cabin, or pick up some certified firewood along the way.

It’s sometimes illegal and always a bad idea to haul firewood around the state, unless it’s certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Firewood can carry pests and diseases that can destroy trees. That includes gypsy moth egg masses, emerald ash borer larvae, the fungus that causes oak wilt, and pests and diseases we’re not even aware of yet.

"Gypsy moth and emerald ash borer are two of the most destructive pests in North America," says Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. "Together or separately, they could destroy the forests that deer rely on. Gypsy moths attack a wide range of tree species, so they pose a broad threat. Emerald ash borers attack only ash in Wisconsin, but ash provides wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits and is one of our highest-value woods. Our ash resource accounts for many of our timber exports, employs many of our citizens, and is culturally important to Native American tribes."

Hardwood firewood cannot be carried legally from counties quarantined for gypsy moth to non-quarantined areas. Fifty counties in Wisconsin are quarantined for gypsy moth. A map showing the quarantined counties is available online at gypsymoth.wi.gov.

Even though all of Wisconsin is under quarantine for emerald ash borer, we have not detected the insect in the majority of the state’s forests. Moving firewood to these areas could accelerate the spread of emerald ash borer to uninfested areas.

The Department of Natural Resources prohibits bringing firewood onto state lands from more than 10 miles away, and the U.S. Forest Service prohibits bringing firewood into the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest from more than 25 miles away.

The only exception to these prohibitions is for firewood that has been certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as having been treated to destroy pests. Certified firewood is clearly labeled. A list of certified firewood dealers is available online at https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/CertifiedFirewoodDealers.pdf. Certified firewood is also often available at convenience stores and other places selling firewood.
Buy firewood with the DATCP-certified label, or
Gather or buy your firewood at your destination.
Use all the firewood you obtain and don’t take any home with you, unless it is certified.

Monday, November 5, 2018

October 2018 Building Permit Numbers

The Village issued 48 permits for the month of October for a total permitted value of $6,146,217.  This amount added to the yearly total brings the number of permits issued for 2018 to 454 for a total permitted value of $29,038,987.  That compares to 417 permits issued for a value of $30,042,370 for this same time period in 2017.

The largest permit issued was for an expansion to the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists (OSMS) facility on Lime Kiln Road (CTH V) valued at $4,784,000.

The Village issued 2 new single-family permits for the month bringing the number of single-family permits issued to 45 for the year so far.

Friday, November 2, 2018

NFPA: Get Ahead of the Winter Freeze

It's not too early to begin preparing for the heating season. Check these 10 tips off your list and get ahead of the winter freeze.

   o   Our furnace has been inspected and serviced by a qualified professional during the last 12 months. (A furnace should be serviced at least once a year.)

   o   Our chimneys and vents have been cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. I have checked for creosote build-up. (Not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires from built up creosote. This service needs to be done at least once a year.)

   o   Our wood for our fireplace or wood stove is dry, seasoned wood.

   o   We have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose of cooled ashes. (The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.)

   o   Our children know to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters.

   o   Our portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off.

   o   Our portable space heaters will be plugged directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and placed at least three feet from anything that can burn; like bedding, paper, walls, and even people. (Place notes throughout your home to remind you to turn off portable heaters when you leave a room or go to bed.)

   o   We have tested our smoke alarms and made sure they are working. (You need smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, the smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.)

   o   We have tested our carbon monoxide alarms and made sure they are working. (Carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Bellevue Park Facilities Closed for Winter

The Village of Bellevue began the process of winterizing all park facilities and restrooms beginning October 1st.  Restrooms are closed for the winter and will be open again beginning May 1, 2019.  Closed facilities include Josten Park North and South Shelters, Willow Creek Shelter, DeBroux Shelter and the portable restroom at Manderly Way. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cyber Security Awareness Month, Week 5: Lock Down Your Login

From Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection:

Cyber Security Awareness Month, Week 5: Lock Down Your Login

Monday, 10/29. Build better passwords, be better protected

Take steps to strengthen the security around your online accounts by creating longer, more complex passwords that are tougher to crack. Use a passphrase: a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters that spells out a phrase that you will remember.

For example, the phrase “I am happy to be here!” could be coded as “Iam:)2bH!”
Keep unique passwords for every online account and make sure to use an especially strong password for your email. Many websites send password update and account access emails to users, so getting a hold of these emails could potentially give a hacker access to all of your online accounts. Your email password should be the toughest to decode.

For more tips, check out DATCP’s “Creating Strong Passwords” fact sheet. #CyberAware

Tuesday, 10/30. Use two-factor authentication when available

Two-factor authentication is a security process in which you provide two means of identification in order to log into a system – something you have and something you know. Something you have is typically a physical token, such as a fob, fingerprint, or a code sent to your smartphone. Something you know is something memorized, such as a personal identification number (PIN) or a password.

If it sounds confusing, think about this: when you use your credit card at the gas pump, you already use two-factor authentication. You swipe your card (something you have) and enter your ZIP code (something you know). So if one of your favorite websites strengthens its security features and offers to send you an additional passcode for logging in, take them up on it. CyberAware#

Wednesday, 10/31. Your educational journey starts now

October may be coming to an end, but your cyber education is just beginning! There are a number of great resources available to help you strengthen the security around your web-enabled devices and online accounts.

Start with the DATCP website (datcp.wi.gov), particularly our consumer protection fact sheets, identity theft fact sheets, and Consumer Alerts. Remember to contact the Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7182; datcphotline@wi.gov) if you ever question a sales pitch or a threat you receive by email, text, or phone.

The National Cyber Security Alliance’s StaySafeOnline website (staysafeonline.org) offers a wealth of cyber tips for families and businesses alike.

The FTC’s Consumer Blog (consumer.ftc.gov) offers near-daily posts about scams that Americans are facing and actions the agency is taking against fraudsters. Keeping abreast of the latest scams will help you stay ahead of the con artists.

The FBI has developed a free computer literacy program called “Safe Online Surfing” or “SOS.” SOS is a series of online games for grades three through eight that help your child learn about important cyber security topics like passwords, downloading apps, screening friend requests and more. Check it out at sos.fbi.gov. #CyberAware

Dark Store Loophole

Image result for big box store and loophole

Tax attorneys for big box stores like Target, Walmart, Meijer, Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes, use what is dubbed the “dark store loophole” to argue that the value of a new store in a busy commercial district should be based on the value of former retail properties that are now closed and vacant. 

A real example (excerpted from fox6now): Over the past four years, stores like Target, Lowe's and Firestone have sued the City of Wauwatosa -- claiming their assessed values are too high -- using a tax strategy called "the dark store theory."  "It`s a store that`s dark. It`s a store that has no lights on," Rocca Vita, Pleasant Prairie assessor said.  Vita said stores want assessors, like himself, to value their businesses the same as a closed or dark store.  "Now all of a sudden, just for property tax purposes, we have to consider using sales of vacant or abandoned locations as evidence of value for good-thriving locations," Vita said.  A Target store in Pleasant Prairie was constructed in 2006 for $15 million. The Village of Pleasant Prairie assessed it at around $12 million, but Target officials claimed it's only worth $6.5 million.  "If municipalities begin lowering values because of this dark store strategy, there will be a shift in taxes," Vita said.  Pleasant Prairie officials estimate homeowners would see an increase of nearly $900 in annual property taxes.  In Wauwatosa, taxpayers would see a jump of nearly $400."People do need to be aware of this," Mayor Ehley said. Wauwatosa is currently facing 12 appeals from big box stores.  The fight has cost Wauwatosa $275,000 in legal fees each year for the past four years.(https://fox6now.com/2016/12/04/dark-store-theory-the-move-big-box-retailers-are-making-that-could-cost-you-big-bucks/)

In another example (excerpted from USA Today Network-Wisconsin):  Lowe's, Menards, Walgreens and Walmart have each filed lawsuits against local municipalities and the settlements have caused the city of Oshkosh to lose almost $306,000 in tax revenue. That loss reaches almost $491,000 when accounting for all local taxing entities, such as the school district and the county.  (https://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/news/local/oshkosh/2018/10/25/dark-stores-loophole-how-much-oshkosh-taxpayer-money-involved/1733316002/)

Police Calls to Big Box Stores: Big box retail stores demand more police service than any other commercial properties and much more than residential properties. Police are frequently called to respond to thefts and other issues at big box stores. As big box stores fight to reduce their property tax liability, they actually use more of the services property taxes pay for. 

The Village of Bellevue is currently in litigation related to the dark store tax theory.  

Vehicle registration - keep it local!

Many vehicles that are kept in the Village of Bellevue are registered in the City of Green Bay. This is because oftentimes vehicle registration automatically defaults by zipcode, and the Village shares zipcodes with Green Bay, DePere, Ledgeview, and other municipalities.
3 ways to update your vehicle registration to correctly reflect the municipality in which your vehicle is housed:
1. By phone: 608-264-7447
3. By mail: cross out incorrect information and replace with correct information.
Vehicle location information is used to:
*Collect county and/or municipal wheel taxes
*Collect local county sales and use tax
*Assist local, state and federal government agencies to study demographics and assess future public needs

Bellevue Trick or Treat Hours

Trick or Treating hours for the Village of Bellevue will be from  
4:00 - 7:00pm. on Wednesday, October 31.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Kayak Launch to Be Removed on November 1 For Winter Season

As the colder weather approaches, the Village has already begun the process of preparing our park facilities for winter.  The canoe/kayak launch at Manderly Way Trailhead will be removed for the winter on November 1st with the portable restroom closed as well.  Weather permitting, the launch and restroom will reopen on May 1, 2019.

2019 Community Center Rental Reservations Begin November 1

The Village of Bellevue will begin taking reservations for 2019 Community Center (1811 Allouez Avenue) season beginning on Thursday, November 1st.
The Community Center rates are as follows:
Reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis at the Village Offices, located at 2828 Allouez Avenue, Monday through Friday 7:30am –4:30pm.

Community Center (1811 Allouez Avenue)
    $125 deposit
    $125 R / $160 NR—Full Day
    $93 R / $150  NR—Tax Exempt Rates
    (Rental between 8:00am and 10:00pm only, Saturdays and Sundays)
    (1-75 people)

Important Rental Information:

Any private citizen (resident or non-resident), non-profit group, private business or corporation, or governmental organization may request a reservation for the use of the Community Center.
The Community Center is available Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Leaves and other yard waste in streams destroys fish habitat.

In the fall and winter season, fallen leaves and other yard waste get blown into the streets and eventually end up in the storm drain system at the first rain event.
This significantly impacts the quality of the water, because unlike sanitary sewers, anything dumped into the storm drain system flows directly into the nearest lake, stream, creek or river without any treatment to remove contaminants.  Yard waste decaying in creeks and rivers decomposes in a process that removes oxygen from the water.  Fish and other aquatic life cannot survive in water with low oxygen.        
What can you do to minimize fallen leaves and other yard waste from polluting our waterways?
  • Do not dump fallen leaves and other yard waste into the inlets, storm drains or on creek banks. 
  • Clean up fallen leaves and other yard waste that reach the street to keep it out of the storm drain system.
  • Use a mulching mower or a mulching blade and leave grass clippings on the lawn as fertilizer. 
  • Use fallen leaves as winter or summer mulch or shred them and leave them on the lawn.
  • Compost your leaves, brush, grass clippings and other yard waste.
  • Do not dump grass or yard waste onto a creek bank or area where it will be washed into creeks and rivers. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

October is Fire Prevention Month - 10 Home Safety Tips

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each year and approximately injure 20,000 more.  U.S. fire departments respond to nearly 2 million fires each year, with three-quarters of them occurring in residences.

A home is often referred to as a safe haven.  This month, make sure your home is protected from (and your family is prepared for) a fire.  Here are 10 simple tips to help you avoid fires and reduce the risk of injury should one occur:

1)      Smoke Alarms – These are still a very important addition to your home.  Smoke alarms are widely available and inexpensive.  Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.

2)      Prevent Electrical Fires – Don’t overload circuits or extension cords.  Cords and wires should never be placed  under rugs or in high traffic areas.  Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet.  If the plug loosely fits, inspect the outlet right away.  A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.

3)      Keep Plugs Safe – Unplug all appliances when not in use.  Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and use your senses to spot any potential disasters.  If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks – the appliance should be shut off immediately, then replaced or repaired.

4)      Alternate Heaters – Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit.  Anything that could catch fire should be at least three feet away.  Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.

5)      Fire Safety Sprinklers – When combined with working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers greatly increase your chance of surviving a fire.  Sprinklers are affordable and they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.

6)      Create An Escape Route – Create and practice your escape plan with your family from every room in the house.  Practice staying low to the floor and checking for hot doors using the back of your hand.  It’s just like a routine school fire drill – but in your home.

7)      Position Appliances Carefully – Try to keep TV sets, kitchen and other appliances away from windows with curtains.  If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire quickly.  Additionally, keeping your appliances away from water sources (like rain coming in from windows) can help prevent wiring damage which can lead to a fire.

8)      Clean Dryer Vents – Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas.  Clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete.  Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil.  Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage & check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.

9)      Be Careful Around the Holidays – If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire.  Check all of your lights prior to stringing them up and dispose of anything with frayed or exposed wires.

10)   Conduct Regular Inspections – Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month.  Taking a little time to do this each month can really pay off.
Following these simple tips could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one.  Pass this list on to your friends and family and make this fire prevention month count!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Ask your legislators to close the Dark Store Loophole!

Dark Store Loopholes allow big box retailers to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes. ACT NOW! Ask lawmakers to CLOSE the Dark Store Loopholes and STOP allowing the shift of the property tax burden to residential property owners.

There are currently 2 bills being introduced by the Legislative Council Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices.  One requires commercial property owners to provide information to assessors and if they do not, they give up their right to challenge the assessment.  The other requires other taxing bodies (county, school district, etc.) to share in the municipality's legal costs in defending these lawsuits.  

While it is a step in the right direction, neither bill closes the loophole, and the committee decided to not introduce legislation to close the loophole because the citizen members of the committee were equally representative of business groups opposing closing the loophole and municipal representatives who support closing the loophole.  

Fact:  Dark store loopholes allow big box retailers to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes.
Fact:  Wisconsin homeowers already pay 68% of property taxes and may pay even more soon!
Fact:  Big box retailers use more municipal services like police and fire.
Fact:  Closing dark store loopholes has broad bipartisan support, but bills need to be allowed a vote.
Fact:  There have been over 200 such lawsuits in Wisconsin.
Fact:  Nearly 60 towns, cities, and villages in Wisconsin have paid REFUNDS to big-box stores.
Fact:  The top 3 retailers with the most lawsuits filed are Menards, Walgreens, and  Walmart.  
Fact:  There are 67 open cases in Wisconsin with a potential lose of $773.7M in taxable property value.
Fact:  Walmart, Bank Mutual, Huntington Bank, Shopko, Menards, and Woodman's are suing to reduce their property taxes in Bellevue, Green Bay, Suamico, De Pere, and  Howard.

Contact your legislators. Ask them to support the bills that are proposed to be introduced and ask for a bill that CLOSES the loophole and STOP allowing the shift of the property tax burden to homeowners!

To send a quick and easy message: https://darkstoreloopholes.org/action/1
To learn more, visit https://darkstoreloopholes.org

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fall Brush Pickup

Fall brush pickup is Monday, October 15 for all areas west of Main Street.  Brush pickup for Main Street and east of Main was October 8.

 Please observe the following rules when placing materials out for collection:
  • Brush up to 3" in diameter is acceptable in lengths no greater than 12'.
  • Brush up to 6" in diameter is acceptable in lengths no greater than 8'.
  • Brush greater than 6" in diameter cannot be accepted at the curb. Larger brush including stumps up to 12" in diameter at ground level can be taken to the yard waste site.
  • Avoid cutting brush shorter than needed as fewer pieces is less handling for crews.
  • Lay brush in piles at the curb with the branches laying parallel to the street. All branches should be laying in the same direction.
  • Do Not place Leaves or Garden Waste in with the pile of branches
  • Please do not put brush at the curb any sooner than one week prior to the collection day.
  • Brush may not be picked up all in one day but it will be picked up the week of. Brush however must be at the curb prior to the Monday that brush is scheduled to be picked up. Brush not at the curb by the time crews come past will be left or will be billed for us to come back at a later date.
  • Lawn wastes (grass, leaves and garden materials) will not be taken. These materials need to be taken to the yard waste site by yourselves.
  • Clearing of brush on lots for the intent to build or sell the lot will not be picked up.The intent of the pickup is to provide for disposal of brush generated as a result of routine yard maintenance. If excessive amounts of brush are placed at the curb, the brush may be refused or a fee will be charged for the work. Entire trees cut down are the homeowners responsibility to remove and cleanup.
  • The Village currently has no Leaf pickup. Please do not rake your leaves into the curbs. This causes water backups at the storm catch basins, promotes algae growth and is a violation of municipal law.

Village of Bellevue: October 8 and 10 Village Board meeting recap

The board continued the review and modifications of the draft 2019 village budget.  The 1st
budget worksession was held on October 8, covered the general fund (standard village operations) and resulted in modifications to the draft budget including: the elimination of the following proposed new project/programs/purchases: community engagement platform, Microsoft Office 365, digital camera installation, one speed board (proposal was for 2), Josten Park lower bleachers replacement, and playground cable net replacement.  Proposed increases or maintained levels of existing projects and programs that were reduced include:  labor attorney fees (to more closely reflect expected costs), phragmites treatment (reduced to reflect actual program costs which were lower than initially  projected and does not reflect a reduction in the program), Rockin in Josten (reduced contracted fees for bands, not elimination of the program), vehicle operations and maintenance (based upon current available balance), breathalyzer (purchase will be made with 2018 funds instead), and wages (reduced from 2019 proposed increase, not a reduction in wages).  And lastly, the projected revenue from transit was increased to reflect closer to what is anticipated.  On October 10, the board  continued its budget work and reviewed the utilities budget (stormwater, sewer, water), sanitation, and capital projects.  These modifications to the budget will be incorporated into a revised draft budget, which will be available to the public and presented at the November 14 public hearing.   

At its October 10 board meeting, the Bellevue Village Board held 3 public hearings:

1.    Conditional use permit for Victory Tabernacle Church of God at 2088 Allouez Avenue.  The request was approved unanimously and allows for a church at the location.  This may seem  rather odd because the church has been at this location since 1994, however a permit was never granted.  This request brings the existing church into compliance with the Village’s zoning regulations and allows the church to construct a 3,000 square foot addition at the rear of the building. 

2.    The board unanimously approved a 32-unit multi-family development near Verlin Road and Bellevue Street.  At the hearing, neighboring property owners supported the development but requested that storm water issues be addressed in the design of the development.  The development is required to meet all state and village development standards that include lighting, landscaping, parking, stormwater management, etc.  The development will also be required to include a sidewalk connection to the public sidewalk.

3.    The board also unanimously approved the preliminary subdivision plat for Willow Glen, a mixed- use development consisting of 155 single-family residential lots and 6 commercial lots on 65+ acres at the northeast corner of Huron Road and Willow Road. The homes would range in size from 1,561-2,647 square feet and the average sale price of the homes is expected to be about $340K.  The planned community is comparable to The Preserve in Green Bay:  https://www.epconcommunities.com/wi/green-bay/the-preserve/

In-Person Absentee Voting Begins October 15, 2018

In-person absentee voting begins on Monday, October 15th, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  at the Village Office (2828 Allouez Avenue).  The deadline for voting an absentee ballot at the Village Office is 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election, November 2, 2018.  Please remember your Photo ID.

You may make application for an absentee ballot in person, by mail, by fax, by email or at MyVote.wi.gov.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New GIS Applications Available on the Village Website

The Village of Bellevue’s Community Development Department is pleased to offer a new interactive mapping application on its website for existing and potential residents, businesses, and customers.

This useful technology can help you access information about Public Works projects, Community Development/Economic Development questions, park amenities, voting information, addresses, tax parcels, business information, streets, and much more. The web mapping site provides geographic information from various sources including the Village of Bellevue, Brown County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The goal of Bellevue's public GIS is to provide our residents, developers, and public agencies with easy access to Bellevue specific geographic information via the Internet or mobile device.The following web links are Bellevue’s web browser, mobile, and interactive mapping systems.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Drug Take Back Day: Saturday, October 27

Winter Seasonal Trailer Parking

As of November 1st, winter seasonal uses/trailers may now be parked in the driveway or on an approved hard surface adjacent to the garage subject to the regulations of the Village of Bellevue Zoning Code.  Winter seasonal uses include snowmobile trailers, ATV trailers, or utility trailers.  These items may continued to be parked in these areas until May 1st of 2019.

Residents have until December 1st to park any summer seasonal use in the driveway or on an approved hard surface adjacent to the garage subject  to the regulations of the Village of Bellevue Zoning Code.  Summer seasonal uses include boats, campers, RV's, personal watercraft trailers, etc.  These items may be returned to the driveway on April 1st of 2018.

If you have any questions, please refer to Chapter 500-1920 of the Village Zoning Code or contact the Community Development department.

NFPA: Wood Pellet Stove Safety

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bellevue Park Shelter Rentals End September 30

Summer has unofficially come to an end, and with that comes the end of park shelter rentals in the Village of Bellevue.  Park shelters are available to rent from May 1 through September 30 each year.  Park restrooms also close for the winter on September 30. 

There are only a few more weekends and available shelters for your fall parties, reunions, and get-togethers.  To check on available dates and facilities, please call the Village Offices at 468-5225.

Reservations for the park shelters for the 2019 season will start on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Contacting the Village 24/7

We understand that there are often times when our residents and customers would like to contact us about an issue, concern or maybe even a compliment and the Village Office may be closed. In addition, often times our residents don’t know where to start or who to contact by phone or simply prefer to use e-mail only to provide us correspondence. If you have ever found yourself in this situation here are some options for you to consider for the future if you want to contact the Village or need to do so after hours.

CONTACT US Section of the Village Website
At the bottom of the Village website there is a section called “CONTACT US”.  Links are provided for the Village Board of Trustees as well as Village staff.  E-mails and phone numbers are also provided.  If you’re not sure who to contact you can start with the Receptionist or a Department Director and they will direct your e-mail to the appropriate staff.

Village Action Request System
Also available through the Village website is the CITIZEN REQUEST FORM.  On the top of the website, under "Residents" there is a link for the Citizen Request Form.  Messages and requests can be provided directly through the website and are automatically directed to the appropriate Village staff.  Again, if you’re not sure what department to select, Administrative Services can be selected and your message will be forwarded as necessary.  This 24/7 system currently receives limited use, but is a great way to provide any communication to the Village.

Village Social Networking
The Village uses a variety of social networking tools including Facebook, Twitter, Blog and E-News.  Village staff works to provide key updates, special notices, etc. using these tools to keep our residents informed.  Please consider signing up to use one of these tools, as they may help to answer your questions or concerns prior to even needing to contact the Village. Any direct requests or questions on Village services are best requested by phone or e-mail, not through Village social media tools.

Emergency Contacts
The Village does also have systems and staff in place to provide emergency or after hours services from our departments as necessary.  Any urgent issues are best communicated by phone by calling the Village Office at 468-5225; follow the prompts as necessary to leave a message if after hours.  For all emergencies dial 911.

Please note that references to the specific sections of the Village website may be different when viewing on a phone or mobile device.