Teens apologize for damage

Oak Creek juveniles come forward about vandalism

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— Four teen-agers responsible for vandalizing an Oak Creek Police car stood before the Oak Creek Town Board and everyone present Thursday night to publicly apologize for the damage.

"We are very sorry," one of the juveniles said. "The $2,000 reward and the newspaper article really scared us so we came forward.

"It was only meant to be a senior prank," she continued. "It was not meant to be political or personal."

The teens promised to pay for the damage and clean and wax the police car.

"Coming forward is part of their restitution," Mayor Cargo Rodeman said. "They turned themselves in. They unscrewed the antenna and used washable paint. They let the air out of the tires instead of slashing them."

The town of Oak Creek asked the teens to pay for towing fees and other expenses associated with the vandalism.

The teens called Rodeman during a budget meeting last week at Town Hall and told her to meet them at 7 a.m.

"They said that they knew what happened to the police car and I knew right away that it must have been them," Rodeman said.

The town, the school, their families and the judicial system will punish them separately, Rodeman said.

In other business, the town approved a settlement of a months-long lawsuit by former Town Manager Ray Liebensperger over his final paycheck. The town will pay $3,750.

"Everyone knows that I want to fight this, but monetarily it is in the town's best interest to accept this settlement," Rodeman said.

The Town Board turned to the presentation of three requests to purchase town-owned property. The requests followed two weeks after Dave Epstein purchased almost an acre of town-owned land for a small affordable housing project.

Several people came forward after the purchase and complained they had not heard the property was for sale.

The sudden interest after years of trying to sell 36 town-owned lots with no takers spurred the board Thursday night to develop procedure guidelines for future sales.

Even as Scott Wedel leaned on the podium asking to purchase several lots for parking and storage, the board worked through a policy with input from Planning Commissioner Andy Benjamin.

The board unanimously voted that interested parties must submit an acceptable bid in writing to the Town Board at which time the town will advertise in the newspaper that a bid has been made on the property. If no one else is interested, the sale will be finalized at the next scheduled board meeting.

If others show interest, all parties will submit a sealed bid and the sale will be made to the highest bidder at the next board meeting.

The board discussed the possibility of adding satellite recycling service to the next Waste Management contract. A rollaway will be located behind Town Hall for No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, cardboard, newspaper, aluminum, glass and tin.

The new service will cost residents an extra $1 a month on their trash bill, Rodeman said.

The Soroco High School Green Team has volunteered to keep the site clean, team leader Kaylee Corrigan said.

The issue was tabled because Waste Management had not provided a copy of the renewed contract for approval.

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