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Refinancing windfall to pay for key projects PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 18:38

Nearly $600,000 in interest savings enough to fund purchase of senior center, south breakwater work

    The City of Port Washington will save almost $600,000 — enough to pay for the purchase of the senior center and the placement of armor stone around the south breakwater — thanks to a refinancing approved Tuesday by the Common Council.
    Aldermen authorized the sale of $5.4 million in general obligation notes for the refinancing at a 1.96% interest rate, which over the life of the bonding will save the city $599,000.
    Daily PressThe interest rate is much lower than the 2.25% expected when the council agreed to the refinancing in April, financial consultant Carol Wirth of Wisconsin Public Finance Professionals said.
    The reduced interest rate alone will bring the city $87,000 in additional savings over the life of the bonds, she said.
    The original bond issue in 2006 had an interest rate of 4% to 4.2%, Wirth noted, adding the city has $4.9 million outstanding from that bonding.
    Wirth also noted that Moody’s Investor Service reaffirmed the city’s Aa3 bond rating.
    “This is wonderful news,” Ald. Dave Larson said of the refinancing and the associated savings. “Coming up with $87,000 extra is huge. This is a big win for us.”
    That’s because the savings will pay for the senior center building, which the city purchased for $415,000 earlier this year through a short-term loan from the wastewater utility’s surplus fund.
    That loan will be repaid using the bond proceeds.
    The savings will also cover the $250,000 aldermen recently agreed to pay to have armor stone placed along the lake side of the south breakwater this fall.
    The Army Corps of Engineers recently told the city there is virtually no armor stone left along the south breakwater. Replacing it, the corps said, is critical because the structure provides critical protection for the marina and west slip.
    The city has applied for a $100,000 grant that could offset the cost of the armor stone, but officials won’t know until August if it will receive these funds.
    In addition, Wirth said, the bonding will provide $2,600 to be placed in the debt service budget.
    Although Tuesday’s action by the council locks in the interest rates and associated tax levy over the life of the refinancing, the  loan won’t close until June 27.
    The new bonds will be repaid in 2026.

Town set to do its part to fix notorious, busy road PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 18:36

But Village of Saukville would have to chip in for its half of Northwoods

    Northwoods Road — the road more people complain about than any other, Town of Port Washington officials said — could be improved this year.
    The Town Board on Monday reviewed a $94,665 bid from Payne & Dolan to rebuild 3,865 feet of the road from Hillcrest Road south, but members held off on taking any action since the town only has jurisdiction over the east half of the roadway.
 Daily Press   The western half is governed by the Village of Saukville, which would have to approve any work done on its portion of the roadway and agree to pay its half of the $94,665 bill.
    Town Chairman Jim Melichar said he would talk to village officials this week to see if they would be willing to authorize the work so both sides of the road can be rebuilt at one time.
    If the village doesn’t have funds budgeted, the town could see if a compromise plan could be put in place, he said, or the town could reconstruct just its side of the road.
    “We’ve done that before,” Melichar said of the idea of rebuilding only half the road.
    “Do we have any idea what Saukville’s timeline is?” Supr. Mike Didier asked. “What are the odds of their budget having the money for it this year?”
    Melichar said he hopes to find the answers to these questions.    
    “We’ll see if I have any pull to negotiate,” Melichar said, noting that the town and village have a road maintnenace agreement.
    It’s in the interest of both communities to rebuild the roadway, Melichar said.
    “They get as many complaints as we do,” he said.
    “I’d say this is the most complained about road in the town. It’s the most traveled road in the town.”
    That’s because many people use Northwoods Road to access the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA, officials said.
    Melichar said depending on his talks with the village, the Town Board could act on the bid during a special meeting before the Wednesday, June 14, Plan Commission meeting or at its next regular meeting on Monday, July 3.
    The Town Board did approve an $85,387 bid from Payne & Dolan to rebuild Mink Ranch Road from Highway KK to Northwoods Road.
    That stretch of road probably gets the second-largest number of complaints, officials have said.
    The projects fit in the town’s $140,000 budget for road construction this year, officials said.

Legion Riders to rumble into Port Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 17:56

Public invited to greet motorcyclists, donate to fund for children of fallen soldiers

    The roar of motorcycles will fill the air in Port Washington Sunday, June 11.
    That’s when at least 75 motorcyclists, part of the American Legion Riders, will stop in Port during the final leg of the group’s three-day journey from Ashland to the War Memorial in Milwaukee.
    Legion members are hoping the public will line the streets to welcome the group, which is expected to come into the city about 10:30 a.m.    Local Legion posts will have their color guards stationed along the route, and Scouts are expected to join their ranks for the event.
    The riders, escorted by Port police, will enter Port from the south side, along Highway 32, turn east on Grand Avenue to downtown and then make their way to the Van Ells-Schanen Legion Hall on Lake Street.
    “We’re asking people to cover the main streets,” said John Jacque, a member of the Port Legion who will take part in the ride.
    The group will ride, rain or shine, he said, and sticks to its schedule, usually arriving within 10 minutes of its anticipated timeline.
    The riders will take a break at the Legion, sharing stories and enjoying fellowship and also accepting donations from local Legion posts and individuals for the Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to the children of soldiers who have been killed or who have been disabled since 9/11.     
    After about an hour, the group will head out of Port, following the same route members took into the city.
    Among the riders will be at least four members of Ozaukee County American Legion posts, including Jacque, who rides a black Harley Davidson trike, and Sheriff Jim Johnson.
    Jacque, who has participated in four Legion Riders Legacy Scholarship runs and three national rides, said this year’s ride is named Rev’s Run in honor of Wisconsin Legion Commander Dan Seehafer, who is a minister nicknamed “Rev.”
    A Vietnam-era veteran, Jacque was drafted in 1967 and joined the Navy, where he served on active duty for two years and 21 years in the reserves.
    He continues his service today by working with the Legion and participating in activities like the Legion Riders, he said.
    “Once you’re a soldier, you’re always a soldier,” Jacque said.
    He especially enjoyed the Legacy rides, he said.
    “It’s a rewarding thing,” he said. “I’ve lost a few friends.”
    Some of the best things about the rides are the friendships made along the way, he said.
    “It’s the camaraderie among the people,” Jacque said. “You get a feeling of pride when you travel through these small towns and there are 100 people standing there with flags.
    “It can choke you up once in a while.”
    This year’s ride starts in Ashland on June 9. On Saturday, the group will lead the Flag Day parade in Appleton, head to Fond du Lac for Walleye Weekend activities, and then head to Horicon and Port on Sunday before arriving at the War Memorial in Milwaukee.

Free fishing set for Saturday at Harrington PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:26

The public is invited to a day of free fishing at Puckett’s Pond in Harrington Beach State Park Saturday, June 3.
   Daily Press

 The 2017 Ozaukee County fishing clinic for anglers of all ages will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Participants don’t need a fishing license, and equipment will be provided. There are no park entrance fees.
    Lunch will be provided.
    The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
    For more information or to register for the event, contact DNR Conservation Warden Tony Young at 993-0078.

Opening of pool, markets signal summer is not far away PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:24

Port to host first farmers market of the season Saturday

    Summer seems to have arrived in Port Washington — after all, the outdoor pool will open Monday, June 5, and the farmers market will open for the season Saturday, June 3.
    The market, operated by Port Main Street Inc., is held on Main Street between Franklin and Wisconsin streets from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 28, except on Fish Day, July 15.
  Daily Press  The market will open with about 23 vendors, Main Street Executive Director Maureen McCourt Boylan said, selling honey, bakery, goat milk soap, sweets, arts and crafts. There will also be wood artisans and an Old World knife sharpener, she said.
    By the end of the market’s run, there will be more than 35 vendors, Boylan said, adding that they continue to seek new vendors.
    There will be a variety of music — everything from blues and Irish tunes to rustic Americana and Caribbean cantina-style — at the markets beginning on July 1, she said, and health and wellness tips and recipes will be distributed each month as well.        
    The market, in conjunction with Gallery 224, will again hold a plein air painting contest in August, Boylan added.
    A dedicated website for the market is being constructed, she said, and should be up and running soon.
    Until then, anyone interested in becoming a vendor should email Ross Leinweber at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
    The Port Washington farmers market, likely the longest running in Ozaukee County, is just one of many operating in the county.
    The others include:
    n In Thiensville, there’s a market every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 13 through Oct. 24, except July 4, at Village Park.
    n Fredonia will hold a farmers market from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays from June 14 through Nov. 8 at the Fredonia Government Center, 242 Fredonia Ave.
    n In Cedarburg, the market runs from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays from June 21 through Oct. 25, at Firemen’s Park on Washington Avenue.
    n Saukville’s market is held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25 through October, except Sept. 3, at Veterans Park.
    n In Grafton, a market will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Thursdays from July 5 through September at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

County scrambling to boost Clean Sweep numbers PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:21

Officials concerned about lagging registrations just a week away from revived disposal program

    Having convinced the Ozaukee County Board to fund a Clean Sweep program, officials are now working to persuade residents to participate in a revived effort to provide an environmentally safe way to dispose of household hazardous waste.
    About 150 people — less than half of the 400 people the county hoped would participate — have registered for the Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, collection, Andy Holschbach, director of the county’s Land and Water Management Department, which is organizing the event, said this week.
Daily Press    “We have a long way to go,” he said.
    Registration and a $20 fee for each vehicle-load of materials is required to drop off household hazardous waste, and because of the tepid response to the program, the deadline has been extended to Thursday, June 8.
    Residents will be able to drop off waste and tires at the county Highway Department, 410 S. Spring St., Port Washington, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 10.
    Farmers and small business operators can drop off waste and tires from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, June 9.
    To register and pay online, go to Residents can also print a registration form on the website and mail it and a check payable to Ozaukee County to the Land and Water Management Department, 121 W. Main St., Room 223, Port Washington, 53074. In addition, forms are available at the department’s office.
    Registration is not required to drop off tires, although there are fees based on tire size.
    The collection is open to all county residents except those from the City of Port Washington, who are able to dispose of household hazardous waste every Monday at the Veolia facility in Port Washington. City residents are, however, able to drop tires off at the county collection.
    Holschbach said the drop-off is designed to be quick and easy.
    “People don’t even need to get out of their cars,” he said. “All you have to do is pull into a Highway Department shed and pop the trunk. People from Veolia will be there to take it out of your car and dispose of it properly.”
    Generally, materials such as oil-based paint, adhesives, solvents, pesticides and insecticides will be accepted. A complete list can be found on the Clean Sweep website.
    Materials that will not be accepted include latex paints and stains, compressed gas cylinders and propane tanks, motor oil and ammunition.
    The county, which in 2016 was among only 18 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that didn’t have a Clean Sweep collection, resurrected funding for the program by voting last year to include it in the 2017 budget at the urging of then-Supr. Richard Bauzenberger of Mequon.
    “The counties that don’t offer Clean Sweep programs are fostering practices that are harmful to the environment,” he said last year.
    Bauzenberger said at the time that his constituents asked him why the county doesn’t offer an affordable and safe way for them to dispose of hazardous materials.
    The answer was money. Funding for the program had been cut years earlier.
    “The program isn’t cheap, but neither is disposing of household hazardous waste,” Bauzenberger said. “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.”
    The program costs $50,000 annually. The county has budgeted $35,000 and received a $14,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.
    Holschbach noted the county is committed to making the Clean Sweep an annual event.
    “We want a good, long-term program so people can plan to dispose of their waste responsibly,” he said.

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