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The

Tower Times

City of Stoughton

Issue 3, Fall 2011

ATTENTION VOTERS!

Several laws have changed that voters must be aware of when preparing to vote at elections starting in 2012. Following are the important highlights of the recently adopted laws:

1. In order to vote at an election, the voter must reside at his/her current address for a minimum of 28 consecutive days. 2. Every voter must show a current ID before being allowed to vote, as described below: ONLY THE FOLLOWING FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION WILL BE ACCEPTED. NOTE: The ID does not need the voter’s current address a. Wisconsin DOT-issued driver License, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended. If the license is expired, the expiration date must be since the last November general election. b. Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card. If expired, the expiration date must be since the last November general election. Wisconsin identiďŹ cation cards may be obtained from the Department of Transportation (DOT) free of charge upon request. www.wisconsindmv.gov

c. Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service. If expired, the expiration date must be since the last November general election.

d. A U.S. passport. If expired, the expiration date must be since the last November general election. e. A certificate of naturalization that was issued not earlier than 2 years before the date of an election at which it is pr esented. f. A driving receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT. g. An identification card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT. h. An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin. 3. Every voter at the polls must sign the poll book before being allowed to vote. Voters who refuse to sign the poll list will not be allowed to vote. NOTE: Voters who have a disability that prevents them from signing the poll book will be exempt from this provision. 4. Voters who do not have identification may vote a provisional ballot. Proof of identification may be brought back to the polls on Election Day or presented to the City Clerk by 4:00 p.m. on the Friday immediately following the election in order for the vote to count. If a voter has recently had a name change and the name has not been changed on the ID, the voter should continue to register and/or vote using the previous name until the ID is changed. PLEASE HAVE YOUR IDENTIFICATION READY FOR THE ELECTION INSPECTORS TO LOOK AT - this will speed up the process. PLEASE BE EXTRA NICE TO THE ELECTION INSPECTORS - they have a hard job to do.

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VOTING ABSENTEE If you are planning to vote by absentee ballot, please review the following instructions: 1. If you request an absentee ballot by mail, you must provide a copy of your identification in order for the ballot to be sent. Once you have provided the identification, you do not have to provide it again unless you move or change your name. (If, however, you decide to vote in the City Clerk’s office for a particular election, you will be required to show your identification at that time). a. If you are an indefinitely confined voter (permanent absentee), you are exempt from providing your identification. The person that signs your absentee ballot certificate envelope is verifying your identification. b. If you are in a nursing home, you are exempt from providing your identification as long as the 2 Special Voting Deputies that come to assist with the voting process sign as witnesses. c. If you reside in an assisted living facility, you are exempt from providing your identification if you have one witness plus the signature of a representative of the facility. 2. If you vote in the City Clerk’s office, you must provide your identification every time you vote there by absentee ballot. ABSENTEE VOTING IN THE CITY CLERK’S OFFICE STARTS 3 MONDAYS (15 days) PRIOR TO AN ELECTION AND ENDS ON THE FRIDAY BEFORE THE ELECTION. NO VOTING IS ALLOWED AFTER THAT UNTIL THE OPENING OF THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY. 3. Military and permanent overseas electors are exempt from showing identification.

3. If you register in the City Clerk’s office between the 20th day before an election and the Friday before the election, proof of residence must be provide. The proof of residence must contain your name and current address. 4. Following is a list of acceptable proof of residence forms: a. Current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card.

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 2011 Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 24, 2011. The Monday through Wednesday collections will remain unchanged.

The regular Thursday collections will be on Friday, November 25th and Friday collections on Saturday, November b. Any other identification card or license issued by 26th. a Wisconsin governmental body or unit

Christmas Day c. Any identification card issued by an employer and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not a Sunday, December 25, 2011 business card. In observation of the Legal Holiday being recognized on Monday December 26th, 2011; All collections will be delayed d. A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current by one day. year or the year preceding the date of the election. e. A gas, electric, or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before Election Day. Electronic statements may be used only if printed. f. A bank statement. Electronic statements may be used only if printed. g. A paycheck. h. A check or other document issued by a unit of government i. An affidavit on public or private social service agency letterhead identifying a homeless voter and describing the individual’s residence for voting purposes. j. A residential lease (cannot be used if registering by mail).

New Year’s Day

Sunday, January 1st, 2012 In observation of the Legal Holiday being recognized on Monday January 2nd, 2012; All collections will be delayed by one day. The holiday collections may be at an earlier time of day than normal. Please be sure to put your refuse and recycling out the night before your scheduled collection day. Please contact Johns Disposal with any questions. Phone: (262) 473-4700 Toll Free: (888) 473-4701 Fax: (262) 473-6775 www.johnsdisposal.com office@johnsdisposal.com

For further information, you may contact the Government Accountability Board at http://gab.wi.gov or call 1-866-VOTE-WIS.

VOTER REGISTRATION If you need to register to vote, please review the following instructions: 1. You may register by mail up to 20 days before an election. If you are a first time voter in Wisconsin, and you register by mail, you must provide proof of residence. 2. You may register in the City Clerk’s office prior to 20 days before an election without providing proof of residence.

355 E. Main Street Stoughton, WI (608) 873-6717

Family-Friendly Environment Come Join Us for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hours: Monday-Saturday 5 am - 8 pm Sunday 5 am - 2 pm


The Tower Times

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SNOW ENFORCEMENT FOR PUBLIC SIDEWALKS

PUT YOUR SIDEWALK AND DRIVEWAY ON A LOW-SALT DIET*

Ordinance section 64-13 allows the City of Stoughton Department of Planning & Development staff to issue a citation to any property owner of a parcel where snow and/ or ice have not been removed from the public sidewalk. City staff will inspect properties 2 days after a snowfall has ended and send a notice to the property owner and tenant where a violation exists. One notice will be sent for a specific property per season. City staff will wait until 9:00 am 3 days after the letter has been sent to re-inspect the property and issue a citation where a violation still exists. After a citation is issued, City Staff will wait until 9:00 am 3 days after the citation has been mailed to re-inspect the property and if the property is still in violation and there has been no additional snowfalls, City Staff will either remove the snow or contract to remove the snow and report the expense to the city Finance Director, who shall bill the property owner.

For safety reasons, we need to keep driveways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow. However, choosing the right product and using it correctly is important to help protect our water resources.

The City of Stoughton will be actively enforcing this ordinance. The entire width of the public sidewalk is expected to be cleared of snow and ice including ramps. If you have any questions regarding snow enforcement of public sidewalks, please call the City Zoning Administrator at 608-646-0421

YOU CAN HELP LAKES AND STREAMS DURING WINTER It’s very important to continue to pick up after your pet all year long, especially during winter. If you don’t pick up pet waste right away, it can soon be encased in snow and ice, ready to be carried away with melt water when it warms up. Grassy areas that would normally allow water to soak in are frozen during winter, so they’re more like a parking lot greatly increasing the surface area from which runoff flows. So, the bacteria and nutrients found in pet waste are much more likely to make their way to the nearest storm drain. And contrary to common belief, rain and melting snow that goes into storm drains does not go to the sewage treatment plant. Rather, it goes to the nearest lake or stream. So, be sure to continue to scoop the poop this winter and do your part to help keep lakes and streams free of pet waste. For more ideas on how you can help lakes and streams near you, go to www.myfairlakes.com.

VETS HELPING VETS A new program has been created to assist veterans with transportation for medical appointments. There is no age limit, the goal is to match a veteran driver with the veteran for the appointments. We need more veteran drivers to accomplish this goal. Dave Tetzlaff at the Retired Senior Volunteer Program is coordinating this program and can be contacted at 238-7901 to sign up or to answer any questions.

BE AN ELDER FRIEND Looking for a volunteer opportunity that’ll warm your insides until winters’ long gone? Then the Elder Friend Peer Support Program is for you! Our Elder Friends are extra special people who make an extra special difference in the community and individual lives. One-on-one matches include anything from simply being a phone buddy, to providing in-home companionship, and/or help with minor household tasks; going out to lunch...putting together a puzzle...viewing a movie...The possibilities are endless, and the feel good factor, infinite. Elder Friends receive training in listening and communication skills, the aging process and resources for older adults. Elder Friends can help by reaching out to persons in need and enriching these persons’ lives with sensitivity and practical assistance. If you are interested in hearing more about becoming an Elder Friend, please contact one of the Case Managers at the Stoughton Area Senior Center, 873-8585.

1. Shovel early, shovel often. There’s no substitute for muscle and elbow grease for snow and ice removal. Remove as much snow as you can during the storm if possible. Use a hoe or other tools to chip or scrape ice off the surface before any deicers are applied. Deicers work best when there is only a thin layer of snow or ice that must be melted. Divert the melting snow away from your sidewalk and driveway to an area where ice won’t be a problem.

5. Avoid kitty litter and ashes. Although these products may seem environmentally friendlier, they don’t work to melt snow and ice-they merely provide some traction and make a mess on your floors. Stick with sand for traction, which is cheaper and easier to clean up.

2. Buy early. Make sure to buy your deicing product well before the big storm hits, otherwise you will be looking at empty shelves, and have few, if any, environmental choices to make at the store. 3. Check the label. The table below shows how the main ingredients of common de-icing products compare. Check the package closely to see what you’re buying-often a product may contain several of the ingredients listed below, but the first one listed is usually the main ingredient. On the Label Calcium Chloride

Works Down To -25° F

4. Apply salt early, but sparingly. No matter which chloride product you choose, a little goes a long way. Additional salt won’t speed up the melting process, so follow directions for application carefully and remember to first remove as much snow and ice as you can. The recommended application rate for sodium chloride is about a handful per square yard. Calcium chloride works at much colder temperatures and you need a lot less (about a handful per three square yards-about the area of a single bed). Choose calcium chloride over sodium chloride when you can.

6. Avoid Products that Contain Urea. Urea has been recommended as a safer alternative, reasoning that it does not contain chlorides and, as a form of nitrogen, will help fertilize your yard when it washes off. However, urea-based deicing products are a poor choice as it is fairly expensive and performs poorly when temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. The application rate for urea during a single deicing is ten times greater than that needed to fertilize the same area of your yard, and ultimately, very little of the urea will actually get onto your lawn, but will end up washing into the street and storm drain and eventually to the nearest lake or stream. Given that nitrogen is a problem for surface water resources, it doesn’t make sense to use nitrogen-based products for deicing. *Adapted from Snow, Road Salt and the Chesapeake Bay by Tom Schueler, Center for Watershed Protection

Cost

Environmental Concerns

Three times more than rock salt Use three times less than rock salt No Cyanide Chloride impact

Magnesium Chloride

5° F

n/a

Less toxic and safer for environment than calcium chloride

NaCl: Sodium Chloride or “rock salt”

15° F

About $5 for a 50 pound bag

Contains cyanide

Urea

20-25° F

Chloride impacts Five times more than rock salt

Needless nutrients Less Corrosion

Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)

22-25° F

20 times more than rock salt

Sand

No melting effect About $3 for a 50 lb bag

Less toxic Accumulates in streets and streams; needs to be swept up


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The Tower Times Movies in the Morning

Saturday, December 3 at 10 am Join Papa, Smurfette and the others on a trip to New York City. This film is rated PG and runs103 minutes. Popcorn and juice will be served during the film. This program is sponsored by the Stoughton Optimists Club. Explore classics of American literature at the Stoughton Public Library. Here’s a very brief look at just a few of the most popular. Most of you probably know the line, “call me Ishmael,” from Moby Dick. Herman Melville (1819-1891) wrote this complex and multi-level saga in 1851. Join the crew of the Pequod in company with Ishmael, Queequeg, Starbuck, Captain Ahab, and all the rest as they search for the White Whale. “Thar she blows!” Mark Twain (1835-1910) wrote, “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read!” The man who defined a classic ended up writing several of them. “When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a steamboatman.” This is Life on the Mississippi (1883). Part travelogue, part adventure story, mostly biographical, and completely fun, Life on the Mississippi takes us to the era when riverboats ruled the “Father of Waters.”

Crafty Teen Snow Globes

Monday, December 7 at 3:15 pm Make your own snow globe out of a baby food jar, foam and lots of glitter. Your creation can be a one of a kind gift or something to remind you of the upcoming snowy season. This program is for teens in grades 6-12.

Winter Crafts

Saturday December 10 at 3 pm Create beautiful winter crafts for yourself or to give as holiday gifts. Crafts are for children ages 4-9 (ages 4-6 require an adult helper). Registration is required and begins Saturday, November 26. Call the library at 873-6281 to register.

Teen Mondays

Mondays, January 9, February 6, March 5, April 2, May 7 at 3:15 pm Teens in grades 6-12 are invited to craft, game and food programs the first Monday of each month. Check the library’s website for more specific information.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1926- ) was published in 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize for its author. In this classic of American literature a young girl comes of age amid the racial conflicts of a small southern town in the mid-twentieth century, with arguably the best father in American literature. This is Harper Lee’s only book for which, in 2007, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Preschool Storytime

Finally, we’ll sneak in one of our favorite science fiction classics by one of the greatest writers in the genre. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (published in 1953) relates a tale that could have happened during the last 50 years. All information is controlled by the State and books are illegal. Fire departments no longer put out fires - instead they burn books. Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which book paper spontaneously catches fire and burns) tells the tale of one fireman who wonders what secret marvels could be in those books that he has spent his life burning.

Mondays, January 23 - April 9 at 9:30 am

Fahrenheit 451 is fiction. It never happened. But there are people living in America today who honestly and sincerely believe that certain books should be burned, or otherwise destroyed. It’s hard to believe, but there have been more attempts to ban books in the United States than in any other county in all of recorded history. The Stoughton Public Library will be starting a new discussion seminar group for people who love to read and learn about mysteries. This group will be different from any other book group you have attended or heard about. Seldom, if ever will all participants read the same book. Instead, the group will read and discuss by topic. For example, for one meeting the group may read and learn about locked room mysteries; another meeting may compare the Alaskan mysteries of Sue Henry with those of Dana Stabenow; or members might compare the two mystery series written by M. C. Beaton. Each participant will choose his or her specific reading, which will fall within the parameters set for the month. For each meeting Library Director and mystery aficionado Richard MacDonald will provide an introduction to the topic, a list of possible reading, and a list of questions for discussion. Contact the Stoughton Public Library for more information. If you don’t yet have a library card, there is no charge - just bring in a current picture ID with proof of your current address. If your ID does not show your current address, please bring some other proof of address such as a piece of mail, personal check, lease agreement, etc… Parents must sign the registration form for children under age 18. Visit the Stoughton Public Library, located at 304 S. Fourth St., at the corner of 4th Ave. & Main, just west of the city hall clock tower in downtown Stoughton. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 9-9, Friday & Saturday 9-5, and closed Sunday. Call us at 873-6281 or find us online at www. stoughtonpubliclibrary.org and on Facebook. It’s time to renew your Friends membership, or become one! There are several levels that you may choose to join; $10 per year to be a Friend, $15 per year for a Family membership, $20 per year makes you a Companion, $30 per year to be a Colleague and $8 per year for either Seniors or Students. You may choose to participate in the many activities and events that are held throughout the year or provide monetary support only - your choice. Pick up a form at the Library...please do consider joining...the Library could always use more Friends!

Wednesdays, January 28 - April 11 at 10 am Storytime for children ages 0-5 and their families, stories, songs, puppets, flannel boards, crafts and more! A great mixed age group for families with multiple children.

Totally Toddlers

Storytime for children ages 0-3 featuring shorter stories, lots of songs, puppets, fingerplays and a short craft.

Family Evening Storytime

Thursdays, January 26, February 23, March 29 and April 26 at 6:30 pm An evening storytime for ages 0-5 with an adult. Featuring stories, songs, puppets, crafts, movies and more! This is a great opportunity for working parents to enjoy storytime before bedtime. Feel free to come in your PJs.

American Girl Tea Party Saturday, January 28 at 11 am

Bring your American Girl doll to a tea party featuring light snacks, a craft and games from the American Girl book series. A raffle for American Girl books will conclude the party. Registration is required and begins Saturday, January 14. Call the library at 873-6281 to register.

Bad Kitty Party

Saturday, February 11 at 10 am Join Bad Kitty for some “bad” activities in the library. This program is for children ages 3-8 who are fans of Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty books.

Lego Party

Saturday, March 24 at 10 am Join other Lego fans at the library to create a masterpiece. Legos and Duplos (for younger kids) will be provided by the library. Adult helpers are welcome.

Rainbow Magic Fairies Party Saturday, April 21 at 10 am

Attend a magical fairy party featuring themes from Daisy Meadows Rainbow Magic Fairies series. Fairy fans ages 3-9 are welcome to attend, but need to register beginning Saturday, April 7. Call the library at 873-6281 to register. Check the library’s website www.stoughtonpubliclibrary.org for more information on upcoming programs.


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The Tower Times Utilities to require a mandatory security deposit to be posted on your account. The deposit required for customers who do not pay during the winter will be the total of the four highest consecutive month’s bills during the last 12 months of service.

Give the Gift of Light…

During the holidays, as well as throughout the remainder of the heating season, we know it can be very difficult for many families to meet their normal living expenses. Taking advantage of Stoughton Utilities Budget-Billing Option allows you to plan ahead for a utility bill that will be a fixed amount each month. The amount of your payment will be the average of your monthly charges. The amount will be reviewed and adjusted twice a year to be sure that the monthly payment stays similar to your monthly usage.

Celebrate the Holidays Safely…

Making an effort to keep your account balance under control during the winter months is very important. If you are finding it difficult to make the monthly payment, please keep in mind that even minimal amounts will help keep your balance from growing out of control by spring. If you have questions about your bill or signing up for the Budget-Billing option, please give us a call at (608) 873-3379.

This holiday season, you can give the gift of light to a neighbor or loved one. Stoughton Utilities is offering gift certificates which can be used towards any customer’s utility bill. Gift certificates may be purchased for any amount. Stop by the utility office at 600 South Fourth Street or call us at (608) 873-3379 for more information. Keep your family safe during the holidays by keeping electrical safety in mind and by following these simple safety tips...

Outdoor Lighting • Before you buy lights for use outside, read the packaging or the tag on the cord to make sure they’re approved for outdoor use. Never use indoor lighting outside. • If your outdoor decorating requires a ladder, always look up first before raising it. Don’t raise ladders or other extended objects into or near power lines. • Planning to string lights in outdoor trees? Make sure tree limbs haven’t grown into or near electric lines. Branches and even entire trees can become energized if they contact the line. • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them. • Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks. • Don’t overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground. • Don’t staple or nail through light strings or electrical/extension cords-you could damage the wire or insulation, which could lead to an electrical shock or fire.

Indoor Lighting • Check all tree lights-even if you’ve just purchased them-before hanging them on your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted. • Inside your home route cords so they won’t trip anyone. Additionally, don’t place them under rugs, appliances or other objects, as they may overheat if covered or become worn and cause a fire. • Pets and toddlers sometimes become attracted to electrical cords. It’s a good idea to secure cords so that they are not easily reached. • Don’t use electrical ornaments or light strings on artificial trees with metallic leaves or branch coverings. This could create an electrical shock.

Trimming the Tree • Whether artificial or freshly cut, a tree should be kept a safe distance away from all sources of heat, including fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” • Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly. • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use nonflammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down. • It is important to turn off all electrical light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed. • For both inside and outside lighting projects, follow the rule of using no more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord to prevent overheating and reduce the chance of fire. • Follow the use and care instructions that accompany your electrical decorations. Stoughton Utilities wishes you and your family a healthy, happy and safe holiday season!

Winter Stoughton Utility Bills

With autumn nearly complete, and winter rapidly approaching, Stoughton Utilities would like to remind our customers of the importance of paying their monthly utility bills during the winter months. Failing to keep up with your account during the winter months can have serious repercussions; you may find yourself with a very large balance due in the spring which can result in a disconnection of service. Also, failure to pay your winter bills will cause Stoughton

Customer Credit Program

As a customer of Stoughton Utilities, you may be eligible for our Customer Credit Program. This is a Commitment to Community program that was established to help members of our community with limited financial resources cover their energy costs. More households may qualify for heating assistance this winter thanks to changes in eligibility requirements for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). WHEAP is a federally funded heating assistance program that can ease the energy burden faced by customers with limited financial resources. Under the eligibility requirements, customers at or below 60 percent of the state’s median income may qualify for WHEAP assistance, including: • A single person earning up to $24,319 per year; • A family of four with an income of up to $46,768. Customers who did not qualify for assistance a few years ago may now be eligible. To determine eligibility, applicants must provide the following to their local social services or energy services office:

• • • •

Proof of income for the past three months for all household members 18 years or older; Social Security cards for everyone in the household; Utility bills (heating and electric) for the past 12 months; If applicable, a rent certificate or landlord’s statement verifying that heat is included in the rent.

To apply for energy assistance, please contact Energy Services Inc. at (608) 267-8601 to schedule an appointment. You may apply anytime from October 1, 2011 through May 15, 2012. Representatives from Energy Services Inc. will be taking applications at the Stoughton Senior Center, 248 West Main Street, on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the dates listed below. You must call (608) 267-8601 to make an appointment for these dates at the Senior Center location.

December 7, 2011 January 11, 2012 February 1, 2012

March 14, 2012 March 28, 2012 April 11, 2012

If you are approved for energy assistance through WHEAP, you will automatically be approved for Stoughton Utilities’ Customer Credit Program without having to complete any additional paperwork.

Go Ahead, Deck The Halls!

This holiday season Stoughton Utilities is reminding homeowners and businesses about the benefits and advantages of energy efficient lighting options to help customers stretch their holiday dollar and trim their holiday energy bill. To help you get started, we’ll even give you two strands of LED holiday lights for free! We recommend replacing traditional holiday lights with a more energy efficient lighting option to decorate the home or business, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or lightemitting diode (LED) lights. Compared to standard incandescent holiday lights, LED lights offer several advantages. LED holiday lights use up to 90 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, cost significantly less to operate, and last longer than standard lights. LEDs and CFLs also emit much less heat than traditional lights, greatly reducing the risk of fire hazards, and do not have the same components that cause traditional lights to burn out or combust. Stoughton Utilities also wants customers to be aware of safe operating practices for all types of holiday lighting. To start, home and business owners should always remember to turn off tree and decorative lights, both indoors and outdoors. Control devices like motion sensors, timers and power strips are a great way to ensure decorative lights are off. With numerous types and brands of holiday lights available, it is also important to read safety and use directions carefully to ensure lights and decorations are used appropriately and for the intended and approved purpose. For more holiday energy-saving ideas, contact us at 873-3379.


The Tower Times Working outdoors in Wisconsin’s winters is hard enough, but when utility crews have to deal with dangerous drivers in work zones, it only makes it that much more difficult. Whether it’s around electric linemen restoring a power outage or a water crew repairing a water main break, work zones are no place for impatience or aggressive driving. The added seconds you may save while speeding through a work zone are not worth placing your utility’s worker’s lives at risk. Tragically, over 1,000 people die across the nation every year in road work zones. Please follow these important tips for safely driving in road work zones. Your life - and ours - depend on it! • Always buckle up. • Pay attention. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed and people and vehicles may be working near the road. • Always slow to posted work zone speed limits. • Minimize distractions, such as cell phone use. • Keep a safe distance from traffic barriers, construction equipment, utility workers, and other traffic. • Watch for and follow all warning, lane closure, and construction detour signs. • Plan ahead and give yourself time to reach your destination.

Tree Branches vs. Electric Wires

Tree limbs that come in contact with power lines are a major cause of electrical outages, and limbs that touch electric power lines can become energized or even break and fall, bringing the lines down with them. To reduce outages caused by tree contact, Stoughton Utilities prunes trees away from its power lines on a planned five-year cycle. Our line clearance program is one of many efforts we employ to help ensure the reliability of your electrical service, and for many years, our program has been honored with the Tree Line USA award. Like the majority of utilities nationwide, Stoughton Utilities does not routinely trim around service drops. The service drop is the wire that runs from the pole to your home or business. This line serves only you, and each individual property owner is responsible for keeping it clear of trees and branches. These overhead service lines have insulation on them to protect the wires from incidental contact with energized lines so individuals who are comfortable and responsible around electric wires can easily and safely remove the branches with appropriate tools and equipment for the job. Individuals that don’t feel safe or comfortable around electric wires should always hire a professional tree trimming contractor. When lights flicker during storms and on windy days, it can typically be explained by trees making contacts with overhead power lines located throughout our service territory. This may be happening on the wires between poles located along streets, alleys, or back and side yards and may not necessarily be happening in front of your homes or on your service drop wire. Please alert us to any line issue that requires immediate attention, such as broken or dead limbs hanging on or over power lines. Also remember, before planting a tree on private property, take a look up. If you see power lines where the tree will eventually grow, please plant a type of tree that is appropriate for the location a has a limited maximum height that will not cause . For more information on our line clearance program or information on maintaining your service drop, please contact us.

Create A Better Future

As a customer of Stoughton Utilities, you can purchase renewable energy blocks to offset a part or all of your electrical usage through our Renewable Energy Program. Renewable energy is generated from clean, green energy sources such as wind, biogas, and the sun, and is purchased in 300 kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks; each block costs $3. Purchasing one block of renewable energy each month for one year has the equivalent impact on the environment as not driving a car for six months and avoids emitting over three tons of carbon dioxide. In Stoughton, 437 customers purchase 1,087 blocks of renewable energy each month. That’s the equivalent of 326,100 kWh, enough to power 544 average-sized homes.

Look For Air Leaks, and Stay Warm

have the power to cause severe damage. Once the lights go off it’s too late to prepare for a power outage, so don’t get caught searching in the dark for a flashlight or candles.

Medical Equipment If you or a family member relies on medical equipment powered by electricity, create an emergency plan and create a designated neighbor, friend, or family member that you can temporarily relocate to during prolonged outages. We cannot assure any customer that a storm or equipment problem will not interrupt power, so you should consider purchasing a battery backup system to keep your critical needs equipment running during brief outages. Remember: Keep emergency numbers near medical equipment and regularly test the equipment’s back-up power sources. If your condition warrants immediate attention, always contact 911 for assistance.

Sump Pumps and Cordless Phones Your sump pump runs on electricity, so consider a battery back-up. Choose one that will switch on automatically if an outage occurs. Your cordless phone will not work during a power outage; consider a spare plug-in telephone, or keep your cell phone handy for emergency situations.

Generators Test your generator every 30 days to make certain that it is in good operating condition. Always follow manufacturer’s directions for safe operation. If back-feeding your generator into your home’s electrical system, ALWAYS use a transfer switch or disconnect your main breaker switch. Failure to do so could injure or kill our lineman working to restore our system, or bystanders who come into contact with wires on the ground.

Assemble An Emergency Kit Prepare one today by gathering a few basic emergency supplies and placing them in an emergency kit that’s easy to locate in the dark. We suggest including these items:

• • • • •

Working Flashlights Battery-Operated Radio for news & weather reports Batteries for Flashlights & Radio Candles & Matches Blankets! This is extremely important during the winter since your furnace can not run without electricity. • Bottled Water (City customers will still have water to their faucets, rural customers may not) • Canned or Dried Food • A Corded Telephone (cordless phones don’t work when power is out.)

Other Things to Keep in Mind • Remember that electric garage door openers will not function during a power outage. Place your unit on “manual” if possible. • Electric sump pumps and pumps used for rural customer’s wells also will not work during a power outage. • Protect electrical equipment from possible surges when power is restored. Use surge suppression devices to protect sensitive equipment such as computers, fax machines, answering machines, televisions, stereos and major appliances - or simply unplug them. • A power outage may affect the operation of security and alarm systems. • Protect food from spoiling by keeping freezer and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible. Food will stay frozen up to 48 hours if the door is not opened frequently. • Blinds and curtains will help shield against the heat of the sun, so while the air-conditioning is off you should keep your windows covered. • If you leave your home or business, switch on a light that can be seen from the street. Our crews often “spot check” to ensure all customers have their electricity back on. Try to shut all other appliances and electrical equipment off. • For the safety of everyone, stay clear of crews, vehicles and equipment in the area. • After the power is restored, you can safely reconnect appliances and equipment, and reset devices that operate on timers. • Stoughton Utilities’ drinking water and wastewater treatment processes will be active during an outage.

Create a Family Plan Parents: make sure your children know what to do if an outage happens while they are home alone or with a caretaker. Make sure they know how to stay warm, and check in with them frequently.

Project RoundUP

Stoughton Utilities customers can opt to enroll in the voluntary roundUP program. In this program, your utility bill will “round up” to the next highest dollar amount. This small tax-deductible contribution may seem like only pennies a month, but the dollars add up quickly when many customers participate. A summary of the tax-deductible contribution for the past year will be mailed separate from your utility bill each January. The average contribution per program participant is just $6.00 per year, however an estimated $3,600 will be raised each year to be awarded by the Stoughton Utilities Committee twice annually to local community service organizations. If you choose to participate, Stoughton Utilities will round up your monthly utility bills to the next dollar. For example, if your bill is $41.70, it would be “rounded up” to $42.00. Your maximum contribution per year could be $11.88, but generally will be less than that, averaging $6 per year. Your contribution is tax deductible and the funds are administered by the Stoughton Utilities Committee, and overseen by the Stoughton City Council. By joining this program you are continuing the “neighbor helping neighbor” concept that founded Stoughton Utilities years ago. If you decide to participate in this program, thank you. To qualify for funding, projects must generally be related to community service, economic development, education and youth, environment, emergency energy assistance or disaster relief. Applicants for scholarship funding must be planning to attend an accredited post-secondary educational institution in pursuit of their initial post-secondary degree. These institutions could include technical colleges, universities or colleges. Although there are many worthy charitable and educational projects and community needs in our local area, the limited availability of funds requires us to establish funding priority categories as follows:

• • • • • •

Contributions will be geographically within the area served by Stoughton Utilities and will include the City of Stoughton and the Townships of Dunn, Dunkirk, Pleasant Springs, Porter, and Rutland. Organizations which provide programs and benefits to people who live in this geographic area are eligible for funding consideration, even though the organization is located elsewhere. If you are a customer and would like to sign up to participate in the program, or if you’re a non-profit organization that could benefit from a donation from Stoughton Utilities’ RoundUP program, please contact us at (608) 873-3379 or online at www.stoughtonutilities.com.

Save Time & Money With Automatic Payments

How would you like to never have to write another check to Stoughton Utilities? You can, by enrolling in one of our automatic payment programs. Each month, the billed amount due will be deducted from your checking or savings account, or charged to your credit card. All banking information is securely stored within our systems, and you’ll never have to transmit your sensitive account numbers through the mail again. You can add, cancel, or change your automatic payment program participation at any time. Simply give us a call at 873-3379 or send an email to CustomerService@StoughtonUtilities.com and one of our customer service representatives will get you started.

You tell your kids they’re heating the Great Outdoors when they don’t keep the windows shut or close the door behind them. You could be doing the same thing without even knowing it. Your heated indoor air could be leaking out of your house through the tiny cracks and holes around phone lines, electrical outlets and plumbing pipes, as well as around windows and doors. Take a walk around the outside of your house and you’ll see little gaps around window frames, wall-mounted air conditioners, exhaust vents and more. Those leaks can increase your heating bill 5 - 30 percent! Seal the leaks with caulk and keep your warm air indoors where it belongs.

Be Prepared For Power Outages

Wisconsin winters always seem to bring very unpredictable weather, and even a small snowstorm can result in a large power outage. Our overhead power lines and poles are directly exposed to the wind, snow, sleet, and ice, all of which

Community Service Economic Development Education and Youth Environment Emergency Energy Assistance Disaster Relief

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The Tower Times

Trash Carts

Johns Disposal requests that the carts not be placed IN THE STREET, but, instead follow these suggested guidelines - garbage cart be placed within 2 ft of the street on one side of the driveway and the recycle cart be placed within 2 ft of the street on the other side of the driveway. When it snows an area should be kept shoveled out for the carts. If they are left on the street it hampers the snow plow operators from doing their job and greatly increases the possibility of your cart being damaged.

Announcement of Snow Emergency Days

Announcements will be made on the same local radio and TV stations the schools use to announce and Cable 98 & 981. The announcement will also be available by calling the Street Department at 873-6303, checking the Street Department Web page or by signing up for an automatic email from the City. To sign up go to the main Web page for the City of Stoughton, select residents then select “snow emergency notification� and fill out and submit the information.

Parking - Snow Emergency - Sec. 70-14

(c) During a snow emergency declaration, vehicles shall park only on the even side of the street on even-numbered days and on the odd side of the street on odd-numbered days. Parking between 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m. shall be prohibited on the opposite (other) side. (d) The last digit of the house numbers for that street shall determine the even or odd side of a particular street.

Snow Removal - Sec. 64-13

(b) No snow or ice removed from private property shall be deposited in the public ways in areas expected to be cleared by the city. This would include, but would not be limited to, pushing snow or ice across a public roadway or sidewalk; pushing or carrying and depositing snow or ice on a public way expected to be maintained for pedestrian or vehicular traffic; and the blowing or throwing of snow or ice onto a pedestrian or vehicular area. Sand & Salt Mixture - By the end of November there will be a mixture of sand & salt available at the Street Department (515 S Fourth Street) if you need some. You will need to bring your own bucket and shovel. Sand Barrel Locations - (2) Lincoln & Roby intersection (on the south side of Lincoln between the corner and Hill Crest St) (3) Depot Hill, (4) Pedestrian Hill (off Forton St), (5) Ridge St / Lynn St and (6) Ridge St / Hillside St Remember to bring your own bucket and shovel. Downtown Parking Lots - There is no designated snow emergency parking areas in the North & South Lots. Residents will be able to park anywhere in the lots. However, it would be helpful for residents to try to park in one area to make snow removal quicker after a snow fall otherwise the lots will need to be blocked off when necessary to remove the snow. Christmas Tree Pick Up - Begins Tuesday January 3, 2012 through Friday January 27, 2012. The crews will be picking up trees that are at the curb. Please make sure that your tree, roping or wreath is not buried in snow and that stands, lights and wire are removed from the items. Park Row Tree Pruning - will be January thru March 2012, weather permitting. For more detailed information on any of these subjects, visit the Street Department Web Page at www.ci.stoughton.wi.us/streets/

F AMILY O WNED & O PERATED S INCE 1869 206 W Prospect Ave

873-9244


Tower Times Fall 2011  

Tower Times Fall 2011

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