Published by the Village of Union Grove - November 2019
Remember to turn your clocks back one hour this Sunday, November 3 for Daylight Savings. It is also a good time to change the batteries on your smoke alarms!
Village Board to Interview Trustee Candidates
A special Village Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 6, beginning at 5:45 p.m. to interview candidates for an open Village Trustee position. The position was recently held by Alan Jelinek who moved outside of Union Grove on October 5, causing an immediate vacancy on the Village Board. An announcement was subsequently published inviting members of the public to submit applications for the positions before the deadline of 12 p.m. on October 28.

Applications were submitted from the following six individuals: Patrick Brinkman, Jennifer Ditscheit, Adam Graf, Peter Hanson, Tony Hood and Anthony Uebersohn. The interviews will be held in open session at the Union Grove Municipal Center and members of the public are welcome to attend.
Leaf and Yard Waste Collections
Fall leaf collection service by Union Grove Public Works is underway. Rake leaves to the edge of the road for pick-up. Please set out leaves only, as branches and other matter can damage the leaf collection equipment. Never rake leaves or other yard debris into the storm sewer. Leaf collections are expected to conclude by Thanksgiving.

The last yard waste collection date of the year from Johns Disposal will take place on Saturday, November 30 (delayed one day due to Thanksgiving). Place clippings, leaves and garden debris in marked reusable containers or compostable bags (not plastic bags). Brush must be less than 6" in diameter and 4' in length, bundled together and weighing no more than 50 lbs. For more information on yard waste and other Johns Disposal collections, click here.
Community Survey Results
A total of 254 responses were submitted to the Community Survey in September, representing 13.5% of the Village's 1,881 households. The survey results provide feedback to the Village Board and the rest of the community about Village services and quality of life issues. Following are highlights from the survey results:

  • The three most important features for why people choose to live in Union Grove were "Crime/Safety," "Quality of Neighborhoods," and "Quality of Schools."
  • In terms of neighborhood conditions, respondents had the most positive perception of "Public Safety/Crime" and the least positive perception of "Drainage/Sewer Conditions."
  • Respondents were most positive toward initiatives relating to "Community Events" and "Improvements of Park and Public Spaces."
  • Regarding Village services, respondents were at least "Somewhat" satisfied with all services listed, and most satisfied with "Fire/EMS," "Library," "Elections and Voting" and "Village Hall Customer Service."
  • When asked to share comments or ideas for the community, the most common responses involved the topics of desiring more businesses, fixing infrastructure, maintaining small town feel, less new apartments and the need for bicycle/walking paths.

To view the full survey report, click here. Look for more discussion about the survey results and what the Village is doing to address some of the priorities raised in the survey in the December issue of the Village Voice newsletter!
Trustee Jan Winget (right) presented Katie Hanson (left) with a proclamation on behalf of the Village Board, recognizing Katie for 42 years of service with the Graham Public Library. An open house for Katie's retirement was held at the library on October 24. Congratulations, Katie!
Youth Basketball Registrations
Registration for Union Grove Winter Basketball Leagues is now underway at Village Hall. Register during normal business hours, by Village Hall drop-box or by mail to: Village of Union Grove, 925 15th Ave., Union Grove, WI 53182. Forms are available at Village Hall or online by  clicking here . For registrations submitted by November 15, the fee is $50 per Pre-K and Kindergarten child and $70 per 1st-8th grade child. Registration fees increase $10 per child after November 15. For questions, contact Ryan Thompson, at 262-902-7917.
Village Budget Public Hearing Set for Nov. 11
On November 11, a public hearing will be held at the Village Board meeting regarding the 2020 Village Budget. The budget was prepared over the course of the past three months with input from Village staff and Committees. Drafts were reviewed by the Finance Committee on September 26 and October 24, and a draft was reviewed by the full Board on October 28.

Following are highlights from the draft 2020 Budget:

  • Property tax rate (Village portion) remains at $5.92 per $1,000 of assessed value. Most homeowners will not see a change in the Village-portion of their property tax bill.
  • A 5-year road and infrastructure plan is established, with $1.8 million in projects planned for 2020, which includes:
  • Road improvements on Milldrum St. (17th Ave. to 16th Ave.), Ruth Ct. and Lark Ct.
  • Water main improvements within an easement near New St. and 16th Ave.
  • Rehabilitation work on Well #4.
  • Improvements to lift stations on 18th Ave. and 67th Dr.
  • Sanitary sewer work on State St. (14th Ave. to 13th Ave. and an easement south of 16th Ave. near Milldrum St.)
  • Phases II and III of 11th Ave. Storm Sewer Rehabilitation Project.
  • Extension of water and sewer main to 69th Dr. and repairs near Lincolnwood Rd. and Oakhurst Ave.
  • A 5-year equipment replacement plan is established, with $117,350 in expenditures identified for 2020.
  • Creation of a Park Upgrade Plan and creation of a dedicated Recreation and Parks Fund.
  • 2% cost-of-living wage increase budgeted for staff positions (actual wage rates to be set by resolution).
  • 1.4% increase ($6,219) for police protection services provided by Racine County Sheriff's Department.
  • 0.3% increase ($353) estimated for Village's portion of the fire department's 2020 operating budget.
  • 5.7% increase ($12,114) for garbage and recycling collection services from Johns Disposal.

To view the full draft of the 2020 Budget, click here. For any questions on the budget, please contact Village Administrator Michael Hawes at or 262-878-1818.
Assessments Update Planned for 2020
Based on a recommendation from the Village Assessor, the Village Board has approved an interim market assessment update in 2020. The purpose of the update is to ensure property assessments in Union Grove are keeping pace with market changes and to avoid having to make more drastic adjustments in a future year.

According to data released earlier this year by the State, Union Grove assessments are currently about 6% below fair market (equalized) value. If assessments fall more than 10% below fair market value, the State can eventually mandate a costly full revaluation of the Village (including interior property inspections).

A common misconception about re-assessments is that an increase in one's property assessment leads directly to an increase in property taxes. This is not necessarily true in a re-assessment year unless one's assessment has increased higher in relation to other properties in the taxing jurisdiction. For example, if the average assessment in the Village increases 10%, the owner of a home with an assessment increase of 10% would not see an increase in their share of Village taxes. A re-assessment does not change the total amount of taxes that the Village levies (which is capped by State levy limits).
Entertainment Stage Updates
The Village of Union Grove is now accepting bids for construction of the Entertainment Stage in School Yard Park. Contractors interested in bidding on the project may obtain a copy of bid documents at Village Hall or by submitting a request to The bid deadline is 9 a.m. on November 19, 2019. Construction is expected to take place in spring 2020. Thank you to the Design & Bidding Subcommittee for their work on finalizing the stage design, and to the other subcommittees who have participated thus far. Look for future updates on the project in this newsletter and on the project webpage.
Disposing Unwanted Medicines
In honor of National Drug Take-Back Day on October 26, please keep in mind you can stop by Union Grove M unicipal Center anytime during office hours to dispose of unwan ted medicines by using the official medicine collection box, free of charge. The box is located on the first floor of the building, next to the Sheriff's Dept. office. By using the collection box (or another official medication collection site) you can help prevent medications from ending up in water systems or in the hands of children. Items that are collected will be taken to the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice for proper disposal.

  • The following items are accepted in the collection box: prescription medications, patches, over-the-counter medications; vitamins; samples; and medications for pets.

  • The following items are NOT accepted in the collection box: needles (sharps); ointments, lotions or liquids; hydrogen peroxide; aerosol cans; thermometers; medication from businesses or clinics.
Health Risks of Vaping
On October 3, the Central Racine County Board of Health provided a report on the risks of vaping and urged municipal leaders to consider applying the indoor smoking ban to e-cigarettes and other vapor products in local ordinances. More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are currently on the market; some common nicknames for e-cigarettes are: e-cigs, e-hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens and mods. A single "JUUL" pod contains as much nicotine as 20 regular cigarettes. A 2019 Dept. of Health Services investigation on lung injury associated with e-cigarette use included 805 cases nationwide, with 12 deaths associated with this outbreak.

Vaping health risks:

  • Nicotine and your brain - Nicotine can harm the parts of your brain that control attention and learning. Teens and adolescents have a higher risk of long-term affects, such as addictions, mood disorders and permanent lowering of impulse control.
  • Vapor risks - E-cigarettes contain potentially harmful chemicals. E-cigarette liquid can contain diacetyl and benzene which are linked to lung disease. Other chemical components can irritate the eyes, nose and throat.
  • Heavy metals - E-cigarette liquid can contain heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead. Inhalation of these metals have been linked to lunch, heart, liver and brain damage.
  • Addiction and learning - Young brains learn faster than adult brains. Because addiction is a form of learning, young people develop addictions more easily and are at higher risk of becoming addicted to other substances
  • Secondhand vapor - Secondhand vapor contains many of the same harmful chemicals that mainstream vapor has, making it potentially dangerous for yourself and those around you. 
  • Fooled by flavor - Many harmful chemicals fall under the umbrella of "flavoring," so you may not even be aware of the dangers lurking in e-cigarette liquid. There are no regulations that require manufacturers to provide the detailed ingredients of e-cigarette liquid.

For more information, click here to visit the Central Racine County Health Department's Vaping Toolkit.
Village Board Updates
The Village Board held regular meetings on October 14 and October 28. Following is a recap of Village Board actions taken at these meetings:

October 14 Regular Meeting:
  • Heard a presentation by Racine County Economic Development Corporation on a talent recruitment initiative.
  • Approved a process for filling the Village Board vacancy.
  • Appointed Trustee Gallagher to fill a temporary vacancy on the Building Board.
  • Approved Resolution 19-15, enrolling in the Wisconsin ETF income continuation insurance plan.
  • Approved Resolution 19-16, establishing a Recreation and Parks Fund.
  • Revised the process for approving streets and utilities related bills (will be approved by Village Board instead of Committee).
  • Heard a report on an opioid class action lawsuit.

October 28 Regular Meeting:
  • Approved Pay Request #3 to Wanasek Corp. for 10th Ave. and State St. Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation in the amount of $7,398.25.
  • Approved an award of bid to Globe Contractors for TID #6 Offsite Utility Improvements in the amount of $987,087.
  • Approved an award of bid to Globe Contractors for 10th Ave. and High St. Storm Sewer Improvements (and various manhole repairs) in the amount of $100,165.
  • Approved proceeding with plans to rehabilitate Milldrum St. (between 16th and 17th Ave.) in 2020.
  • Approved the purchase of a budgeted public works truck from Martin Ford for an amount not to exceed $42,000.
  • Approved proceeding with an interim market assessment in 2020.
  • Set interview appointment times for the Village Board vacancy.
  • Approved an amendment to the development agreement with Pre/3 for the Residences at Dunham Grove.
  • Reviewed a draft report for the community survey.
  • Reviewed the draft 2020 Budget.
Upcoming Meetings Schedule
Meetings will be held at Union Grove Municipal Center, 925 15th Ave., unless otherwise noted. Meeting dates and times are subject to change.

  • November 4 - Village Board Special Meeting (5:30 p.m.)
  • November 4 - Plan Commission (6 p.m.)
  • November 6 - Village Board Special Meeting (5:45 p.m.)
  • November 11 - Village Board (6 p.m.)
  • November 13 - Library Board (5 p.m. at the library)
  • November 13 - Fire Commission (6 p.m. at the fire station)
  • November 18 - Water, Wastewater, Storm Water & Streets (6 p.m.)
  • November 19 - Community Development Authority (6 p.m.)
  • November 25 - Building Board (5:30 p.m.)
  • November 25 - Village Board (6 p.m.)

Visit the Village Meetings webpage for meeting agendas, which are posted at least 24 hours before the meeting time.