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Participants in conservation challenge to share tips

Contestants in Middleton’s year-long water conservation challenge will share their conservation tips at an event Thursday.

Attendees will also be welcome to show their own conservation tips at the event scheduled at 7 p.m. in the Willy West Co-Op Community Room, according to a release. Free refreshments will be provided along with a brief presentation by Olson Toon Landscaping on rain gardens.

Everyone who shares a water conservation tip will be entered to win water- and energy-conserving door prizes provided by MG&E, according to the release. 

City recycles old, broken holiday lights

City recycles old, broken holiday lights

The holiday season is rolling in, and with it a Middleton committee offers residents a place to send their old, broken stringed lights.

Middleton's Sustainability Committee is sponsoring the recycling program for a third year, according to a release.

Lights can be dropped off at Ace Hardware in the Middleton Springs strip mall, 2540 Allen Blvd., or Wolff Kubly Ace Hardware, 6305 University Ave., for safe and proper recycling free of charge, organizers said.

A gray container with a wreath poster is located at both hardware stores for residents to drop burned out lights. The stores will collect bad lights through January 2014, according to the city.


Middleton hosts single-stop donation, clean-up center

The city of Middleton announced it will be making fall cleaning a one-stop event this year.

Clean and Green Middleton will be held on Nursery Drive and Deming Way in the Airport Road business park on Saturday. The one-stop clean-up shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. according to a release.

Cleaners can donate clothing, household items, furniture and appliances less than 10 years old to the St. Vincent de Paul, Habitat ReStore, Middleton Kiwanis charities on site.

Paper shredding will begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon.

There will also be free recycling for CFL light bulbs, batteries, computers and electronics. 1-800-Got-Junk will be collecting mattresses and box springs to be delivered to Midwest Mattress Recovery for $10 per piece, according to the release.

Televisions up to 27 inches will be accepted for nominal fees, organizers said.

See sunflowers in bloom at conservancy

See sunflowers in bloom at conservancy

A spectacular scene is in full bloom in the town of Middleton.

A 9-acre field of sunflowers at the Pope Farm Conservancy is the highlight at the educational preserve in its sixth year.

Mel Pope will host an annual free walking tour Wednesday evening from 6:30-8. Pope will discuss the history and features of the conservancy.

A 1,200-foot stone fence built in the 1840s-1850s that wraps around the field “really makes it special, that’s for sure,” Pope said.

The conservancy at 7440 W. Old Sauk Road is managed by the town of Middleton.



County buys 65 acres near Lake Mendota in nearly $1M deal

County buys 65 acres near Lake Mendota in nearly $1M deal

Dane County will buy 65 acres of land near the north side of Lake Mendota from a local religious group in a nearly $1 million deal, officials said.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said on Thursday that the county would acquire the land from the Middleton-based Benedictine Women of Madison at Holy Wisdom Monastery for $929,000.

Parisi said the purchase agreement included an additional five acre easement on the property that would help plans for a new off-road bike trail to improve road safety for motorists and cyclists along a heavily traveled stretch of County Highway M. 

In a news release, county leaders said the decision to purchase the property was made to help maintain lakes, increase public safety and continue the recreational opportunities the area provides.

Middleton preps for flooding

Middleton preps for flooding

The city of Middleton is getting ready for more potential flooding as water levels continue to rise.

Lake Mendota is coming close to the record-setting 100-year flood height. The 100-year flood elevation was 852.8 ft. Lake Mendota is now at an elevation of 851.5 ft with more heavy rains in the forecast.

Middleton has issued a declaration of disaster, enabling the city to deliver sand to residents who need it.

There was a pile at Dewey Court and a new 10-ton pile at the north end of Middleton Beach Road.

As the storm clouds roll in, resident Tom Pellino began taking down his pier sections on Lake Mendota. He said he and his neighbors will start bagging their shoreline to combat the rising water.

However, experience has shown that sometimes preparations just aren't enough.

MCPASD: Nearly $30K in energy costs saved over 10 months

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District is on track to to far exceed its best year-end energy savings performance, Energy Manager Neal Bickler said.

According to the district's June 2013 report, which covers the performance of all MCPASD buildings in May, the cost avoidance savings is $29,894. This exceeds the district's previous best June report of $23,911 (18.73 percent), which occurred in 2012.

For the school year, the district said it has saved $319,212 (24.33 percent).

"With two months remaining in 2012-2013, I'm hoping that we can reach the $340,000 plateau," Bickler said.

In 2012, MCPASD saved $278,865 (22.71 percent) during the same 10-month span. The district reported it has avoided paying nearly $2.4 million since September 2004.