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1008, 21 Jul 19

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Billy Sims BBQ to open in West Bend

A new BBQ restaurant will open before the end of the year in West Bend.

Clay Covert is opening a Billy Sims Barbecue in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street. It’s the strip mall on the north side of the road that includes Little Caesar’s Pizza, Subway, and China Town.

Covert’s store would be on the east end of the strip mall in the former AT&T location.  “I have the plans done and they’re with the city,” he said.

A resident of Slinger, Covert previously ran his own marketing firm. “I’m going to use that marketing experience and develop the franchise,” he said.

A native of Detroit, Covert was familiar with former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims. “He played for the Detroit Lions and a few years ago he partnered with someone and decided to open a couple restaurants and franchise them,” said Covert. “This is a small, up-and-coming franchise with stores primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and a couple in Detroit, Iowa and Colorado but this will be the first foray in Wisconsin.”

Covert describes it as a “southern BBQ chain” that features pulled pork, brisket, turkey, chicken and ribs. “One of the unique things they serve is baloney and what really sets it apart is all the meat is smoked with pecan wood; it gives it a sweeter taste,” he said.

During his research Covert focused on the West Bend area because he wanted “a community that would be big enough to support the restaurant, but not Milwaukee.”

“West Bend seemed like the perfect choice because it’s close to where I live, it’s a good size city and one of the greatest things is nobody really specializes in barbecue in this area,” he said.

The franchise format is considered “fast casual.”

“There will be plenty of seating, carry out and we will do a lot of catering,” he said. “The style is similar to a Qdoba where you place your order, go down the line and get your food.”

Covert is expected to employ about 15 part timers and is expected to open in late fall.

Adam Williquette, Broker and Owner of American Commercial Real Estate oversaw the lease of the space.

Registered sex offender to live across from children’s play area at Sandy Knoll Park

Neighbors by Sandy Knoll Park on Wallace Lake Road and Trenton Road in the Town of Trenton are receiving information today from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department regarding a registered sex offender moving into the area.

Washington Co. Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Hennes is visiting neighbors with an information sheet about Kenneth E. Crass who will be released from prison July 23, 2019.

Crass was convicted in 2014 of five counts of possession of child pornography. The Sheriff’s notice said Crass will reside at 7150 N. Trenton Road.

Neighbor Tim Wollak has lived by Sandy Knoll Park for nearly four years. He said he understands the “rehabilitation” process but questions the choice of location.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” said Wollak.  “This playground abuts the property of a convicted sex offender. I am not sure how it was even remotely considered a good location by those involved.”

A release will be posted Wednesday, July 17 from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. In it Sheriff Martin Schulteis states, “Kenneth E. Crass will have numerous rules and restrictions to follow including wearing a live tracking GPS unit. The GPS monitoring unit will have exclusion zones set up alerting WI-DOC if there is a violation of the exclusion zone rules. One exclusion zone will be Sandy Knoll Co. Park.”

Wollak believes there are holes in the monitoring process. “What if a child wanders on to his property or if the technology stops working,” he said. “The GPS unit does not prevent a crime from occurring, it simply alerts the agent he left his property. Furthermore, it appears he will be able to view the children’s play area from his property which is very concerning as he was convicted of five counts of possessing child pornography.”

The release from Schulteis also states Crass’s “criminal history places him in a classification level which reflects a low potential to re-offend.”

The release given to neighbors by Sgt. Michael Hennes also said, “This sex offender has served the prison sentence imposed on him by the courts. He is NOT wanted by law enforcement at this time. This notification is not intended to increase fear, but rather it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.”

Hennes said there is one Public Relations D.A.R.E. officer, Deputy William Niehus, who visits registered sex offenders in Washington County twice a year.

According to Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry there are 195 registered sex offenders living in Washington County.

Crass is scheduled to be released from prison Tuesday, July 23, 2019. He will be on probation until July 29, 2024.

A note of clarification: In 2014 Crass pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of child pornography, however a check of Wisconsin Circuit Court Access shows there were five additional Felony D charges of possession of child pornography. According to CCAP those charges were dismissed but read in.

Crass appeared before Washington County Judge James Muehlbauer.

Washington Co. Sheriff said registered sex offender will live by children’s play area at Sandy Knoll Park in Town of Trenton

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is issuing more information regarding a registered sex offender who will be released and living at a home next to the kid’s playground at Sandy Knoll Park.

Clare Hendricks from the State Department of Corrections offered a bit of insight on how Crass will be monitored once he is released.

Our top priority as the Department of Corrections is to ensure the safety of the public while assisting those in our care. We encourage anyone that suspects an individual is not complying with their rules of supervision or is acting unlawfully to reach out to local law enforcement and the Division of Community Corrections.

Mr. Crass is expected to be released from prison on 7/23/19 and will be living in Trenton, WI. He is required to meet with his probation officer every week. He will be on GPS monitoring and will not allowed in any parks next to or near his residence.

Mr. Crass is required to register with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. He is on standard sex offender community supervision rules including he may not have unsupervised contact with minors, may not enter taverns, bars and liquor stores, may not use an alias, and may not have contact with previous victims.

Craig Hoeppner leaving for Oconomowoc Parks Department

West Bend Park, Recreation and Forestry director Craig Hoeppner is leaving West Bend to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

On Tuesday, July 16 the City of Oconomowoc approved Hoeppner as its new director of Parks, Rec and Forestry. The job was posted May 17 at a salary between $90,790 to $116,730.

Hoeppner will replace Oconomowoc Park and Rec director John Kelliher, who recently left for a similar position in Brookfield.

Hoeppner has been with the City of West Bend since 2004. A couple standout projects where he played an integral part include the completion of the east side of the Downtown Riverwalk, helping oversee construction in 2018 of the basketball/pickleball/volleyball courts at Regner Park and of course the launch of the popular Dirty Ninja Mud Run.

In 2016 Hoeppner received the “Professional Award of Merit,” the highest award given by the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association to a park and recreation professional in the State of Wisconsin.  Hoeppner was the second person in the West Bend Park and Rec Department to receive the Professional Award of Merit. Juliene Hefter also received the award and she began her career as Manager of Recreation Services for the City of West Bend.

In 2017 Hoeppner was a co-recipient of the Betty Pearson Community Leadership Award along with Mike Nowack.

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said he will fill in the position in the interim along with West Bend Park and Forestry Superintendent Mike Jentsch.

St. Lucas Lutheran to Host National Night Out Block Party August 6 

On Tuesday, August 6, neighbors in Kewaskum and Washington County are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 36th Annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and cosponsored locally by St. Lucas Lutheran Church and School, will involve over 16,790 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases around the world.  In all, over 38.6 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”

National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

A block party for our whole community will be hosted Tuesday, August 6, 5:30- 8:30 p.m. at St. Lucas Lutheran Church and School, 1410 Parkview Drive. Parkview Drive will be closed and activities will take place in the church parking lot and the school grounds. Handicapped Parking will be available along the alley between Parkview Drive and Bilgo Lane. Bring a lawn chair and stay a while. Food and refreshments will be available.  Free entertainment for children will include a bounce house and various games.

The Kewaskum Police Department and Kewaskum Fire Department will have equipment on display. The West Bend Community Band will perform at 6 p.m.  The Kewaskum Big Band will follow at 7:30 p.m. Both groups will perform in the church parking lot. In case of rain, the event will be held in the St. Lucas Lutheran School Gymnasium.  On National Night Out, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us and “give crime a going away party.”

Students from Washington Co. make Dean’s List at UW-Parkside

Lauren Treptow of Kewaskum, WI was named to the Dean’s and Provost’s Lists at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the Fall 2018 semester.

Alexa Bingen of Slinger, WI was named to the Dean’s List at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the Fall 2018 semester.

Jodi Simmelink of West Bend, WI was named to the Dean’s and Provost’s Lists at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the Fall 2018 semester.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn at least a 3.5 grade-point average. To qualify for the Provost’s List, students must earn at least a 3.8 grade-point average.

Postponed 2018 Property Taxes                       By Jane Merten Washington Co. Treasurer

The Washington County Treasurer would like to remind taxpayers their postponed/second installment 2018 property taxes are due on or before July 31, 2019.

If you are paying by check, please make sure that the numeric and the written portions of the check are the same and that your check is signed otherwise the check will be returned, and this could result in interest and penalty charges, if postmarked after the due date.  Postdated checks will not be held and will be processed the day that they are received.  Checks should be mailed to the Washington County Treasurer, PO Box 1986, West Bend, Wisconsin, 53095.  If you require a receipt, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The County Treasurer encourages mailing your property tax payments early and not waiting until the last week of July.  Mailing your payment early helps make sure the USPS postmark is timely and provides greater opportunity to correct errors before the deadline. “The cost of missing the July 31 deadline is severe.  Under state law, interest and penalty charges are 1.5% per month back to Feb. 1, (10.5% in August for 2017 taxes) and continue to accrue until the taxes are paid in full. So, it is imperative to pay property taxes on time to avoid delinquent charges.”

You can also pay your property taxes online using a credit card or electronic check through Point & Pay.  Please visit our website at, click on Departments, then County Treasurer, and Pay Real Estate Taxes Online.  You will need your tax parcel number as well as the amount due.  Please be advised that Point & Pay will charge you a convenience fee of 2.39% of the amount for this service.

The Washington County Treasurer’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  You can contact the office at 262.335.4324.

Buck Blodgett impacting state prison inmates                             By Samantha Sali

On July 15, 2013, six years ago this week, the city of Hartford was rocked by the news of the brutal murder of 19-year-old Jessie Blodgett. Today, her father, Buck Blodgett, has made headlines for forgiving his daughter’s murderer, Daniel Bartelt, during the sentencing hearing and for starting up a non-profit called The LOVE > hate Project, targeting to end male-on-female violence.

One of the key parts of Blodgett’s nonprofit is giving presentations around the state titled, A Message from Jessie. To date, Blodgett has presented Jessie’s story to hundreds of people at college campuses, high schools, conferences, and community groups. He also travels to prisons, impacting inmates around the state of Wisconsin.

Buck Blodgett said he has done “about two dozen” presentations for the state prison system in the last two years, reaching 3,000 inmates and staff. “As The LOVE > hate Project returns to prisons this year that we visited last year, we are hearing more and more stories of the impact,” Blodgett said.

Blodgett said last year at Prairie du Chien Correctional, an inmate stood up during the Q&A after the presentation. The inmate said, “I don’t believe you forgave your daughter’s killer; don’t believe you could, don’t believe you would. I know I couldn’t, and I definitely wouldn’t.”

Blodgett replied, “I didn’t drive across the state and come to prison today to hear you say you can’t and won’t. We need you. You’re getting out soon and your calling needs you to answer it.”

When Blodgett returned to Prairie du Chien Correctional this year, he witnessed the same inmate attended the presentation with an entirely different attitude. He learned that Prairie du Chien had since started their own program called The Forgiveness Class. The inmate leader for the class was the same inmate who expressed his opposing viewpoints just the year prior.

Blodgett shared his new goal of expanding his reach within the prison system with a new, 4-part, faith-based series. “I’m hoping to distribute the video series farther and wider than I can do in person in other states,” he said.

“Buck has been invited into all the prisons within the state of Wisconsin. He’s made such an impact that it has caught the attention of the wardens and the chaplains. The chaplains wanted a faith-based presentation, so this series is called The F-Words…think Faith, Forgiveness, etc.,” said John Bass, pastor at Cedar Springs Church, 3128 Slinger Road, Slinger. Bass also serves as the Director of Promotions and Fundraising on The LOVE > hate Project’s Board of Directors.

“Buck is just a dynamite guy. Cedar Springs Church has just fallen in love with him and his message of love and forgiveness,” Bass said. “Our church has taken on The LOVE > hate Project as one of our missions because it’s about something we are passionate about; love, forgiveness, and overcoming and conquering hate. He’s been a huge part of our church; people look up to him and follow his example. The congregation has grown through Joy and Buck’s forgiveness,” said Bass.

The series is being recorded at Cedar Springs during its 9:30 a.m. service. Part 3 will be recorded Sunday, July 28, 2019.

Public info meeting for roundabout at CTH Q and Hillside Road in Village of Richfield

There is going to be a public information meeting for possible improvements to the CTH Q and Hillside Road Intersection in the Town of Lisbon / Village of Richfield in Washington and Waukesha Counties:

Wednesday, July 31 – 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.        Presentation at 6:05 p.m., followed by Q & A

Richfield Village Hall, 4128 Hubertus Road, Hubertus, WI 53033

Washington County is planning to apply for funding to construct a roundabout at the intersection of CTH Q and Hillside Road. The project is designed to improve safety at the intersection. Construction timing will be based on the approval of funding with an estimated construction schedule of 2021 or 2022.

Please attend to view displays, learn more from Washington County Highway Department staff, review informational displays, and provide your input on these proposed improvements.

Those unable to attend can submit comments to Informational displays will also be available on the County Highway Department website on August 1. Feel free to contact the Washington County Highway Department with any questions at 262-335-4435.

Welcoming Smart Warehousing to the Village of Germantown

A ceremonial “Massive Panel Raising” will officially welcome Smart Warehousing to the community of Germantown with the construction of Germantown Gateway Corporate Park’s newest industrial building.  The building is one of two industrial buildings currently under construction within the newly established 140-acre corporate park located less than one mile east of the I-41 and Holy Hill Road/CTH 167 interchange.  The Panel Raising will occur on Monday, July 22 at 3 p.m. on the construction site.

With completion scheduled this fall, the 200,000 square foot industrial building will be home to Kansas City-based Smart Warehousing.  Smart Warehousing is an industry leading warehousing, fulfillment and logistical solutions company with operations located throughout the country.

The developer, Zilber Property GroupSM, recently completed a 706,000 square foot build-to-suit for Briggs & Stratton Corporation’s global distribution operations and is also currently developing an additional 200,000 square foot speculative building at the park.  Additional land sites are available for development.

Participating in the “Massive Panel Raising” will be Dean Wolter (Village of Germantown President), Mark Barbari (Executive Director of Strategic Accounts, Smart Warehousing) and John Kersey (Executive Vice President, Zilber Property Group).  The panel raising ceremony will begin promptly at 3:15 p.m.

Public hearing July 25 for Washington Co. special assessment on septic / Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System

On Thursday, July 25 in Room 1014 at the Washington County Courthouse there will be a public hearing at 7:35 a.m. regarding a proposal to place a special assessment on property tax bills for the tracking and maintenance of the Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) throughout Washington County.

According to the County website:

This assessment is currently estimated at $11 annually per parcel served by POWTS or $11 annually per system located on a single parcel, whichever is greater.

The report on the Special Assessment is available HERE or for inspection at the County Clerk’s Office and Parks and Planning Department Office during business hours.

In short, this report details the proposed special assessments intended to recover or defray Washington County’s costs related to developing, maintaining and enforcing a POWTS inventory tracking system as required by §145.20 Wis. Stats. The assessment district includes all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Washington County within which POWTS are located. We continue to evaluate programs and costs in Washington County in order to best serve all County residents and ensure that we are mindful of the future. As such, the County has passed a preliminary resolution authorizing this report, a letter to homeowners and a public hearing because the cost of this program makes sense to be borne by users rather than taxpayers at large. Roughly 40% of properties within the County are serviced by POWTS (an estimated 20,313 parcels as of 6/13/2019) and the remaining properties are serviced by sewer. 25 other Counties throughout Wisconsin currently use fees to support POWTS system programming.

Some frequently asked questions include:

Q: Why are you holding the public hearing in the morning?

The public hearing is scheduled during the Land Use and Planning’s monthly standing meeting. We are considering the addition of a possible additional evening information session in order to accommodate a variety of residents and stakeholders. Any comments received in writing, via email or letter, will be added to the record of the public hearing. Written comments received on or before Wednesday, July 24 will be distributed to the committee prior to the hearing. Written comments received after the public hearing will be distributed to the committee via email. All written comments will be posted to the county’s website.

Q: What would the fee pay for?

The proposed fee is for the administrative costs of the county to administer the POWTS maintenance program as required by state law. This includes maintaining the inventory of systems and sending maintenance reminders to POWTS owners when their system is due for maintenance. If compliance is not obtained, then a Wisconsin Uniform Municipal Citation may be written and an appearance in court may be necessary. Other duties performed within the program include database management, analysis and quality control of the POWTS program, mailing and emailing information, reconciliation reports and general customer service duties.

Q: Why do you mail postcards? Could you save money by sending reminder e-mails?

The county looks to employ technology whenever possible. Our current systems do not have a way to email owners instead of mailing a card. Even mass email clients could require yearly subscription fees. Additionally, when property ownership changes, the email would be obsolete. It’s more accurate to mail property owners, because mailing addresses are updated with ownership changes.

Q: $225,000 for this program cost annually is a lot.

The preliminary/proposed program costs are outlined on the county’s website. These were developed based on a series of assumptions for public and County Board dialogue. Costs shown are based on the county’s estimated current programming costs for Land Use Programming. A quick note, the fire capacity for Room 1014 is 100. County officials are planning for overflow; however, those details have not yet been released.

In addition to the public hearing, an informational session will be held August 6 at Richfield Fire Station #1 at 6 p.m.

Letter to the Editor | Objections to Washington Co. special assessment for Private On-Site Treatment Systems | By David L. and Lynn S. Williams

I choose to present my strong objection to the Special Assessment for properties with Private On-Site Treatment Systems in written form and trust that as the letter to residents states, “Written comments will be read at the public hearing and will be given the same weight as oral testimony.”

My comments follow relevant sections of the synopsis…..

EXCERPTS FROM: Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) Maintenance Program Special Charge Tax Assessment Report June 2019

(1) ” …..because the cost of this program makes sense to be borne by users rather than taxpayers at large.”

“Program Benefits

Land Resources programming in Washington County has a vision for “protected and improved land & water resources.” One of the primary reasons for POWTS regulations and properly maintaining POWTS is the health of families, communities and the environment. When septic systems fail, inadequately treated household wastewater is released into the environment and human contact can pose a significant risk to public health. Failing systems can contaminate nearby wells, groundwater, and drinking water sources. (EMPHASIS ADDED) …”

RESPONSE: The benefit of POWTS monitoring DOES benefit ALL taxpayers. As stated, failing systems can contaminate groundwater and drinking water sources. All homeowners , including those on on city sewers, DO realize a benefit from the program.

CONCLUSION: The cost for monitoring POWTS should be borne by all taxpayers and be part of the county budget, as it has been ever since monitoring became required.

(2) The allocation of 40% of “Salary & Wages” (and similarly in all the line items) in the proposed 2020 Budget to the POWTS program is excessive.

RATIONALE: Proof of compliance is only required every third year. Therefore, in any year only one-third of the 20,000 POWTS owner need to be contacted, i.e. 6,666. Suppose that 80% of the owners comply after the first post card mailing, then only 1,333 require further follow-up.

CONCLUSION: If there is to be Special Assessment the Board should require the Department to evaluate and justify how it could possibly require $227,527 to monitor the program.

Respectfully submitted,

David L. and Lynn S. Williams

 Letter to the Editor | Attention owners of Washington Co. Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System | By Frank Mayer

Attention Washington County POWTS Owners

RE: Public Hearing on July 25 at 7:35 a.m.

I have numerous questions and thoughts regarding this Public Hearing

#  1  This seems to be a strange time for a Public Hearing.

#  2  This special Assessment does not fully explain what this money will be used for.

#  3  The notices for pumping have been sent out for  19 years and the pumpers send in their report to Planning and Parks  Department. If the money $11 per household is used for computer entry only, this seems like a money grab. $11 per year times 3 years per household. This is way out of line for such little work. What’s next $11 per well?

#  4  If onsite inspections were done with this money, and consider 8 inspections per day per household, ( counting travel time ) 40 per week and 200 per year it would take 9 years just to complete the Town of Farmington which has 1900 households give or take. The County has 20313 systems. At $11 per year per household in the County times 20313 that comes to  223,443 per year for computer entry. Systems are pumped every third year. In a three year period this would amount to  670,329. What a windfall for Planning and Parks.

#  5  Special Assessments on the TAX BILL ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

#  6  I would hope you, Jamie Ludovic ( Central Services Director )  would consider holding another Public Hearing or an extension of such hearing at a future date and time between 6 p.m. and  8 p.m.

Concerned Town of Farmington Resident

Frank Mayer


Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher.


1008, 21 July 2019


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