Hartford City Hall addresses five cases of COVID
It was July 10, 2020 when officials at Hartford City Hall confirmed three cases of Covid-19 linked to a family who worked for the City.
“One particular case was three members of a family who work for us in different departments,” said City administrator Steve Volkert. “They came to work with it, they did not catch it here. They were all tested and sent home and never worked a day after that. They have mild cases and are recovering quickly.”
Volkert said the City conducted its own contact tracing per CDC guidelines. “We tested those people who had been within 6 feet and those who spent 15 minutes with the employees and the results came back negative,” Volkert said.
“We had two others work in the same department and those tests came back positive. The City did contact tracing and everyone else also came back negative.”
The City of Hartford, according to Volkert, monitors employees daily who have direct contact with the general public including the Rec Center, the aquatic center and the Jack Russell Memorial Library.
“All employees have their temperatures taken before they get to work, they wear masks, they are behind plexiglass, and we have not had any other case of people having symptoms,” said Volkert. “We anticipate the five individuals will be back to work next week after 14 days of quarantine and no symptoms for three days prior to coming back.”
Volkert said if any of the employees show signs of symptoms they will not be allowed back until they can clear three days without symptoms.
Following the confirmed cases Volker said all department heads and all departments at Hartford City Hall were made aware. “We’ve always had precautions in place to test before you come in, test when you get here, and wear a mask if you’re in public,” he said.
Volkert said one person was a morning employee at the aquatic center and that person would not have had contact with the public. “As soon as we found out, that person was taken off the schedule, no other staff reported symptoms,” said Volkert.
To protect the community, Volkert said all touch surfaces were heavily sprayed at Hartford City Hall, Hartford Rec Center and the aquatic center. “We sent a note to the Wash/Oz Health Department that the ‘Office has been heavily sprayed by electrostatic sprayer with non-fuming, non-standing tri-chloride-based sanitizer,’” said Volkert.
“We never closed City Hall and we cleaned the entire area and very quickly did all the contact tracing and took care of everything,” said Volkert. “We made sure all the residents were safe.”
West Bend Parks Commission approves changes regarding dogs in City parks
There was a lively discussion Thursday night, July 23, 2020, as the West Bend Parks Commission took another look at an ordinance regarding dogs in City parks in West Bend.
Currently dogs can be on a 6-foot leash on the Riverwalk, in Old Settlers Park and Vest Pocket Park.
District 8 alderwoman Meghann Kennedy wanted to expand the list of parks to include all City parks. That idea was then amended to include parks but not Regner Park or Lac Lawrann Conservancy, park buildings, otherwise posted areas or in the park during special events.
Discussion went round and round several times. A couple of hot topics included people who take their dogs off leash, those who fail to pick up waste or do pick up waste and then leave the bag on the trail or in the park, how to police allowing dogs but not during special events, dog waste and urine in the parks or on soccer fields and volleyball courts.
Following a couple votes a measure to change the ordinance passed by a vote of 4 – 3. The revised ordinance would also include a statement about dog owners picking up and removing animal waste.
Those voting in favor of the change included Mike Chevalier, Meghann Kennedy, Steve Hoogester, and Jim White. Those dissenting were Allen Carter, Mike Weston and Mike Staral. The amended ordinance must still go before the West Bend Common Council for approval.
Update to Dogs in City of West Bend Parks
Ordinance to be updated:
20.07 (6) Animals (c) (Rep. & Recr. Ord# 2832 – 5/14/2019) Designated On-Leash Dog Areas. Dogs shall be allowed in the following parks, or the designated area within a park, but shall be restrained by a leash with a length of six feet or less.
- Ridge Run Park – entire park.
- Glacier Blue Hills Recreation Area – Ice Age Trial only.
- West Bend Riverwalk – sidewalk/trail portion only.
- Old Settlers Park – entire park.
- Vest Pocket Park – Sidewalk portion only.
Dogs shall be allowed in all city parks, except for prohibited park areas. All dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times, and under owners’ control -unless in Rolfs dog park leash-free area. Any pet owner who fails to control their pet, create public nuisance, or disturb
others may be asked to leave. All pet waste must be picked up and disposed of in garbage receptacles. Bags, scoops, or other implements for the removal of pet waste must be carried by any person bringing a pet onto park property.
Prohibited Areas: Dogs are not allowed at special events, park buildings or picnic shelters, within children’s playground areas, beaches, or athletic fields.
Why: The updates to this ordinance will allow the City of West Bend parks to come in line with both Washington County Parks (which allow dogs in parks on 6-foot leash) as well as Wisconsin State Parks (that allow dogs on 6-foot leash in parks except for prohibited areas) like we are listing above.
West Bend Police release more details on man’s body found in Milwaukee River
A couple more details are being released regarding the body pulled Tuesday morning from the Milwaukee River, 900 block of N. Main Street, in West Bend across from the old West Bend Company.
West Bend Police said, “Investigators have identified the victim and the family has been notified. Although the investigation is on-going, we do not suspect any danger to the public.”
According to officials the man is Justin E. Bentrup, 40, of Colgate.
The initial police statement from Tuesday, July 21, 2020 is below.
On Tuesday, July 21st 2020 at 8:48 AM a citizen called the police department to report a body floating in the Milwaukee River.
West Bend Fire Department Technical Rescue and police officers located a deceased victim in the river adjacent to the 900 block of North Main Street.
The victim is an adult male. The victim’s body did not have any obvious signs of trauma. Officers did not find any identification on the victim or in the immediate area.
Remodeling update at Wallace Lake Supper Club
A unique opportunity this week as Kevin Zimmer provided a rooftop tour of Wallace Lake Supper Club. The former Walden – A Supper Club is undergoing a serious remodel / expansion.
The colorful facade was unveiled as contractors pulled back the exterior siding.
Kevin and Amy Zimmer purchased the restaurant on Wallace Lake in February 2020. “We are committed to keeping the restaurant open while making improvements, yet preserving the Wisconsin supper-club feel,” said the Zimmers.
During a review of every nook and cranny, Kevin Zimmer managed to find a hidden treasure above the ceiling on the second floor on the southwest side of the building.
“We’re really trying to identify how old the building is…. I thought it was the early 1930s…. but then you find things like this…,” said Kevin Zimmer.
Zimmer climbs a ladder and reaches back above the ceiling tiles and into the rafters and pulls out a pair of brown, pointy, well-worn shoes.
Sewn on the inside of the shoe is a label for Leonard, Shaw and Dean; a manufacturer of men’s footwear in Middleborough, Massachusetts. “This shoe style was made from 1885 – 1910,” said Zimmer. “The shoes were together with this bottle; a 12-ounce prescription bottle and I found it ironic they were placed between the joists.”
According to lore “long ago people purposely placed shoes in rafters in between walls as they added onto a building. This represented good luck and wellness.”
County Highway Department honors Ben Falter By Ethan Hollenberger
This week a county highway plow truck is parked in the county courthouse parking lot along STH 33 in West Bend. The truck was used by Ben Falter, who passed after a short battle with cancer.
Ben was an employee of the Highway Department for the 22 years and was a very hard worker with a lot of knowledge and a great skill set on many pieces of equipment. If you’ve seen the Highway Department’s wheeled excavator at work around Washington County over the years, there’s a good chance Ben was in the cab working the controls.
Ben also spent countless hours behind the wheel of a double-wing plow truck keeping US Highway 45 clear and safe during the winter months so the community can get to work and back home safely to our families.
Ben will be missed and his spirit around the Highway Department will never be replaced. The county extends its sincere condolences to Ben’s family and friends. We’re very thankful for everything that Ben did for Washington County over his many years with us.
New town board chair in Town of Barton
A nice salute to Richard Bertram who stepped down July 21, 2020 as chairman of the Town of Barton. A resolution was read in his honor.
A RESOLUTION TO COMMEND RICHARD L. BERTRAM FOR HIS SERVICE AS TOWN CHAIR FOR THE TOWN OF BARTON
WHEREAS, Richard L. Bertram has served the Town of Barton as Chairman for 16 years commencing June 2004
WHEREAS, Richard L. Bertram has served the Town of Barton for 11 years as Town Supervisor commencing April 1993 through June, 2004.
WHEREAS, Richard L. Bertram has chosen to retire effective July 21, 2020.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin, on behalf of the citizens of the Town of Barton, we appreciate and express our gratitude to Richard L. Bertram for his service and support to the community in his capacity as Town Chairman and Chair for the Planning Commission, and wish him the best of health and happiness in his retirement.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin, forward a copy of this resolution to Richard L. Bertram.
PASSED and ADOPTED this 21st day of July 2020:
Bertram served a total of 27 years on the town board. At 73 he said it was time to retire and travel.
“I can let somebody younger than me take over,” he said.
Following the resolution, a small celebration was held with cupcakes. The new interim chair is Kris Turner. She will fill the remainder of Bertram’s term which will be on the April 2021 ballot.
The Town of Barton needs to fill a supervisor vacancy. Any resident interested should make their intentions known to the board. The Town has a 60 – 90 days to fill Turner’s term as supervisor which expires in 2022.
Jim Geldreich receives Wisconsin Award By Carroll Merry
Jim Geldreich, center, chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, receives the Wisconsin Award during the state GOP convention held July 10, 11 in Green Bay.
The award recognizes the county in the state that performs at the highest level of membership retention, community events involvement, event organization, media interaction and maintaining an independent campaign office.
Presenting the award are, at left, Andrew Hitt, chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and, at right, Jesse Garza, chair of the RPW County Chair organization. WCRP was a finalist for the award in 2019.
Horicon Bank announces new Senior Vice President | By Grace Bruins
Horicon Bank recently announced the promotion of Sue Garman to Senior Vice President.
As an active member of the West Bend community, Garman has served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Washington County, the Board of Washington County United Way and continues to serve as a member of the West Bend Noon Kiwanis, the West Bend Music for Youth Board member, and a member of the SSADH Association Fundraising Board.
Garman said community involvement is one reason she enjoys working for Horicon Bank.
“I enjoy working for an organization whose decisions are made locally and who supports the communities in which it operates,” said Garman. “Employees at Horicon Bank are proud to work here because of our commitment to our communities.”
President Fred F. Schwertfeger said Garman’s dedication to customers and streamlining efficiencies within Horicon Bank have made her a valuable asset to the team.
“Sue has been instrumental in improving applications at the bank,” said Schwertfeger. “She exhibits Horicon Bank’s mission to be a caring banker who values our communities, customers and associates.”
Horicon Bank has 20 locations in 14 communities and has been serving Wisconsin since 1896.
What does Briggs & Stratton bankruptcy filing mean for Germantown facility
It was October 9, 2018 when ground was broken on Highway 167 in Germantown on a new 706,000-square-foot industrial distribution facility for Briggs & Stratton Corporation. The development was part of the future Gateway Corporate Park.
Today, July 20, 2020, Briggs & Stratton Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and officials in the Village of Germantown offered some insight.
Village President Dean Wolter said he had not heard the full story when we called but offered the comment below.
“I’m sorry to hear for a company that has been around as long as Briggs it has come to the point it has to file for Chapter 11. I hope it works out best for them. As far as how it impacts Germantown, currently that building is leased from Zilber Property Group so the owners of that building will remain the same. The ownership group does not change; it is a Briggs & Stratton facility but it is leased.
Steve Kreklow is Village Administrator in Germantown. “It’s too early to tell any specific impacts at this point but the building is actually owned by Zilber Property Group and it is leased to Briggs & Stratton. It is a shipping and distribution facility that has a lot of value and regardless of the ownership structure at Briggs & Stratton I think there is a lot of value in that facility that someone will be utilizing in the near future.”
Questioned whether the Chapter 11 filing made Kreklow nervous, he said he is kind of concerned about the economy in general. “When you look at individual businesses there is always ups and downs but as long as the overall economy is healthy our communities and tax bases are solid and we are able to continue to provide services. The biggest concern is where is the economy going from here and what is the recovery going to look like. We are still seeing a lot of residential construction and the housing market seems to be solid yet and I hear there is a lot of optimism on the commercial side that business owners and investors believe the economy will bounce back quickly. Time will tell.”
Below is the Briggs & Stratton bankruptcy announcement courtesy Market Watch
Briggs & Stratton Corp. BGG, -5.26% said Monday it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reached an agreement to sell most of its assets to KPS Capital Partners. The Milwaukee-based company, which makes gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, said it has secured debtor-in-possession financing of $677.5 million from KPS and its existing lenders to allow it to continue normal operations ahead of the closing of the deal. “Over the past several months, we have explored multiple options with our advisors to strengthen our financial position and flexibility,” Chief Executive Todd Teske said in a statement. “The challenges we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic have made reorganization the difficult but necessary and appropriate path forward to secure our business.” Shares fell 27% premarket, and are down 88% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.84% has fallen 0.2%.
The 140-acre Germantown Gateway Corporate Park site was acquired by Zilber Property GroupSM (“ZPG”) in 2018 and, in addition to the 706,000 square foot Briggs & Stratton facility, is capable of accommodating an additional 1.4 million square feet of institutional-quality industrial development.
Nicole Pretre wins Milwaukee Business Journal Chief Marketing Officer of the Year Award | Carrie Sturn
Nicole Pretre, Vice President of Development at Cedar Community, has been named among the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2020 Chief Marketing Officer of the Year award winners. The award recognizes the important work of those in senior marketing positions in southeastern Wisconsin.
Pretre is the executive leader of the marketing, sales, and fundraising teams of Cedar Community, where she and her teams have transformed the vision and messaging of Cedar Community’s brand proposition. Under her leadership, the marketing team has won six national Aster Awards for marketing and advertising over the past three years, as well as a national Telly Award for video content.
“Nicole’s creative vision and strategic acumen, combined with her broad industry experience has been invaluable to Cedar Community,” said Lynn W. Olson, Chief Executive Officer. “Nicole is truly a 360-business professional who understands how to creatively, strategically, and effectively craft and deliver messaging to propel and support revenue goals across key functional areas.”
Within the greater West Bend community, Pretre serves on the Board of Directors for both the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Washington County. She is a 2014 graduate of the West Bend Leadership program and has continued to be active in various volunteer and mentorship roles in the community.
Additionally, she was awarded the 2017 Champions of Change Emerging Leader Award through the Volunteer Center of Washington County. Pretre, who is also a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist, is regularly consulted as an issue expert and thought leader in senior living, and is a local, state, and national speaker and educator in senior living and healthcare.
Prior to her professional career in long-term care services, Pretre was an Emmy-nominated television journalist and producer, who holds numerous awards from the Associated Press, the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association, and the Milwaukee Press Club.
To be eligible for the award, candidates had to be based in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Washington, Ozaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties and held their current role for at least two years. Candidates were selected from a nomination process with judging conducted by an independent panel.
Tracking down some Fleet Farm history
The Cyclone fencing is up around the old Fleet Farm and Tri-Par building, 1637 W. Washington Street, in West Bend.
Rick with Robertson Brothers Environmental was kind enough to allow a last look inside the building. He said there has been a bit of a delay because the electricity inside the building hasn’t been turned off yet.
Demolition crews will drop an excavator on site this Thursday or Friday and then next Monday the gas tanks will be removed.
Terry Becker with You Know You Are from West Bend…. posted some great history about the original northeast corner of the Fleet Farm building. His story is below …
West Bend History is Fleeting!
The northeast portion of the old Fleet & Farm building dates back to March 1, 1949, the date the old “West Bend Pilot” newspaper was sold to brother investors Alan and Robert Pick along with their nephew Andrew J. Pick Jr.. The new endeavor, “The Pilot Press Inc.”, combined newspaper publishing and commercial printing all under one new roof built on W. Cherry (now Washington) Street during their first year at the helm. Tragedy also struck that first year when the young, vibrant Andrew Pick Jr. age 35 died of a cerebral hemorrhage on January 20, 1950 just three days after becoming father to his new baby daughter. The grueling newspaper portion of the business merged with the West Bend News in 1954. The commercial printing portion of the business continued on until 1959 when it was sold to Alfred Ramsthal’s Serigraph Sales. Equipment and files were moved to Serigraph’s new plant on Indiana Avenue, thus ending the final chapter of the “Pilot.” The vacant building would soon become home to West Bend’s “Fleet & Farm”!