New franchises expected to open in former Pizza Hut location on Hwy 33 in West Bend
There’s an interesting item on the Tuesday, Sept. 3, West Bend Plan Commission agenda as a couple of popular franchises are exploring a new location on W. Washington Street.
According to the agenda there’s a site plan for the redevelopment of 1610 W. Washington Street, which is the old Pizza Hut location. That location closed Feb. 1, 2016 and has sat vacant since.
The plans indicate a restaurant development, by Dairyland Operations, LLC, Dunkin’ & Baskin Robbins.
Applicant: Dairyland Operations, LLC Dunkin’ & Baskin Robbins P.O. Box 120 Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Agent: Mario Valentini MRV Architects, Inc. 5105 Tollview Drive, Suite 197 Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Tuesday’s Plan Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.
WB Mayor Kraig Sadownikow gives update on city government and West Bend School District Task Force
West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow wore several hats during his appearance this week as the guest speaker at Common Sense Citizens of Washington County.
Sadownikow provided updates on the City of West Bend. Highlights included:
-Developments including the new Fleet Farm and Verizon store on Highway 33 will help spur other development.
-Designs for the west side of the downtown Riverwalk are underway and the 2021 project could include an underpass.
-The City is working to expand the industrial park and in the last few months annexed and purchased 200 acres of land south of Rusco Road.
-Closer to October there will be a 2020 budget presentation and Sadownikow expects the mil rate to remain flat and, with merit pay in place, employees in the City could see a maximum 2.5 percent pay bump which hasn’t been done since 2006.
-Increasing funding for roads and reducing debt are still high priorities.
-After upgrades and repaving of Eighth Avenue is completed it is expected to be a primary thoroughfare when Seventh Avenue is upgraded in 2020.
-Lots of budget discussion including $25 million to run the City, looking for efficiencies through outsourcing, finding success in modernizing the garbage trucks and subbing out legal costs rather than having attorneys on staff. There are about 225 City employees.
-In 2012 the City of West Bend was among the worse 10 percent in the state in terms of debt and now has paid off $40 million in debt and is in good standing in the top 40.
-Dark store theory is still an active discussion and an interesting topic. Walmart in West Bend has been assessed at $12 million. The store has filed a lawsuit to be at $6 million assessed value. Walmart sold June 18, 2019 for $18.8 million.
In the final 20 minutes of discussion Sadownikow focused on the West Bend School District Private Task Force (WBSDTF)
Sadownikow started the WBSDTF after a failed referendum in April 2019. The task force is focused on looking at facilities in the West Bend School District, specifically Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools.
“I did not publicly support the referendum,” said Sadownikow. “I personally did not publicly support it. I feel our schools are in need of some additional maintenance. I did not vote for the referendum because I didn’t think where the dollars were going was communicated well enough.”
Sadownikow said $47 million was a lot of money. “I did not see a picture of the new elementary building, classroom designs or a priority list of where the money would go,” he said.
After the referendum he felt “doing nothing wasn’t an option” and thus was born the WBSDTF.
Sadownikow asked West Bend Mutual and Delta Defense for money to fund a private task force and hire an engineering firm to give an unbiased look at the district. Zimmerman Design was brought on board to make recommendations for modern facilities.
Within 24 hours Sadownikow had financing, an architectural firm and he cobbled together a task force with electrical contractors, architects and engineers. “I want to be super clear, while I feel money is part of the solution to our facilities more money probably isn’t part of the solution,” he said. “How we allocate the dollars in the district will be a key part of our findings.”
The Task Force asked for three things including access to building, access to information and finally to publicly present its findings to the school board on Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. “We’ve toured the schools, collected information and will present our findings,” said Sadownikow. “There is an effort to appease everyone and that’s tough to do.”
“The Task Force challenged itself to ask questions that may not have been asked before,” said Sadownikow.
The Task Force toured the schools, adding Decorah Elementary and Fair Park to the list, and collected information and currently the group is putting together its findings. “We decided early on we would keep our conversations within the group until we can all agree on a message,” said Sadownikow. “I don’t think our findings will be perfect… but we will go into the community and support our findings.”
One nugget Sadowniknow shared included four general findings. “First category is general findings on the school district as a whole pertaining to communication and the 25-year plan,” he said.
Second item is high school priorities. “We heard safety enhancements and locker room improvements, but we will list out our priorities and we’ve assigned some dollar ranges,” he said.
Third is elementary school deployment. “How the district offers elementary school education,” he said. “Is it remodeling or a new school… I won’t say now.”
Fourth is operational opportunities. “In running the city, we saved money by outsourcing. Can that be done in the school district,” he said. “Our job is to ask questions that haven’t been asked before.”
Sadownikow said the key statement is, “money may be part of the solution, more money may not be part of the solution.”
Those in attendance then asked several questions about how the district got into this position, were any other school districts used as models of success, possibly leaning towards virtual schools,
“Until we figure out how to make sure we’re maintaining what we have it would be a tough sell to say we need new rooftops. We need to figure out a maintenance budget,” he said.
Some specifics found include a declining enrollment at the elementary school level. “It’s a statewide trend,” said Sadownikow. “We’re at 79 percent capacity now and projections are that number will decline.”
Sadownikow said it’s important to “not use old data to plan new stuff.”
“Are the dollars all being deployed in the most cost-effective manner,” he said. “The easy answer is more. We need more, more money. I like to ask the question, how much and where is it going.”
The WBSD Task Force presentation is slated for Monday, October 14 in the district office at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.
Cricket Wireless stores to open in West Bend, Hartford and Fond du Lac
Three new Cricket Wireless stores will be opening in the Washington / Fond du Lac County area in the coming month. There will be a new store 1735 S. Main Street in West Bend; located in the strip mall to the south of Pick n’ Save south. A new store will open at 35 Liberty Avenue in Hartford; in the strip mall between Walmart and the new Casey’s General Store just north of Highway 60. The store in Fond du Lac is already open.
Centrum Building in downtown West Bend has been sold
The Centrum Building, 120 N. Main Street, in West Bend has been sold. According to records in the City Assessor’s office the building sold August 19, 2019 for $1,250,000.
Records show Centrum Building LLC sold to Centrum Rentals LLC. The property was last assessed at $1,593,900.
It was previously sold September 1, 2001 for $1,400,000.
There’s quite a bit of history to the Centrum Building. Do you remember what it was previously called? Over the years there have been many tenants in the 3-story; below is a list from November 2006. How many do you remember? The building next door to the Centrum Building is currently Krimmer’s Restaurant. What were the names of the previous businesses in that location, 114 N. Main Street.
County Trunk Highway WW is open
The Washington County Highway Department has repaved County Trunk Highway WW from CTH D in Kohlsville to State Highway 33 and the road is now open to all traffic. Sight distances have been improved at the intersection of CTH WW and Beaver Dam Road and drainage improvements have also been made on this 3‐mile stretch of county highway in the towns of Addison and Wayne.
Sixteen veterans from Washington County on the Sept. 7 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight
There are 16 veterans from Washington County on the 53rd Stars and Stripes Honor Flight which takes off from Mitchell Airport on Saturday, September 7.
Vietnam Army Michael Wilhelm of Germantown, Korea Army Anthony Roskopf of Germantown, Korea Navy Wendel Smith of Colgate, Vietnam Navy Paul Gillis of Hartford, Korea Marines Ronald Fass of Hartford, Vietnam Army James Gilmore of Hartford, Vietnam Army Vincent Strupp of Hartford, Vietnam Air Force Judith Warnecke Strupp of Hartford, Vietnam Navy Dennis Albrecht of Hartford, Vietnam Army Steven Liegl Sr. of Kewaskum, Vietnam Army Ronald Wicke of West Bend, Vietnam Marines Carlos Nava of West Bend, Vietnam Army Stephen Hebel of West Bend, Vietnam Air Force Richard Holbrook of West Bend, Vietnam Marines Lawrence Ketterman Jr. of West Bend, and Vietnam Army Irving Marsh of West Bend.
Kewaskum School Board votes to fill open seat
There were three candidate interviews conducted Monday night as the Kewaskum School Board works to fill an open seat. In July board member Jay Fisher announced his resignation. Four candidates applied for the post and three showed up for interviews including Dennis Aupperle, Wayne Sargent and Mary Miller.
Neal Weare did not attend.
Each candidate was asked the same six interview questions by the board and then recommendations were made.
Board member Troy Hansen recommended Mary Miller; that was seconded by Sue Miller.
Board member Jim Leister recommended Aupperle; that nomination was seconded by Doug Gonring.
Each candidate then received three votes with board president Mark Sette giving a nod to Miller and Tim Ramthun casting his vote for Aupperle. According to the school district attorney a tie vote would mean the board president would have 60 days to break the tie and make an appointment to fill the remaining term for the seat, which will expire in April 2020.
Sette said he will meet with Miller and Aupperle and make a decision at a later date. Sette spoke favorably about Miller. “Both Mary and Dennis gave phenomenal interview. They bring positivity,” said Sette. “I know Mary didn’t win in last election, but I don’t think that speaks to her qualifications. With Mary I know what I’m getting. Mary brings a lot of knowledge on policy and was the WASB delegate. That’s not to take away from Dennis and his history and commitment to the community. I feel with Mary we know what she brings to the table.”
Below are highlights from the candidate interviews:
Dennis Aupperle –
Strengths bring to board: Community oriented. Lived here entire life. 2000-2013 coached wrestling and then operated a driving school. I know people and listen and work with people in the community.
Why apply for position: Have attributes that would help the board and community. This is a great school district, HS and sports complex. Dennis graduated KSD and so did his kids and he wants to be part of that.
Board’s role and responsibility: Enforcing the bylaws of the district. Oversee the school district and direct the district administrator and make sure everything runs smoothly. Most important responsibility- makes sure everything runs smooth and staff is happy and keep a positive influence in the school district from top to bottom.
Explain how you would handle requests/ complaints if approached by group: Chain of command. School board president to district admin and then full board works it out.
How would you envision keeping students first when making school board decisions: School board needs to be set by bylaws and rules set in place. Overall the rules are in place for a reason and that’s a benefit to the students.
What is the vision for education in this community: creating a positive learning environment, positive staff. Keeping a positive attitude and moving in the right direction.
Wayne Sargent –
Strengths bring to board: I’ve always been a leader. Inside and outside the workforce. Love of children. Passion to help others. Work around the community. Positive attitude.
Why apply for position: Throughout the last couple years the board has been lacking democracy and not in a positive manner. The board needs to move in the right direction and follow code of ethics.
What is board’s role: Assure the children have free education and ensure we’re moving in a positive position. Stay active within the community.
Explain how you would handle requests/complaints if approached by group: go through the chain of command and then be brought to the full board to solve the problem
How would you envision keeping students first when making school board decisions: Students should always be first and foremost with regard to any decision made by the school board.
What is vision for education in community: Keep current and try to stay ahead of neighboring communities – prepare them for what’s next so there’s no surprises.
Wayne’s question of the board: If appointed to board – what does board expect. “Carry out duties of board and that’s what board’s function is,” said Sette.
Mary Miller – She started by passing out copies of her resume
Strengths bring to board: In my profession before retiring. I worked with people. The residents and collaboration and worked with employees and setting up programs so they could be successful in employment. Also bring years of service on the board and different committees and referendum, facilities, and what other districts are envious of. On policy committee for 10 years and continued as policy chair and belief in collaboration.
Why apply: my belief in value with what’s happening in this district. With our kids, our scores, the building process and what is happening.
What is board’s role and responsibility: Most important is providing best education within financial constraints. Uphold the policies and support the staff. Retaining the individuals working in the district.
Explain how you would handle requests/complaints if approached by individual/group: there is a process to be followed. Parent can discuss with teacher and then go up the line. The board is the last group that has to review any complaints if there is no satisfaction along the way. There are specific policies that address that.
How to keep students first when making school board decisions: Students should always be first. Always the student is first.
What is vision for education in community: Education needs to improve. Not everybody is college bound. Great need for trades but nee a technical education and that has been addressed in the district. Technical classes and I’m fortunate my husband grew up in this district and was an educator in this district and my kids all graduated from KSD.
Any question for board. I’ve been at all the meetings and I’ve been at other meetings. Well acquainted with operations of the board.
Jack Russell Memorial Library recognized for making a difference | By Steve Volkert
The Jack Russell Memorial Library Staff was recognized as the Washington County Anti-Trafficking Advocates PUZZLE PIECE OF THE MONTH award recipient at its July 29 meeting.
The award is a token of their gratitude for both the library’s willingness to engage a piece of the puzzle by allowing meetings to be held at the library at no cost, and also for the continued cooperation and wonderful customer service that has always been provided to the group.
“This award is just a token, but our gratitude is priceless and we appreciate the library staff for all it does to help us educate our community about human trafficking issues in our own communities and beyond,” said Wendy Smith, a co-founder of the group.
Access reopened along WIS 167 near WIS 164 construction project
On August 28, construction crews reopened access along WIS 167 (Holy Hill Road), including east/west access through the newly completed roundabout at the intersection of WIS 164 and WIS 167 in Washington County.
Motorists are now able to head east and west along WIS 167 across WIS 164.
The Department of Transportation said, “completing this work before Labor Day helps alleviate traffic impacts to the adjacent Friess Lake School.”
Remaining Work: WIS 164, both north of the entrance to Friess Lake School and south of WIS 167, remains closed to all but local traffic. By mid-September, WIS 164 south of WIS 167 is scheduled to be complete and reopened. The seven-mile rehabilitation of WIS 164 is scheduled for completion in October. This work is weather dependent and subject to change.
New temperature and humidity-controlled storage units coming to Slinger | By Olivia Wills
My Choice Self Storage is adding a Temperature and Humidity Controlled Storage Building to their Slinger Self-Storage location coming September 2019. This facility is located just east of I41 off of Highway 60 in Slinger, WI.
The temperature-controlled units will range in size from 7’ x 7’, 10’ x 7’ and 10’ x 20’. Call today to be placed on the waiting list.
A special gardening segment during SPARK! at the Museum of Wisconsin Art
The Museum of Wisconsin Art hosted a special SPARK program this week for adults with memory loss and their care partners as special guest Susan Steinhafel from Roots and Branches put together a decorative garden arrangement.
Steinhafel took the group on a tour of their senses and let everyone experience the sweet aroma of the colorful flowers and feel some of the rough leaves and woody stems included in her beautiful arrangement.
SPARK! is designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. SPARK! is a free monthly program that engages participants in conversation about Wisconsin art. Each session includes a facilitated discussion about works of art in the galleries followed by time for coffee and mingling in the studio.
MOWA has been part of the regional SPARK! Alliance since 2009, thanks to seed support from the Helen Bader Foundation, and offers this program to highlight and promote self-expression and mental stimulation.
Still theatres after all these years | By Poblocki Sign Company
When Poblocki Sign Company began creating architectural signage in 1932, movie theaters were becoming the rage. Theaters had to capture attention from passing cars, and so the signage extended outward closer to the street and overhanging canopies were introduced.
The blade signs on the side of the building allowed people to see the theater from a distance. There was scrollwork, chasing lights, hundreds of light bulbs, flashing words and a lot of excitement. The canopies earned the name “electric tiaras.”
Over the years, the theater signs have become a street marker and identification for area businesses directing customers. The signage has also started to deteriorate from weather, age and materials available at the time. Fortunately, there is a resurgence of people interested in preserving historical towns and buildings. Many communities involved in downtown revitalization and historical theater renovation have made signage the hallmark of their efforts.
The Historic West Bend Theatre in West Bend, Wisconsin opened in 1929 and has an active board of directors tasked with the theater restoration project. The fundraising goal to restore the theater is an aggressive $3.5 million. They have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support for this project as $2.3 million has already been donated by the community. Another $1.2 million will likely be raised through prospective government credits and grants.
The sentiment within the West Bend community is that this sign is an icon of the city. Many people are nostalgic and reminiscent of some childhood connection to the theater. Some contributors even had their first kiss there. This emotional remembrance has led to support unlike any the board have seen before on fundraising initiatives. The board is extremely grateful to the community and excited to return the theater to its grandeur.
The Historic West Bend Theatre will “re-light” their historic blade sign on Thursday, September 5 at 5:30 p.m. at 125 Main Street.
The “electric tiara” includes 478 light bulbs and 460 LED lamps within the blade sign.
Poblocki Sign Company has participated in other notable theatre projects in the recent past including Rivoli Theater in Cedarburg, WI, Harper Theater in Chicago and The Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. An upcoming renovation we are thrilled to participate in is The Warner Theatre in Milwaukee which is being renovated as the new home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Theater renovation projects can be a rebirth and regeneration for a community. Theater signage gave us our start, and we are proud to be restoring and creating theater signage again after all these years.
Mark your calendar for the big Key Logo T-Shirt Sale in Hartford
Coming up in September there will be a T-Shirt Sale hosted by Key Logo in Hartford. There will be plenty of items to choose from including new merchandise: t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and much more.
Many sizes and colors to choose from. The sale, 594 Pine Street, in Hartford will occur Thursday, Sept. 12 and Friday, Sept. 13 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Annual PRD meeting, Aug. 28, 2019, at Town of West Bend Town Hall
There was a huge turnout Wednesday night at the Town of West Bend Town Hall for the annual Protection & Rehabilitation District (PRD) meeting.
Some of the highlights: the 2019-2020 annual budget for the PRD was passed by a vote of 437 – 104. That did not take into consideration the voice vote which was predominantly a ‘yes’ vote.
There was also an election to fill the seat of PRD commissioner Mike Burns as he wrapped up a 10-year term. Candidates were Dave Baldus and Kevin Leitner. The seat carries a 3-year term. Out of 607 total votes Baldus beat Leitner 368-239. Baldus will be sworn in at the next meeting.
A report was also given on the water quality of Big Cedar Lake. Overall the representatives from the USGS thought the efforts taken to help maintain Big Cedar Lake were having a positive effect. While a rating can vary depending on location the USGS said BCL rated between a 7-10.
Troy Zagel – working on a program -do the DNR clean boat/ clean water program at Gonring lanch. Working to stop the spread of invasive species. Trying to educate boaters. Looking for volunteers.
Congrats to Mike Burns and thanked him for his 10 years on PRD.