Around the Bend bu Judy Steffes

Rumors are hot about a new store for Fleet Farm in West Bend

If you leave Fleet Farm in West Bend these days most neighbors will say “an employee told them that a new Fleet Farm will be built soon.”

There’s also word from the same unnamed employee that “ground will be broken soon on a new Fleet Farm in West Bend.”

The long-rumor activity of a new Fleet Farm in West Bend dates to 2004 when Fleet Farm announced it was going to build ‘the largest store in the state’ on a 30-acre parcel along Highway 33 and County Highway Z.

The Mills brothers also acquired 40 adjacent acres and plans were on track for a 274,000-square-foot store.

In January 2016, the Mills family sold its business to New York-based investment firm KKR.

In the first quarter of the year, KKR met with store managers. This is the message passed along, “We anticipate investing significantly in the business adding infrastructure, stores and local jobs,” said Nate Taylor, then with the retail portion of KKR.

Over the next 13 years, nothing was built. But now the rumor mill is churning fast…. and there maybe some news waiting in the wings.

Some businesses along Highway 33 west have claimed there’s been activity on some of the land owned by Fleet Farm. A call to Elaine Johnson at the DNR confirmed that ‘yes’ there was some soil sampling about a month ago, but that was for the incoming Morrie’s Honda dealership and that property is adjacent to the 40 acres Fleet owns.

Johnson’s note is below. She answered whether someone from Fleet or KKR is sniffing around to finally build.

As requested, I checked our records for waterways and wetlands projects located in Section 16, Township 11N, Range 19E in the City of West Bend, Washington County.

Apart from the recent 2018 wetland fill application and wetland delineation for the proposed Honda dealership, our most recent record after that starts in 2012. In other words, apart from the Honda dealership, the Waterways and Wetlands Program hasn’t reviewed any projects in this area for the last 5-6 years or so. That said, we do not have any applications in for a proposed Fleet Farm or Olive Garden (or other development).  Thank you, Elaine Johnson

Water Management Specialist (Kenosha, Washington and Walworth counties)  Division of External Services  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“However, checking a bit closer to home City Administrator Jay Shambeau confirmed the new owners of Fleet Farm have reached out. “Yes, the city has been having conversations with the new ownership of Fleet Farm,” said Shambeau following Monday night’s council meeting.

“We’ve been staying in contact with them, although they’re not moving forward with any type of design or development proposal at this time.”

A conversation Tuesday with officials at the corporate office of Fleet Farm were friendly and brief and noncommittal regarding any sort of development in West Bend.

On a final note, a spokesperson from Fleet Farm Corporate promised if Fleet Farm decides to build a new store in West Bend they will make the announcement first on WashingtonCountyInsider.com  Stay tuned.

Wax Museum at St. Frances Cabrini School

Fourth grade students at St. Frances Cabrini School in West Bend are hosting their Wax Museum event on Wednesday, April 11 from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. in the multi-purpose room.  Some of the students shot promo videos to help inform neighbors about the free event. Ashlyn Fortney chose to speak about Malala Yousafzia, but she’s really excited to hear about another well-known figure in U.S. history. Some of the other people of note will include George Washington, Johnny Appleseed and Walt Disney. The event is free and open to the public.

Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour in West Bend on Saturday, April 14

The Green Bay Packers 13th Annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour, will be in West Bend on Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the West Bend High School Fieldhouse.  One hundred percent of the proceeds for the event will benefit the Threshold, Inc. Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez, and Ty Montgomery, and Packers alumni Rob Davis, Antonio Freeman and Bubba Franks.

Ticket sale locations:  Threshold – 600 Rolfs Avenue, West Bend, Associated Bank – 715 W. Paradise Drive, West Bend and the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce – 304 S. Main Street, West Bend.

Tailgate party ticket prices:  $40 all-inclusive ticket (only 600 available) – Includes food, giveaways, Q&A sessions and autographs of all seven celebrities (bring one item per person or use Packers’ giveaway item) and $10 ticket general admission ticket – Includes access to the Q&A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Outdoor dining deck to be added to former Dublin’s

It’s a story you will see first at WashingtonCountyInsider.com as plans have been submitted to add a second-story outdoor dining area at the former Dublin’s restaurant, 110 Wisconsin Street, in West Bend. The proposed deck will extend off the west side of the building and include an exterior set of stairs to the patio below.

The former tenant, Dublin’s, closed at the end of March after the owners moved out of state.

On Monday afternoon a trailer full of chairs was seen exiting the property. The exterior signs had also been removed. The interior is getting a fresh coat of paint and a thorough cleaning is in the works.

According to Mark A. Piotrowicz, Assistant Director Department of Development with the City of West Bend, said a site plan was needed and not just a permit for the deck. “This is a commercial enterprise and the plans are changing the appearance of the structure and it will require site plan approval,” he said.

The West Bend Plan Commission will have to review the proposal. While the next meeting is April 10, the deck will not be on that agenda. Piotrowicz said it looks like the earliest the Plan Commission will review the site plan is in May.

One other caveat is The Museum of Wisconsin Art has an agreement with the City of West Bend that allows MOWA to comment. “It’s part of MOWA’s development agreement,” said Piotrowicz.  “If the item is located in specific boundaries surrounding MOWA and this site plan will go to them and they have an opportunity to comment before Plan Commission reviews.”

In the past MOWA has reviewed plans for Affiliated Clinical and QUAM Engineering.

According to building owners Kevin and Amy Zimmer there is a contract in place for a new owner to move in and that should close in June.

Washington County teen Attends 2018 National 4-H Conference  By Amy Mangan-Fischer  

Wisconsin’s delegation to National 4-H Conference in Washington, DC, will join 300 youth and adults from around the country to share ideas and form recommendations in guiding future national 4-H youth development programs in their communities.

Wisconsin delegates attending the conference April 7-12, 2018 include: Bridget Dean, Washington Co., Tyler Franklin, St. Croix Co., Joelle Heller, Waukesha Co., Brianna Jones, Waukesha Co., Veronica Klenke, Chippewa Co., Allison Olson, Eau Claire Co., Linnea Tabaka, Green Co., Sydney Tone, Dane Co., and Camron VanLoo, Fond du Lac Co. Sarah Tarjeson, Sheboygan County Youth Development Educator and Joshua Chrest, Pierce County volunteer will accompany the group as their Adult Advisors.

Conference includes workshops and other activities that emphasize civic engagement, youth-adult partnerships and professional development. During roundtable discussions and a town hall meeting, delegates will share ideas and form recommendations for the future of 4-H.

While in Washington D.C., delegates will meet with their state legislators during Capitol Hill Day to represent youth from Wisconsin and discuss state 4-H programs with Congressional members and their staff.

In 1927, the USDA implemented the first National 4-H Camp/Conference. Known as the “Secretary’s Conference,” the National 4-H Conference continues to be the major annual youth development event for USDA. Wisconsin 4-H Foundation provides financial support for the Wisconsin delegation.

A note of ‘thanks’ to WBPD Lt. Duane Farrand

The West Bend Common Council took a moment during its Monday night meeting to honor Lt. Duane Farrand for 27 years with the West Bend Police Department.

“This feels great,” said Farrand.”

Farrand will turn 50 years old on April 9 and he will retire on April 10. Farrand started his career as a police dispatcher with the Germantown Police Department. After nine months he joined the West Bend PD.

“When I started in West Bend Jim Skidmore was Chief of Police,” Farrand said.

Other chiefs included James Schwartz, Whitey Uelmen, and Ken Meuler.

“When I started we had French blue uniforms with gray pants and we had Stetson hats,” said Farrand. “It was great in the summer time and when it rained it was great but they were very cumbersome.”

The squads were V8s and there was no traction control. “Very different from today,” he said.

Farrand was also with the department when it was on the corner of Highway 33 and Main Street. “We were upstairs and the Fire Department was downstairs,” he said. “I remember our booking was actually a closet and we’d open the door and it would have a swing out board and we’d thumbtack the suspect’s name and booking number and we’d take a Polaroid of them.”

Farrand said he wasn’t sure what he would do in retirement. He said he will still be active on the Deer Management Committee. His advice to incoming officers, “Take care of your community and your community will take care of you.”

Updates & tidbits

-The Gift of Giving fundraiser is April 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at King Pin Bowl and Ale House, 1022 S. Main Street in West Bend. Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse is a nonprofit charity organization that was formed when Amanda Hartwig’s family experienced the loss of their 10-month-old son, Bo. “We had nowhere to turn for grief support and aid for mental anguish,” she said.

– Help support the Fillmore Fire & Rescue during the annual Fish Fry on Friday, April 13 at the Fillmore Fire Department. 8485 Trading Post Trail Road. Serving begins at 5 p.m.  Bring a non-perishable food item and get a free dessert.

– Les Belles Voix, the Advanced Women’s Choir at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the direction of Karen Wysocky, will be presenting a concert at Holy Hill Basilica on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

– The West Bend Police Department annual Spring Bike Sale will be Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8 a.m. There are 95 bikes for sale with a majority in good condition. The sale will be on the north end of West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.  The bikes are sold “as is” and all sales are final. No warranty, refunds, or exchanges. All bikes are $20, which includes a bike license. Yes all bikes will be sold with a bike license. CASH ONLY.

-Les Belles Voix, the Advanced Women’s Choir at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the direction of Karen Wysocky, will be presenting a concert at Holy Hill Basilica on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

-The Downtown West Bend Association is gearing up for the 6th annual Banner ArtWalk. Fifty hand-painted banners will be on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on Saturday, May 12.

– The 31st annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Gehring View Farms this year, 4630 Highway 83 in Hartford. The host family will be Eugene and Christine Gehring and their family Derik, Jordan and Emily. This year’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 9, rain or shine.

-Moraine Park Technical College’s student senate is hosting a free public event with Green Bay Packer legend Jerry Kramer. Students, staff, and community members are invited to the Fond du Lac campus commons area, on Tuesday, April 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to listen to the two-time Super Bowl champion’s story. Kramer was recently announced as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

-UW-Washington County men’s basketball coach Stephen Murphy was named the 2018 Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.

-Slinger Public Library will host State of Craft Beer author and photographer Matthew Janzen on Monday, April 9 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. as he guides neighbors on a vivid tour of Wisconsin’s craft beer industry.

– Moraine Park Technical College students, Jose Bustos of Fond du Lac and Queenie Weesen of West Bend, were recently recognized by Wisconsin Campus Compact, an association that recognizes those who have shown excellence in civic engagement. Bustos was the winner of the Jack Keating Student Civic Leadership Award, recognizing students that have taken a leadership role in creating change in their community. Weesen was the recipient of the Newman Civic Fellows Award, recognizing community-committed students who look to create long-term social change. Weesen is a current nursing student at Moraine Park.