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City will help foot bill for officials’ trip to Germany PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Thursday, 05 May 2016 20:13

Council approves spending $1,000 for Port delegation’s visit to sister city this spring

The Port Washington Common Council on Tuesday agreed to pay $1,000 to defray a portion of the cost for a delegation of city officials to travel to Germany this spring.

The trip is intended to formalize a sister city relationship with Sassnitz, Germany, a community that Mayor Tom Mlada said is similar to Port in many ways.

Both communities have a population of around 10,000 people, and both are located on a large body of water. Tourism and fishing are among the major industries in each.

Mlada noted that Sassnitz is known for a long pedestrian bridge connecting the city to its port — something that the city is looking at to connect Rotary and Coal Dock parks.

Sassnitz is also known as the home of the decommissioned British submarine HMS Otus, a floating museum, Mlada noted while Port has several maritime-related museums and is a regular stop for the tall ship Denis Sullivan.

“We’re really excited about this,” he said. 

During the visit, Mlada said, Port officials will discuss everything from networking to city planning to downtown redevelopment.

“I think there’s a lot we can glean from one another,” he said.

Mlada said he will head the city’s delegation, which also will include city arborist Jon Crain. They are willing to make the trip, whether or not the city subsidizes it, he said.

“We’re that passionate about it,” he said.

Others considering making the trip include Engineering Technician Ross Kroeger, Director of Planning and Development Randy Tetzlaff and Ald. Dan Becker, the council president, Mlada said.

The council’s $1,000 contribution will be matched by $1,000 from the city’s Environmental Planning Committee, he said.Daily Press

Mlada estimated the cost of the trip would be $2,000 per person — not including the city’s contribution, which will be split among those making the trip.

Officials from Sassnitz will visit Port Washington next year, the mayor added.

Aldermen agreed to take the funds for the trip from the economic development budget.

City still waiting for Blues Factory offer PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 19:55

Port officials hope to hear from developer of controversial lakefront project in time for May 3 council meeting

Port Washington officials have not yet received an offer from Madison-based developer Christopher Long to purchase a lakefront parking lot for The Blues Factory, a Paramount blues-themed entertainment complex, Mayor Tom Mlada said Tuesday.

However, he said, officials still hope to receive an offer in time to consider it during the Tuesday, May 3, Common Council meeting.

Mlada said he has recently spoke to Long, who told him he is working on the offer and hopes to have it to the Common Council by next week’s meeting.

“We’re getting closer,” Mlada said.

The city’s decision to sell the north slip parking lot for development is a controversial one. 

Advocates tout the economic benefits of development, saying the city needs to provide a year-round attraction that will bring business to the downtown. 

Opponents in turn have said the benefit of an open lakefront outweigh any economic gain, saying the city should not sell publicly owned waterfront land.

The Common Council has been meeting in closed session regularly this year to discuss negotiations with Long.

If the city does receive an offer to purchase, Mlada said, aldermen may discuss it in closed session. Any action on the offer, however, must come in an open session.

Mlada said that if Long wants to reach his goal of opening the Blues Factory next year, in time for the centennial of the Wisconsin Chair Co., the parent company of Paramount Records, an agreement must be reached soon.

“If we’re going to do that, we’re coming to a critical juncture,” Mlada said.

But, he said, if an offer doesn’t come in time for next week’s meeting, that’s OK.

“At the end of the day, we’re very vested in the process,” he said. “If we’re not quite there, it’s better that they take the time they need to do it right.”

Even if the city does reach an agreement to sell the parking lot, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done before the development begins.

A development agreement with the city must be reached, and City Administrator Mark Grams said recently that work on this has not yet begun.

Several issues are expected to be addressed in either the offer to purchase or development agreement. Daily Press

They include who will remediate any contamination on the site — the city has conducted environmental tests on the property that have shown minimal contamination — and assurances that the development will pay off for the city, especially if city incentives are used for the project.

Long said last year that he would be seeking $1 million in incentives. In addition to the incentives, the project would be funded through private equity — as much as $500,000 from accredited investors and $1 million in crowdfunding — as well as a construction loan, he said.

CPR on Harbor gives residents a chance to learn lifesaving skills PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 19:53

Port Washington’s emergency medical technicians are undertaking a new initiative — to make sure people in the city know how to perform CPR.

To help in this effort, they will hold CPR on the Harbor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 19.

“We’ll be giving basic instruction in hands-only CPR,” EMT Sue Cross said.

This is not only the current standard, it also eliminates many people’s trepidation over doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, she noted.

The first hour of CPR on the Harbor will be held in the green space off East Main Street next to Dockside Deli, Cross said. After that, the initiative will move to Coal Dock Park.

No appointments are necessary, Cross said, adding it will take five to 10 minutes for people to receive the basic instruction.Daily Press

Handouts on CPR will be available, and door prizes will be awarded.

“I think everybody has a basic idea of what CPR is,” Cross said. “We want to make sure that if you’re a citizen and someone fell over with cardiac arrest, you would know what to do — besides calling us.”

School building improvements on budget PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 19:21

PW-S officials say preliminary bids for work at Port High, Dunwiddie School fall within projected $49.4 million

Breathing a collective sigh of relief, officials said Monday that the Port Washington-Saukville School District’s two-school, $49.4 million building improvement initiative is on budget.

The preliminary total of bids for the Port Washington High School project is $40.5 million.

Bids for an addition to Dunwiddie Elementary School and a new parking lot there total $3.8 million, slightly higher than expected.

That brings total construction costs to $44.4 million.

Non-construction costs, which include expenses such as architect fees, soil borings, asbestos removal and furniture, are expected to be $3.5 million.

That leaves the district with a contingency fund of $1.5 million, about 3% of the total cost of the project.

“For the most part, we’re ecstatic with where the numbers came in,” Greg Sabel, director of construction management for CD Smith, the firm overseeing the projects, told the School Board.

“We’re sitting very well.”

Officials said the contingency of $1.5 million is adequate, but because of the scope and duration of the high school project, they want to increase it by working with contractors to reduce costs.

“We believe it’s a fairly sizable contingency, but we also know this project will be ongoing for three years,” Supt. Michael Weber said.

The Port High project will entail demolition, construction and renovation. The oldest, central part of the school will be demolished to make way for a new entrance, commons, cafeteria and arena-style gym, as well as new music rooms. In addition, a three-story academic wing will be built on the west side of the school.

“We want to go in with a considerably large contingency,” Sabel said. “This is a messy job.”

To illustrate how large the project is, the low bid for caulking is $106,000.

“It’s hard to believe there’s $100,000 of caulking in this project,” Sabel said.

That bid, awarded to Sid’s Sealants of Fredonia, was one of 21 bids totalling $28.3 million approved by the School Board Monday. In instances where there were competing bids, the board chose the low bids.

Of those, the largest contract — $5.8 million for electrical work — was awarded to Altmeyer Electric of Sheboygan.

The next largest contract, for $4.1 million in heating, ventilation and air conditioning work, was awarded to J&H Heating of Port Washington. The company is also doing $314,000 of work at Dunwiddie Elementary School.

“We’re really happy to see that a local firm, J&H, could be competitive and get the bid,” Weber said.

CD Smith was awarded four contracts totalling $9.2 million for selective demolition, concrete, masonry and steel work at the high school. The company is also doing $1.3 million of work at Dunwiddie.

Although CD Smith was hired to manage the school projects, the firm’s contract with the district allows it to “self-perform” work. Its bids are evaluated by the district, while all other bids are evaluated by CD Smith, which then recommends the top proposals to the board.

The board is expected to approve additional high school bids, which are still being analyzed by CD Smith, at its May 9 meeting.

If the projects go as planned and there is money remaining in the contingency fund, Weber said, increased spending on furniture is a priority. The budget for the high school project includes money for furniture in the commons, cafeteria, library and shared spaces in the academic wing, but officials would like to replace existing classroom desks and tables.Daily Press

Work at the high school, where a retaining wall is already being constructed, is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in 2019.

The Dunwiddie Elementary School project is set to begin this spring and be completed by the end of the year.

“We’re pretty excited with how the bids came in,” Weber said. “We’re all breathing a little easier now.”

PWHS robotics team to hold annual recycling collection on Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 19:28

The Port Washington High School PiraTech robotics team will hold an electronics, appliance, textile and scrap metal recycling collection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in the school parking lot at 427 W. Jackson St.

Laptop and desktop computers, as well as flat panel monitors, will be refurbished for free and donated to IndependenceFirst, a Milwaukee organization that helps people with disabilities obtain computers.

Electronics including stereo equipment, printers, battery backups, CD players, cameras, tablet computers and video game systems, as well as toner and ink cartridges, will be accepted for a fee of $5 per item.

Televisions no larger than 32 inches will be recycled for $20 per item.

Appliances such as microwaves, ovens, ranges, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, stoves, dishwashers, air conditioners, water coolers, water heaters and car batteries will be accepted for $10 per item.

Clothing, shoes, purses and belts, as well as cell phones and scrap metal will be accepted for free.recycle

All of the items collected will be repurposed or recycled.

Proceeds from the collection will benefit Port PiraTech, a school club that works with community mentors to design robots and compete in the FIRST Robotics competition.

Proceeds will also support the Thomas Jefferson Middle School FIRST LEGO League Team.

Schlenvogt keeps seat as County Board chair PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 19:27

Lee Schlenvogt of the Town of Port Washington retained his role as chairman of the Ozaukee County Board when nobody else was nominated at Tuesday’s organizational meeting.

Supr. Paul Melotik of Grafton was chosen as vice chair in a 15-7 vote over incumbent Jennifer Rothstein of Mequon.

Rothstein won the second vice chair over Donald Dohrwardt of Fredonia after three votes. The first two tied at 11-11, after which Schlenvogt requested each candidate address the board.Daily Press

Rothstein won the third vote, 12-10, succeeding Dan Becker.

Schlenvogt told the board that Supr. Irene Macek of Mequon died Sunday, April 17. The board did not discuss how to fill her seat.

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