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Village of Pewaukee — The plan commission has approved Waukesha County Technical College's application for a conditional-use permit that allows it to expand its emergency vehicle operating course (EVOC).

The permit, which the commission approved Jan. 12, allows for the college to expand its "semi tractor/trailer, emergency vehicle and motorcycle driver training facilities, including a new classroom building, new and/or relocated outdoor storage sheds/loading dock simulation buildings and a new/expanded road simulation track plus paved training pad area expansions (all to be phased in over a multi-year/three phase period)," according to the Jan. 12 Plan Commission agenda.

Village President Jeff Knutson said the commission was convinced of the effectiveness of the project after hearing results of a sound study the college had conducted.

"It was all the information they got back on the sound study, and that there is a huge need for truck drivers and police and fire training and motorcycle training," Knutson said. "There's a huge demand for that. (W)CTC is the best place to do that. They've got the training facilities, they've got the classrooms, they have all of that. It was the sound study information information that (was why) it wasn't approved before. With the study back and the plans that they put forward to the board, and Mary's (Censky) comments and additions, and there are additions, made it easier for the board to approve it."

WCTC director of public relations Shelly Kuhn was pleased by the decision.

"The expansion of the track will greatly benefit our communities in terms of safety, by ensuring our local police officers and emergency responders are trained using real-world scenarios," Kuhn said. "Our truck driving students will also have a more realistic training area to practice their skills in a more controlled environment. "

According to Kuhn, the college revised its plans to help strike a balance in helping train students while curtailing noise because of concerns from the nearby Steeplechase subdivision. The permit will allow no advanced motorcycle classes on Sunday where students could bring their own motorcycles which could cause potential for more noise. There will also be no CDL trucks running on the western road after 5 p.m. during the week. Emergency vehicles, primarily fire trucks, will only be allowed on that same road only one day a week until 8 p.m. depending on scheduling. The college also decided not to include a proposed railroad crossing simulation near the lot line closest to the subdivision.

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