Retail thefts high in Bellevue
By Heather Graves
BELLEVUE – Retail thefts in the village are among the highest in Brown County, said Trevor Bilgo, Bellevue Directed Enforcement Officer.
“Of all the retail thefts in Brown County that deputies have responded to, just the stores we are responsible for, so primarily the villages – Bellevue alone – has nearly 53 to 54 percent of all retail thefts that all the deputies take in the county,” Bilgo said.
He provided the preliminary numbers with board members at their Wednesday, Dec. 11 meeting, which were complied as part of a two-year county retail theft study.
Bilgo said from 2018 to 2019, retail theft in the village is already up 27 percent at one store, Walmart.
“Ever since the Shopkos closed, everybody that needs to steal has to go somewhere, so now they are going to Walmart,” he said. “I mean that is just the fact of it.”
Board members will be provided with the full study report in the coming weeks.
ADA compliance at village offices
Trustees continue to look for solutions to accessibility deficiencies at the village offices located at 2828 Allouez Ave., in preparation of the 2020 fall elections, which are expected to have a large turnout.
Described as “at the end of its useful life” in a facilities study done by the village earlier this year, the village offices has several Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility issues.
Following a request by board members at its November meeting, staff from Cedar Corporation visited the offices to review the issues.
Cedar Corporation staff looked at the building’s front entrance, lobby, two restroom locations, basement, ramp at the rear of the building and the main office area.
Thad Majkowski of Cedar Corporation said several items were identified as not compliant with the current ADA requirements.
“To address all of the deficiencies, many of the areas will be affected and may impose a significant cost on the village,” Majkowski said. “I don’t think we could get any of these improvements done for the 2020 spring elections.”
The changes needed specifically to become ADA-complaint procedurally and physically for the fall elections include the entrance door swings, counter heights and bathrooms.
Majkowski said though these changes may seem small in nature to complete, they require many trades and the costs could be higher than expected because of specialty contractor availability.
After trustees discussed a variety of options, they directed staff to have village building inspectors do an in-depth look at the specifics including dollar amounts connected to the changes needed to get the offices ADA accessible for the 2020 fall elections.
“I’d like to see drawings put together, get bids and to finally get costs attached to these changes,” said Trustee Tom Katers.
Staff will bring this information back to the board in January.
As part of the overall discussion, Village Administrator Diane Wessel, encouraged board members to come up with a one- and five-year plan to address the accessibility deficiencies in the long-term to protect the village from risk.