Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Grand opening date posted at new Fleet Farm in West Bend

The shiny, new Fleet Farm on the hill on W. Washington Street in West Bend is getting set to open. A sign on the door of the stores announces the grand opening will be Friday, November 22. That’s a week ahead of Black Friday, Nov. 29.

One new product customers in West Bend will find on the shelves at Fleet will be beer, wine and spirits.

The city clerk in West Bend confirmed Fleet secured a license to carry alcohol. It will be at both the store and the Fleet convenience store/gas station.

“Fleet Farm stores that have opened since 2018 carry a selection wine and beer, as well as packaged grocery items,” said Christopher Zulfer, Division Vice President, Fleet Farm. “Our beer selection includes more than 200 beer items, including national and local craft beers. Our wine selection includes more than 225 items from a wide variety of vineyards.”

A record check in the city assessor’s office shows Fleet Farm Properties LLC sold the 69.7 acres of vacant land to Store Spe Mills Fleet II 2017-7 LLC for $3 million on June 19, 2019.

Challenging process of picking an interim mayor in West Bend

On Monday, Nov. 4 the West Bend Common Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. The hot topic will be, Discussion on the Vacancy Created by the Resignation of the City of West Bend Mayor  2. Filling the Office of Mayor

On Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, at the West Bend Common Council meeting Mayor Kraig Sadownikow announced he was resigning his seat effective immediately. Sadownikow stepped down citing a conflict between his business and his position with the City.

The state has a legal process on filling the vacant mayoral seat, which comes up for election in April 7, 2020.

City administrator Jay Shambeau said filling the seat will “not be an easy answer to come to.”

There are three options on the table; the council can appoint the council president or an alderman or a citizen from the City.

Option 1: appoint council president

The current council president is Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester. In the past, when the mayor needed to recuse himself from an issue before the council it would be Hoogester who would take over the meeting.

“If Hoogester or another alderman, is appointed mayor then he must resign as alderperson, so he no longer has that seat,” said Wisconsin Election Commission staff counsel Michael Haas. “The statute says if there’s a vacancy in the office of mayor then it’s filled by the common council unless a special election is ordered which is probably not likely if it’s a short-term vacancy. The council would need to decide, and the alderperson would need to decide.”

Hoogester has been council president since February 2018 after Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins resigned. “It’s an interesting thought,” said Hoogester about the mayoral position. “It’s something I’d be willing to do and fill in for five months; do the best I can and keep things moving forward.”

A wrench in the works, however, is if Hoogester would leave his seat as alderman, he would have to run for office again. “My aldermanic seat is not up for election in 2020 and if I’d have to vacate after five months I’d be out. That’s not on my list of priorities,” he said.

Hoogester said he would take a “wait-and-see approach” on how things shake out at Monday’s meeting.

Option 2 : leave the seat vacant or appoint an alderman

Another option, the council could choose to leave the office vacant and just delegate authority to the council president or someone else to do whatever the mayor would do whether it’s signing documents, etc.

An alderman could also be appointed. Then their seat would be vacant and that could be filled by appointment as well.

On October 17, Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten announced his candidacy for mayor.   According to Haas, “In a non-partisan election you can actually run for mayor and alderperson and if you win both you can choose which office you want.”

Kasten said last week, he is not interested in filling in the next five months as mayor however he is committed to running for the seat in April.

Option 3: city representative

The City could take applications from anybody interested and then, according to Haas, “everybody has a fair shot at applying and trying to convince the council they’re the right person.”

Deb Anderson was the alderperson in District 7 from April 2010 until April 2012 when she chose not to run for re-election. Anderson stopped at City Hall to inquire about being appointed to fill the short-term seat.

In a Wednesday night phone call Anderson said she did not want to run for mayor, but she could fill in for the next five months. She said her schedule was flexible and this way an aldermanic seat would not be unrepresented until the April 7, 2020 election.

During Anderson’s one term on the council she was a member of the Library Board, she helped drum up attention for the Barton Business District, and she expressed caution in 2012 when then Mayor Sadownikow encouraged aldermen to sign “Budget Pledge” to not raise the tax rate.

Anderson used to be the property manager for River Bend Senior Village. Most recently she headed up the Washington County Senior Center. Now she volunteers at the Senior Center.

On a side note: The city council will be voting on its 2020 budget in the coming weeks. On the table is a discussion on whether to keep a flat tax rate of $7.79 or raise it six cents to $7.85 for 2020.

Monday’s Special Meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street, in West Bend. The meeting is open to the public.

West Bend School District report on declining enrollment

West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard outlined enrollment trends during the Monday night, Oct. 28, School Board meeting. The district indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Superintendent Kirkegaard:

-Our enrollment has been going south. It has been for quite a few years and it’s going to go for quite a few more years.

-We’re down about 600 students since 2006

-There are about 60 kids that open enroll out of Jackson. Jackson area is the largest open enrolling out of the district.

-Projections: I made an assumption that the kindergarten class would stay the same and every kid who is in school this year stays in school throughout their whole career. If you go to the high school, we’re at 2184 this year. If you look at current students in the school, I added 50 kids every year once they become 9th graders, based on Holy Angels and Cabrini, typically the last few years we picked up 50 parochial kids that come to high school. You’re down to 1669 students with both east and west together.

-This isn’t doom and gloom, it’s just reality.

-There are certain districts in the state of Wisconsin that are going up (with enrollment), much of Wisconsin is not and we’re part of that.

-The reason for the decline is we don’t have as many kids coming through the system. Most people have two kids, one kid, three kids…

-The second Friday in January there is another student count. Typically, the January count is less than the September count.

-The third Friday of September is the official count date for district enrollment. See first chart below. The second chart shows a 14-year comparison of actual students in seats at schools in the West Bend District.

Chart 5 shows a 9-year projection of enrollment based on current students in the district and a flat kindergarten enrollment based on 364 students.

On a side note: The West Bend School District Private Task Force studied the school district and its facility needs over the summer. It released a report of findings on October 14. One of the findings considered the declining enrollment and loss of state aid.

Randy Stark – task force member: How do we take older inventory offline and replace it.

Options: We could do nothing. Keep spending $1.5 mil a year on facilities.  Retain all building and come up with money and address immediate capital needs however the design characteristics with concerns can’t be changed. Even if come up with $22.5 mil – we still have 80% of square footage is getting older.

Replace Jackson – in 25-year plan – solves some problems but only addresses one building.

“Perhaps a school in Jackson is no longer justified,” said Randy Stark from the Task Force.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of WB.

Doug Barnes from Zimmerman Architectural Studios – “Other school districts that have consolidated include New Berlin which has closed four schools and Beaver Dam has closed elementary schools and consolidated and Racine.”

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans on Monday, November 4

On November 4 the West Bend Common Council will honor all Veterans during its regular Monday night meeting as elected officials pay tribute to those who have served our country.

The event is organized by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. in the West Bend High School Silver Lining Auditorium.

All veterans will be recognized. Anyone in need of free transportation is encouraged to call 262-335-5123. The event is free and open to the public. Items for Support the Troops will be collected during the event and distributed as care packages to troops serving in the U.S. military.

Railroad crossing in Allenton expected to open Saturday, November 2

Work crews are taking advantage of the 40-degree temps and finishing the approach to the Canadian National Railroad crossing on Highway 33 in Allenton.

Contractors expect the road to reopen Saturday, November 2.

Wisconsin Central Ltd. (Canadian National Railway), has been reconstructing its railroad crossing located between Weis Street and County Road W since Monday, October 28.

To complete this work, crews required a full closure of WIS 33 at the crossing from Monday, October 28 until Friday, November 1.

The Town of Addison and Washington County Highway Department received numerous complaints about the crossing being hazardous and the noise when crossing was unsettling.   This crossing was repaired in 2014 and Canadian National has had to make repairs since.

Part of the major repair will include a complete removal of the base material, the ties and rails along with the approach from both sides of the track. Railroads own and are responsible for the track and up to 50 feet on each side.  This crossing was originally scheduled to be done in August.

On a side note: A train passed through the construction area at 1:38 p.m. on Monday. Interesting because the contractors are going to be pulling up the track during this repair.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda announces opening date

The street sign is in place, the parking lot has been blacktopped and the driveway to Highway 33 has been poured and Morrie’s West Bend Honda has officially announced its opening date.

According to general manager Bob Splitstoesser the West Bend Honda store will open Friday, Nov. 15. Contractors broke ground in November 2018. Morrie’s West Bend Honda is at 3215 W. Washington Street on the southwest corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

Morrie’s new Honda facility will create approximately 60 new good-paying jobs. Morrie’s West Bend Honda will feature customer parking for 40 standard and two barrier-free parking stalls.

The site plan identifies 248 stalls for vehicle display and loaners, 6 rental stalls, 75 service stalls, 74 employee stalls.

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk is sold out                     By Jessica Wildes

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk  is Saturday, Nov. 9 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Shop, sip, and swoon over the sights of downtown West Bend at the inaugural Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk. Start at the Museum of Wisconsin Art for your first taste and explore floral arrangements in the art galleries and an indoor artist marketplace. Then head to 20 more nearby destinations for wine, treats, and shopping along the way.

SOLD OUT! Join the wait list. Contact Jessica at 262-247-2266 or jwildes@wisconsinart.org. Please note that we cannot add additional registrants. If a registered participant cancels, we will work from the wait list. Registered Participants: Keep an eye out for event details in your email on Monday, November 4.  At check in, plan to bring your photo I.D. to verify your age (21+). No tickets are needed since everyone has pre-registered online. Your reservation will be held under your last name at check-in.

UWM at Washington County golf team wins major awards in final season | By John Minz

The UW Milwaukee – Washington County State Championship winning Golf Team had four members earn top spots on the WCC All-Conference Teams.

Antonio Feciskonin is the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.  He was medalist in both the Wildcat Invite at WCGC and the Wombat Invite at The Bull.  He finished the state tournament, held at Mascoutin CC, 10 strokes ahead of 2nd place.  He’s the 4th Wildcat in the last five years to be named Player of the Year.

Jacob Eichline is on the WCC First Team All-Conference for a second year.  Jacob improved his play from last year finishing 3rd in both the Invites and 4th at State to earn a spot on the 1st team.

Second year player Brad Halverson made the WCC Second Team All-Conference also for a second year. Brad had placed in the top 10 in both the Invites, and a strong 6th place finish at state, to earn a spot on the 2nd team.

Josh Bohn also made WCC Second Team All-Conference.  Despite not playing on a high school golf team, Josh worked hard posted a top 10 in the Wildcat invite and placed 7th at State earning him a spot on the 2nd team.

These are great honors to the Wildcat players for their post season play and their Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State title.

Washington County Trail Sharks wrap up successful season | By Julie L Willmas

The season for the Trail Sharks has come to an end with the State Race on the Trek Trails in Waterloo for the mountain bike team.

With the course being muddy and technical, the athletes were excited to race.  The racecourse was filled with fans, as the 850+ riders slid up and down the slick hills and turns. The Washington County Trail Sharks did not give up as they raced to an 11th place finish for the season.

The team was led this season by medalists Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 1st place, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 4th place, and Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st place. Medalists for the state race….Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 2nd, Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st

Top 10 in their age group…Gabe Rogaczewski (Slinger) 9th, Fiona Shaw (West Bend) 10th, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 7th

Other team athletes… (1 lap)-Aiden Schubert (West Bend) 27th, Nate Sajdak (West Bend) 45th, Brandon Paulson (Slinger) 81st, Kira Zechlin (West Bend) 14th, Ayla Abraham (West Bend) 29th, Shiri Zechlin (West Bend) 43rd

(2 laps)- Lexi Schubert (West Bend) 17th, Will Mauney (West Bend) 12th, Christian Spaeth (West Bend) 21st, RJ Goldberg (Hartford) 22nd, Gabe Kebbekus (Slinger) 44th, Carson Phillips (Slinger) 46th

(3 laps)- Nick Skaalen (Hartford) 33rd

Signing 9/11 Wisconsin Memorial Highway bill into law

An effort to name a 9-mile section of highway that runs through Kewaskum the 9/11 Memorial Highway came to fruition on a snowy afternoon in October as Governor Tony Evers signed the bill into law.

“This Memorial will serve as an important reminder to the people of Wisconsin of the loved ones we lost and the heroes that ran towards danger without a second thought and our nations grit and resilience in times of tragedy,” said Evers.

“Now that we’re 18 years removed from the 9/11 attacks it’s important, we remember and honor this history including the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost that day including 12 known individuals with connections to Wisconsin and of course Kewaskum’s own Andrea Haberman.”

The bill was spearheaded by Assembly Rep. Tim Ramthun and state Senator Duey Strobel.

Ramthun said the entire process has been a team effort. “This is overdue and it’s the right thing to do,” said Ramthun. “The value of this and the memorial factor will allow us all to never forget what happened to our nation and our state on 9/11; the enduring value is forever.”

Grand opening this week for Ozaukee Christian School in the Town of Trenton

There was a big celebration this past week as Ozaukee Christian School officially opened in the Town of Trenton. Parents, students and staff gathered early Monday morning to give praise and thanks and then cut the red ribbon to enter their new education space.

School administrator Kris Austin was beaming. She said the move to a new, permanent location has been quite a long road but “we just took it day by day and we let God take care of the things we couldn’t control.”

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “We had school at Camp Awana on Friday and here we are today with classrooms fully ready to receive kids. We’ve got a great staff, parents and volunteers.”

School board member Keenan Kerrins said it was a phenomenal day to celebrate. “This is our first permanent facility in the 30-year history of Ozaukee Christian School and we are so excited we’ve been able to come this far and to give such opportunity for students and parents alike to be able to experience school and God together,” he said.

Ozaukee Christian used to be located nine miles to the east of their current site in Saukville. As far as enrollment is concerned, Austin said there’s been some loss but great gain.

“We lost a few because this location is just too far for some families, but we picked up 14 new families, primarily from the West Bend area,” she said. “We will also be picking up another new family next week.”

OCS is a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990.  The current location is 1214 State Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course. Ozaukee Christian School describes itself as “offering outstanding, Christ-centered, non-denominational educational opportunities for students from K3 to eighth grade. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a uniquely Christian perspective—one that places Jesus at the center of everything we do and acknowledges the Bible as our ultimate authority.”

2 Responses to Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

  1. Mar says:

    So, it took 18 years to name a highway a 9-11 Highway. And its not even a major highway. What’s the point? Its like an long afterthought.

  2. Mark Hoefert says:

    I don’t think it took very long to name the highway – as I recall, the bill was recently introduced and passed quicker than crap through a goose.

    What took a while was to come up with the concept for a memorial to be built in Kewaskum in honor of a young lady from that community who died in the 9/11 tragedy. A non profit entity was formed (her surviving parents are on the board), funds were raised, and a beam from one of the buildings was acquired.  Efforts also went into designing & construction, and volunteers were involved.

    That section of Highway 45 was chosen because it goes right past the memorial – why would some different highway be chosen?

    I think it is great that in a small village far from New York, a memorial has been built to serve as a reminder of an event that happened almost 20 years ago. It kind of goes with that “NEVER FORGET” slogan that was being spouted almost 2 decades ago.

    Maybe if you follow this link and read it, it will make sense to you.

    https://www.wisconsin911memorial.com/about.html

     

     

     

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