PHILLIPS - We're keeping you updated on school district referendums around the Northwoods. Tonight we'll tell you why the School District of Phillips is asking for more money. They have a referendum on the ballot for April second.
The referendum will ask for not more than $650,000 for five years, for operations within the district.
The Phillips School District says its responded to declining enrollment and lessening state aid by making its own cuts. That includes eliminating staff, changing health and retirement benefits, and starting energy savings projects.
"We've cut everything that we possibly can. So it's really not a cliché when we say that reductions would be devastating. We have departments with only one individual in it. If we were to reduce staff it means we're reducing programming," says Superintendent Wally Leipart.
Without the extra money the district would have to eliminate $500,000 from the budget next year, and another $200,000 each of the next four years.
For taxpayers, approving the referendum means five dollars a month, for a property valued at $100,000.
"We look at the extracurricular activities as being cut. I think some of the core programs will be impacted as well. A lot of the core stuff that you need to get into college may not be available," says Phyllis Frase, from Parents Advocating 4 Successful Schools.
There will be one last informational meeting Tuesday, March 26th at 6 PM in the middle school library. For more information please see the link below.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
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