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Bill for repair of courthouse tower increases by $300,000 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO   
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:46

Safety concerns prompt county supervisors to tap into reserve fund for change order

Repairs to the historic Ozaukee County Courthouse in Port Washington will cost $300,000 more than expected after considerable damage to the clock tower was discovered last month.

A June 30 report from consultant Preserve Design Studio notes a considerable number of “cracks and voids” on the tower. Further inspection showed mortar failure and other deteriorating conditions.

County officials aren’t sure what is causing the damage, but believe the “connection of the HVAC system, exposure to the elements and known lightning strikes” may have contributed to the deterioration.

“This wasn’t apparent from the ground,” County Administrator Tom Meaux said. “It turns out there are a lot of problem areas, and we’re trying to address it in a timely manner with the scaffolding in place.”

A separate $350,000 project to clean, repair and replace the courthouse’s masonry started in April, but the $300,000 change order, which was approved by the County Board on Wednesday, is “a tough pill to swallow,” Meaux said.

The money will come out of the county’s capital reserve fund, which had about $1 million at the beginning of the year, he said. Various projects have pared that to between $500,000 and $600,000.

“We set money aside for things like this,” Meaux said. “We have other reserves as well, and I feel good about how we manage our money here.”

County Board Chairman Lee Schlenvogt said it is important to consider safety despite the high cost of the repairs.

“I understand we don’t want to spend money needlessly,” he said. “Now that we’re aware of this, if something happened, there’s a liability factor.”

Donna Weiss of Preserve Design Studio told the County Board Wednesday that there isn’t an immediate danger of falling masonry, but that could occur in the future if repairs aren’t made.

“We’re not seeing displaced stones that look like they could fall,” she said.

Meaux classified the damage as an unexpected emergency that has to be fixed as soon as possible.

“We have a team ready to take this project on,” he said before the vote. Marion, Inc., the firm that was awarded the bid for the original repairs, will continue with the work.

The additional work will not only fix the current problems, it will prevent further deterioration in the future, officials said.

The work includes installing lightning protection, flexible mortar joints and anchors to allow consultants to rappel the tower for inspection and routine maintenance in the future.

A structural engineer will also be hired to determine if vibrations from the HVAC unit are contributing to the damage.

If that is the case, the county could be on the hook for more money if it’s determined the HVAC connection has to be moved.

Marion will also rebuild all four tower piers, repair stone fractures and install joints to allow for tower movement. The two-month project will cost approximately $219,000, company officials said in a report to the county.

“It’s expensive, but we don’t really have a choice,” Meaux said. “This needs to be done now.”

Supr. Tom Winker said he agrees with Weiss’ evaluation but asked the board to consider lowering or removing the four tower piers instead of rebuilding them.

“There’s no guarantee we won’t be back here in a few years doing the same thing,” he said. “Is it best to reduce or lower the piers to the roof line?”

Weiss and Marion Construction President Mario Machnicki said that wouldn’t save much money and would put the tower at risk in the future.

The fund transfer was approved, 19-1, with Winker voting against it.



 
Judge stays Diamond’s sentence in stabbing case PDF Print E-mail
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Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 20:12

Port actor won’t have to face jail time, probation while his appeal is pending

    Dustin Diamond, the Port Washington actor who played Screech in the 1990s television show “Saved by the Bell,” won’t have to report to the Ozaukee County jail to serve a 120-day sentence in connection with a Christmas stabbing until at least the end of August.dustinLG

    That’s because Judge Paul Malloy last week stayed Diamond’s jail sentence and 15 month probation period pending an appeal in the case.

    Diamond’s attorney Thomas Alberti had filed a motion seeking to delay the jail sentence while the appeal was pending.

    “If he succeeds at the appeal stage, there is no way to give him back his freedom,” Alberti told Malloy.

    District Attorney Adam Gerol did not oppose the motion. However, he noted that the jail sentence is a condition of Diamond’s probation, and the probation period could end before the appeal is decided.

    If that occurs, Gerol said, there is no way to ensure Diamond could be compelled to serve jail time.

    Malloy concurred, then stayed the entire sentence to avoid this possibility.

    He scheduled an 8:45 a.m. hearing on Aug. 27 to check on the status of the appeal.

    Diamond, 38, was originally scheduled to begin his jail sentence on June 28, but that was delayed until the July 2 motion hearing.

    Diamond was found guilty in May of two misdemeanor charges — carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct, use of a dangerous weapon — but acquitted of a felony charge of second degree recklessly endangering safety in connection with the stabbing of Casey Smet of Port Washington at Grand Avenue Saloon Dec. 25.

    Diamond’s fiancee, 27-year-old Amanda Schutz, was found guilty of disorderly conduct in connection with the incident. She was fined $500 by Malloy, and she and Diamond were also ordered to pay court costs and restitution.

    The case resulted from a Christmas night incident when Diamond, Schutz, Smet and his family and friends were at the bar. Schutz, upset that Smet’s group was taking photos of she and Diamond, confronted a woman and a scuffle ensued.

    Diamond said he opened a folding knife in an attempt to scare the people who he said were attacking Schutz.

    In the fracas, Smet suffered a small cut near his armpit that no one, including him, was aware of until the fight was over.

 
Port ready to set sail with family-friendly Fourth of July PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 19:33

Sullivan cruises, parade, fireworks and more await visitors to lakefront festivities

The Fourth of July will be festive in Port Washington, with the tall ship Denis Sullivan in the harbor and traditional, family-oriented activities held throughout the day.

    The Sullivan, which will be docked at Rotary Park on Saturday and Sunday, July 4 and 5, will be offering cruises throughout the weekend.

    There are still seats available for the fireworks cruise on Saturday, Port Washington Mayor Tom Mlada said. One of the cruises on Sunday has sold out but the other has about 25 seats available.

    The 137-foot-long schooner will be open for deck tours when not cruising.

    Fourth of July activities will formally get underway Saturday when the 11 a.m. parade sets off from the corner of Wisconsin and Main streets in downtown.

    The parade will head south to Grand Avenue, then turn east to Franklin Street. Marchers will then turn on Jackson Street and head to Lake Street, then disperse at Veterans Memorial Park.

    A special feature in the parade are the bikes, wagons and scooters decorated by local youngsters. Bike decorating kits are available prior to the event at Port Washington State Bank’s Port office.

    The decorated vehicles will be judged at the park beginning at 11:30 a.m., with trophies and ribbons presented to the top vote-getters in various age divisions.

    A variety of family-friendly activities will be held in the park

    A watermelon seed-spitting contest will be held, with prizes awarded to the winners of age divisions.

    The grand prize winner in the contest will recieve a blu-ray player.flag

    Live music will be performed at the bandshell throughout the afternoon by Port Washington High School students Carly Pruzina, Ezra Bretl and Madelyn Stucky.

    There will also be a bounce house.

    The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will have a booth to explain not only the flights they take veterans on but also the Tour of Honor planned for Saturday, July 25, in Coal Dock Park.

    Food and beverages will be available at the park.

    Tickets for the Sullivan cruises may be ordered in advance by calling (414) 765-8625 or visiting the Discovery World website at www.discoveryworld.org/exhibits/sailing-vessel-denis-sullivan/sails-in-port-washington/.


 
County’s Oz Health program earns kudos PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 19:31

Success of award-winning clinic for employees sparks discussion of future partnerships with other area groups 

When Ozaukee County officials opened a health clinic for employees and their dependents last year, the expectation was that it would save money and give personalized treatment and support to patients.

The program, called Oz Health, has been so successful, there are preliminary plans to expand it to other Ozaukee County municipalities and beyond.

“We feel good about it,” County Administrator Tom Meaux said. “We’re trying to be more efficient and have more employees help themselves.”

The clinic at 1329 W. Grand Ave. in Port Washington has been open since August.

Meaux said officials have reached out to the City of Port Washington and the Port Washington-Saukville School District, as well as Washington County about future partnerships.

In recognition of Oz Health’s success, Meaux and Human Resources Director Jason Dzwinel were presented on Wednesday with the Outstanding Program Award from the Wisconsin City/County Management Association.

WCMA Awards Committee co-chairman and Village of Grafton Administrator Darrell Hofland nominated Meaux and Dzwinel for the award, which recognized “innovation and leadership in creating a health care benefits model to improve employee wellness while lowering health care costs.”

The clinic offers primary care, chronic disease management, vaccinations, prescriptions and exams for employees.

Meaux said he has been working with Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoenemann on sharing services in departments beyond public health.

“We’re currently sharing a public health director, but we’re working on a long-range plan that could include consolidating or sharing services in the public works and human resources departments, as well,” he said.

“I think the employee benefit area is ripe for potential consolidation and we are looking for efficiencies.”

If the county partners with Washington County, it’s possible the clinic could move, Meaux said.

“The location we’re in right now is well-suited for what we have,” he said. “If we continue to grow and draw more partners, we might consider a different facility in the future.”

The county budgeted $600,000 for the clinic this year.
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“It’s tracking at about what we expected,” Meaux said. “We have had some months that are busier than others, but overall it has been very positive.”

The clinic is open nine hours a day Monday through Friday, though that may change in the future, Meaux said, noting a full-time physicians assistant or nurse practitioner staff the clinic.

“We’re looking to make an hours adjustment, but we’re not sure what yet,” he said. “We’ll meet with (clinic operator) Medcor and try to make things a little more accessible for our employees.”

The program’s goal is to attract all employees to use the service and about 1,000 people are covered by county insurance, Meaux said.


 
Residents alerted after man in car approaches girl outside her home PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 22:22

 Incident is one of several involving inappropriate behavior being investigated by Port police

Port Washington police are asking residents to be watchful after a 4-year-old was approached by a man in a car last week.
    
About 11:45 a.m. June 17, the girl was playing with a friend in the driveway of her home in the 1500 block of North Holden Street when a car stopped, police said.

    A 14-year-old babysitter who was sitting nearby got up when she heard the vehicle stop and told police that when the driver saw her, he left.

    The man, described as in his 60s, was bald on the top of his head but had curly grey hair on the sides, police said.

    He was driving a silver four-door crossover vehicle, police said.

    Police are also looking into a report of a man who was fondling himself on the porch of a home on North Montgomery Street about 5:45 p.m. June 19.

    Two girls walking to their home in the alley between Montgomery Street and Harbor Village saw the man, who they described as in his 20s, police said.

    Police are also looking for a man who was fondling himself while in the shower at the Port Washington outdoor pool about 1:45 p.m. June 16. The man was described as being middle-aged, 6 feet tall with a stocky build and having grey hair and a goatee, police said.

    In other news, police said:

    • A 39-year-old man was cited on June 17 for keeping too many animals at his home in the 600 block of North Holden Street. After receiving a complaint, officers went to the house, where the man said he had six dogs — four of them recent arrivals — but they would be gone by the June 23.
  
 The city only allows residents to have two dogs and cats at a time.
  
• A 28-year-old Port Washington man was cited for drunken driving and his 28-year-old passenger arrested on drug charges about 3 a.m. June 18 after officers checked on a suspicious vehicle near Garay Lane and West Norport Drive.

    Police are asking the district attorney’s office to charge the passenger with felony possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  
• A 55-year-old Port Washington man was arrested about 2:30 p.m. June 18 for allegedly stealing a six-pack of beer from Mad Max Convenience Store on South Spring Street.

    The staff notified police after they noticed the man left with a noticeably full backpack even though he hadn’t purchased anything. The man told police he drank one of the beers, a violation of his probation.

    The man is being held on the probation violation and police asked that he be charged with shoplifting.

 
Memorial pavilion to be dedicated June 25 PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 20:34

Commemoration of park structure honoring drowning victims will mark weekend activities that also include arrival of tall ship Sullivan

    After more than 500 volunteer hours and years of work, the memorial pavilion at Coal Dock Park will be dedicated Thursday, June 25, in a 6 p.m. ceremony that will kick off a weekend of activities in Port Washington.

    Jim Buczek, who spearheaded the effort to create the pavilion, said he plans to do the final touching up of paint on Thursday, June 11, to complete the building.

    “I love it. It turned out great,” Buczek said. “I think it looks fabulous, and I hope the city’s happy with it too. When you go upstairs, there’s a nice view, a 360-degree view of Port Washington.

    “Our whole intent was to take a tragic situation and create happy memories for people. That will make everything we’ve gone through worth it.”

    The pavilion was built in honor of Buczek’s nephew, 15-year-old Tyler Buczek, and 24-year-old Peter Dougherty, who both drowned off Port Washington in 2012.

    “We wanted to make this a tribute, but we didn’t want it to be sad,” Buczek told the Common Council Tuesday.

    The pavilion was originally estimated to cost $90,000, he said, but the general contractor later said it would cost $140,000. But with all the volunteers who worked on the structure, the cost was actually about $81,000, an amount paid through donations.

    The volunteer hours include more than 400 hours from the carpenters alone, Buczek said, and 100 from the roofer, who drove from Elkhorn to work on the project.

    “There are so many people to thank,” he said.

    The dedication will be a celebration of the volunteer effort as well as his nephew, Dougherty and the many other people who have drowned in the lake, Buczek said.

    The ceremony will include a performance by the Port High choir as well as the dedication, Mayor Tom Mlada said.

    It will be held in the shadows of the tall ship Denis Sullivan, which will arrive in Port Washington that day in preparation of four days of sails and deck tours, Mlada noted.

    This is the first of at least three visits the 137-foot-long schooner will make to Port. So far, 74 seats on cruises during those visits have been sold, Mlada said.

    Seats are still available for cruises on June 26, 27 and 28, he said, noting discounts are available for senior citizens, veterans and military personnel. Family packages are available for some cruises.

    In addition, the weekend will feature the first Active Community Environments Team Family Five-Miler bike ride.

    The free, non-competitive event will take off from Upper Lake Park at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 27, travel along the bike tail and lakeshore to the Ozaukee County transit center and back into the city, ending at Guenther Pond near Veterans Memorial Park.

    Registration will be at 8 a.m. Saturday.


 
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