Look WHOOOooooo is back!
For the third year in a row a Great Horned owl is nesting in what looks like an old vent in the side of a building in West Bend. The photo below was snapped this week by Greg Lofy from ASP Images.
Mary Holleback is one of the educators at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg. “The owls have already had their eggs and they’ve already hatched,” said Holleback. “At this point they’re little fluff balls. Give it a week or two and you might see a few heads poking up in there.”
Holleback said the owls are done mating, they’ve laid their eggs and they’ve hatched and there’s a chance the owls have some soft down on them already.
The website asknature.org has a great article on the feathers of an owl and how it aids in reducing noise in flight to make the owl a silent predator.
This fringe breaks up the air further as it flows off the trailing edge, resulting in a large reduction in aerodynamic noise. Then, any remaining noise that would be detectable by the owl’s prey is absorbed by velvety down feathers on the owl’s wings and legs. These soft feathers absorb high frequency sounds that most prey, as well as humans, are sensitive to. All together, these feather features enable owls to remain undetected when they fly.
Temperatures this March 2020 have been rather mild, even though overnight temps have dropped below freezing. “This is the way it is every year with the owls trying to get a head start on the season,” said Holleback. “The Great Horns are the first ones to mate in Wisconsin and towards the end of the month the barred owls and screech owls will start nesting too. The Great Horns start early because it takes so long for their young to get mature enough to take off and get on their own before the end of summer. The owlets need to be self-sufficient before winter.”
While one owl has been spotted so far this season, Holleback said “usually the same adult pair come back to the same spot.”
“Say, last year they had a brood and if successful those young will fledge and they will disperse; they won’t go too far but the young don’t usually take the nest site from the adults,” said Holleback. “If the adults were not successful and the young died or froze to death then they usually look for another location. The whole name of the game is to reproduce and make more offspring for the next generation.”
Located below the nesting site is a rather graphic collection of last night’s dinner. Owls will take in food and then yack up hair and bones and what not; a lot of that is in a small grassy area right under the nest. (you have been warned). If you happen by and don’t see the mother owl, take a look in the surrounding trees by the Milwaukee River. That’s good hunting area for them.
No. 5 Kwik Trip moving forward in West Bend
The West Bend Plan Commission, minus two members, at the Tuesday night meeting unanimously moved forward with Kwik Trip No. 5. The latest proposal is for a Kwik Trip to be built at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street at the former location of Fleet Farm.
A rendering of the design was submitted to Plan Commission and Kwik Trips Troy Mleziva walked us through what the layout will look like.
“The store will face north toward Washington Street and the fuel canopy will be closest to Washington Street. It’ll be built pretty much where the Fleet Farm building sat along with the old Tri Par,” he said.
“We’re taking a bunch of green space and adding it to the south of the property to create a buffer with the neighbors on Concord Lane.”
The space on the hill to the east of 18th Avenue will have some green space added and some will remain paved as there’s a possibility for more development, possibly a restaurant. “We don’t have anything determined yet, or the zoning but current zoning is commercial,” said Mleziva.
There will be shared-access driveways on 18th Avenue and three entrance/exit on W. Washington Street. If you drive past the location there is quite a drop off in elevation on the property. Mleziva said that is going to be changed. “The grade change between the old Fleet Farm base elevation and the new Kwik Trip is about four to five feet,” he said.
Only one neighbor, Lois Biron, spoke during the public hearing. Biron has lived on Concord Lane for 20 years. Concord abuts the western edge of the new Kwik Trip.
Biron was concerned with the development design that would remove a 50-foot tall line of Evergreen trees and how the new store would be about 60-feet off the property line.
She said another concern was there would now be ongoing traffic since the store would be open seven days a week and the reports to the Plan Commission showed a 75% increase in traffic to the area and even more if a restaurant will be built.
“Kwik Trip is a 24-7 operation and we’ll no longer have holidays with no noise or quiet at night and with added development there are added concerns,” said Biron. “From 15th Avenue and 18th Avenue there are other businesses coming in and our concern is this will be another Paradise Drive. This will directly impact the enjoyment we have along with the four other neighborhoods behind us.”
Biron was primarily concerned about the noise and how they would be able to hear things in the summer when their windows would be open. “We accept Kwik Trip,” said Biron. “But still have concerns about a number of things.”
Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick expressed concern about the exterior speakers. Initially the plan said the speakers would be turned off from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Representatives from Kwik Trip quickly complied with his request that the speakers be turned off from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Dolnick also put to rest rumors about how City government worked with regard to who could open a business and what the alternatives would be concerning the possible reuse of the old Fleet Farm building.
The timetable on development of Kwik Trip No. 5 has yet to be determined. Mleziva said the old Fleet still needs to be razed but the early thought is they’d like to have the store open “some time next year” in 2021.
Other details from the Kwik Trip:
– There will be 56 parking spaces and 6 handicap parking spots at the W. Washington Street location
– There is a car wash at the W. Washington Street location
– Construction will start this year, 2020, on the Kwik Trip No. 3 and No. 4 locations in West Bend. Mleziva said the two projects may be “staged at the same time” but he was not aware which will be started or completed first.
Kettle Moraine Lutheran wins Regional Final against Lake Country Lutheran By Megan Himm
Twenty-four hours after playing USM, Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) took on the Lake Country Lutheran (LCL) Lightning for the regional finals of the Division 3 WIAA 2020 Boys Basketball Tournament. The Chargers were able to come out victorious with a final score, 74 – 67.
Both schools went into the game with equal records of 20–3. KML’s No. 2 seed allowed them to play No. 3 LCL at home. The stands were packed and additional bleachers were pulled out to accommodate the large crowd. The energy translated to the court and was felt by the players.
The game started slow with neither team scoring for the first two minutes. LCL was the first to score.
With three minutes left in the first half, the Chargers were able to tie the Lightning. By halftime, the Chargers were up 35 – 32.
Senior Cole Biesterfeld describes the comeback, “We were down by a lot right away, but we had the will to come back. At the end of the day, it comes down to working hard and that’s what we did. We’ve been playing together for a really long time and we know each other so it just kicked in. That chemistry created the comeback.”
Leading the Charges in scoring was Jacob Stoltz with 28 points. Austin Wagner followed with 17 and Austin Schaff finished with 16.
Looking ahead, Biesterfeld said, “We just won our second regional final. We can enjoy that today, but we have bigger plans. We have to look onto our next game and get ready for that.”
An upset resulted in No. 4 Brown Deer defeating No. 1 Dominican at home with a final, 103 – 102. The Chargers will play Brown Deer on March 12 at Brown Deer.
Public hearing regarding special assessment for neighbors on 18th Avenue in West Bend
It appeared almost all of the 70 homeowners and their spouses were in attendance at Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting as a public hearing was held on a special assessment for neighbors in the Westminster Place subdivision located in the area of Decorah Road and 18th Avenue. The special assessment is tied to road improvements on 18th Avenue between Decorah Road and Vogt Drive along with curb and gutter, street lights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.
The group appeared in an organized effort to try and convince the council to back off on a special assessment that could tag properties an additional $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.
Brett Berquist kicked off the public hearing with a list of prior court cases, details of municipal code, and developers’ agreements.
Steve Ahles – 9,600 vehicles per day use 18th Ave. Subdivision is 70 homes. Deficiencies in the road. 18th Ave has had a rural cross section and the subdivision not the reason why it should be an urban road. Road is generally flat, if our subdivision were the reason for this or make sure we’re safe then why take until 2019 to open the road. Few N & S arterial streets in WB. Next road is 2 mi to the east. Allows travel from Paradise Drive biz and serves as alternate to US 45. Would adding a bike lane to two blocks of road make it safer for bikers. How much do adjacent property owners benefit vs the traveling public. Please consider who really benefit from the reconstruction of 18th Avenue. Go back, sharpen your pencil and rework your numbers.
Brett Berquist – special benefits. Ignore those that support the people.
City engineer report shows direct benefits to subdivision.
No. 1 – curb and gutter result in improved roadway. The subdivision as some reverse frontage lots. New curb and gutter benefits the entity who pays for it. After road done the city became responsible for maintenance.
No. 2 – pedestrian and bicycle access. S. 18th Ave. is part of larger network of bike and walking trails.
No. 3 – wider road for improved vehicle capacity. When does increased number equal benefit to subdivision. Basically road is no wider than it was – other than
No. 4 – improved emergency vehicle access
No. 5 – improved safety with street lighting. Only helps drivers and not property owners.
No 6 – benefits have to be articulated and detailed showing an uncommon advantage. Developer would waive future rights and there’s wording in developers agreement. Reconstruct 18th Avenue on “some future date.”
Clear on provisions in state statutes – the use of a special assessment to recoup costs. This would not pass legal scrutiny.
Comments – in 2017 as part of design process – the traffic forecast was 8300 cars in 2013. More vehicles from community use 18th Ave than residents of subdivision.
Arterial road – 18th Ave benefits general public – 2020 land use plan – any street must move people efficiently and safely and provide direct access to homes.
Heavy volumes of traffic can’t be in a subdivision.
A street with heavy traffic is not attractive for neighboring subdivisions.
Other cities have chosen special assessments – except on two blocks of Eighth Avenue.
Not a benefit to Westminster Place Subdivision.
Tim Riedl –It’s obvious any sort of road improvement helps the city overall. There are times in life when you have the right to do something or it’s the right thing to do. In this case this is clearly not the case. Please do the right thing when making a decision.
Harry Shaw – Examine the issue of special assessment through a different lens. First word is integrity. Definition according to Webster – an unimpaired condition. Two examples – website gets hacked and impaired. It no longer has integrity. Military code broken it’s compromised. The issue at hand is the local contract. I feel integrity was compromised when Joseph G. Altschaefl – was part of the Plan Commission and then the agreement was passed along to future property owners. I firmly believe this was not an oversight. No. 2 ethical – conforming to accepted standards of conduct. City has to file rules for state statutes of conduct. To not follow these would compromise the city’s responsibilities. I find it incomprehensible the city engineer is trying to pass off that the improvements are for our subdivision and not the city as a whole.
Bob Roecker – The city shall have the right to impose special assessments. It doesn’t say the city must. We’re being assessed over $11,000; this increases speed and volume of traffic and we have to do snow removal. This benefits all of West Bend. Why isn’t the cost distributed evenly among all taxpayers? Are all road improvements in the city of WB financed by special assessments? Then if not – why this one? This money doesn’t fall from the sky. This isn’t fair or ethical. I hope you will decide to levy this tax on all taxpayers evenly.
John Peterson – 18th and Schloemener – few years ago received notice that I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. I attended public hearings. I raised objections. Was told this would be for the greater good of the city. A hill was created in my yard and I lost five trees and now there’s 150 feet of sidewalk that I must shove. Lived on corner since 1989. I paid school taxes even though my family has gone to private schools since ????. Why should I be charge for a street that I only use a couple times a week. My assessment is $13,000.
Lay Rosenheimer – board of directors of Friends, Inc. In existence for 42 years and shelter is on S. 18th Avenue. Not in the subdivision but on 18th. This is a non-profit agency. Operate 20 bed shelter for people experience abuse and human trafficking. Provide 7,000 bed nights annually. Shelter and transitional living make up half of annual budget of $480,000.
As the rest of residents impacted – we have an assessment of just under $15,000 and that’s a crippling amount. We don’t receive county support anymore but do receive United Way funding. I’m asking this committee to reconsider charge to Friends, Inc. It’s the largest amount for all homeowners involved. We were cut out of county budget in 2017. These families experience trauma in their homes and if we were not here to provide this. Our budget is set on grants, donations. To relay the cost to our services – it could me a loss of 428 advocacy sessions. 441 education lessons. This loss would be felt throughout the county.
Lay’s words – I’ve been a city resident for 26 years and in the county for 60 years. We have problems in our community and we exist to help victims of the crimes. This is a substantial assessment and this is a nice road but it’s difficult. This agency relies on donations, grants and an assessment like this is damaging.
Louie Santini – this is an arterial roadway joining north and south West Bend to the west. The special benefits have been challenged. These benefit the general public. City six statements – curb and gutter on 18th Ave. Subdivision was already designed with water diversion easements. Helping other modes of transportation. This will benefit the city as a whole. Improved vehicle capacity with wider roads – will that rally benefit the subdivision? Improve emergency vehicle access – that’s not improved just if the road is new. Lights help road and not Westminster. City is asking developer that there’s a special benefit to Westminster. Without acknowledgement the project would have been denied. The road was widened on Eighth Avenue but no special assessment happened there.
No sunset provision in this developer’s agreement. Will this go on into perpetuity. Developers agreement says city MAY not SHALL issue a special assessment. We ask respectfully to vote no to resolution
Douglas Kieckhafer – lifelong 626 S. Eighth Avenue. I’ve traveled 18th many times. As I heard about this – when I drive through 18th from Decorah – every time I think how ridiculous this type of assessment would be. The people here that are affected have been well behaved. If I had been living in that area – or the non-profit I would be quite upset. My concern is this setting a precedent. Might you start doing this elsewhere. One important thing – 9,600 cars per day and something says the subdivision people in attendance are small. Other people are benefiting… as are the businesses on Paradise Drive. How ridiculous this assessment is. Who ever would go along with this should be ashamed of themselves.
Following about 45 minutes worth of comments the public hearing was closed.
The council then discussed the issue for about 15 minutes hashing over items like the developer’s agreement, state statute and escrow.
“This is a tough situation here and I feel sorry for all these residents because of one person, the developer,” said District 1 alderman John Butschlick. “If we relinquish and say we won’t hold them accountable then in the last minute the city has no rhyme or reason – would it be the property owner or city.”
The council eventually voted unanimously to table the issue until the next meeting. After the meeting neighbors from the subdivision gathered in the entrance to City Hall. They praised each other for maintaining a professional demeanor and for giving the council “something to think about.”
“The feeling I got was the council members received a lot of information tonight,” said Westminster subdivision spokesman Louie Santini. “I didn’t think they felt they could make a decision on the resolution based on what they heard tonight. I think they will do their own research as to what’s the right thing to do in this situation. We truly believe this is not a fair assessment to S. 18th Avenue residents and the Westminster subdivision.”
West Bend Mayor Candidate Forum
The two candidates running for Mayor of West Bend, Chris Jenkins and Rich Kasten, participated in a candidate forum at City Hall.
Chris Jenkins – Married with five children. Dist. 4 alderman in West Bend. On finance committee and long-range planning committee. Pres. of WB Early Risers Kiwanis. Village Adm for Elmwood Park. Lots of experience. Lead our city to next decade.
Rich Kasten – Married with three grown children. Homeowner for 22 years. Grad of MU and working now as IT manager. Serving Dist. 5 alderman. Chaired public works and finance committee. Former member of CFAC committee, crime prevention patrol and on committees at St. Frances Cabrini. Budget and strategic planning.
With low unemployment businesses struggle – how do you entice talent?
RK – Vision I have for WB is to get us out of this bedroom community. Have WB be known as a great, safe, place to live, dine, work and play. At that point we’ll have better individuals to get to workforce.
CJ – Public safety, strong infrastructure and quality of life. A strategic plan can spread out to larger values. We need to be open-minded and have broad array of housing.
If City received $1 million grant how would it be used and why?
CJ – Roads. We’ve increased funding towards roads. The plus is our overall debt has been lowered by $40 million
RK – Roads is No. 1 issue. Also want to be cognizant we’re not doing roads at the expense of quality of life.
If elected will you follow through on riverbank restoration?
RK – yes, absolutely. The corridor between downtown and MOWA we’re lucky to have it. We need to continue the momentum.
CJ – We’re only half-way complete. It’s a great example of public and private partnership.
Deteriorating roads is a hot topic – will you spend more money than previous administration?
CJ – Yes, with a caveat that we have a plan in place. The advisory referendum gave us mixed results. We’re looking at efficiency and we don’t want to hinder tax burden.
RK – We’re realizing results of decreasing our debt and we’re getting space to use for roads. Need to look at different strategies. Don’t want to spend wildly. Maybe do smaller sections of road.
What’s the last job you succeeded in and how does that fit the mayoral position?
RK – we delivered our latest project on time and under budget. I have that experience to drive toward success and stay on target. That’s part of being a good mayor.
CJ – being a village admin one of the things we developed was a new strategic plan. We brought a group together to look at values and that made decision making process easier. We can do this too at City level.
What 3 steps to put City on firmer financial footing?
CJ – Create a strategic plan, make sure our budgets align to goals, and follow through.
RK – Continue following policies we’ve put in place on borrowing and spending. We have key components set so our bond rating is as solid as possible. Challenge our department heads. There shouldn’t be any fear to try new things. Work with Dept. Heads to address zombie issues and a strategic plan will help.
How are we welcoming to new and diverse population?
RK – residents of WB are welcoming. If we can get the message out for people looking for diversity and flag organizations like Casa Guadalupe. Wants Chamber of Commerce to return to a welcome wagon for new homeowners.
CJ – be welcoming through community development. Housing needs and support nonprofits and community events.
What are we spending too much on as a City and not enough money on?
CJ – We’ve done a good job at holding city departments accountable. Spending more money on infrastructure and public safety. Police, fire and medical services
RK – what do we spend too much on – I don’t think we do that. We provide more than enough for police and fire. Not spending enough on roads. It comes down to how we can best spend those dollars.
One thing at City level to impact future of WB
RK – getting involvement of residents. We have committees and commissions with smart people who can help. Most committees are advisory but they can help mold the city. Growing involvement of the city.
CJ – create a strategic plan. Why our previous mayor succeeded with the task force, the goals and conservative fiscal discipline. Which includes citizen involvement and predictable spending.
Define a successful term
CJ – making sure the issues we face on city council are less burdensome. Create a plan and setting objectives and carry out the plan.
RK – Did I earn the respect of residents, employees and the council. That would say a lot for the success of the term. Did we achieve the challenges with measurable results. We have greater involvement by residents and committee.
The West Bend Mayoral race will be on the April 7 ballot in the City of West Bend. Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins. Voters are asked to cast one vote in this non-partisan race.
In-person absentee voting begins in the City of West Bend on Monday, March 16 and runs through Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m. Remember to bring identification to the polls.
Neighbors complain about amount of dog waste on Eisenbahn State Trail in West Bend
There has been a growing number of complaints in West Bend regarding the amount of dog waste on the Eisenbahn State Trail and the downtown Riverwalk.
Warm, sunny weather brought a lot of people out to the trail on Saturday including bikers, runners and neighbors walking their dogs.
Bill Casey has lived in the Barton area since 1961. “I’ve got Douggie and Nellie with me,” he said about the dogs on the leash.
“Most people probably pick it up …. but there are those few,” he said.
Casey has his plastic bags for dog waste stored with the dog leashes so he remembers to take them every time he goes out. “If they had more garbage cans it would be nice, but there is a receptacle by the Train Depot; it’s not difficult to carry and then throw it in the garbage,” he said.
Between Highway 33 and Barton on Saturday there was a purple plastic bag of dog waste sitting on a bench. Several other blue plastic bags of waste had been tossed into trees and brush on either side of the Eisenbahn Trail.
Kathy Cira of West Bend was walking Riley around noon on Saturday. “We are on this trail all the time,” she said. “We live right off of Creek Road and we walk through here.”
“I really don’t appreciate seeing the waste left behind. Most of the dog owners I know do pick up,” Cira said.
Without any prompting Cira reached inside her jacked pocket and pulled out a number of blue, plastic bags. “These are really accessible to buy and I use the garbage facilities by Cast Iron,” she said.
‘Questioned how some of the bags of excrement end up in the trees or bushes or just left along the trail, Cira had one word. “Lazy,” she said. “People don’t care. I’ve lived here 15 years and this is annoying to see. I always pick up after my dog.”
Cira indicated West Bend was “a dog orientated community.”
“I really think the few are ruining it for the many,” she said.
There was some suggestions on how to reduce the instances of people leaving dog waste on the trail, both relied on more police presence. “I guess the police have to be out here more and if they see them fine them,” said Cira. “Make sure consequences are enforced.”
Casey echoed that thought. “They should have a guy on a bike riding patrol and giving out $250 tickets,” he said.
It was April 15, 2019 when the West Bend Common Council passed an ordinance allowing dogs on the Riverwalk. Upon passage the council was clear this would be a one-year trial.
West Bend alderman candidate forum for Dist. 3 and Dist. 7
A candidate forum was held recently at West Bend City Hall. Candidates included Brett Berquist and Mary Ann Rzeszutek vying for Dist. 3 alderman and Oscar Estrada and Justice Madl vying for Dist. 7 alderman in the April 7 Spring Election.
Dist. 3 – Brett Berquist – Went to UWWC, 25 years in Military with three deployments, retired WBPD. Public safety, growing community and responsible with tax dollars. Top issue is roads and attracting new business.
Dist 7 – Oscar Estrada – Dist 7 – lived here 11 years with two daughters. Eucharist minister and member of Knights of Columbus.
Dist. 7 – Justice Madl – Incumbent. Business owner in Barton. Increased pressure on police department and be careful to remain safe. Work with new mayor, focus on roads and and make Barton safe and clean.
Dist. 3 – Mary Ann Rzeszutek – Recently moved from NY. WB is a beautiful place to live. I have no agenda and can look strategically at issues. Works part time at WB public library. Want to be active member of community. Experience with local government. Was in manufacturing with Kodak Co.
What qualities do you bring to council that would benefit district and community?
OE – 29 years of experience and working with customers. I would work united. Would spend more time listening. Improve and grow WB. Quality of products and people and drive cost out but doing right thing for people of WB.
JM – Direct line to how people in district feel about issues
MAR – I’m a good problem solver. Good at communicating. Broad background. Experience to spend money wisely. I would treat taxpayer money like I do my own.
BB – I like working as a team. I can see the big picture and help communicate. As a former police officer I can think on my feet. I’m just one person but I want to work for taxpayers.
If your campaign is successful how will it affect area business?
JM – HBBA has put on 10 local events. Installed bike racks. I’m already doing it.
MAR – I have experience in biz and residents of Dist. 3 are concerned about empty stores. Thriving business means thriving community.
BB – Positive impact. I shop local. Work as a team and I’m going to rely on others and learn about developers agreements and special assessments. Look out for what’s best for the community.
OE – My strength is working with businesses around the world. I know how to develop growth and bring people into the city of West Bend. I’d look at marketing and our great safety factor. Key is to develop trust and respect, understanding, sincere, and providing time to listen to taxpayers to help grow home.
What’s more important building more homes and commercial space or rehabbing, expanding existing storefronts?
MAR – Using the existing storefronts and space is important. Effectively fill empty stores.
BB – It’s a fine line. We don’t want to be stagnant. Don’t want to limit housing. Empty buildings – it would be great to encourage business growth and development. Biz are in biz of making money. Yes, City is involved but important to allow them freedom to want to come here. Teamwork is important to get to the point to benefit biz and community.
OE – WB is home. Attractive part is the local stores. At times other businesses are needed. There are opportunities for us to grow.
JM – There has to be a combination. Can’t always afford to tear something down and build new. Bermico building needs to come down.
City roads are hottest topic in community. Should city spend more to address problem?
BB – We’ve been trying to address it. Important to be part of the solution. Instead of tearing up roads how about just resurface and make a short-term fix. If a road needs to be replaced then it has to be considered.
OE – If we can do assessment by district and look at worst roads by volume of vehicle. Try something different – look at it from total cost of operating. Review bidding process and rate bidders. Look at all corners of WB to please everybody.
JM – City has PASER rating to rate the roads. We’ve improved debt situation. Roads are tough.
MAR – Spoke to city engineer. There is an evaluation process along with traffic count. City has prioritized roads and it’s a good plan to follow. City does a good job to fix roads when it coincides with sewer and water repair. Suggests taxpayers may be ready to spend more.
One thing to be done at government level to have biggest impact on West Bend?
OE – Public safety. Want to make sure people feel safe.
JM – Staff. Work with new marketing person.
MAR – Better communication.
BB – Teamwork. The important thing is the taxpayers. People want someone to listen to them.
How are you different than other candidates?
JM – I have an ability to connect with my constituents.
MAR – I’m learning about the city, have an open mind and clean slate.
BB – I have strong communication skills.
OE – I’m more like a coach and help to get the best out of people.
What challenges has no one started discussing yet?
MAR – Safety and make sure WBPD and WBFD are funded adequately
BB – Where do we want to go from here. What are our priorities
OE – Barton Park improvements
JM – Improve downtown Barton
What does a successful term in office look like to you?
BB – Work on issues and find important things to address and work towards a better community for all.
OE – Build trust with constituents, provide support with businesses and increase activities for all ages.
JM – I’ve been very successful the last two years. New banners, bike racks, Christmas decor….
MAR – Have a good relationship with residents.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
First anchor tenant commits to new Water Street Suites in Downtown West Bend By Deb Reinbold
American Commercial Real Estate, an American Companies affiliate, has signed a 10-year lease to Stifel, one of the nation’s leading full-service wealth management and investment banking firms, for occupancy in the new Water Street Suites.
The anchor tenant is the first to commit to the new space, planning to occupy 7,035 square feet of Class A office space within the 15,500-square-foot facility. Both of Stifel’s existing West Bend offices will be consolidated into this new location once construction is complete this fall.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working as the property manager for Stifel at their current location on 18th Avenue since 2009,” said Jo Sadownikow, Principal of American Commercial Real Estate. “We explored many options and I’m pleased to be able to continue this relationship with them at Water Street Suites.”
“Downtown West Bend is a highly-desirable destination for new and expanding businesses,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “With the transformation of the Riverwalk, and this exciting site redevelopment, we are exploring all economic development opportunities that will support and enhance the community.”
American Construction Services began site construction in mid-February for the Water Street Suites and a 68-room Marriott TownePlace Hotel, located on an adjacent property. Construction began shortly after the February 7 sale of 3.3 acres from the City of West Bend, a portion of the site formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.
“We could not be happier to make our new home in this exciting development in the historic heart of our community,” said Matt Andrews, Senior Vice President of Investments for Stifel. “We’re proud to be a part of downtown West Bend. Our new office will greatly benefit our eleven financial advisors as well as their clients.”
Established in 1890, Stifel serves clients from more than 400 offices across the nation and ranks as the nation’s seventh-largest full-service investment firm in terms of number of financial advisors. It is a leading provider of investment banking services to the middle market, a top-ten municipal bond underwriter, and home to one of the industry’s largest equity research franchises. Parent company Stifel Financial Corp. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SF” and has achieved twenty-four consecutive years of record net revenues.
For additional details about availability in the Water Street Suites, contact Jo Sadownikow at 414-303-1837 or Adam Williquette at 262-424-3217 of American Commercial Real Estate.
$20,000 in grant funding awarded by City of West Bend Tourism Commission | By Jessica Wildes
The City of West Bend Tourism Commission has awarded grants totaling $20,000 to support promotional efforts for local summer events held by area nonprofit organizations.
Grant awards include:
- $12,500 for the Museum of Wisconsin Art to support Art & Chalk Fest 2020 held on July 25-26. This is the fourth year of the event which welcomed more than 20,000 visitors the past two consecutive years. MOWA anticipates more than 20,000 visitors and over 200 overnight leisure visitors.
- $3,750 for Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties to support GERMANfest 2020 on August 27-30. This is the 35th year of the event and fifth year run by Habitat for Humanity. It is estimated this multi-day event will welcome 10,000 attendees.
- $3,750 for The Hometown Foundation Inc. to support Homegrown Music Festival on July 10-12. This expanding event started in 2015 and anticipates 3,000 attendees.
Six nonprofit organizations submitted applications for consideration. A total of $53,000 was requested of the available $20,000. Funds requested are designed to promote tourism and provide economic impact on the City of West Bend from May 1-September 30, 2020. The primary purpose for using these funds is to generate overnight stays at West Bend hotels.
Marketing directed outside of the West Bend/Washington County area is given priority. The three entities awarded best demonstrated the highest likeliness of attracting overnight visitors and bringing attendees from outside of the local community to West Bend. The Tourism Commission met on the evening of Tuesday, March 3 to review each application and award available funding.
“The Tourism Commission is responsible for distributing the hotel room tax that’s generated throughout the year,” said Commissioner Jay Shambeau. “This is the highest number of grant applications received as well as the most funds requested to date. As this grant program gets more competitive, we’re seeing the quality of marketing plans and promotional efforts become more sophisticated and impactful.”
In addition to the spring/summer promotion grant, the Tourism Commission offers the Fall/Winter Tourism Promotion Grant totaling up to $20,000. Funds may be requested to promote tourism and economic impact for events held between October 1, 2020-March 31, 2021. The application deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020 at noon.
West Bend Plan Commission approves development of Taco Bell on W. Washington Street
The West Bend Plan Commission has approved development of a new Taco Bell at 2356 W. Washington Street. That property is currently home to Matrix Title..
The current building will be razed and a new 1,763-square-foot restaurant will be constructed. The new restaurant will feature a drive thru, concrete patio with decorative fence and tables, more than 20 parking spots.
According to records at City Hall the property used to be owned by Bridgeman Foods. The building permit dates to November 20, 1985. The building sold in 1992 for $315,000 to St. Francis Bank. In 1997 the bank sold for $390,000. At one point PNC Bank was located at that site. In June 2014, John Rehman from Matrix Title Co. purchased the former PNC Bank building, 2356 West Washington Street.
Word that a second Taco Bell was opening in West Bend has been met with some speculation by neighbors in the community, since the fast food outlet currently located on S. Main has locked its doors during the noon hour and operated solely through the drive thru. Management has said it’s because of a staffing shortage. Construction on the second restaurant is expected to get underway this year. So far no permit has been pulled to demolish the Matrix Title building.
Letter to the Editor | Questions about curriculum transparency in West Bend School District | By Jody Geenen
Yet another transparency issue with the West Bend School District! As the only new candidate running for School Board, I am frustrated with the district’s deceit in pretending to seek public input regarding new curriculum.
For example, the district sent a memo to certain parents/guardians and taxpayers (not me) inviting them to review the new 9th grade biology curriculum.
A friend received the email and was frustrated with the inconvenient times offered ~ 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.- 4 p.m., when most parents are traveling to work or working. There were no evening or weekend sessions.
I emailed the Curriculum and Instruction Department to request an evening viewing. While they were willing to hold a private viewing, they refused to open it up to the public except to let me invite guests. So I brought four.
Laura Jackson presented the curriculum and was aware the public was not invited to the evening session. Yet, she praised herself at the February 24 School Board Meeting for inviting public input. She said she offered convenient times to parents who were dropping students off at school or picking them up and that there was an evening session.
Really? There were zero (0) people, other than a teacher, who attended the two early sessions, and the five of us who attended the evening session from which she provided our written feedback to the board. Were inconvenient viewing sessions offered because there was something to hide from the public?
Were they just pretending to be accommodating to avoid any negative reaction to the curriculum? If you’re tired of the lack of transparency and you believe children’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, then vote for Jody Geenen on or before April 7 for West Bend School Board. Jody Geenen West Bend
Letter to the Editor | Curriculum questions in West Bend School District | By Jean Bury Weymier
Dear Editor, I am writing to share my personal experience with the West Bend School District putting out a new book and curriculum for 9th grade Biology. First, there was an open viewing of the book and curriculum to anyone who pays taxes but the only means of notification to the public was an email to limited audience. I was told that this was open to the public but later found out that whoever was in charge of putting out the invitation refused to let people know there was an evening viewing. What are they trying to hide?
Second, the book filled with non-science and pseudo-science topics such as climate change, population control and evolution. Instead of teaching the Science of Biology it is a total indoctrination of agenda-driven propaganda. I do not want my taxes paying for this type of brain-washing. This situation reminds me of the way the West Bend Community Hospital relocation to where it is now was accomplished.
Then, only after the outcry by many people from this community did an open and faux meeting occur. The move proponents pretended to care what we thought, only to do what they wanted in the end anyway. We need change in our school district so kids learn what they should and not a political agenda. If you want change in our district vote for Jody Geenen for the West Bend School Board on April 7. Jean Bury Weymier West Bend
Letter to the Editor | Letter of recommendation for Oscar Estrada as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend | By Jeffrey P. Cartwright
It is my pleasure to recommend Oscar Estrada to you as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend. He has worked for me directly in two separate roles at different companies where we turned around struggling businesses to profitability within a relatively short time. Oscar is a dedicated leader who routinely worked long hours in a whatever-effort-is-required mode.
Additionally, he has a strong sense of team and motivates individuals to rally together for the greater good of the enterprise. The difficult things we accomplished were based on a strong foundation of treating each and every individual with respect and dignity. Oscar has the ability to positively interact and engage with all levels of the organization from the Chief Executive Officer to the factory line worker. He consistently demonstrated the ability to teach, train, and develop those around him.
Beyond the tactical attributes described above, Oscar has a strong sense of strategic vision and is able to keep the long term in mind while executing the shorter-term objectives.
Following, the direct roles above, I have hired Oscar to assist me in a number of consulting engagements where we have been able to positively impact the results of the client organization in a matter of a few days.
I highly recommend Oscar as a servant leader, as well as, an individual contributor.
Best regards, Jeffrey P. Cartwright
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