This past March 14 the water level at Crystal Lake rose ten inches in less than a day. That rise imperiled homes, businesses and roads. The residents of northern Dane County and Southern Columbia are still struggling with issues related to the high water. Most of these residents are dissatisfied with governmental response. To help separate governance from politics, West Point has started a six-part speaker series.

The Town of West Point in the southwestern most corner of Columbia County is responding by learning more, from as many, as quickly concurrent with discussing options for meeting statutory obligations to property owners along Crystal, Fish and Mud Lakes. In July the town, using the Wisconsin Idea, launched a six-part speaker series addressing current topics. The first talk was given by Dave Hart of the WI Geological and Natural History Survey on groundwater. We learned about the primary driver of the rising water on these three lakes.

Greg Kaminski of Columbia County’s Recycling and Waste Processing Center will talk next on the broad challenges and local roles in recycling on Tuesday, Aug.20 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Point Town Hall, N2114 Rausch Road, Lodi. On Sept. 17 Jim Welsh of Groundswell Conservancy will talk about tools to protect special places and the 3rd Tuesday in October West Point is partnering with Badger Talks of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and will host Tom Zinnen who will talk about genetically engineering our food and crops and how we are responding to GMOs.

The Wisconsin Idea has driven some of the most significant legislation (Worker’s Compensation laws, public regulation of utilities, and more) in the state and has shaped national governance as well. The Wisconsin Idea is that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. West Point’s Tuesday Talks, held the 3rd Tuesdays in July, August, September, October, November, and January will teach us about current issues and inform local governance and decision-making.

Our first six talks have climate change in the background. We are feeling the effects of climate change and are aware that we need to make changes we need to learn more. These opportunities to learn and then talk about issues will help West Point develop policy and support town development in an informed way.

West Point is an incorporated body politic in southwest Columbia County Wisconsin.

If you’d like more information, please contact Ashley Nedeau-Owen at 608-381-1414.

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