SEWER PROJECT Assessment sparks fight in Lannon Some property owners file appeals challenging village's special tax
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Thursday, May 30, 1996
BOB HELBIG, Journal Sentinel staff
Two separate assessment appeals were filed this week in Waukesha County Circuit Court. In both cases, the property owners ask a judge to stop the collection of the assessments and to void the village's action.
One of those property owners, businessman James Schaaf, said he supported the construction of the sewer system, but said his assessment as calculated was too high.
"I am not generating the amount of sewage the village feels I'm generating," Schaaf said. "We have an honest difference of opinion."
James and Diane Schaaf, of Brookfield, who own The Dug Out tavern at 7273 N. Lannon Road, own two properties in the village.
The property where their tavern is located was considered by the village to use the sewer capacity of 41/2 single-family homes. In all, assessments for the Schaaf's properties total $26,535.
Attorneys for David Dronen, of 20712 W. Main St., said he was assessed on the basis of having property large enough to handle the sewage of four homes, or requiring four "residential equivalent connections." At that rate, plus a charge for a service lateral, Dronen's assessment would be about $18,556.
Dronen disputed the method used by the village to establish the cost of the project, and said the village made the decision "without consideration of the benefits actually conferred on the property," court documents say.
In February, the Village Board approved special tax assessments for the sanitary sewer system. Officials approved the $10.2 million sewer system project last year because an increased number of septic systems were failing.
Owners of a single-family home will be assessed $5,863 based on service capacity and installation of a sewer lateral. Interest will be charged on assessments not paid by Nov. 1, after which they must be paid with interest through annual installments.
Lannon Village Attorney Mark Blum defended the decision to impose the assessments, saying officials made the decision believing the properties would benefit from the project.
"We stand by that," Blum said.
Lannon withdraws water utility suit - Board's request for ruling was made moot by Feb. 18 referendum
Journal Sentinel -
Friday, February 28, 1997
Author: LISA SINK ; Journal Sentinel staff
The board filed the court action last September in response to a legal claim brought by a group of residents who demanded a referendum.
A referendum was later scheduled by a revamped Village Board, after five of seven trustees either resigned or were recalled.
Voters rejected the proposed $5.7 million water system in the Feb. 18 binding referendum.
Village Attorney Mark Blum said the referendum had made the lawsuit moot.
In other action Thursday, the board approved:
A settlement with local property owner James Schaaf in a dispute over his sewer assessment.
Schaaf, who owns The Dug Out tavern at 7273 N. Lannon Road, sued the village last year, saying his $26,535 assessment was too high.
He disputed the village's claim that his property had a sewer use equivalent to 5 single-family homes.
A compromise was reached in which part of Schaaf's property, which is vacant, will receive a deferred assessment.
The exact amount of Schaaf's new total bill was not immediately available.
The purchase of new village computer equipment. The system is need in part to process bills for the new village sanitary sewer system, Village President Shirley Ravnik said
Drifter accused of stealing cars, breaking into apartments, trailers - Man, 19, says he's been walking around looking for place to keep warm
Author: Journal Sentinel staff
"He apparently told officers when he was questioned that he has no place to stay and that he's been walking around looking for shelter," Assistant District Attorney Pablo Galaviz said Tuesday.
The Waukesha County Jail has now become Michael D. Spielvogel's temporary home while he sits in a cell unable to post the $3,000 bail set in his newest court cases.
In the past three weeks, Spielvogel has been charged in four criminal complaints that accuse him of committing criminal damage to property, auto theft, breaking into locked buildings, absconding from payment and bail jumping.
Documents filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court gave the following account of Spielvogel's wanderings since Nov. 15:
Spielvogel rented an apartment in Lannon in August and quickly became delinquent on rent payments. On Nov. 15, he left the apartment owner a note with the apartment key taped to it. The note indicated that Spielvogel was going to commit himself to a mental institution.
Later that day, the owner, James Schaff, who does not live there, found Spielvogel's apartment door forced open. A sheriff's detective who checked the apartment three days later found Spielvogel hiding there.
A week later, Spielvogel stole a 1985 Ford Mustang he had offered to buy for $2,500. The car's seller told authorities that he agreed to allow Spielvogel to drive the Mustang to the bank to get the $2,500.
He said he followed Spielvogel in another vehicle but lost him in traffic. Spielvogel never returned with the Mustang or the money, he said.
Spielvogel was driving the Mustang when police stopped him in Germantown on Nov. 27. The arresting officer discovered that the car was listed as stolen.
On Jan. 6, Spielvogel appeared in court on the apartment door damage case and the Mustang theft charges. He was released on a signature bond.
On Jan. 14, he was arrested and jailed after he stole a friend's car, drove it until it stalled and then called a taxi.
He fled the taxi without paying the $50 he tallied from a drive to Menomonee Falls from a Milwaukee tavern . He then broke into a locked apartment complex in Menomonee Falls that night and was found hiding in the storage area the next morning.
Spielvogel also told authorities that on Dec. 9 he was cold and broke into a construction trailer and turned on a space heater. Hearing trucks, he fled but said he turned off the heater. The trailer and two junk vehicles nearby were burned in a fire the same day
William J. Weissman, Jr. of Willie’s Dugout, 7273 N. Lannon Road