Boots & Sabers

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0833, 17 Mar 18

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Major renovation underway at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton

There’s a major renovation underway inside the worship space at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

In 2016 repairs were made to the historic steeple and exterior church surfaces. In 2017, the parish completed major updates to the church’s heating and ventilation systems.

Now the parish is working on an interior renovation that includes new paint, new floor surfaces, new upholstery, new statues and statue restoration, new matching high altar, ambo, and altar of sacrifice, sound system upgrade, new exterior main church doors, and parish center lobby restroom updates.

The transformation is well underway and rather shocking if you haven’t been inside the church in a while. One noticeable difference, aside from the scaffolding on the altar, is there are now pews. They’ve all been dismantled. The sides are sitting in a pile and the red cushion seats are in a heap in the back of the church.

“Worthless particle board” said one church volunteer. One would have thought since the church celebrated its 160th anniversary these may have been collector items. “We can’t even give them away” said the volunteer.

There’s an ongoing fundraiser to collect $375,000 to help pay for the renovation. The new interior will look much like the plans below.

Thomas Cullen accepted to West Point Military Academy

Living Word Lutheran High School senior Thomas Cullen has been accepted to West Point Military Academy.

“My mom cried and my dad was very proud,” said the 6-foot-3 Cullen recalling the afternoon he returned home to find his acceptance letter. “I think she was happy but I think she was a little scared too.”

The 17-year-old Cullen started the application process last year and finished it earlier this year. “It was a lot of personal information, essays, awards, honors and I had to get a nomination from Congressman James Sensenbrenner,” he said.

Cullen said he’d always wanted to join the Army and get a world-class education. “I’m an enlisted soldier right now,” he said. “I went to boot camp at Fort Jackson South Carolina over the summer and after I finish West Point I’ll be an officer.”

For the past four years Cullen said Living Word Lutheran has really helped lay a good foundation with education, leadership and guidance. “This is really like a family here; it’s a good student-to-teacher ratio,” he said.

A true student athlete Cullen, who is on National Honor Society and carries a 3.9 GPA, has been active in football, basketball, baseball and wrestling.

He said his athletic ability helped him during boot camp. “We’d wake up at 5:30 a.m., complete an hour of exercise, eat, go to class or to the shooting range for 8 to 10 hours a day,” he said. “The toughest thing was the 12-mile march with 125-pounds in a rucksack; that started at 8 p.m. and ended at 6 a.m. Everything we learned is teaching us to be uncomfortable so when you’re in an uncomfortable situation your performance is better.”

Cullen is a strapping 6-4 and sturdy. An Eagle Scout he knows the commitment of starting a project and following through. For his Eagle Scout badge he built a flag pole behind the concession stand at the high school.

West Point is amazing because of the architecture and the people. “It’s amazing to see 4,000 people marching around in the same uniform every day,” said Cullen.

Cullen will graduate with his class on May 28 and then he will start at West Point the first week in July.

Revamp ahead for Galactic McDonald’s in West Bend

In February the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed and approved a new, updated facade for the Galactic McDonald’s, 1140 S. Main Street.

Now comes word the facade is not the only thing that will be getting a makeover.

Owner Steve Kilian Jr. said the galactic playground will be removed and a new play land with interactive technology will be put in its place.

“The galactic theme will be going away,” said Kilian Jr. “McDonald’s is going with a more modern, contemporary theme. We’re still going to keep a kids play area but it will more relevant to today’s kids.”

Kilian Jr. said there will still be an area for kids to runaround and play.

“There will not be a ball pit but there will be a climbing apparatus within the play land,” said Kilian Jr.

The changes will take place in August.  Kilian Jr. said their goal is to “remain open during construction.”

On a history note: The Galactic McDonald’s first opened Feb. 28, 1996.

“I was there when the special sauce for the Big Mac was mixed at the store and when the Hamburgler crawl thing, bouncy fry girls and metal slides were in the outdoor play land,” Sharon Ruplinger said recalling how they had to shut down the play area when it was “real hot because kids would burn their legs.”

Sign goes up at Pizza Ranch in West Bend

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. (north side, between City Hall and the Mutual Mall) Do not come the Police Department entrance, as the sale is on the opposite end of the building. You can park in the City Hall parking lot or the Mutual Mall parking lot.

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.

The license is good for the life of the bike. Bicycles will be sold on a “first come, first serve” basis, and one bicycle per person. For any questions regarding the sale, call Lt. Richard Lucka at (262)335-5012.  Bicycle must be removed by the purchaser from the Police Department immediately following its sale.

Advisory referendum question on April 3 ballot in West Bend

There will be four questions on an advisory referendum on the April 3 ballot for taxpayers in the city of West Bend. All questions are intended to gauge the interest of taxpayers and how critical they feel it is to spend more money on roads.

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten – West Bend

-Advisory referendum and road maintenance. How to finance road repair and road fixes.

-There have been a lot of complaints about roads on social media and phone calls.

-There are mixed messages on how good the roads are

-People are concerned about property taxes

-Best way to determine how to address problem with an advisory referendum

-Remember to vote on all four questions. All four are Yes / No questions

-Truly a fact-finding mission

-First two questions talk about increasing property taxes

-Question 3 deals with a wheel tax – this tax can only be used for transportation and road type issues

-No. 4 is to ask Washington County to share 25% of their sales tax with all municipalities.

-Washington County reps have so far said – that will not happen.

-Three major road fixes include 7th Avenue, 18th Ave from Vogt to Paradise and Main Street south of Humar and each project is $5 million.

-$20 wheel tax would be added on at the state level

-How do you sunset the tax – we don’t have a true sunset.

-Anticipated revenue on vehicle registration fee is $600,000 a year applied to borrowing

-Total debt now at city of West Bend is $50 million – down from $80 million six or seven years ago.

Gift of Giving fundraiser for Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse

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.

Updates & tidbits

-Courtney Rummel from West Bend is currently on the Toyota U.S. Revolution Tour.  She just took 2nd place in snowboarding.

 – The earliest anyone in Washington County will be able to vote absentee for the upcoming general election is March 19. Election Day is Tuesday, April 3.

– The city of West Bend will spend $10,650 with a Brookfield firm to do a traffic count and signal-timing project on a stretch of Paradise Drive that runs from Seventh Avenue to 18th Avenue.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

-The City of West Bend is proud to announce Albiero Plumbing as Business of the Year. Join us at the award presentation: Wednesday, April 4 5 p.m. Albiero Plumbing · HVAC 1940 N. Main Street, West Bend Please arrive any time between 5 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. The presentation

will begin at 5:15. A celebration will follow with drinks and appetizers, with the event concluding at 8 p.m.

Candidate forum in Village of Jackson

Four candidates vying for two seats on as Trustee on the Village of Jackson Board took part in a forum on Thursday at the Jackson Area Community Center.  The very respectful forum was hosted by the Greater Jackson Business Alliance.

Village of Jackson Trustee – Two seats for two years

Keith Berben –  advocate for stewardship – waste not, want not, affordable solutions with set budget. Business owner, find an affordable solution. Jackson will continue to grow and will advocate for smart development. Work with Park and Rec to plan for events.

John Kruepke (I) –Grew up on farm in Jackson. Has farmer work ethics. Graduated from UW-Madison and then got into gas station business. Wife of 50 years and two sons and seven grandchildren, past member of Jackson FD from 1978. Current member of Plan Commission and personnel committee, past member of Park & Rec and DPW. Business owner and has learned a lot on Village Board

Debra Kurtz (I) – Homeowner for 18 years in Village of Jackson. Works in Glendale as accounting mgr. On the Village Board for two years and got on because she’s seen good and bad and thought it best to be a part of change. Wants to grow with Jackson

Gary Malcolm – love Jackson.  Member of ethics committee. In industry for 35 years. Marine Veteran and member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Capital projects for village and how to pay

JK – couple major projects and one is the new school in Jackson. It’ll be a major project. As a board we don’t have to come up with funds. Other project is new PD and new FD. PD is working out of what used to be FD. Buildings will be $10 million and working with financial advisors to see how it works with revenues and TIF district. Tax money will have to come from public. We don’t want this to be heavy impact on taxpayers.

DK – School project vs safety building. Discussion about where school should be and where FD should be and I’m concerned about spending money on property that is in my mind we don’t need. We have 6.5 acres where FD is now. Why can’t we build right there. I don’t know what type of agreement with WBSD and now there’s talk of school building. There’s word the school wanted to buy the house. I’m for schools and safety buildings but we have more discussion.

GM – our school is obsolete. We need a new school and I don’t know about the finances.

KB – my kids are in a private school. I’m for a new school but it would make Jackson grow. The FD needs to make changes and would be nice to have larger space. Not sure how to pay for it. The PD is fine where it is.

How to lure more industry to Village

DK – No answer now

GM – we need industrial park

KB – if we can make it easier for companies to come in and work with them. Make it easier for biz to come into village

JK – TIF districts would help bring biz into town. Biz park there are large industrial buildings and small incubator buildings.  Putting in place TIF No. 6 and as these fill up we need to extend the TIF districts.

Action in Jackson and declining attendance – should it be replaced with a new event

GM – Action in Jackson has become a beer drinking party and not a wholesome type of family thing to have in Jackson. Replace it with

KB – Always loved AIJ. How do you replace? Not sure there’s room for fireworks but that would be great. Get more softball and volleyball tournaments, but how to get people involved and then competing with other surrounding events is an issue.

JK – As time went on the population that came to AIJ dwindled. Work to put it on increased but less volunteers. Legion getting older. Food stand was a horrendous job. When FD had beer stand then a lot of income was generated. Eventually beer stand went away. Bands have to be paid to be in parade. I have no idea and I give all the blessings in the world

DK – AIJ has history of fun and family. Want to see some it stay but needs changes. One good thing is our Sprecherfest has brought in a lot of people. Bring more family stuff in for village.

Village growth and lots for single family housing are fewer – how to grow

KB – We need to find land and then develop. Doesn’t come with a lot of cost. Need to update sewer in Village if we bring in more housing. All for development but thinks it’s a big risk for a developer.

JK – No matter what type of housing it depends on what public is interested in. Went from condos to now single family. Need a developer who can make a buck. As a village we can work with developers best we can. We can make the process as simple as possible. You need a balance in the community. We have a percentage laid out for various housing.

DK – We don’t need more apartments or condos, single families we could use but not sure how to make that happen.

GM – appalled at resistance from the Town not to be joined with the Village. In former home the community simply annexed the neighboring property. Why can’t that happen in the Village.

Raising chickens and bees in Jackson

JK – chicken is the buzz word. We’re looking at other communities and exploring ordinances. This will end up at Plan Commission and it would be logical to set parameters. Chickens yes and roosters no.  How many chickens, size of lot, coops – all will be discussed. If someone wants it the neighbors have to agree.

DK – not a big deal for chickens but neighbors have to agree.

GM – how about a minimum of 1 acres to have chickens or bees. Hesitate to bring into small neighborhood.

KB – I’m for chickens. There are noise concerns. Bees scare me. Need more land.  I’m allergic to bees.

Steps to strengthen or repair town of Jackson and Village

DK – that’s tough because there’s a lot of animosity. Not sure how to repair that situation. Hopefully with time – that will be healed.

GM – at one time the Village and Town got along great. Need to talk to each other and have meetings to settle differences.

KB – There are a lot of old time farmers in the Village and we all just have to be adults and come to a conclusion and plan our futures.

JK – Talked about 1970s when pres of Village and Town wouldn’t talk to each other. Over the years new blood helped end lack of communication.  Some reports make it off kilter. I think the two parties are working together and now it’s in hands of the state.  We’ll have to wait and see decision. No matter what happens the Village will work with the Town. We’re too far in to not do it.  This will heal itself.

Level of village debt and new trend

GM – not know enough

KB – spoke with John Walters and he said Village is doing well financially. Will numbers stay this way, I hope so but I think upcoming projects will put a damper on the budget numbers and roads.

JK – financially we’re ok.  Water utility and treatment plant are both paid for. User fees help with maintenance issues and expansion issues. Village is down to $7 million in borrowing and with police and fire building will need help with that. Working hard with financial advisors.

DK – Village has worked hard to be in positive financial situation and I see things getting better.

If you had to identify single most important topic facing village and why

KB – School needs to happen. Sooner than later. It will open many doors to community. As far as paying for it – has to go through WBSD and one board meeting they tried to do this and people in WB wouldn’t vote for it.

JK – you can’t pick a number one thing. Everything hinges on everything else, TIF, PD, FD… everything takes money. Need to work together.  PD and FD have been patient. Jackson people want Jackson PD and Jackson people want Jackson FD.  They need a safe place to work out of.  Need for FD and PD to be happy or there will be a budget buster for a fulltime FD.

DK – School not sure what answer is. There’s only 276 students and that’s not a lot of kids. Many kids are going to private schools and a lot of parents are choosing that option. It’s trying to find balance.

GM – children are our future. As far as money goes – there’s free money from government programs and there’s a possibility to do the same thing.

What motivated you to run for office?

JK – I started when I moved here in 1976 to run for Village Board. I campaigned. I got elected and it just grows under your skin to help the community.  You work with these people and it’s challenging at times. My son says, “I don’t know how you can stand that.”  But you learn to work with people.

DK –  I wanted to know where my tax dollars are being spent and for me that was to run for a village position. This gives me a better understanding of how my money is spent.

GM – I have a lot of passion for this community. I show my passion by volunteering.  Started in transportation and now for 3 years I deliver meals to shut-ins and also volunteer at Jackson Area Community Center.

KB – I’m young. I’m a sponge. I want to learn. Knowledge is power. The economy is going good. I want Action in Jackson to prosper and be able to build up Jackson with more homes. I want to be here the rest of my life.

Closing remarks

GM – I’m passionate and want to put that to use

DK – Look forward to serving another term

JK –  Happy to be trustee for a couple years.  I have enough of a mind to benefit the village

KB – This has been fun, even though I was scared. I hope you vote and thanks for coming out.  I want to learn


0833, 17 March 2018


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