If you live or work in Waunakee, you can help inform a task force studying housing in the community.
For the past several months, a task force comprising Waunakee residents has met monthly to examine housing trends. Its goal is to present recommendations to the village board to help plan the village’s future.  
Kristin Runge, a community development specialist with the UW-Extension, has coordinated the task force, and at the March 28 Waunakee Rotary meeting, she presented an update on the committee’s work.
A survey of Waunakee residents and those who commute to the village for work is now online.
For Waunakee residents, it can be taken by visiting  
https://tinyurl.com/WaunakeeHousing-ResidentSurvey; for those who commute to Waunakee for work, it can be found at
 Runge became involved in studying Waunakee’s housing after attending a conference in Sheboygan, where she happened to be sitting next to Waunakee Village Administrator Todd Schmidt, she said.
A proposed apartment complex for the village’s downtown had just been rejected.
“Housing has been an issue over the past few years in really every community across Wisconsin,” Runge said, though in each community the issue is different.
In rural communities, housing may be substandard. In Madison, rents are about the same as they are in downtown Chicago.
While for many, affordable housing is important, the task force is examining the village’s housing overall.
It serves in an advisory capacity and has no decision-making authority. It is consensus-oriented and includes one representative of each voting ward in Waunakee.
In choosing the members, Runge and officials were conscientious about selecting a diverse group representing different ages, genders, income and education levels.
The members meet once monthly the third Thursday at the Waunakee Village Center; its meetings are also videotaped and can be found on YouTube.
In the fall, the housing task force reviewed population trends for Waunakee and the Dane County region. By 2050, another 69,000 households are expected in the region.
While the population is growing, the same number of workers is expected, reflecting the trend of baby boomers retiring and younger families having more children.
According to data presented to the task force, Waunakee household incomes tend to be higher than in the rest of the region, with a median income of $93,000, compared to the median household income of $64,000-$65,000 in Dane County.
The task force’s study of the data shows that Waunakee has a “missing middle,” households earning between $52,000 and $78,000.
“This group is for the most part, not present in Waunakee,” Runge said.
The committee is continuing to examine data, and the surveys are currently online for residents and commuters to take. The committee’s goal is to arrive at a recommendation for the Village Board in the next two months.

Other News:
– Drew Lawrence and Neil Kruschek, the greeters, gave their 90 seconds of fame. Drew has been a member for 20 years, lives just southwest of Waunakee on Meffert Road, and has two daughters, one in Chicago and another in Milwaukee. He will soon be married for 35 years.
Neil is married to Sharon, is a graduate of St. John the Baptist Catholic School and Waunakee High School, and tackled a nun in second grade. He opened his business in 1977, and with Phil Willems, he now owns four Culver’s restaurants.
–The club inducted two new members, Dave Hogg and Ann Becker. Welcome Dave and Ann!
–WNC’s Big Waunabowski bowlathon has spots open for five teams. It is on April 26. See Lisa Humenik if interested.
–The Community Awards Banquet is April 28 at Rex’s Innkeeper, where Ken Pesik will receive his business Person of the year Award.
Guests: Kristin Runge, guest of the club.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: April 4, Ray Statz; April 7, Connie Blau; April 7, Ross Mauer.
Anniversaries: None.
Greeters: April 4, Kim Langfield and Bob Lenz; April 11, Ross Maurer and David May; April 18, Gordy Meicher and Dan Miller.