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Plan to move senior center draws support PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 20:43

Port commission recommends relocating facility to Aurora Health Center building on city’s west side

The Port Washington Senior Center should relocate to the Aurora Health Center on the city’s far west side, the Commission on Aging agreed Monday.

With little discussion, the commission agreed to adopt a recommendation made by its ad-hoc strategic planning committee, which was tasked with finding a new home for the center.  

“If we as a community had put together a wish list of ideal centers, I don’t think we could have come up with a better location,” Commission Chairman David Owens said. 

He ticked off a list of attributes of the Aurora site at 1777 W. Grand Ave. — it is large enough for the center and on one level, is easily accessed, has plenty of parking, is between Port Washington and Saukville and, with a city park planned for land just to the west, ideal to perhaps become a community center as well.

“I think it’s ideal — all kinds of positives here,” Owens said. 

Commission member Edie Webb, who is also a member of the ad-hoc committee, said many people have told her they like the idea of moving the center to the clinic.

“We’ve had so many positive comments from people in the community about the direction we’re going in,” she said. 

Years of hard work have gone into the recommendation, Webb said, adding, “I think we’re there.”

Senior Center Director Catherine Kiener agreed, saying, “Out of all the plans to date, this seemed to be what people felt has potential for us.”

Commission members did not take up the question of whether a senior center should be combined with a community center. The ad-hoc committee indicated it would like to see the senior center be part of a community center, but said its job was only to make a recommendation on the senior center.

Although the city moved into its current location only four years ago, doing extensive renovations to convert the former church and office building into the center, the Common Council recently said it would not continue renting the facility at 403 W. Foster St. beyond June 2017.

Seniors have expressed concerns with parking and accessibility at the site since the center moved to the site, and officials also have said the rent payments are higher than desired.

The ad-hoc committee, which looked at numerous sites for the center, said the clinic seems to best meet the senior center’s needs.

It has between 12,000 and 15,000 square feet of usable space on one floor, is handicapped accessible and has plenty of parking.

The layout is conducive to a center, with a reception area at the entrance, and the entire building is wired for technology, a plus in today’s digital world.

There is plenty of space for another city department to move into, members said. If the Parks and Recreation Department were to move to the site — something repeatedly suggested through the years — there is room on the lot to build a gymnasium for the program, they added. 

If another city department doesn’t join the senior center at the site, any extra space could be rented, they added..Daily Press

John Mutschelknaus, Aurora’s senior vice president of clinic operations, told the ad-hoc committee last month that the health-care group is looking at consolidating its Port Washington clinics, both of which are off Highway 33.

It’s likely Aurora would retain its eastern-most clinic, but it would need to construct an addition there to accommodate the consolidation, Mutschelknaus said.

Ald. Bill Driscoll, a member of the commission and the ad-hoc committee, said the asking price is expected to be about $750,000.

The commission’s recommendation is expected to go to the Common Council next month, Kiener said. If approved, the city would be expected to begin negotiations with Aurora regarding the clinic purchase.

District to start seeking bids for school addition PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 20:41

PW-S board solicits proposals for Dunwiddie work as part of $49.4 million improvement plan

The Port Washington-Saukville School District will begin seeking bids this week for a $3.8 million addition to Dunwiddie Elementary School — part of its $49.4 million school improvement plan approved by voters in an April referendum.

The elementary school plans were endorsed Tuesday by the City of Port Washington’s Design Review Board and will be considered by the Plan Commission Thursday.

Bids are due next month, and construction of the addition that will provide classrooms to alleviate overcrowding at the elementary school level is slated to begin in spring, Supt. Michael Weber told the school board Monday.

Work will begin with the construction of a new parking lot and student drop-off area to the west of the current lot on West Lincoln Avenue. Once that is completed, work will begin on the 13,000-square-foot addition that will include a courtyard and new entrance to the school. 

Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

It is likely, however, that shovels will break ground first at Port Washington High School, which will undergo a $45.6 million, three-year renovation that includes the demolition and reconstruction of the oldest part of the school.

The high school project is expected to be bid in early March. As early as April, work could begin on a retaining wall on the west side of the building to accommodate a new three-story academic wing built on the hillside. 

Construction of the facility, designed to centralize classrooms at the north end of the school near the technology-education and Washington Heights sections of the building, is slated to begin in spring and be completed by the fall of 2017.

Once students move into the new academic wing, demolition of the oldest part of the school, which dates to 1931 and houses math and science classrooms as well as offices, will begin. 

A new entry will be built, along with a sprawling commons and cafeteria area and music classrooms. A new gym will be constructed on the south side of the school along with a fitness center and related facilities.

The construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.

Daily PressThe current gym will be retained for use as an auxiliary athletics facility. It will also serve as the cafeteria during the second phase of construction.

The final phase of the project will include the interior renovation of the auditorium. The current band and choir rooms will also be renovated to provide space for dressing rooms, costume and prop storage and a small black box theater.

The high school project, which is being designed by Bray Architects and managed by CD Smith, is expected to be essentially completed by the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

Bike park to get new home next summer PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 19:33

Bicyclists in Port Washington will have a new place to ply their sport next summer.

The Parks and Recreation Board agreed last month to move all but one piece of equipment — the pump track — from the existing bike park on Moore Road to Guenther Park  near the mountain bike path.

The move was suggested by the Ozaukee County Mountain Bike Club, which developed the city’s mountain bike path, Parks and Recreation Director Charlie Imig said.

“It  (the equipment) is kind of underutilized now,” Imig said. “When we put it there, we thought it would enhance the skateboard park. It was kind of shoe-horned in there.

“The thought is the move would enhance it and make it more of a fun thing.”

Even when the bike park opened, Imig said, people suggested that it needed a larger site. 

Moving the equipment could not only spur more people to use it but also prompt more people to use the mountain bike trail, he added.

The pump track is being kept at the skateboard park, Imig said, noting that people on skateboards and scooters also use it.

The mountain bike club will design the layout for the equipment in Guenther Park, he added.

“Maybe it could be incorporated into the trail,” board member Jen Verheyen suggested. “It could be more of a draw there.”

“I think it’ll be put to good use down there,” added member Jim Karrels.

The equipment is expected to be moved to its new site sometime in late spring, Imig said.

In other action, the board agreed to spend roughly $2,500 for an entrance sign to Coal Dock Park.

The park opened in 2013 without an entrance sign. Officials had unveiled a design for a grand entry sign, but the roughly $75,000 price tag was prohibitive.

The board approved a simple, two-sided entry sign much like those at other city parks. The sign, which has white lettering on a green background and incorporates the city logo, will be placed in the median at the entrance to the park off South Wisconsin Street.Daily Press

If the money for the other sign becomes available, board members said, this sign could be removed to accommodate it.

“In the meantime, it’s just nice to get something in there,” Imig said.

Town of Port residents question 2016 fiscal plan PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 19:30

Although the Town of Port Washington budget hearing was held last month, several residents at Monday’s Town Board meeting questioned the fiscal plan for 2016. 

Terry Anewenter, 3693 Hwy. KK, also noted that few people attended the hearing and asked the board to consider posting meeting notices at other places in and near the community, including area grocery stores, where he said more people might see them.

But board members said meeting notices are posted on the town website and at Town Hall, which most residents visit to use the recycling center.

Anewenter then questioned the town’s contribution to the Ozaukee Economic Development Corp., saying the $750 the town allocated for this might be better spent elsewhere.

Board members noted that while the funds are in the budget, they are not allocated yet. They will consider the request for funding when it arrives, they said.

Former Town Clerk Jenny Schlenvogt also questioned the salary paid to Clerk Cheryl Karrels, whose pay was up for review at the meeting.

“You have a person who does not have any experience,” Schlenvogt said, noting Karrels began working for the town on July 15.

But officials defended Karrels’ $37,000 annual salary, saying when the town advertised for a new clerk, the eight candidates all said the salary was a reason they applied.

“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys to work for you,” Supr. Jim Rychtik said. “If we had paid $4,000, we would have gotten one candidate.”Daily Press

The salary is less than Schlenvogt was paid, officials noted.

While discussing the topic, officials discovered an apparent disparity in the pay approved by the board motion hiring Karrels and the salary in her contract. They referred the matter to the town attorney for clarification, and agreed to revisit the matter at their next meeting. 

The Town Board also formally adopted the $645,990 spending plan for the coming year.

Christmas on the Corner returns Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 23:49

Port’s annual holiday celebration to feature variety of family activities, including parade, fireworks show

Port Washington will celebrate “A Season of Giving” during the annual Christmas on the Corner celebration Saturday, Dec. 5.

The event will run from 3 to 7 p.m. and include a wide variety of activities, from the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at the foot of St. Mary’s Hill and the holiday parade to a spectacular fireworks show.

The theme of the night will be carried out in a number of ways.

Entries in the parade will be asked to illustrate the theme, and Port Main Street Inc., which sponsors the event, is hosting a book drive. 

New and gently used books may be dropped off at the Niederkorn Library, 316 W. Grand Ave., through Saturday, Dec. 12. Books for all ages are sought, although young adult offerings are particularly needed.

The books will be donated to the English teachers in the Port Washington-Saukville School District for use in their classrooms.

Various businesses will also have activities to promote the theme. For example, the Port Exploreum is collecting non-perishable food items for the Food Pantry and seeking decorations for its holiday tree. Those donating will be given a wristband so they can watch the fireworks show from the Exploreum balcony. 

Port Main Street Inc. will also have a calendar available outlining charitable events held at local businesses in December.

Throughout Christmas on the Corner, carolers, including Bounding Main and Port High School’s choral groups, and costumed characters will stroll the streets.

Christmas on the Corner kicks off with special sales at area shops, where merchants will offer refreshments to warm customers on what is usually a chilly evening.

Youngsters will be invited to participate in the Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, scouring designated downtown shops to find the elf hidden inside. Each discovery will be documented, with youngsters handing in their sheets for a prize. 

Visitors may catch a horse-drawn carriage at the corner of West Grand Avenue and South Wisconsin Street and enjoy a ride through the heart of the city. 

Children can write their holiday letters and mail them to Santa at Blue Heron Artisans Gallery during the festival, decorate cookies at Dockside Deli and stop at Port Washington State Bank to visit and have their pictures taken with Santa.

Live reindeer will be on Main Street near Franklin Street, where visitors may have their pictures taken with the animals. Photos with the Disney princesses, including Elsa and Anna from “Frozen,” may be taken at Biever Travel.

A live Nativity will remind people of the reason for the season in front of Port Abstract and Title on Grand Avenue.

Several nonprofit groups will have booths downtown selling food and beverages, including chili and hot chocolate.

A sleigh decorated by La Tulipe and Golden Chic Events and Consulting will be on the east end of Main Street along the north slip marina, creating a scenic backdrop for families who want to take a festival photograph.

At 6:15 p.m., the city’s Christmas tree at the foot of St. Mary’s Hill will be lit to kick off the parade, which will begin at the corner of Jackson and Franklin streets, head south on Franklin Street to Grand Avenue and proceed west to Milwaukee Street, where it will end.

The parade will feature local celebrities, floats, bands, clowns and more to entertain the crowd. The highlight will be the official arrival of Santa Claus on a sleigh atop the Main Street float.

Following the parade, the crowd will move toward Rotary Park to view holiday fireworks, the only winter fireworks show in Ozaukee County.

For more information, call (262) 268-1132 or visit www.visitportwashington.com.

Aldermen take out nomination papers for spring election PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 23:48

Two Port Washington aldermen have taken out nomination papers for the spring election.

They are aldermen Paul Neumyer and Doug Biggs, who represent the city’s 2nd and 4th Districts.

Also up for election this spring is the city’s 6th District seat held by Ald. Dave Larson.

Nomination papers are due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.Daily Press

Officials who decide not to seek re-election must file non-candidacy forms by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28. If they fail to do so and do not seek re-election, the deadline for people to file nomination papers is extended by 72 hours.

The spring election will be held April 5. If more than two candidates file for any one seat, a primary election will be held Feb. 16.

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