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Lisbon and Sussex volunteers and staff working together on Heritage Festival, ice cream social, desp

Aug. 1, 2014

Town of Lisbon — Despite the tensions and legal battles between the Lisbon town government and the Pauline Haass Library Board, the library board's staff and volunteers in the town's park department continue to work together to promote community events.

Volunteers from the town's park department will be attending this week's library sponsored ice cream social in downtown Sussex between 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 6, in order to pass out literature that promote the town's 7th annual Heritage Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9 and 10, at the Lisbon Community Park near Oakwood and Lake Five Roads.

The social, sponsored by the Fairways of Woodside Golf Course in the town of Lisbon, has become an annual village tradition held at the village government complex on Main Street. It is held in onjunction with National Night Out, which has several sponsors including the local Lions Club, fire department, and the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

The social and National Night Out provide a platform for park volunteers to launch last minute promotional efforts for the Heritage Festival. The event features educational and entertainment exhibits, along with re-enactors in historic period costumes who portray particular eras, ranging from the Roman Empire to modern societies.

There will be more than 60 re-enactors at the heritage festival. At least one will attend the social to promote the festival, according to Marlene Kumitsch, town park board chairman.

Kumitsch said that in addition to promoting the festival the social also provides an opportunity for citizens of the town of Lisbon and village of Sussex to work together.

"I think it is good public relations. It is a good relationship builder between people in the town, the library staff and the people in the village. We are working together to help promote each others events and it is all about the children who can have educational opportunities at both the library and the Heritage Festival," Kumitsch said.

"We are happy to help them, I expect Marlene may even scoop some ice cream for us," said Becky Murray, assistant library director.

"We have a lot of people from Lisbon who use our library services and there a lot of people from Sussex and some of the surrounding communities that attend the Heritage Festival. So, we are happy to work together," she added.

The "happy to work together" philosophy is not shared by the two respective governing bodies.

The town of Lisbon has voted to terminate at the end of the year a joint agreement with the village of Sussex that defines how the Pauline Haass Library is operated and funded by the two municipalities. Sussex village officials have vowed to continue the library operations without the town's participation.

The board has filed a lawsuit seeking "custody and control" of 65 acres of farm land donated to the town for library purposes by Pauline Haass. Library officials argue that state law requires any land or assets donated for the library purposes must be controlled by a library board.

Town officials said Haass donated the land to town for the town board to determine how it was to used for library purposes, not the library or village board.

The town recently filed legal action seeking an injunction from the Waukesha County Circuit Court to prevent the library board from spending any money beyond what its received in contributions from the two municipalities. Town officials argue the board must have permission from the two municipalities before it can spend beyond what the municipalities contributed to the library.

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