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District ready to see energy savings from school upgrades PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 19:23

PW-S officials expect payoff from $2.2 million initiative to create high-efficiency buildings

    On the type of bitter cold night you hope your windows and doors are sealed tight and your furnace is working at peak efficiency, the Port Washington-Saukville School Board received a report on a recently completed $2.2 million energy-savings initiative intended to ensure just that.

    “You don’t think a lot about it when it’s warm out, but when it gets cold like this you can appreciate some of the hidden things that ensure our students are comfortable in school and the district is saving money,” Supt. Michael Weber said after Monday’s School Board meeting.

    Approved by the board last year, the project included the installation of high-efficiency boilers and new classroom ventilator units at Dunwiddie and Saukville elementary schools.

    Digital temperature controls were installed at all schools to ensure buildings are comfortable when they are being used and energy isn’t being wasted when they are not.

    The system also allows remote monitoring of buildings so custodians can ensure systems are working without having to do regular physical inspections.

    “Our old boilers required a lot of care and attention,” Weber said. “It was very difficult to just let them be. Boilers had to be checked constantly, even on weekends. Now we can do that electronically.”

    Lighting, both interior and exterior, was replaced throughout the district to ensure that high-efficiency fixtures and bulbs are being used.

    Facilities and Operations Supr. Steve Guthrie said district maintenance workers replaced 13,700 bulbs and 5,200 fixtures.

    “And I can’t even tell you how many ballasts were replaced,” he said.

    Other improvements included weather sealing doors and other building gaps throughout the district and repairing the swimming pool gutter at the District Aquatic Center to improve water conservation.

    There was enough money left in the project budget to tackle a project that was considered optional but nonetheless needed — air conditioning at Dunwiddie Elementary School.

    “We’ve done a lot of these projects and this is one of the most successful,” said Nick Laubusch of McKinstry, the energy-savings performance contractor hired by the district to design and oversee the project.

    The district financed the improvements by borrowing $1.8 million and investing $400,000 from its fund balance account. To do so, the district used an exemption to the state levy limit law that allows districts to exceed spending caps without holding a referendum to finance projects that will result in energy savings.

    The district made its first payment of $193,355 on the loan this year and will make similar payments through the 2021-22 school year.

    With the exception of its pension liability owed to the Wisconsin Retirement System, the district has no other debt.

    Although the construction phase of the project is essentially complete, the work is not finished. McKinstry has guaranteed savings from the improvements and will now work with the district to measure and document those savings.



 
City of Port plans to mail tax bills next week PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 18:48

    Tax bills for City of Port Washington residents will probably be mailed next week, City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday.

    Although he hadn’t calculated the exact amount of the tax bill, he told the Common Council that residents will have a reason to celebrate when the bills arrive.

    “The good news is that our bottom-line tax rate will be a little over 5 cents (per $1,000 assessed valuation) less than last year,” Grams said.

    That alone will decrease the tax bill for a house valued at $200,000 — the average in the city — by about $10, he said.

    On top of that, the lottery credit and first credit are both higher this year than last, bringing tax bills down another $10 to $15, Grams said.Daily-Press

    “The average property taxpayer in Port should probably pay $20 less than last year,” he said.

 
Maritime Festival to be run by volunteers PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 18:45

Budget concerns prompt Main Street to turn event over to group that will raise funds

    Port Main Street Inc., which for years has organized and sponsored Maritime Heritage Festival, informally agreed last week to turn the event over to a group of volunteers.

    The volunteers, many of whom have worked on the festival in the past, are currently exploring ways to organize and keep the event going, said Kathy Tank, executive director of Port Washington Tourism Council.


    The group banded together to ensure the festival will continue, realizing that Main Street doesn’t have the finances or the staff to support it next year, she said.


    “Most of the volunteers on that (organizing) committee are committed to the event regardless of the sponsoring group. They have a lot of will and good connections,” Tank told the Main Street board of directors, adding the event is one that the Tourism Council supports.


    The three-day festival — the only annual maritime festival on the western shore of Lake Michigan — draws thousands of people to the city and, according to a 2008 study, has an economic value to the area of more than $1 million, Tank said.


    “This festival really says Port Washington,” she said. “There are so many reasons the festival has become an integral part of the city. It’s all about the heritage of the area. It appeals to people who love history, and it has educational elements. It provides access to the lake you don’t typically get anywhere else. It has activities for children and adults.


    “People just like it.”


    Main Street, which traditionally had budgeted $10,000 for the festival, did not include any funds for the event in its 2014 budget, with some board members saying it posed a significant budgetary risk if bad weather were to strike.


    “It doesn’t seem like Main Street has the funds or the interest to continue Maritime Heritage Festival,” Board President Jim Biever said, adding a “core group” of volunteers was exploring ways to keep the event going. “I’d just like to turn it over to them.”


    The group of volunteers is currently seeking sponsors for the event, talking to the city to make sure it can move forward and exploring different organizational formats, Tank said.


    John Sigwart, a longtime Main Street volunteer, said the festival’s organizing committee recognizes its value and fears it could be dealt a serious blow if it is put on hold for even one year.


    “We just don’t want to see it fall by the wayside,” he said. “Maritime will hopefully become the flagship festival for Port Washington.”


    Over time, Sigwart said, he envisions the festival extending along the lakefront from the marina and Rotary Park, along the north and west slips, to Fisherman’s Park and then to Coal Dock Park.


    A tall ship will likely be featured each year, he added.


    Obtaining the funds to keep the festival going will be a challenge, he said, noting that any reserve funds after the 2013 festival were tapped by Main Street to help settle its Rock the Harbor deficit.


     Keeping the festival downtown instead of moving it to Coal Dock Park is important to downtown business owners, Main Street board member Cathy Wilger said.


    “At the very least, it would be a split location,” Tank said. “The footprint will never to 100% there (Coal Dock Park).”


    The cardboard boat regatta will always be held in the marina and the proposed Port Washington Historical Society museum downtown will be key to the event, ensuring a portion of the festival will remain downtown, she said.


    Although the Main Street board agreed in principle to turn over the festival, members deferred formal action until January, saying they need to work out the proper language to facilitate the move.


    The volunteer group is expected to make a presentation to the board during that meeting.


 

Image Information: THE SCHOONER Denis Sullivan visited Port Washington during the 2012 Maritime Heritage Festival. The three-day event, which has long been sponsored by Port Main Street, Inc., will be organized by an independent group of volunteers next year.                                          Ozaukee Press file photo

 
Campaigns for city, school seats start Dec. 1 PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 19:26

Port council, PW-S board candidates to begin circulating papers for spring elections

    Candidates for Port Washington alderman and the Port Washington-Saukville School Board may begin their campaigns Sunday, Dec. 1.

    Three city posts are up for election in April — the 2nd District aldermanic seat currently held by Paul Neumyer, 4th District seat held by Doug Biggs and 6th District seat held by Dave Larson.

    Aldermanic terms are for two years.

    Candidates for alderman may begin circulating nomination papers Sunday, while candidates for the School Board may submit their declaration of candidacy then.

    School District seats up for election in April include the City of Port Washington seat held by Brian McCutcheon, Village of Saukville seat held by Sara McCutcheon and Town of Port Washington seat held by Kim Wood.

    School board terms are for three years.

    Nomination papers are due in City Hall and the School District, respectively, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.

    Candidates who are not seeking re-election must submit non-candidacy papers by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17. If they fail to do so, the deadline for nomination papers will be extended 72 hours, to Jan. 10.

    If more than two candidates seek any one seat, a primary election will be held Tuesday,  Feb. 18.

    The general election will be Tuesday, April 1.

    In the City of Port Washington, voters will be casting their ballots at two new polling places next year.

    Voters in the city’s 1st and 7th districts on the city’s north side, who used to cast their ballots at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, will now vote at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 1525 N. Grant St.Daily-Press

    Voters in the 4th, 5th and 6th districts on the city’s south side will cast ballots at Grand Avenue United Methodist Church instead of Dunwiddie Elementary School.

    Residents of the city’s 2nd and 3rd aldermanic districts will continue to vote at City Hall.


 
County supervisors declare bids to seek re-election in April PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 19:25

Fifteen of the 26 Ozaukee County Board supervisors have declared their candidacy for re-election in April.

    Candidates may begin circulating nomination papers on Dec. 1 and are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 7.

    The deadline for incumbents to declare non-candidacy is 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27. All supervisors are up for re-election and serve two-year terms.

    Supervisors seeking re-election are Barbara Jobs of the Town of Saukville, Lee Schlenvogt of the Town of Port Washington, Dan Becker of the City of Port Washington, Daniel Buntrock and Glenn Stumpf, both of the Town of Cedarburg, Kathlyn Geracie and Daily-PressGustav Wirth, Jr., both of the City of Cedarburg, LeRoy Haeuser, Richard Bauzenberger, Patrick Marchese, Nancy Sharp Szatkowski, Cynthia Bock, Irena Macek and John Slater, all of Mequon and Karl Hertz of the Village of Thiensville.

    If necessary, a spring primary election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18, with the regular election held on Tuesday, April 1.

 
Town to discuss bike trail proposal Dec. 2 PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 19:22

    Town of Port Washington residents will get a chance Monday, Dec. 2, to weigh in on a mountain bike trail proposed to be built just north of Lake Drive.

    The Town Board will hold a special meeting on the issue at 6 p.m. Monday, prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting at 7:30 p.m.

    The trail would be built by Ozaukee County in conjunction with the Ozaukee County Mountain Bike Club.

    The groups was recently awarded a $23,200 grant from the Department of Natural Resources to held build the 1.25-mile looped trail just off the Ozaukee Interurban Trail.

    The  County Board, which was asked to accept the grant earlier this month, deferred action, saying it wanted to give the town an opportunity to consider the proposal.

    That decision came after town resident Roger Karrels said he fears the trail will become an attractive nuisance.

    “I have a feeling we’re going to all of a sudden have motorized three-wheelers in there, and they’ll be tearing up that piece of property,” Karrels told the County Board.

    The proposed trail would be built on a relatively isolated 36-acre parcel of county-owned land that’s near property owned by Karrels.

    When plans for the trail, tentatively named the Ozaukee County Trail Park, were presented to the town Plan Commission Nov. 13, several officials expressed concerns about a lack of parking, noting that nearby roads are too narrow for people to safely park vehicles.

    They also said they are concerned about how the park would be monitored and patrolled by law enforcement.Daily-Press

    Others noted that while the Ozaukee County Mountain Bike Club has said it would help build the facility, maintenance has not been addressed.

    Town officials are expected to issue a formal statement about the proposed trail before the County Board considers the grant again next month.

 
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