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News & Notes: April 10

April 10, 2012

Gravel parking lot at farmers market to be paved

West Allis - The city will buy and pave a gravel parking lot now used for the West Allis Farmers Market, the Common Council decided last week.

West Allis originally bought the lot when it bought the former Pressed Steel Tank property for redevelopment in 2004. The city sold the lot along with other property to a developer, who later built apartments north of the farmers market. He doesn't need the lot and it has become an informal farmers market parking lot.

The city will buy the lot back and pave it for a total of $350,000. The money is cash is left over from the city's own projects that used Community Development Block Grants. The grants are to be used for projects serving those with low-incomes or handicaps.

Restaurant/bar get permission for outdoor area

West Allis - The Common Council has approved a special-use permit to allow the Pallas Restaurant/Aris Sports Bar, 1657 S. 108th St., to create an outdoor dining area.

The approval followed a public hearing last week in which no one spoke against the proposal.

City establishes traffic safety work group

Greenfield - Traffic safety concerns around Maple Grove School, 6921 W. Cold Spring Road, will be the first ones tackled by the city's new traffic safety work group.

The group brings together traffic engineering, police and fire department representatives to work collaboratively on solutions.

Safety issues are more of a concern around all schools as more parents drop off their children at school rather than have them endure longer school bus rides tied to a reduction in transportation costs.

In addition to more traffic around the school, there have been complaints about a nearby alley filling up with cars as parents wait for school to let out.

Babies big winners from anti-smoking program

West Allis - A smoking cessation program for pregnant women has slashed the percentage of babies born with low birth weights almost in half and drastically reduced the percentage of premature births in West Allis, the city's health department reported.

The percentage of low birth weight babies born to mothers enrolled in the West Allis Health Department's WIC program dropped from 10.1 percent in 2010 to 5.5 percent in 2011 because of the First Breath program, officials said. Similarly, the percent of premature births for those years dropped from 14.2 percent to 4.8 percent, they said. First Breath is a statewide program.

For more information about the First Breath Program or how the health department can help in other ways, call (414) 302-8600.

House could be bought, razed for flood control

West Allis - West Allis has applied for a $175,000 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources municipal flood control grant to help the city acquire and demolish a house in the 11300 block of West Cleveland Avenue.

City officials have wanted to buy it for several years and eventually create a holding pond that would reduce flooding in the entire area. The occupant of the house recently died, so there might be an opportunity to buy now. The city would put up about $53,000 for the project.

At first, the area would be planted in grass and probably years from now would be scooped out for a pond. But even the removal of the home itself would help, officials said, because its lawn is routinely flooded by a creek that flows through the property.

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