Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend Plan Commission to review site plan for new Fleet Farm

The long-awaited news of a new Fleet Farm being built in West Bend finally appears to be moving forward.

According to Mayor Kraig Sadownikow a concept plan for a new Fleet Farm will be discussed at the Aug. 7 Plan Commission meeting.

“This is going to be a full blown new store that’s about 190,000 square feet,” said Sadownikow. “This will be similar to the size of Meijer, a free-standing store and it’ll be great for that side of town.”

There are a couple of specific nuances about the property, according to Sadownikow, that need to be ironed out with the DNR and the Town of West Bend.

“In the past there was some residential shown on that property but that has since been eliminated and instead it’s woods and wetland,” he said.

City officials have confirmed they’ve had a “great open dialogue with Fleet Farm over the past several months.”

“Fleet Farm actually wants to see this fast tracked,” said Sadownikow. “I’m really proud of our administration and the current council who is open to continuing what was started in the past.”

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.

Some businesses along Highway 33 west have claimed there’s been activity on some of the land owned by Fleet Farm. Representatives of Fleet Farm have met with the City of West Bend to share plans for a proposed 190,000-square-foot store, in addition to a 5,000-square-foot convenience store and outdoor garden center.

The current Fleet Farm is located just east of Hwy 45 on West Washington Street; Fleet Farm is proposing the new development to be west of Hwy 45, on land they own on the southeast corner of Hwy 33 and County Road Z.

“I am proud to support the growth of Fleet Farm in the City of West Bend, as is our city council and staff,” said City of West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

“We pride ourselves on fostering business growth, as well as being a business-friendly community. We have created a positive climate in the City of West Bend that encourages Fleet Farm to not only continue to do business here, but increase their operations to serve our great citizens and the surrounding region.”

Fleet Farm has served the upper Midwest since 1955, and they have been part of the West Bend community since 1961.

An early look at the plan includes a 190,000-square-foot store makes space for a gas station, a 5,000-square-foot convenience store, quite a bit of parking and what appears to be enough area to meet wetland demands for the DNR.

Just to the east of the proposed Fleet Farm will be the 39-acre parcel that’s soon to be Morrie’s West Bend Honda Subaru. Morrie’s has cleared the Plan Commission and at last word is expected to break ground on the west side of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive in September.

With all the development to the west on Highway 33 what would you like to see go in to the old Fleet Farm location at Hwy 33 and 18th Avenue. That’s a diamond corner with McDonald’s, Walgreen, Sendik’s, and Starbucks.

Property assessments on the rise in West Bend

The City of West Bend sent all property owners in the community a gift. It’s a 2018 property assessment. My assessment went up $14,100.

According to the City website: The average increase in value is approximately 12%.  Certain areas of the city may experience more or less than the average increase in value.  An increase in assessment does not by itself mean a tax increase.

Open Book will begin Monday, July 30, 2018 through Monday, August 20, 2018.  Office hours are from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The 2018 Board of Review will be held on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 10 a.m. in City Hall.

Keep in mind the city did explore an advisory referendum with a wheel tax or a property tax increase or asking Washington County for a share of its sales tax. A final decision is still pending to determine how to pay for more road improvements in the City of West Bend.

There’s also the possible November referendum for the West Bend School District. A decision will likely be made to move forward with the referendum in the next few weeks. The early number being thrown about is a $50 million referendum however that’s without taxes and interest and it would be placed on top of the $130 million the district still has with current referendum debt.

So that total would be brought to more than $180 million in outstanding referendum debt for the school district alone. A representative from Baird is supposed to give an update in a couple of weeks.

Finally, remember your property tax bill is made up of taxes to be paid to the city, county, school district, Moraine Park Technical College and the state.

It appears the last city-wide revaluation was in 2010.

Wrapping up the season for Carl Kuss Field in West Bend           By Craig Larsen

There will be a final celebration at Carl M. Kuss Field at Regner Park on August 7 as a groundbreaking will be held to kickoff a renovation of the baseball stadium.

The project includes a new grandstand, restrooms, concessions and the addition of a turf field, new lighting and dugouts.

Funding for the project was initiated by a $500,000 matching grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. The matching grant is coming from the public and private sector in West Bend including the West Bend Baseball Association.

There was also word this week that the Milwaukee Bucks have partnered with West Bend Mutual Charitable Foundation to gift $150,000 to benefit the people of Washington County.

The organizations are coming together with the City of West Bend to make a lasting local impact, with the development of a new multi-sport court in West Bend’s Regner Park.

The sport court, which will feature basketball courts and volleyball courts, will be available for use by the city’s recreation department and the public.

Final sendoff

According to Craig Larsen with the WBBA on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, the final game will be played at Carl M. Kuss Field, as West Bend 7 Up will be taking on the West Allis Nighthawks at 7 p.m.

The public is encouraged to come down to Carl Kuss from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., walk around the complex one last time, take pictures, share memories, and maybe play a game of catch in the outfield grass.

This will be your last chance as demolition will begin the following day, Wednesday, August 8.

Successful COLUMNS 5K

A super evening for a 5K and COLUMNS along with Horicon Bank managed to pull off another great event. Runners and walkers took off in a flash at 6 p.m. and raced through Riverside Park.

Alec Miller, 22, of West Bend crossed the finish line in a time of 16 minutes and 6 seconds. It was his sixth consecutive first-place finish at the COLUMNS 5K. “I’m not in the greatest shape right now so I’ll take 16:06; last year I was in much better shape,” Miller said.

Brianna Renner, 18, of West Bend also picked up her second consecutive win. She finished in 20:28.

Upgrade in store for Full Service Car Wash in West Bend

Changes at the local car wash in West Bend sure do make people nervous. Tyler Leikam, vice president of Full Service Car Wash, 2404 W Washington St., in West Bend said neighbors shouldn’t worry as FSCW is just getting a facelift and some new amenities to make service better for the community.

There building is getting a splash of new paint; there will be new signage and also access to free vacuums on the south side of the building.  The vacuums should be installed in late October.

Leikam said the prices have basically remained the same however they’ve added the tax into the price. “We relocated our point of sale to the entrance of the car wash so people don’t have to go inside,” he said. “We’ve rounded the prices up to the nearest dollar and that price includes the tax.”

Kettle Moraine YMCA with generous donation to biking community

The Kettle Moraine YMCA has graciously purchased 11 of the 12 racks produced by Moraine Park Technical College. The Kettle Moraine YMCA is donating six Washington County logo’d racks to the county for placement in county parks, potentially including along the Eisenbahn State Trail. Where would you recommend the racks be placed?

The Audubon Inn in Mayville is for sale

Step inside the magnificent Audubon Inn, in Mayville WI and you’ll be staying at the same boutique hotel as Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. Built in 1896 this unique hotel on the National Registry of Historic Places showcases historic charm with modern amenities. Guests will enjoy boutique shopping, museums and internationally renowned Horicon Marsh.

Onsite restaurant NOLA North Grille’s bar and dining rooms feature impeccable woodwork, tile, and stained glass, creating unforgettable ambience, 18 cozy guest rooms located on the 2nd and 3rd floors offer double Jacuzzi tubs and high ceilings.

Thanks for supporting the Washington County Fair                  By Kellie Boone

The 160th annual Washington County Fair has come to a close and preparations for 2019 have already begun.  We were very fortunate to have fantastic weather and great people that came out and enjoyed all that the Fair has to offer.

I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation for all the people that make the Fair happen; it really does take a village!

There are numerous groups that contribute to successfully operating the Fair, some of which include: the Fair Park Staff, Board and Committees, the Superintendents, the Military Committee, ticketing staff, volunteer groups that are our grounds crew, car parkers and servers in the beverage tents.  There are also the runners, the main stage help, livestock drivers, exhibitors, judges, vendors and even some that just show up every year to do whatever they can do to help.  I’m sure I’m forgetting a few and I apologize if I did.

I’d also like to thank our many sponsors who help make the Fair a reality every year; we appreciate your support and couldn’t do it without you!

Last but not least, the Fair goers; one of the highlights of running the Fair is watching all the fun had and memories made by family and friends.  Thank you for including the Fair in your summer plans. We hope to see you all in 2019!    Sincerely Kellie Boone

Updates & tidbits

Students who made the Scholastic Honor Roll during the spring term 2018 at Oregon State University included Nathan M. Burns a freshman from West Bend. Burns scored a 3.5 or better during the 2018 spring term. He is studying University Exploratory Studies.

– Newly paved Eighth Avenue in West Bend is now open to traffic.  Give it a go before all the dudes on skateboards find it and take over the blacktop. The project cost a bit over $700,000 and included everything from upgrading storm sewers to new curb and gutter to driveways and sidewalk repair. The newly paved road runs north from Chestnut to Walnut Street.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau said the work on 18th Avenue is also near completion and neighbors should also take note of the upcoming closure of Schmidt Road from East Washington Street/STH 33 to Creek Road. Rolfs Avenue will replace Schmidt Road as the connection between Creek Road and Washington Street.

– Cedar Community hired Julie Gabelmann as its first Vice President of Resident Experience.

The new Kwik Trip gas station / convenience store, 806 S. Main Street, opened August 2. This is the second Kwik Trip in West Bend. The first opened Oct. 27, 2016 at 1750 S. Silverbrook Drive. The ribbon cutting for the new store is Wednesday, Aug. 8.

– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.

-Full time and part-time bartenders wanted at the V.F.W. Post 1393, 260 Sand Drive, West Bend. Call Jerry Faber for details 262-388-7006.

Sign up today for the 8th Annual Swinging for Seniors Golf Outing at West Bend Lakes Golf Club. All proceeds benefit Senior Citizens Activities, Inc. Stick around after golf and take part in the Classics for a Cause Raffle and a chance to win a 1968 Ford Mustang.

Memorial is August 17 for John Geib

There will be a Memorial for John Geib on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.  at the West Bend VFW Hall, 260 Sand Drive, in West Bend. Military Honors are scheduled for 5 p.m. Bring pictures and/or memories to share.

John E. Geib, age 70, of Mansfield, MO, formerly of West Bend, passed away on June 23, 2018.

John was born on April 10, 1948 in West Bend to Sarto and Ernestine (Immel) Geib. John grew up in Barton attending St. Mary’s School and West Bend High School. The next step would forever change his life. He, along with his friend Mike Hoeft, registered for the draft in the Army on May 17, 1967.

John was promoted to Sergeant (E5) on graduation from the non-commissioned officer academy at Fort Benning, GA where he took training as a combat leader.

John received a medical discharge for wounds suffered during conflict. He valorously attempted to save one of his men who had become pinned down by enemy ambush and had been mortally wounded.  Despite being wounded himself, John attempted several times to brave the intense hostile fire to recover the soldier until he was ordered to withdraw. John’s actions earned him the Bronze Star Medal of Valor for heroism. Additionally, he also received the Vietnam campaign medal, the National Defense service medal and the Vietnam service medal.

A special night for Preston at the Washington County Fair

A special event went unnoticed to many during last week’s Washington County Fair. During the Thursday night appearance with country singer Scotty McCreery, former Fair Park Board President Peter Rettler made accommodations for a 16-year-old boy with Down syndrome to have an up-close view of his favorite performer during the song “Five more Minutes.

Preston attended the concert with his sister and parents.

It was his sister and best friend Julianne, 18, who saved up for the tickets and surprised her brother. Rettler made the experience that much more memorable.

Below is a note from Julianne about how the evening came about.

On our way home from spring break in March, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner. In the gift shop, Preston found Scotty’s new CD, “Seasons Change.” He wanted it so bad, but we were unable to provide to him at that time. Except we did! We got him the CD and surprised him with that in the car. During the ride home, I started to see if Scotty had any tours going on, and he did; right here in Wisconsin!

We kept the conversation quiet to avoid Preston from finding out. I thought it would be an awesome surprise for Preston’s first concert. (To answer your question on how I got money to pay for the tickets: I had some money saved up from working two jobs the previous summer.)

I was able to get seats for the concert, and thought it would be awesome to also try to buy meet and greet passes, which I did from Scotty’s website. (That whole process was very easy. I made some phone calls and everyone had answers and they were very friendly!) Since Preston and I both share a large amount of enjoyment for Scotty’s music, I thought it would be an awesome experience for the two of us.

It was difficult to keep it a secret, since we listen to Scotty McCreery everyday in the car. I wanted to tell him so bad, but I knew he wouldn’t stop talking about it!

I also wanted to see his face when we got to see Scotty in person, since he didn’t really know that we were actually going to meet Scotty McCreery!

The moment was priceless seeing Preston enjoy meeting someone he respects and looks up to. The whole night was a surreal experience, like we were living in a dream. He was dancing the whole time, and singing his heart out to every song.

Julianne