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County considers re-establishing its Clean Sweep waste program PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 18:43

Proposal calls for bringing back service for residents to dispose of hazardous materials

The Ozaukee County Board was expected to vote Wednesday on a proposal to re-establish an annual Clean Sweep program to provide a safe and affordable way for residents to dispose of household and agricultural hazardous waste.

The county, which discontinued the program more than a decade ago because of cost, is among only 18 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that don’t have a Clean Sweep program.

“The counties that don’t offer Clean Sweep programs are fostering practices that are harmful to the environment,” said Supr. Richard Bauzenberger of Mequon, a member of the county’s Natural Resources Committee who proposed re-establishing the initiative.

The program would cost $50,000 annually, although $15,000 of that cost may be covered by a state grant, Land and Water Management Director Andy Holschbach, whose department would administer the program, said.

The county would host at least one collection annually beginning next year that would give county residents the opportunity to dispose of materials such as oil-based paint, adhesives, solvents, pesticides and insecticides for a flat fee of $10 per household, Holschbach said. Used tires would also be collected.

A budget of $50,000 would cover 480 participants. Holschbach said residents would be asked to register for the program. 

Without such a program, most county residents are faced with having to pay sometimes expensive fees to dispose of commonly used hazardous materials. That cost, officials said, is a disincentive to disposing of household hazardous waste properly.

“We want to give people the ability to be able to plan on an affordable and responsible way to dispose of hazardous waste to protect the environment and public safety,” Holschbach said.

He noted that City of Port Washington residents currently can dispose of household hazardous waste at the Veolia facility in the city’s industrial park.

“Since Port residents already have this option, they shouldn’t utilize the county program,” Holschbach said.

Although expensive, a Clean Sweep program would provide a valuable service for residents while protecting the environment, Bauzenberger said. 

“I was going door to door last year and a resident asked why Ozaukee County doesn’t have a Clean Sweep program,” he said. “I didn’t have an answer for him.

The program isn’t cheap, but neither is disposing of household hazardous waste. If you buy a gallon of oil-based paint and have a little left over, you can spend three times what the paint cost just to get rid of it. That’s a disincentive for people to dispose of household hazardous waste properly and safely.”

Both the Natural Resources Committee and County Board were scheduled to vote on the proposal Wednesday. Approval by the board would allow the county to immediately apply for a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection grant to offset the cost. Applications are due Sept. 30.

It’s important, Bauzenberger said, that the county commit to hosting the program annually.

“We need to do this with regularity,” he said. “I want people to know that this service will be available at least once a year so they can plan on disposing of their materials responsibly.” Daily Press

Bags 4 Buczek fundraiser will return Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 19:17

The annual Bags 4 Buczek cornhole tournament and festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 17.

This year’s event will differ from past ones in two major regards — it will be held in Port Washington’s Upper Lake Park, and in conjunction with a beer garden in the park that same day.

Bags for Buczek, the county’s largest cornhole tournament, will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be brats, burgers and corn on the cob available for sale.

Cornhole games will also be set up for people to play for fun. There will be a bounce house, large silent auction, raffles and music in addition to the cornhole tournament.

The roster of adult cornhole teams is filled, but there are still slots available for youth teams, comprised of people ages 14 to 18. The fee is $30.

Youths begin play at 10 a.m. and adults at 1:30 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded.

To register, volunteer or donate to the silent auction, visit the website

Proceeds from the event benefit the Tyler Buczek Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Buczek’s mother Kim Buczek Voeller said the fund is a special way to thank the community for its support of the family in the aftermath of Tyler’s drowning in September 2012, as well as a way to leave a legacy.

“It means a lot to have his legacy continue in this way,” she said. “This (event) means literally thousands of dollars in scholarship money to continue that legacy.

“Joe (Tyler’s father) and I are taken aback by the community support we’ve received for this.”

Scholarship winners often send the family notes about what the award means to them, referencing Tyler’s effect on them, his mother added.

“It really helps let us know the way Tyler led his life made an impact,” she said.Daily Press

City set to charge residents for sidewalk installation PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 19:16

As the city’s road construction season drew to a close, Port Washington aldermen last week approved a preliminary resolution calling for some property owners to be charged for sidewalks.

Those owners live on the south side of Theis Street and east side of Theis Lane, where there had not been any sidewalks in the past.

The city also intends to assess for sidewalks that will be installed this fall on the north side of Sauk Road between Highway 32 and Cardinal Drive.

There, residents might decide to install the walkway themselves before the assessment is levied, Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said.

The city doesn’t charge residents for sidewalk replacements, but it does assess them for installing walkways where none existed previously, officials said.

The owner of corner lots will only be assessed for the walkway along the front side.

The assessments on Theis Street are $1,840 per property, according to the city, while two property owners on Harris Drive face assessments of $2,248 and $6,417.

The property owners will be notified of the potential assessments before a public hearing is held during the Common Council’s Tuesday, Oct. 4, meeting.Daily Press

Council’s split decision: Trick or treat will be held Oct. 29 in Port Washington PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 19:14

The Port Washington Common Council last week held one of the most anticipated debates it has each year — when to hold trick-or-treat hours.

“We’ve been getting a number of phone calls already,” City Administrator Mark Grams told aldermen. 

Halloween is on Monday, Oct. 31, and most county communities are holding trick or treat from 4 to 8 p.m. or 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, Grams said.

“To stay with everyone else, that’s what I would recommend,” he said.

But Ald. Kevin Rudser disagreed.

“I’ll make my annual plea to have trick or treat on Halloween,” he said, suggesting it be held from 4 to 8 p.m.

Ald. Doug Biggs agreed, saying that three of his constituents have recommended Halloween hours while two wanted it on another date.

“Ridiculous,” Ald. Paul Neumyer said.

The motion failed, 3-4, with Rudser, Biggs and Ald. Dave Larson voting for Halloween hours and aldermen Dan Becker, Mike Ehrlich, Bill Driscoll and Neumyer voting against it.

A motion to hold trick or treat from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, passed 4-3.Daily Press

Rebound year means profit for marina PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 19:12

After losing money in 2014 and 2015, operations are back in black thanks to good fishing, cooperative weather

After two years of losing money, the Port Washington marina will see a profit this year, the Harbor Commission learned Monday. Good fishing and pleasant weather combined to help the marina realize a profit this year, Harbormaster Dennis Cherny said.

Not including revenue from Labor Day weekend, Cherny said, the marina has exceeded its budget and brought in more money than it did last year at this time.

The marina has generated in $618,441 in slip rentals, season and daily launch fees and transient fees, compared to $571,410 last year.

“It’s amazing what weather can do,” City Administrator Mark Grams said.

Cherny told the commission that the marina is 96% full, and a waiting list has formed for next season.

“There aren’t too many marinas this side of the lake doing that,” he said. “We get inquiries every day.”

This year, Cherny said, there have been 3,500 daily launches compared to 2,000 last year.

The highest year ever at the marina was 4,500 launches, he said. If boating continues the way it has, he estimated this year’s number could climb to 4,000.

This year, the marina sold 223 seasonal launch passes, he said, compared to 209 last year. Typically, the marina sells between 250 and 300.

Many boaters purchased daily passes instead of seasonal ones, fearing they wouldn’t use them often enough to justify the purchase, Assistant Harbormaster Lisa Rathke said.

Transient boat fees have totalled $48,550 so far this year, Cherny said, compared to $35,000 last year.

“We’ll hit $50,000 easily,” he said.

In the north slip, Cherny said, transient fees this year total $17,000 compared to $12,000 last year.

“That sounds really good,” Commission Chairman Gerald Gruen Jr. said.

But noting that the marina lost money over the last two years, when the weather was cooler and the fishing poorer, commission members agreed to raise the slip rates for next year. They didn’t set an exact amount, but instead said they want to see where the budget leads.

It’s been at least five years since the rates were raised, Cherny said, suggesting the increase be only .5% to 1%.

“I don’t think we have a choice,” Ald. Bill Driscoll, a member of the commission, said. “We’ve lost money the last two years.

“While we’ve got a waiting list and people are excited about fishing and boating, we have to do it.”

Gruen said he would not favor any large increase, but said a small one would be justified, especially since the boating economy has picked up in the last year or so.

Imposing a small increase now will be more palatable than a larger one in the future, commission member Dan Herlache added.

 The city’s rates are lower than any nearby marinas, members noted.Daily Press

United Way to get campaign cooking with soup PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 18:11

Northern Ozaukee agency asks residents to contribute food items for Sept. 24 event that benefits Family Sharing

United Way of Northern Ozaukee will open this year’s campaign not with its traditional Day of Caring but with a Stone Soup event.

The Stone Soup event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, with participants gathering to package 100 quarts of vegetable soup for the food pantry at Family Sharing in Grafton.

After the soup is packaged, participants will partake in a soup luncheon.

Community members are being asked to contribute ingredients for the soup — everything from chopped onions to zucchini — as well as nonperishable food items such as rice, pasta and Parmesan cheese, said Barbara Bates-Nelson, executive director of the local United Way.

The event will play off the stone soup story in which a stranger enters a village and, after being told there is no food to eat, sets a pot of water on a fire. He puts a stone in the pot and tells the villagers he’s making stone soup. One by one, the villagers each bring an ingredient to add, and the stranger ends up with a pot of soup for the entire community to enjoy.

“United Way was founded on the same idea, that each of us can give, advocate and volunteer to improve our community,” Bates-Nelson said. “I think this will be a meaningful way to kick off the campaign.

“We wanted to do something different this year that would bring awareness to our community, and I think this will do that.”

The Stone Soup event will actually begin before Sept. 24. Bates-Nelson is asking people to sign up to bring various vegetables to her by Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Her list of ingredients is large — 16 cups each of onions, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, potatoes, corn, celery, squash and zucchini, as well as 8 cups of cabbage, spinach and chard.

People aren’t being asked to bring in the entire amount, Bates-Nelson said, but only between two cups and four quarts.

She will drop the vegetables off at Twisted Willow restaurant, which will use them to make the soup.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the soup will be dropped off at First Congregational Church, where volunteers will package it for the Family Sharing food pantry.

“My goal is to get 100 people to package the soup,” Bates-Nelson said. “And when we’re all done, we’re going to sit down and break some bread, have some soup and dessert. By noon, we’ll be cleaning up and people will have the rest of the day to themselves.”

She’s hoping to recruit someone to read the Stone Soup story during the meal.

Craft Books and Brews in downtown Port has provided some Stone Soup books to be sold during the event, Bates-Nelson said. 

This is the perfect time of year for such an event, according to Bates-Nelson.

“We have so many plentiful gardens around here, and a lot of us are getting tired of our garden by the end of September,” she said. “This is using healthy, fresh ingredients and building a soup to help provide healthy meals to those in need. When people come into the food pantry, they’ll get a quart of soup, some bread and dessert.

“If we can help and provide a hearty meal, I think that’s a great thing.”

Bates-Nelson said she is also looking to collect nonperishable items — rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, chickpeas, crackers and Parmesan cheese — that can be added to the soup if needed or donated to the food pantry for distribution.

These items can be dropped off with her or at the Port Washington beer garden, which will be operated by United Way of Northern Ozaukee on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“I’m excited about this,” Bates-Nelson said. “This is our first year, and I’d like to see this grow in the years to come.”

For more information or to sign up for an ingredient, email Bates-Nelson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Daily Press

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