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Census: area municipalities grow, while some lose population

JEFFERSON — Concentrated areas of Dodge and, especially, Jefferson County, have grown substantially in population between the 2010 and 2020 US censuses, while others — including Watertown — have shown unsettling declines.

Ixonia, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills and Waterloo are examples of communities that have grown in the southern area of the Daily Times readership area, while in Dodge County to the north, locales like Ashippun, Neosho, Portland and Reeseville also saw increases in their populations.

Larger municipalities from north to south, such as the cities of Juneau, Watertown and Jefferson, however, have shrunk considerably in terms of population over the past decade.

The City of Fort Atkinson defied that trend, gaining 211 citizens, going from 12,368 to 12,579.

The Jefferson County portion of the City of Watertown went from 15,402 in 2010 to 14,674 in 2020, a decline of 728 people, or 4.96%. The northern, Dodge County side of the city, decreased from 8,459 people in 2010 to 8,252 in 2020, down 207 people, or 2.4%. In total the city went from 23,861 residents in 2010 to 22,926 in 2020.

Jefferson County, as a whole, grew from 83,686 to 84,900 residents in 10 years, a difference of 1,214 and 1.43%. Dodge County’s grand total for population grew from 88,759 in 2010 to 89,396 in 2020, a difference of 637, or .7%.

“Generally, the population increases have followed the major transportation arteries of Interstate 94 and State Highway 26, in places like Lake Mills, Johnson Creek, Fort Atkinson and Ixonia,” Jefferson County Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Nass said. “This is consistent with what we identified in our strategic plan and comprehensive plan. Quite honestly, Watertown’s decrease is a mystery to me.”

Watertown Mayor Emily McFarland said she was at a conference and unable to comment on the city’s population decline.

According to census data, the Town of Ixonia grew from 4,385 to 5,120 residents between 2010 and 2020, for a total of 735 people added. That is 14.36%.

Town of Ixonia Chairman Perry Goetsch was succinct in his explanation of his township’s stunning growth over the past decade.

“New homes that are affordable and a great place to live,” Goetsch said.

Johnson Creek expanded from 2,738 people in 2010 to 3,318 in 2020, or 580 people added and 17.48%.

“The 2020 census figures are great news for the Village of Johnson Creek,” said its village Administrator Brad Calder. “We have seen the addition of 580 residents, which is a 17.5% increase.

Johnson Creek Village President John Swisher called his village, “unique.”

“We pride ourselves on being a growing community, with a hometown feel, with residents and businesses consisting of good, caring people,” Swisher said. “The growth of the village has been, in part, related to the increase in residential development throughout last decade. The growth has also been a result of the village being open for business. In the last 10 years, the village has seen growth in commercial, industrial and retail businesses, which has brought new jobs to us and, in turn, new residents.”

Swisher said Johnson Creek has also been able to capitalize on its location halfway between Milwaukee and Madison and has “reasonable” property taxes.

“This location is great for households in which one member works in Madison and the other in Milwaukee,” he said. “While the growth in the last decade has been great, the growth since 2020 has been continuing at the same pace. The next decade looks promising for Johnson Creek.”

The City of Lake Mills saw its population go from 5,708 to 6,211, growth of 8.10%. The Town of Lake Mills grew from 2,070 to 2,196. This is 126 more people and 5.74%.

The City of Waterloo grew from 3,333 to 3,492 people, adding 159 people and 4.55%.

The Town of Aztalan’s population went from 1,457 in 2010 to 1,382 in 2020 for a decline of 75 residents and 5.43%; the Village of Cambridge went from 109 to 99, a difference of 10 and 10.10%; Town of Cold Spring, 727 to 737, 10 added and 1.36%; Town of Concord, 2,072 to 1,981, a decrease of 91 and 4.59%; Town of Farmington, 1,380 to 1,407, with 27 added for 1.92%; Town of Hebron, 1,094 to 1,043, a decline of 51 and 4.89%; City of Jefferson, 7,973 to 7,793, a decline of 180 and 2.31%; Town of Jefferson, 2,178 to 2,067, a decrease of 111 and 5.37%; Town of Koshkonong, 3,692 to 3,763, for 71 added and 1.89%; City of Lake Mills, 5,708 to 6,211, for 503 added and 8.10%; Town of Lake Mills, 2,070 to 2,196, for 126 added and 5.74%; Town of Milford, 1,099 to 1,106, for 7 added and .63%; Town of Oakland, 3,100 to 3,231, for 131 added and 4.05%; Town of Palmyra, 1,186 to 1,220, for 34 added and 2.76%; Village of Palmyra, 1,781 to 1,719, for a decline of 62 and 3.61%; Town of Sullivan, 2,208 to 2,295, for 87 added and 3.79%; Village of Sullivan, 669 to 651, a decline of 18 and 2.76%; Town of Sumner, 832 to 846, for 14 added and 1.65%; City of Waterloo, 3,333 to 3,492, for 159 added and 4.55%; Town of Waterloo, 909 to 867, a decline of 42 and 4.84%; Town of Watertown, 1,975 to 1,933, a decline of 42 and 2.1% and the City of Whitewater, 3,240 to 3,168, for a decline of 72 and 2.27%.

In the Daily Times readership area of Dodge County, some municipalities that saw gains in population included the Town of Ashippun, which went from 2,559 in 2010 to 2,663 in 2020, for an increase of 104, or 4.1%. The Town of Emmet gained eight people, going from 1,302 to 1,310, for an increase of 8, or .6%; Neosho, 574 to 591, for gain of 17 or 3%; Town of Portland, 1,079 to 1,091, for a gain of 12 and 1.1% and the Village of Reeseville, 708 to 763, for a gain of 55 and 7.8%.

Some Watertown-area Dodge County municipalities that saw losses in population included the Town of Clyman. It went from 774 in 2010 to 712 in 2020, a decline of 62 people and 8%. The Village of Clyman went from 422 to 397, for a loss of 25 and 5.9%; the Town of Hustisford, 1,373 to 1,357, a decrease of 16 and 1.2%; Village of Hustisford, 1,123 to 1,101, a decrease of 22 and 2%; City of Juneau, 2,814 to 2,658, a decrease of 156 or 5.5%. The Town of Lebanon went from 1,659 to 1,587, for a loss of 72 and 4.3%; Village of Lowell, 340 to 309, a decrease of 31 and 9.1%; Town of Lowell, 1,190 to 1,166, a loss of 24 and 2%; Town of Oak Grove, 1,080 to 1,028, a loss of 52 and 4.8% and the Town of Shields, 554 to 503, a decrease of 51 and 9.2%.

Bill McNee

The public is being asked to dispose of gypsy mother eggs. 3A

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Watertown nears 50 COVID-19 related deaths

The City of Watertown recorded another COVID-19-related death earlier this week bringing the total to 47, Watertown Health Officer and Director Carol Quest told common council members Tuesday.

Quest said as of Monday there were 3,107 confirmed cases with 36 of them being active.

“Our recent peak was Sept. 26, when we had 81 active confirmed cases,” Quest said. “We are in a much better position and I’m hoping it continues.”

She said out of the total number of confirmed cases there are 412 total cumulative probable cases with 18 of them categorized as active probable cases. Quest said there are 123 open contact investigations with 4.34% of the individuals hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Quest said the Watertown Health Department administered 4,887 first doses and 4,412 second doses totaling 9,299 vaccines.

However, Watertown lags behind the state in the percentage of individuals vaccinated against COVID-19.

Whereas Watertown was at 45.5% of individuals vaccinated with their first dose, Quest said 57.3% of Wisconsin residents received their first dose of vaccines. She added 54.6% of Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated. However, only 40.6% of Watertown residents are fully vaccinated.

“We have some work to do,” Quest said.

She said those not fully vaccinated are five times higher to get COVID-19, nine times higher to become hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 19 times higher to die from COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated people.

“We know the risks of getting COVID-19 are great for everybody, but the more people we have vaccinated in the community, the more protection we have,” Quest said.

Watertown man found guilty of sixth OWI

JUNEAU — A 52-year-old Watertown man was found guilty of his sixth drunken driving offense.

Dennis Zimmerman entered a no contest plea to the charge and was found guilty Wednesday by Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Kristine Snow.

Zimmerman’s sentencing is scheduling for Nov. 8 in Dodge County Circuit Court; and, he faces a $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Zimmerman struck a delivery truck with his car and fled the scene at 4:30 p.m. Friday on North Water Street. Watertown police officers located the driver inside his vehicle in a driveway in the 100 block of Leonard Street.

When the officer made contact with Zimmerman, the criminal complaint said, he smelled an odor of intoxicants and found Zimmerman with bloodshot eyes. The officer also said Zimmerman was unsteady on his feet and slurring his words. Zimmerman told the officer he wanted to go into his house and drop off his groceries, the complaint stated.

The officer was weary of allowing Zimmerman to go into the residence because he could close his door and avoid being detected for OWI.

When asked what happened he told the officer he was being followed by a delivery truck so he got out of his car to see what happened, but the delivery truck driver, which Zimmerman said appeared to be a “large woman” got out of the vehicle and frightened him so he left the area.

When the officer asked him if he consumed any intoxicants, Zimmerman said, “He did have a bit,” the complaint stated.

He failed the field sobriety tests and blew a .249 in the preliminary breath test. Zimmerman also made several statements following the arrest and said he “messed up by drinking and driving” and that he was sorry. In Wisconsin, a driver with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated.

The victim told police they did not want any sort of complaint for the hit and run crash as the damage appeared to be minor and they could basically fix it on the scene.

Zimmerman was previously convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol in August 1994, October 1995, December 1996, February 1997 and July 2009.