LETTER: Port missed on Starbucks but its water could lure other firms

To Ozaukee Press:

I honestly believe the restoration in 2011 of the Graff Jewelry 1854 Thill building to house Baltica Bistro was truly a catalyst that encouraged others to buy and improve downtown Port Washington properties. 

Now we as a community need to decide whether we want Port Washington to exist as a bedroom community, a place to live and relax, or a city focused on attracting new commercial and industrial businesses to fill locations around the city and in the industrial park. 

We need to attract the new types of business that are flourishing in the 21st century, like coding, gene therapy, cloud based storage solutions and advanced skilled engineering jobs. 

I’m not against traditional manufacturing, but I must say, if we have any chance to retain the bright minded students that occupy more than 25% of our local population after their graduation, we need to invite those new entrepreneurs and water dependent businesses to Port Washington. 

Starbucks passed over Port Washington as a place to have a water bottling facility and chose Pennsylvania. If I had a say in the Starbucks bottling plant opportunity, we would have set up a Port Washington water trust to build a reserve to eventually replace the unsightly water filtration plant that “graces” our lakefront once its useful life has been reached.  

Development must be done tastefully and in an environmentally friendly way. What would be wrong with having a company like Michele Wool have a facility here to process wool from grazing sheep on a conservation space along the bluff? Our water would be used to process it and then that water could be recirculated through a new industrial park.

The current industrial park is way outdated and needs some Fortune 500 companies to invest in it. Michele Wool, is a water intensive business and would help lower our overall cost for water.

I’m asking the new mayor and new city planner and informed business leaders to begin to think about how we invite those new, diverse business entities to call Port Washington home.

This should not be left to chance. Many people discover Port Washington by accident. Can we begin to simply invite new businesses to invest in Port? We need more collective effort and courage.

Dan Micha
Port Washington

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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