Monday, December 06, 2010

City of Oshkosh Tax Bills Mailed

(Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh would like to notify citizens that real estate and personal property tax bills were mailed out on Friday, December 3, 2010.

The city is accepting payments at the collections counter in City Hall, in the drop box outside the main City Hall doors, and by mail. City Hall’s business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. City Hall is closed on December 23rd, December 24th, and December 31st.

In addition, the city is again designating Associated Bank (444 N. Sawyer Street, 491 S. Washburn Street, or 10 W. Murdock Avenue) and Oshkosh Central Credit Union (1100 W. 20th Avenue or 240 Algoma Boulevard) as authorized payment locations.

Bills may also be paid (in full only) online through the E-Pay link that can be found in the hot topics section of the city website, Please note that there are fees associated with the online option.

For tax payment information, call (920) 236-5025. For property value information, call (920) 236-5070.

Winter safety tips

With the snow and cold weather upon us, here are some winter safety tips, provided to us by the Oshkosh Police Department as they gathered them from a variety of sources. Keep warm, be careful, and be safe.

Winter driving

Winter is a beautiful time of the year, especially when a fresh layer of new snow covers everything.
Winter can also be a very dangerous time of the year. If you plan on traveling during the winter, it pays to be prepared for the unexpected. Getting stranded during a winter storm can be a matter of life and death.

Simply following a few simple driving habits like planning ahead, driving at a safe and legal speed, driving alert and sober and buckling up could insure that you make it to your destination safely.

If you must use your car during a storm:

Plan your travel, selecting both primary and alternate routes.

Let someone know your travel routes and itinerary so that, if you don't arrive on time, officials will know where to search for you.

Check latest weather information on your radio.

Try not to travel alone - two or three people are preferable.

Travel in convoy (with another vehicle) if possible.

Drive carefully and defensively. Watch for ice patches on bridges and overpasses.

Take note of your odometer and coordinate it with exit numbers, mileposts, or crossroads so if you are in a crash or slide off the road you'll better be able to identify where you are and summon law enforcement officers, rescue workers, or tow truck operators more quickly to your location.

If a storm begins to be too much for you to handle, seek refuge immediately.

If your car should become disabled, stay with the vehicle, running your engine and heater for short intervals. Be sure to "crack" a window in the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.

Be courteous to those awaiting your arrival:

Call ahead to your destination just as you are leaving.

Let someone at your destination know the license number of your vehicle, what route you'll be traveling, and give a realistic estimate of your travel time.

If you have a cell phone, give that number to the party at your destination.

If you have friends or family at your place of origin, you should call when you arrive to let them know you have arrived safely.

If road conditions, tiredness, etc. delay or postpone a trip, make a phone call. Let people on both ends know of the delay.

Safe winter driving tips
Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights - even the hood and roof - before driving.

Pay attention. Don't try to out-drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.

Leave plenty of room for stopping.

Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows. The law requires you to slow down or move over when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, including snowplows, parked on the side of the road when they have their flashing lights turned on. If you approach a parked emergency or maintenance vehicle during a winter storm and decide to change lanes be extra careful. The passing lane may be in worse shape than the driving lane. There may also be a snow ridge between the two lanes. Avoid making an abrupt lane change. If approaching a snowplow, stay back at least 200 feet (it's the law!), and don't pass on the right.

Know the current road conditions. Call 511 or log onto the winter road conditions report Web page.

Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.

Watch for slippery bridge decks, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition. Bridge decks will ice up sooner than the adjacent pavement.

Don't use your cruise control in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the short touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won't help you stop any faster. Many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle's traction. Your 4x4 can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.

Do not pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is to "stomp and steer!"

Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.

Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

Go slow!

Walking safely on snow and ice
Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings at work during the winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling.

No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, pedestrians will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. It is important for everyone to be constantly aware of these dangers and to learn to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces.


§ Wear appropriate shoes.
§ Walk in designated walkways.
§ Watch where you are walking.
§ Walk slowly and don't rush! Plan ahead and give yourself enough time.

It is recommended to keep these important safety tips in mind:

Choosing Appropriate Clothing

During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.

Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall.

Wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you.

Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what's going on around you.

During the day, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.

Whatever you wear, make sure it doesn't block your vision or make it hard for you to hear traffic.

Walking Over Ice

Walk like a penguin

In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement.

Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.

If you must walk in the street, walk against the flow of traffic, as close to the curb as you can.

Taking shortcuts through areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous. Try to avoid straying from the beaten path.

Point your feet out slightly like a penguin! Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity. Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.

Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Beware if you are carrying a heavy backpack or other load—your sense of balance will be off.

If you must carry a load, try not to carry too much; leave your hands and arms free to balance yourself.

Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.

Watch where you are stepping and GO S-L-O-W-L-Y !! This will help your reaction time to changes in traction.

When walking on steps, always use the hand railings and plant your feet firmly on each step.

Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.

Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.

Dealing with Traffic

Another hazard of walking on icy ground is dealing with poor road conditions. Keep these safety tips in mind if you're going to be crossing the street:

Before stepping off the curb, make sure all cars and trucks have come to a complete stop. Motorists sometimes underestimate the time it takes to stop, often unintentionally sliding into the crosswalk.

Due to poor road conditions, motorists may not be able to stop or slow down for pedestrians. Avoid crossing in areas where driver visibility is low—the cross traffic may not be able to stop in time.

Be on the lookout for vehicles sliding in your direction.

Vehicles should yield to snow removal equipment in streets and parking lots.

Indoor Safety

Walking over slippery floor can be just as dangerous as walking over ice! Keep these tips in mind if you are entering a building:

Remove as much snow and water from your boots as you can. Water from melting ice on the floor can lead to slippery conditions.

Notice that floors and stairs may be wet and slippery—walk carefully especially by outer doors.

If You Should Fall

Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side. Wearing thick clothing can help prevent injury to the bony parts of your body.

Try to relax your muscles if you fall. You'll injure yourself less if you are relaxed.

If you fall backward, make a conscious effort to tuck your chin so your head won't hit the ground with full force.

Top 10 ice safety tips for 2010
Weekly News Article Published:12/8/09 by the Central Office (

“Ice is always unpredictable, and that’s particularly true during Wisconsin’s first cold snap and early in the ice fishing season,” says Todd Schaller, the Department of Natural Resources recreation safety chief.

Learn ice safety precautions, follow them -- and educate your children about the dangers associated with frozen ponds, lakes and rivers, he says.

Schaller offers these other tips for staying safe this season:

•Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.
•Do not go out alone, carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.
•Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss; take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.
•Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.
•Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.
•Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself – or others – out of the ice.
•Do not travel in unfamiliar areas or at night.
•Know if the lake has inlets, outlets or narrows that have current that can thin the ice.
•Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.
•Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water and may be an obstruction you may hit with a car, truck or snowmobile.

Ice safety always a must, but especially when using motorized vehicles

Weekly News Article Published: 2/2/10 by the Central Office

OSHKOSH – Safety precautions are always important when venturing onto any frozen lake or river in Wisconsin, but particularly when people are riding in or on motorized vehicles --as they’ll be doing in sizable numbers when the Lake Winnebago system lake sturgeon spearing seasons open Feb. 13.

The recent deaths of three men who were traveling in or on motorized vehicles and fell through the ice on Lake Winnebago highlight the need for caution, particularly on those waters.

“Because of its unstable condition and unpredictability, anyone who travels on frozen lakes and rivers is taking a risk. Ice is never completely safe,” says Todd Schaller, education and enforcement chief for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Spearers and anyone else who is driving a truck, snowmobile, ATV or other motorized vehicle on the ice should take these precautions:

•Use caution near shorelines -- water level drops may occur close to shore and ice may not be supported by water underneath.

•Keep the windows open and doors unlocked.

•Operate below 15 miles per hour or above 25 miles per hour. Vehicle speed can impact ice safety.

•Do not follow other vehicles closely -- the vehicle weight creates an "ice wave" that could cause breaks. Keep at least 100 feet between your vehicle and the one ahead.

•Travel slowly at night to avoid “overdriving” your headlights.

•Use caution when near ice cracks and ice heaves. They are an indication of changing conditions.

•If it’s necessary to cross a crack, check the conditions first and cross at a 90 angle and stay a minimum of 30 feet away if traveling parallel to a crack.

Schaller notes that Lake Winnebago spearers should also follow the travel routes that fishing clubs around the lakes have scouted and marked with upright Christmas trees placed every quarter-mile along the road. Downed Christmas trees indicate a crack or problem ice -- stay away from these areas.

Zero Alcohol Keeps You Safe on the Trail

Drinking alcohol before snowmobiling or during your ride slows your reactions, impairs your judgment, and is a leading contributor to
snowmobiling deaths. Last winter, alcohol was involved in 70 percent of the 23 snwomobiling fatalities.

Join DNR in the international Zero Alcohol campaign that urges every snowmobiler to take personal responsibility for reducing alcohol-related crashes. Wisconsin conservation wardens will be handing out Zero Alcohol stickers to snowmobilers and asking you to display it.

Here's what you can do to help:

• Display the sticker on your helmet, snowmobile, trailer, or vehicle.

• Choose to be 100 percent alcohol-free until after your ride is over and you're safely home.

• Commit to riding only with other snowmobilers who are alcohol-free.

More Safety Tips

Wisconsin's recreation safety specialists recommend you take these other precautions to stay safe on the trails this winter:

Slow down. Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents. Drivers should proceed at a pace that will allow ample reaction time for any situation. Drive at moderate speeds, and drive defensively, especially after sunset.

Carry a first-aid kit and dress appropriately, Your first-aid kit should include a flashlight, knife, compass, map, and waterproof matches. Always wear a helmet with goggles or a face shield to prevent injuries from twigs and flying debris. Wear layers of water-repellent clothing and make sure you have no loose ends that might catch in the machine or tangle in equipment.

Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness or water currents. Rapidly changing weather and moving water in streams and lake inlets also affect the thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds. Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevents thick strong ice from forming.

Stay on marked trails or, where allowed, on the right shoulder of the road. Be alert for fences, tree stumps and stretched wire that may be concealed by snow.

Never travel alone. Most snowmobile accidents result in personal injury. The most dangerous situations occur when a person is injured and alone. If you must travel alone, tell someone your destination, planned route, and when you will return.

Last Revised: Tuesday January 12 2010


MADISON –Hard water fishing will soon be here and state recreation safety wardens offer their top 10 safety tips to make sure the first trip of the season isn’t the last.

False Facebook Pages Posing as City Services

Oshkosh, WI.) The city of Oshkosh would like to notify residents and the media about false Facebook pages claiming to be city operated. The pages are not facilitated through the city and are distributing inaccurate information about city services and staff.

The city does not currently have any authorized Facebook pages relating to the Parks Department or Menominee Park. The city suggests that participants remove themselves from these pages, as the operators may be phishing for personal information.

The city believes that social media is a positive way of sharing information and has several authorized Facebook pages. A link to city operated Facebook pages can be found by going to the city website, and clicking on the Facebook icon.

For more information please contact Information Technology Director Tony Neumann at (920) 236-5148.