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Port fine-tunes proposed law that would allow pigs in the city PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 20:30

Aldermen agree to limit number of pot-bellied pets in homes in preparation for Nov. 17 vote on ordinance

A draft ordinance that would allow pot-bellied pigs in the City of Port Washington was fine-tuned Tuesday by aldermen preparing for a Tuesday, Nov. 17, vote on the proposed law.

The discussion centered around three major issues — how large a pig would be allowed, how many would be permitted and the fee required.

City Atty. Eric Eberhardt recently polled aldermen about what they want included in the ordinance. 

The resulting document proposed allowing no more than two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs to be kept at a single-family home, with each pig limited to 35 pounds.

Pot-bellied pigs can be kept only as pets, according to the ordinance, cannot run at large, and owners must clean up after them.

Ald. Bill Driscoll, whose sister-in-law works in a veterinary lab at Iowa State University and has kept pot-bellied pigs, lobbied for an end to the weight limit, saying it is considered “inhumane” to keep the animals, which are naturally larger than that, to 35 pounds.

“That is a very, very unhealthy thing,” he said.

Pot-bellied pigs don’t all root, he said, and are generally quiet animals.

“If I had to choose between living next door to a pig or dog, I’d pick the pig because it’s quieter,” Driscoll said.

Aldermen agreed that the number of pot-bellied pigs should be limited to two per property in areas zoned for single-family and duplex homes. They eliminated the weight limit.

They also debated how much to charge for a permit to have a pig, with some advocating a one-time $100 fee with a $10 annual charge and others saying the fee should be similar to the $6 charged for licenses for neutered dogs.

The higher fee would weed out people who seek to get a pot-bellied pig on a lark, officials said.

“There is an issue with people getting them who don’t realize what they’re getting into,” Driscoll said. “Getting a pig is more like getting a child than getting a pet.”

Ald. Kevin Rudser suggested the city adopt a standard fee, perhaps $25, for “weird animals.”

Becky Casarez, who prompted the council’s discussion with a request to keep one at her 126 E. Woodruff St. home, said she agreed with the higher initial fee.

“I think every pet owner should have to pay a fee like that. They’re taking care of another being,” she said.

Casarez told aldermen she has talked to her neighbors about her request and has been greeted with support.

“If they were not for it, it would have stopped me,” she said. 

Many people have unusual pets that aren’t regulated, she said, adding she knows one person who has six snakes and another with a chinchilla.

That prompted Ald. Dave Larson to ask if the city has a snake ordinance.

“That’s an interesting question,” Eberhardt said. “I will get back to you on that.”

 
Spooky fun awaits visitors to downtown Port PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 19:26

Halloween activities will be the order of the day Saturday in Port Washington.

The final farmers market of the season will run, complete with music, on Main Street from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second annual Port Pumpkinmania from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Both events are sponsored by Port Main Street Inc. Prizes will be given to everyone who wears a costume. 

Children especially are encouraged to come in costume and go trick-or-treating at shops that display a pumpkin on their door from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A variety of children’s activities will also be held.

There will be free pumpkins to carve and decorate. Master pumpkin carver Lee Saberson will offer carving demonstrations and tips to those attending. 

halloween

Free hot chocolate and treats will be provided, and there will be a pie contest with judging at noon.

Contestants are asked to provide the recipe for their pies. There will be prizes for the winning pie and runners up.

Refreshments will be available from the Port Lions Club, and the Soccer Club will offer food.

On Saturday night, the streets of Port will fill with youngsters out trick-or-treating from 4 to 7 p.m.

In addition to candy and treats, some youngsters will use the occasion to help others. 

Port Washington High School students participating in the student council’s Trick or Treat for the Hungry will collect non-perishable food items for the Port Washington Food Pantry.

Third and fourth-graders from Lincoln Elementary School will participate in Trick or Treat for UNICEF, collecting money that will be used to provide food, clean water and vaccinations for children throughout the world.

 
PWHS robotics team to hold recycling event Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 19:25

Port PiraTech, Port Washington High School’s robotics team, will hold an electronic, textile and appliance recycling collection in the school parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Electronic items such as cell phones, PDAs, stereo equipment, printers, battery backups, toner and ink cartridges, CD players, cameras, tablets and video game systems will be accepted for $5 per item.

Appliances — including microwaves, ovens, ranges, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, stoves, dishwashers, air conditioner water coolers, water heaters and car batteries —  will be accepted for $10 per item.Daily Press

Televisions up to 32 inches in size and CRT computer monitors will be accepted for $15 each.

Textiles, shoes, purses and belts will be accepted for free.

The fourth annual event benefits Port High’s robotics program and Thomas Jefferson Middle School’s Lego League teams.

 
Nov. 3 meeting will discuss city plans for 2016 street upgrades PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 19:24

A public informational meeting to discuss improvements planned for 10 Port Washington streets next year will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The meeting will be in the Common Council chambers at City Hall, 100 W. Grand Ave.

Representatives of the city and its design consultant, Gremmer & Associates, will explain the improvements and gather input and concerns from those attending.

The affected streets include Lincoln Avenue from Portview Drive to Spring Street; Tower Drive from Second to Grand avenues; Larabee Street from Spring Street to its west end; Woodland Avenue from Garfield Avenue to the cul de sac; Norport Drive from Grant to Holden streets; Holden Street from James to Norport drives; James Drive from Holden to Benjamin streets; Theis Street from Theis Lane to Benjamin Street; Theis Lane from Theis Street to James Drive; and Benjamin Street from Norport Drive to Beutel Road.

Maps showing the proposed improvements will be on display and information will be available for those present to take home.

The proposed street improvements include reconstruction or resurfacing, spot replacement of existing sidewalk or construction of new sidewalk where there is none, water main replacement and storm and sanitary sewer improvements.

Homeowners who want to replace their sanitary sewer lateral or construct a new storm sewer connection can do so during the project, but at their own expense.Daily Press

No right of way acquisition is anticipated, and there will not be any special assessments for sidewalk except for the installation of walkways where there were none previously.

During construction, the streets will be closed. Construction schedules will be disseminated when available.

Anyone who cannot attend but wants information on the projects is asked to contact City Engineer Rob Vanden Noven at 284-2600 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Attorney says pigs in cities raise concerns PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 22:21

Eberhardt asks council to set guidelines regulatingpot-bellied pets in Port

Port Washington City Attorney Eric Eberhardt asked the Common Council Tuesday what it is looking for when considering ways to regulate pot-bellied pigs.

“There are concerns about these animals being raised in urban settings,” he said. “I can draft this ordinance any way you wish.”

Aldermen are considering whether to allow pot-bellied pigs to be kept as pets, a move they undertook after Becky Casarez asked to keep one at her 126 E. Woodruff St. home.

“Pigs are great. They’re really lovable, caring and make a great pet,” she told aldermen in September after they agreed to draw up an ordinance allowing them to be kept much as dogs and cats are.

In a memo to aldermen, Eberhardt said, “There is little doubt that pot-bellied pigs are cute, smart animals that can be kept and trained as household pets. They can be walked on a leash, housebroken and let out to play in the backyard.

“However, their intelligence, curiosity, appetite and behaviors present common problems for living with or near them in an urban setting.”

For example, Eberhardt said, one common problem is that these pigs often grow larger than their owners are led to believe. Because of this, many communities specify that only Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are allowed.

Aldermen need to decide how many pigs a person could have, whether the number would be per household or lot and whether to allow breeding.

“Breeding is usually prohibited,” he said.

Licensing is often required, and the animals usually have to be leashed when out in public.

One thing Eberhardt recommended was to include a strict requirement about the removal of feces.

That’s because the odor and the amount of waste produced by a pig is significant, he said.

“It is an acrid odor to say the least,” Eberhardt said.

Eberhardt presented aldermen with a questionnaire with ideas on what should be included in a pot-bellied pig ordinance, saying he could draw up this legislation for consideration as soon as the council’s Tuesday, Nov. 3, meeting.

This is the third time in the past four years that aldermen have been asked to allow an unusual animal in the city.

In 2012, they approved beekeeping in the city, and in 2013 they turned down a request by a family to keep chickens.

If the proposed ordinance is approved, Port Washington wouldn’t be the only community in the area to allow pot-bellied pigs. The Village of Grafton also allows residents to keep one Vietnamese pot-bellied pig as a pet.

 
Port may take another look at funding county rescue boat PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 22:19

Commission suggests itwill revisit debate overshared funding for service

Funding for the Ozaukee County rescue boat, which is housed in the Port Washington marina and operated by the county, could once again become a contentious issue.

Members of the Port Washington Harbor Commission last week suggested the city’s subsidy for the rescue boat be reduced.

Although City Administrator Mark Grams on Tuesday said the idea won’t fly this year, he said it could be brought up again next year.

“It’s too far into the budget process this year,” Grams said, noting he had broached the issue with Ald. Dan Becker, who is also a county supervisor. “We could look at it next year.”

The city currently provides the county with a free boat slip and $1,500 in fuel each season, Harbormaster Dennis Cherny said, as well as a $10,000 subsidy.

Harbor Commission members, when reviewing their budget on Oct. 12, said it’s time to revisit the issue.

“I think with all the big box stores and everything going on, the county’s doing pretty well,” Commission Chairman Gerald Gruen Jr. said. “When we agreed to do this, we had some money and they didn’t. Now we’re a little tight.

“I’m all for the rescue boat. I just think they may be a little better able to handle this.”

The city has traditionally provided the slip and fuel, Grams said. The financial subsidy was added after a number of county supervisors threatened for several years to end the rescue boat unless the city helped support it, noting Port Washington has the only harbor and marina in the county.

But charter captain Dale Allen noted that it’s not just Port residents who make use of the rescue boat’s services. When the boat goes to Belgium to aid a boater, Belgium doesn’t help pay for that service, he added.

“What if we just took it out of the budget and didn’t pay it?” asked commission member Jerry Baganz. 

“How should we voice this to the county?”

The commission’s discussion came as members heard that the city is facing a difficult budget year. 

In the past, Grams said, the city was able to increase its expenditures by 2% to 2.5% and still fall within the limits of the state’s expenditure restraint law. This year, because the consumer price index is low, the budget can only increase about 1.2%.

The budget is also constrained by state levy limits. Because of the way the formula works, Grams said, “this is the tough year. Next year we’re going to have another $100,000 we can levy.”

“It’s not a pretty situation,” Ald. Bill Driscoll, a member of the commission, said.Daily Press

“We need to get their ear. Maybe if you put in the paper we’ll only rescue people from Port Washington it’ll get their attention.” 

The city’s finance committee met all day Tuesday to work on the proposed 2016 budget.

Grams said he still needs to finalize some numbers, but the budget is largely completed — with the rescue boat subsidy.

The budget also includes funding for another police officer, he said, although the position likely won’t be authorized until mid-year.

 
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