Washington County proposed POWTS fee may be dead
The Washington County Land Use and Planning Committee will meet Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 a.m. and one of the agenda items includes making a recommendation to the full County Board on the special charge tax assessment for the Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Maintenance Program.
The basic premise of the special tax would be to assess at $11 per parcel annually properties served by POWTS or $11 per system, whichever is greater based on the above cost estimate. Approximately 20,209 parcels (99.5%) would be assessed an $11 fee ($11 x 20,209= $222,299).
During a public hearing July 25, 2019 more than 50 people spoke against the special assessment and county officials read 46 pages of letters that also were against the proposal.
County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said he is going to make a recommendation at the August 22 meeting.
“At that meeting I will recommend to that committee to vote ‘No’ on implementing the POWTS fee,” he said.
During the Sept. 11 County Board meeting, Schoemann said he will again recommend the County Board vote ‘No’ on the POWTS fee.
“We’ve recognized the situation and the outcry and citizens clearly have no interest in doing the fee or the tax; call it what you want it’s a tax. So I had a budget workshop and I don’t think this board has the votes,” he said.
On the other hand, if the board does have the votes to pass the fee Schoemann said come October the County Board would have to pass the budget with the POWTS fee and that needs 18 votes. “I don’t think there’s 18 votes on the County Board to pass the budget with the fee in it,” he said. “So, the board is properly responding to the constituents, I’m trying to be responsive to the constituents; they don’t want the fee and we’re not going to implement the fee.”
Trend in Washington County government
While Schoemann said he will recommend a ‘No’ vote there has been a trend in county government lately to bring an issue back to the full County Board for a second vote, even if the item was initially defeated.
“That has happened about five times in the last 15 months,” said Schoemann.
One of the most recent instances was the county board’s vote against an elected executive director. While the item failed on a 13-13 vote, a couple of supervisors have revived the issue and put it back on the table.
Schoemann said it is up to the full County Board to decide on the special assessment POWTS fee, however one of the factors playing into the issue is timing.
“If the fee passes, we need time to put it on tax bills,” he said. “If it’s voted down in September then October is the last chance, they can do it and if it doesn’t come back in October then it can’t come back at all.
“I don’t expect it to come back… especially if I’m recommending, they vote no; but I can’t imagine someone would bring it back,” Schoemann said.
Informational meeting August 27 at Washington County Fair Park
After the July public hearing the county was scheduled to have an informational meeting about the POWTS proposal, however that meeting was cancelled.
Schoemann indicated an informational meeting has now been scheduled, but it will be after the Land Use and Planning Committee meeting August 22.
Please be advised that the County has rescheduled the Fiscal Health Informational Meeting for Tuesday, August 27 at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Park Pavilion Exhibit Hall. An update regarding the status of the proposed POWTS Special Assessment will be provided in addition to a discussion about the County’s fiscal health and budget.
“I want people to know what’s going on with the county fiscally,” said Schoemann.
In the past Schoemann has detailed how Washington County is “falling off a financial cliff.”
“That’s how the POWTS fee came up in the first place because there is a financial cliff. We’ve been directed not to raise taxes at all so fees or cuts is what we’re doing. I’m going to recommend the POWTS fee not be passed.”
2019 Allenton Parade dedicated to volunteer firefighter and EMT Bruce Ellis | By Ron Naab
The Allenton Annual Picnic Committee announced this year’s parade will be dedicated to Bruce Ellis with the Allenton Volunteer Fire Department.
Ellis was nominated for the Washington County American Legion Council for his outstanding contributions as an EMT to the department and those they serve. Ellis won the county nomination and was then nominated for the Second District of the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion, which he won as well and was then nominated for State recognition.
On July 21 Ellis received the 2019 EMT of the Year award from the Wisconsin Department of American Legion. Ellis joined Allenton Volunteer Fire Department in January 2014; this was a result of Allenton FD responding to a call to help his grandson.
This the second time Ellis has been involved serving others as a firefighter and EMT; he served previously with Bark Lake Rescue.
Ellis has willingly taken courses to improve his skills to be an outstanding provider of emergency medical treatments.
According to the nomination letter, “Each time Bruce’s help and expertise has been requested, he has stepped up and offered to help, always with the statement ‘l will help with whatever you want me to do.’”
Ellis has served with many committees within the department from setting guidelines, sharing his skills, working with youngsters and purchasing equipment.
The Allenton Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 18. Watch for a live broadcast at Washington County Insider.
Egbert & Guido’s Citgo in West Bend has been demolished
The old Egbert & Guido’s Citgo station, 1300 E. Paradise Drive, in West Bend met its demise today as crews tore down the building on the corner of Paradise Drive and River Road.
It was Dec. 22, 2018 when owners George and Kathy Muth confirmed they had sold the business and building to Kwik Trip. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but it made sense,” said Kathy Muth.
The corner of northwest corner of Paradise Drive and River Road has been in the Muth family since 1847.
“That was always farm field,” said George Muth. “It was corn, soybeans and hay and I farmed it when I was young, and I was fifth generation to farm it.” George remembered all four corners were farm field and Paradise Drive was “a very skinny, one-lane road.”
Plans for the new east side Kwik Trip include a car wash, 20 fueling stations, and it’s anticipated the location will offer 20-25 jobs.
The convenience store will also be flipped and face River Road and the roundabout off Paradise Drive. It’s a different setup than what Egbert & Guido’s offered. Construction, according to Kwik Trip, is set to get underway in 2020.
There will soon be four Kwik Trips in West Bend with stores on Silverbrook Drive, S. Main Street and Decorah Road, Highway 33 east (the former East Side Mobil), and the store on Paradise Drive and River Road.
Halloween store to open this month in former Shopko building in West Bend
There are boxes and crates and grocery carts full of costumes and Halloween displays all waiting to be unwrapped at the former Shopko, 1710 S. Main Street, in West Bend. That’s as the empty big box store will open temporarily as the home to the new Spirit Halloween.
According to its website: Spirit Halloween has one single goal, to deliver the very best Halloween experience possible to all our guests. We are the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in the world and the premier destination for everything Halloween.
The store carries Halloween costumes, accessories, animatronics, décor and more. The district manager in West Bend Teri Kennedy said the franchise was headquartered in New Jersey. The Halloween supply store will only take up about a third of the front of the former Shopko building. The business started to unload stock August 5. Spirit Halloween is expected to open at the end of August and run through November.
Shopko stores across Wisconsin officially closed in June 2019.
Plans underway to move playground at Sandy Knoll County Park
About a dozen people turned out for the initial open house at Sandy Knoll Park to discuss adding a proposed 10-acre fenced-in dog exercise area. If approved this would be the second dog park in the Washington County Park System; the first was Homestead Howl Dog Park installed in 2018 in the Village of Germantown.
Comments at the open house ranged from the height and type of fence, whether there would be an added cost to get into the dog exercise area, who would monitor the dog park, would dogs need proof of rabies vaccines, would there be a small dog area and would a small pond at Sandy Knoll be included in the dog park. Eric Hyde, Washington County Park and Trail Manager, said the county received a nice five-figure donation to help pay for the setup of the dog park.
Playground changes at Sandy Knoll Park
One of the other topics during the meeting was about moving the children’s playground located at the entrance of Sandy Knoll. The idea would be to disassemble the setup and move the playground to another area at Sandy Knoll or possibly relocate it to Homestead Hollow in Germantown.
Hyde said moving the play area was in response to the recent release and placement of registered sex offender Kenneth Crass.
On July 23, 2019 Crass was released back to his home on Wallace Lake Road, which happens to be located next to the kid’s playground at Sandy Knoll Park.
In July, when Crass was released, Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis addressed his placement near an area with children. “I’ve been in touch with the County Parks Department and we’re looking at different options,” said Sheriff Schulteis. “Whether it’s signage or fencing; it’s certainly something we’re aware of.
“Aside from the children’s playground there’s a rental unit belonging to the county and they want to make sure renters know about the registered sex offender.”
The County Parks Department said it will be placing a notice at the rental unit, regarding a registered sex offender. A decision on the future location of the playground has yet to be determined.
West Bend School Board to hear Private Task Force report Monday, Oct. 14
The West Bend School Board voted to move its Committee of the Whole meeting from Oct. 7 to Oct. 14, 2019 so it can hear a report from the District Private Task Force which has been studying facility and operational efficiencies in the district.
The Task Force was formed in the wake of a failed referendum in April of 2019. The goal of the referendum was the construction of a new K-4 elementary school in Jackson and safety and infrastructure enhancements at the high schools.
The group has been reviewing forecasted maintenance and capital improvement needs at the facilities, studying projected enrollment data and comparing new information to the District’s 25-year plan which was compiled almost 10 years ago. Task Force organizer Kraig Sadownikow will be ready to report October 14, 2019. He said it will take 60-90 minutes.
“We do not expect to make recommendations to the School Board. Instead, we will present findings within the context of the District’s long-range improvement plan,” Sadownikow said. “The School Board was elected to make decisions. With that in mind, we will offer our independent thoughts and findings, allowing the School Board to draw its own conclusions and take action accordingly.”
Task Force members are Kevin Steiner, Tim Schmidt, Kraig Sadownikow, Randy Stark, Ed Duquaine, Dan Garvey, Mike Chevalier, Owen Robinson, Chris Kleman, Chris Schmidt and the education team from Zimmerman Design Studios. Members were chosen based on their design, construction, facilities management and communication expertise.
For additional information on the West Bend School District Private Task Force contact Kraig Sadownikow at www.teamacs.net.
9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum starting to take shape
The 9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum is starting to take shape. After more than 200 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony in June, work got underway to start constructing the Memorial which is located on the southeast corner of Fond du Lac Avenue and First Street.
“Primary in our goals is that this memorial will for generations to come, stand as a historical touchstone linking the past event of 9/11/2001 to the present,” said organizer Gordon Haberman.
“The memorial will be a physical structure which respectfully honors the memory of those lost that day and in the resulting conflicts afterwards. It will stand as an important source of information for young people in understanding the sacrifices of 9/11, yet also portray the strength, spirit and resolve of America.”
Former WBHS shop teacher Dick Trinkl has died
Richard (Dick) James Trinkl May 7, 1948 to August 13, 2019. Richard taught 35 years in West Bend Public Schools, the majority at Badger Middle School as a shop teacher. He will be remembered most for his love for Jesus, his family, and any person he met. A memorial service will be held at Crossway Church, W156N10041 Pilgrim Road, Germantown on Sunday, Aug. 18 with visitation at 2 p.m. and the service at 3 p.m.
Washington County 4-H Open House
Young people with an interest in developing leadership skills, volunteering in the community and looking for new and fun ways to learn are encouraged to attend an upcoming Washington County 4-H Open Houses. 4-H is a volunteer-driven organization offering a wide variety of research-based and youth development programs ranging from photography, cooking and raising livestock, to learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through robotics and more.
During the open houses, attendees will be able to meet 4-H club members and leaders, try out hands-on activities, check out the archery range (open for ages 8-19 on Aug. 21), and enjoy light refreshments.
Open House is Wednesday, August 21, 2019 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Washington County Fair Park, Small Animal Building, 3000 Pleasant Valley Road (Hwy PV), West Bend, WI 53095.
Hartford Union HS District CNA classroom ready for new school year | By Teri Kermendy
Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is excited to announce the CNA classroom is ready for the new school year.
For the first time students at HUHS can earn the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification as part of a normal school day and earn MPTC credits and elective credits. The classroom was the final piece of this program.
The CNA course is a semester long course in which 15 students first semester are enrolled and 16 students second semester. Students will earn three MPTC credits and 1 HUHS elective credit for taking this course.
“Having this course at HUHS is a huge convenience for our students,” said Jon Duhr, director of teaching and learning. “In the past, students were driving to Beaver Dam to take this course and driving 45 minutes for nine weeks in the middle of winter.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for students,” said Duhr. “Once students complete the certification they can begin working as a CNA right away which is really important to our local health care facilities looking to fill those much-needed positions. Students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, can use this certification as a steppingstone for their future.”
The instructor for this course is Tina Cordell from Moraine Park Technical College.
“We’d like to thank all of the supporters for this project, without them this would not be possible,” said Duhr.
The equipment needed for the course were provided from funds from the Carl Perkins Grant, Aurora, (specifically Hailey Nenonen and Karen Bialas), Cheribini and from Medical Staff of Aurora Medical Center Washington County.
Updates & tidbits
-The deadline is August 30, 2019 to cast a sealed bid for a 2008 conversion van Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is retiring from its fleet. According to Interfaith “the vehicle has been well maintained and service records are available upon request.” More information is at 262-365-0902.
– Horicon Bank’s free Shred Day is Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – noon. Horicon Bank, 1535 W. Paradise Drive, in West Bend will be collecting donations for the Wisconsin Honor Flight at its Shred Day event.
-Scouts chartered by the West Bend Moose Lodge will host “Experience the Adventure” at an Open House on Tuesday, August 27 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the West Bend Moose Lodge, 1721 Chestnut Street, West Bend. There will be interactive activities including camping, backpacking, cooking, pioneering (rope and knots), orienteering (map and compass) and more.
The Scouts recently returned from a week at summer camp at Ed Bryant Scout Reservation and a high adventure backpacking trip to Cloud Peak, Wyoming and will gladly share stories and photos about these recent adventures.
Scouting is a premier youth development program – preparing young people to become responsible citizens and make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes. Anyone with an interest in camping, the outdoors, developing leadership skills and service to the community is encouraged to attend.
-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center in West Bend has a try hockey free weekend Sept. 6-8, a women’s hockey tournament Sept. 13-15, a mini clinic specially designed for little kids and beginners the weekends of Sept. 21 and 28, and a girls only try hockey on October 5.