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City to appeal grant for breakwater repairs PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 18:25

Port officials will ask state to reconsider decision awarding only 20% of $500,000 requested for project

    Port Washington officials learned recently that the city has been awarded a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant to help pay for repairs to the breakwater.

    That’s a significant amount of money, officials said, but far less than the $500,000 the city sought.

    So they are appealing the award to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, seeking more funding for the project.

    “We want to start our discussions with the state to see if we can improve the award,” City Administrator Mark Grams said, noting the state gave no reason why the project wasn’t fully funded.

    The $100,000 is only 20% of the city’s request and 4% of the total for the project, officials noted.

    The decision to appeal, endorsed Jan. 20 by the Common Council, was recommended after officials talked with the city’s consultant on the breakwater project to develop a plan of attack, Mayor Tom Mlada said.

    “We believe there is precedent,” he said, noting that both Two Rivers and Washburn had similar projects that were fully funded in recent years.

    The state’s determination that the breakwater project deserves at least some funding shows that it meets the criteria for the grant, Mlada added.

    “We thought we had a really strong case,” he said. “We thought we went above and beyond.”

    In a draft of the city’s appeal letter to the Department of Administration, Mlada noted the importance of the project to the long-term stability and sustainability of the breakwater, which protects “critical public and private infrastructure depended upon by our 11,500 city residents.”

    “With precedent in place for more fully-funded CDBG applications for similar-type project work from other Wisconsin coast communities ... and with recognition of how vital these repairs are to our citizens of Port Washington, we remain hopeful of full funding of our request,” the draft letter states.

    The grant is one the city was depending on, Mlada said.

    “It’s like if you got into the batter’s box and needed a home run but got a single,” he said. “You really need that home run.”

    However, he added, the city remains confident that, even if it does not get any additional funds from the grant, it will be able to meet its commitment to the Army Corps of Engineers to pay $1 million for breakwater improvements this year.

    So far, the city has received $600,000 in grant money toward that commitment — including the $100,000 grant.Daily-Press

    That money will go to repairing the middle, steel cell portion of the north breakwater, officials said.

    The city has also received another $250,000 grant to help fund improvements to the western portion of the breakwater, where officials hope to widen the entrance, creating handicapped access and a fishing platform on the west end of the structure.


 
PW-S school officials ready to talk referendum PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 20:32

Board members, administrators plan information blitz to explain $49.4 million plan ahead of April vote

    Promising an information blitz, Port Washington-Saukville School officials on Monday prepared to make their case for a $49.4 million April referendum.

    “We want to inundate the community with information about the referendum,” Supt. Michael Weber told the School Board Building and Grounds Committee. “The more information we can share with the community, the better prepared they will be to make a decision at the polls.”

    The committee focused on drafting talking points that could include the age and condition of Port Washington High School, academic benefits of building a “like-new” high school, property tax implications of the most expensive referendum in the history of the district and the lack of classroom space at the elementary school level.

     “It would help if, for lack of a better term, we had a cheat sheet to help us when talking about our plan,” board member Brian McCutcheon, chairman of the committee, said.

    School officials, who have already held a series of meetings with staff members, have 11 meetings with community groups, as well as three community information sessions, scheduled to explain their proposed $45.6 million high school project and a $3.8 million addition to Dunwiddie Elementary School.

    The high school project, which wouldn’t be completed until 2019, would entail renovating some parts of the building, demolishing and rebuilding other parts and constructing hillside additions on the west and south sides of the high school.

    School officials said it’s important voters understand just how old Port Washington High School is.

    “The original building is 84 years old,” Weber said. “It needs to be changed and upgraded.”

    Port High Principal Eric Burke said, “It’s probably not the oldest school in the state, but when the newest part of your building is 40 years old, that’s saying something.”

    The core building of what became a much larger Port Washington High School was built in 1931 and added on to in 1949, 1954, 1974 and most recently in 1975, when the auditorium and a new library were constructed.

    School officials said they want to make it clear that Port High is in need of renovation because it is old, not because it has been neglected. They noted the district allocates $200,000 a year for maintenance but cannot afford major renovations without a referendum.

    “You just can’t maintain something from 1931 forever,” School Board President Carey Gremminger said.

    The plan for a like-new high school calls for building a three-story academic wing into the hill on the northwest side of the school near the tech-ed wing and Washington Heights building. In addition to providing modern academic facilities, the addition would consolidate classrooms currently spread throughout the sprawling school in essentially one area of the building.

    The southern end of the school, which houses administrative offices as well as science and math classrooms, would be demolished. New offices would be built near what officials describe as a striking entryway, and athletic facilities would be constructed on the hill on the south side of the school.

    Those facilities would include two regulation gyms with gymnastics and wrestling rooms between them.

    New fine arts facilities would be constructed and, although the auditorium would remain, it would be renovated with new sound and lighting systems, stage rigging and seats.

    “When you think about what we’re doing for our kids now, can you imagine what that will be like when we have a facility that meets their abilities?” Weber asked.

    At Dunwiddie Elementary School, the district plans to build a $3.8 million addition to provide additional classrooms, new offices and a secure entrance.

    Initially, the district planned an $86 million referendum that, in addition to a high school project, included improvements to all three elementary schools.

    To pare the cost, which a district-wide survey suggested was too much for most taxpayers, officials focused on Dunwiddie Elementary School. That school has the most acute space problem, which has forced the district to depart from its neighborhood school philosophy and send children who would normally attend the west-side Port Washington school to other schools in the district.

    Building additional classrooms at Dunwiddie will alleviate space problems at other elementary schools, which officials plan to address with smaller projects the district can finance through its general fund and a future referendum.

    As important as it is for voters to understand what the district wants to accomplish by spending $49.4 million is what impact it will have on school property taxes, officials said.

    Financed over 26 years, the projects are projected to increase school property taxes by amounts that would vary from $105 per $100,000 of property value next year to a high of $189 per $100,000 of property value annually from 2018 through 2022, according to Baird, the district’s financial advisor.

    The average annual tax rate increase would be $160 per $100,000 of property value. That means that the owner of a $200,000 home — roughly the average property value in the City of Port Washington, according to officials — would pay an average of $320 more in school taxes every year through 2041.

    A new City of Port Washington development, which has potential to impact schools, may also be worth mentioning to voters in the context of referendum discussions, officials said.

    The city’s Plan Commission recently approved plans for the Cedar Vineyard development on land once owned by VK Development on the city’s far south side. In addition to a vineyard, winery and nature preserve, the project calls for 73 homes, all of which would be in the Port Washington-Saukville School District and have the potential to increase enrollment.

    The referendum projects would provide classroom space needed to accommodate additional students and give potential Cedar Vineyard residents a reason to move to Port, school officials said.

    “If the VK property proposal goes the way it’s planned, that like-new high school will attract even more people to the community,” Weber said.

    The district will hold three community referendum forums to explain the school improvement plan and field questions. Those meetings will be Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Dunwiddie Elementary School, 1243 W. Lincoln Ave., Port Washington; Wednesday, March 4, at Saukville Elementary School, 333 N. Mill St.; and Wednesday, March 18, at Port Washington High School, 427 W. Jackson St.

    All presentations will run from 6 to 7 p.m. and be followed by an optional tour of the high school.Daily-Press



 
Church wants to construct columbarium in Town of Port PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 20:34

St. Simon parish’s request prompts legal review after Cedarburg nixed similar project

    A Town of Port Washington church has proposed building a memorial garden with a columbarium, a matter that prompted the Town Board to refer the matter to its attorney to check on its legality.

    The action occurred a little more than a month after the City of Cedarburg issued a stop work order after a church began building a similar structure in the city’s downtown.

    Town Board members stressed they had no problem with the proposal, but said they want to ensure there are not legal issues to deal with.

    “I don’t see an issue with it,” Town Chairman Jim Melichar said.

    But Supr. Mike Didier, citing the Cedarburg incident, recommended the city seek a legal opinion because of the lengthy list of rules set by the state for cemeteries and the possibility a columbarium might fall under these regulations.

    “We just want to make sure Steve (Cain, the town attorney) doesn’t think this falls under the cemetery rules of the state,” Didier said.

    The columbarium isn’t likely to be a problem, Didier said.

    “It’s really no different than having ashes on a mantle,” he said.

    In the Cedarburg case, municipal officials said a columbarium is a type of mausoleum, and by state law they are only permitted in a cemetery.

    In the town’s case, St. Simon the Episcopal Church has proposed creating a landscaped memorial garden northeast of the church building, according to a letter from the parish.

    Don Fenno, senior warden for the congregation, said last week that the parish has the needed approvals to install a memorial  garden at the church.

    The church is still planning the garden, he said, but is looking at an area with trees, a bench for meditation and a columbarium. The columbarium would be screened from neighboring properties, he added.Daily-Press

    “We’re still in the planning process,” Fenno said, adding that the church hopes to create the memorial garden later this year or in 2016.

    None of the neighbors have expressed any concerns about the project, he added.

    The columbarium — a wall or building with niches to hold cremated remains — would likely be a relatively small unit, he said, but could be expanded if needed.

    The plans were prompted by the fact that several original members of the parish, which was established in 1969, indicated they would like to be buried there, Fenno said.


 
State Senate candidates to meet in Jan. 22 forum PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 20:27

The three Republican candidates for the 20th District State Senate seat will face off in a forum Thursday, Jan. 22.

    The 7 p.m. forum held by the Republican Party of Ozaukee County will be at The Hub at Cedar Creek in Cedarburg.

    Candidates Lee Schlenvogt, Duey Stroebel and Tiffany Koehler will offer opening comments, then answer five to seven questions before making a closing statement.

    The forum will be moderated by party chairman Jeff Johns, second vice chairman Keith Kaiman and board member Carol Boettcher.

    Appetizers will be served from 6 p.m. until the forum. Members of the party’s executive committee will speak after the forum.

    Anyone with questions they would like the candidates to address is asked to call Kaiman at (414) 840-8485.Daily-Press

    The Hub is at 1814 Washington Ave.

 
County reports first child to die from flu PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 21:13

Public health officials say fatality underscores seriousness of contagious disease, especially during peak season

    The death of a child in Ozaukee County from the flu is believed to be the second pediatric influenza death in Wisconsin this season and the first ever reported in the county, according to the Ozaukee County Public Health Department.

    “We know of no other pediatric flu deaths  (ever) in the county,” Diana Noack, a public health nurse and nursing supervisor, said Tuesday. She noted, however, that reporting requirements have changed and the department may not have been informed of earlier pediatric flu fatalities.

    The department would not release any additional information about the death, but Ozaukee County Coroner Tim Deppisch said the child was a 2-year-old boy who died on Christmas Day.

    “Our objective in publicizing this death is to illustrate the seriousness of influenza,”  Noack said. “So far, we know of two pediatric deaths in the state, but the season is just peaking.

    “This death is a tragedy. It just feels different when it’s close to home.”

    A 12-year-old Milwaukee girl who died on New Year’s Day was the first pediatric flu fatality in the country this season. Nationally, there are between 35 and 171 pediatric deaths due to the flu each season, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    It’s difficult to determine if this year’s flu season, which typically runs from October through April, is worse than previous years or if this season’s strain of the virus is more dangerous because flu cases are not easily tracked, Noack said.

    One measure, although imperfect, is the number of adult hospitalizations due to the flu. As of last week, 41 adult hospitalizations for influenza have been reported in Ozaukee County this flu season, as opposed to 10 last season and 27 in the 2012-13 season, she said.     

    Those numbers may provide a relative comparison but are generally low because some adults who have the flu are treated for secondary conditions such as pneumonia.

    What’s important, Noack said, is that people get vaccinated against the flu.

    “I think the rate of vaccination is improving, but not by a lot,” she said.

    The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone 6 months and older, with a few rare exceptions, be vaccinated against the flu annually.

    “Some people belittle the vaccine because it doesn’t cover all mutations of the virus, but it helps,” Noack said. “You may still get sick, but your symptoms won’t be as severe.”

    She said it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

    It’s also important to recognize signs of the flu, which can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses, including the common cold.Daily-Press

    Symptoms of influenza, which is a contagious viral infection, may include fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chill and fatigue. Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.

    “People really have to be aware of fevers because it’s often what sets influenza apart from other illnesses,” Noack said.

    A fever of 100.4 degrees should be treated with fever-reducing medication, she said. If a fever cannot be controlled with medication, medical attention should be sought.

    People most at risk for developing flu-related complications are infants, young children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease.    


 
Former mayor faces felony charges as notary public PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 21:10

One-time Cedarburg official accused of notarizing false affidavits to help daughter beat underage drinking ticket

A former Cedarburg mayor has been charged with two felony counts of misconduct in office — not while in elected office but as a notary public ­— for allegedly notarizing bogus affidavits to help his daughter beat an underage drinking ticket.

    Keith W. Kaiman, 57, was charged Jan. 9 in Ozaukee County Circuit Court in connection with affidavits signed by his daughter’s friends stating she was innocent of the underage alcohol violation.

    One of those friends later told an Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department detective that the document was false but she signed it anyway to help her friend avoid a ticket, according to the criminal complaint.

    The affidavits were notarized by Kaiman with his signature and notary seal, the complaint states.    

    On Monday, June 24, 2013, Kaiman’s daughter, Kendra Kaiman, who was 18 at the time, was ticketed for underage possession or consumption of alcohol while at a home on Maple Road in Cedarburg.

    According to the citation, she refused to take a preliminary breath test for alcohol.

    Sometime after her pretrial conference with a prosecutor, the Ozaukee County District Attorney’s Office received affidavits from four people who claimed to be witnesses in the case.

    An investigation determined two of those affidavits, which were signed by friends of Kendra Kaiman, were false.

    Both of the friends told investigators that Kendra Kaiman came alone to the apartment they shared and asked them to sign pre-typed affidavits. One of the friends said she had no role in drafting the affidavits, according to the complaint against Keith Kaiman.

    Kendra Kaiman’s case, which was initially assigned to Judge Joseph Voiland, was reassigned to Judge Paul Malloy in January 2014 after Voiland volunteered to recuse himself because he knows Keith Kaiman. In addition to being a former City of Cedarburg official, Kaiman is an officer in the Republican Party of Ozaukee County.

    Sometime after that, Jerilyn Dietz, a former Calumet County district attorney, was appointed to prosecute Kendra Kaiman. Dietz is also prosecuting the case against her father. Daily-Press

    During a court hearing for Kendra Kaiman last week, Keith Kaiman asked permission to question his daughter, but the request was denied by Malloy, according to online court records. Her trial is set for Jan. 26.

    Keith Kaiman is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Feb. 10.

    Misconduct in office is punishable by a maximum 18 months in prison and two years of extended supervision, as well as a $10,000 fine.

 
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