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Breakwater work to restart, city urges state to OK grant PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Thursday, 09 February 2017 00:40

The Port Washington Common Council on Tuesday approved a resolution urging the state’s Joint Finance Committee to approve a $550,000 recreational boating facilities grant for the breakwater project.

The grant, which was approved by the Waterways Commission, would go to pay for upgrades to the easternmost portion of the breakwater, a project city officials hope will begin later this year.

But even as the city tries to obtain funding for that portion of the project, work on the gateway portion of the breakwater is slated to begin in the next week or two.

Mayor Tom Mlada announced Tuesday that the breakwater is likely to close late this week or early next week so construction can start.

“Providing the weather holds, we’re looking forward to some early spring work this year,” he said.

Work on the first phase of the gateway project was to begin last fall. However, the city opted to delay it after learning there were potentially significant cost savings if it combined portions of the first and second phases of the project.

The first phase of the gateway project will make improvements to much of the breakwater infrastructure at the far west end — replacing most of the structure from the west side to the steel cell section.

It includes widening the walkway near the shore, making the breakwater handicapped accessible and creating a fishing platform.

The second phase includes improvements to the land around the breakwater, such as landscaping, creation of a boardwalk and a connection to the bike path.Daily Press

Even as the gateway project moves ahead, the city is looking to the next phase of the work.

City Administrator Mark Grams said the grant for the eastern end of the breakwater was the only one approved by the Waterways Commission that wasn’t OK’d by the Joint Finance Committee.

“One member expressed concerns,” he said, primarily about community support for the project. “They wanted more information.”

The resolution formalizes the community’s commitment to complete the work, ensuring the state that the project is consistent with the city plans and requests the grant.

It also states that the city will provide as much as $550,000 in matching funds and in-kind services for the project. 

The Joint Finance Committee is expected to meet later this month and will likely take up the matter again at that time, Grams added.

Even after that work is done, Mlada said, the city will need to find funding to repair the south breakwater, which is in dire condition.

“There is no armor stone protecting that south breakwater,” he said. “Our work is not done.”

Town Board plans to name new clerk next week PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Thursday, 09 February 2017 00:38

Port officials to interview six candidates who have applied to fill vacant post

The Port Washington Town Board will interview six finalists for the town clerk’s job next week.

Board members on Monday agreed to interview the finalists on Monday and Wednesday evenings, Feb. 13 and 15. Each interview is expected to last 20 minutes.

They also set a special Town Board meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday to potentially appoint a clerk.

The town has been without a clerk since Jan. 18, when former Clerk Cheryl Karrels left abruptly.

The board appointed Heather Krueger interim clerk on Jan. 25, stating this appointment would run through March 1.

Town Chairman Jim Melichar praised the work done by Krueger and Feider-Schlenvogt since Karrels’ departure, saying, “These ladies have done a great job. Their getting caught up, bills and books and getting ready for voting.”

The town received 11 applications for the clerk’s position, the board members opening them during a special meeting before the regular Town Board session Monday.

Four were from people who had previously applied for the position, and seven from new applicants.

In addition, Town of Belgium Clerk Ginger Murphy sent an email saying she would be interested in adding the Port clerk’s duties to her current responsibilities, Melichar said.

Murphy said she had checked with the Wisconsin Towns Association and there was nothing to prohibit her from holding both posts, he said. She also noted it could offer savings in terms of training to the communities.

However, board members questioned whether a joint position would work, especially since the clerk needs to be on hand in the community on election night.

There could also be issues if meetings are held on the same night, they noted.

Board members reviewed the resumes submitted by the 11 candidates, then decided to each name their top candidates to be interviewed.

“We have no lack of experience here,” Melichar said.Daily Press

It was a process endorsed by Deputy Clerk Doris Feider-Schlenvogt.

“Some names are just going to rise to the top,” she said. “I think there are some who have good backgrounds and experience.”

All but one of the finalists are from Port Washington. They are Krueger, Nicole Ksioszk, Lisa Theis, Randall Kelm and Vickie Egerer. The other candidate is Julie Lanser of Belgium.

Karrels, who had been the town clerk for 18 months before her resignation, was paid $35,100 annually.


PW-S District receives second offer for 54.5 acres in Port PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 19:19

Sale of farmland long held as school site could net funds for field upgrades

The Port Washington-Saukville School District has received a second offer to purchase 54.4 acres of farmland it has owned for more than 47 years.

The School Board last week met in closed session to consider the offer but took no action other than to direct Supt. Michael Weber and Director of Business Services Jim Froemming to research the offer and report to the board on Feb. 15.

“It’s good news that we have a second offer,” Weber said.

He declined to name the prospective buyer but said the firm has been involved in local developments.

The second offer means there is now competition for the property, which, nestled among subdivisions on Port Washington’s west side, is seen as a prime site for residential development and a potential windfall for the school district.

In September, as the board was preparing to evaluate proposals from real estate brokers, the district received an initial, unsolicited offer for the land that school officials described as attractive. 

The board shelved its plans to contract with a broker to market the property and countered the offer, but negotiations have since stalled.

“They have not responded to the board’s counteroffer except to say they are still interested,” Weber said.

North  of Grand Avenue and east of Highway LL, the property is flanked by subdivisions on three sides — Spinnaker West to the south, The Woods at White Pine to the west and Lake Ridge to the east — and bordered by farmland to the north.

Proceeds from the sale of the land are to be used to finance capital improvements, and a leading contender is Port Washington High School’s outdoor athletic facilities, officials have said.

In May, a year after the approval of a $49.4 million referendum that reflects the board’s commitment to renovating and expanding its current schools rather than building new ones, officials decided it was time to sell the land the district has long owned.

The district purchased the property, which is comprised of two parcels, in January 1969 from Elmer and Myrtle Bley for $149,944.

Since then it has been seen as a site for a future school, but as the city developed around it and the needs of schools changed, it became a less desirable school site. And with the approval of a referendum that provides $46.5 million to modernize the high school and $3.8 million to expand Dunwiddie Elementary School, officials said it was time put the property on the market.

The pending sale comes at a good time for the district because, while the referendum is financing building improvements, it does not include money for outdoor high school athletic facilities. 

Officials envision a fairly sweeping project that would include the replacement of the grass football field with artificial turf, new lighting and sound systems and a press box. The project could be expanded to include artificial turf and other improvements to the baseball diamonds and track and field facilities. Daily Press

Healthy soils workshop planned for Feb. 10 PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 19:16

The Milwaukee River Watershed Clean Farm Families will host a healthy soils workshop at 9:30 a.m, Friday, Feb. 10, at The Islands at Waubeka Fire Hall on W4121 Center St.

A presentation on farmland productivity and surface water health will be led by United States Department of Agriculture Conservation Agronomist Ray Archuleta. 

The workshop is free and registering is encouraged due to limited space. It includes lunch and refreshments and offers educational guidance on improving physical and biological conditions of soil. 

For registration contact Ozaukee County Land and Water Management Director Andy Holschback at 284-8271.Daily Press

Previous applicant named interim town clerk PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:40

Port board scrambles to fill unexpected vacancy after resignation of official whose contract was just renewed resigns

Heather Krueger was appointed the interim clerk for the Town of Port Washington Monday.

Krueger was sworn in following a special Town Board meeting, as was Deputy Clerk Doris Schlenvogt.

Faced with the abrupt resignation of former clerk Cheryl Karrels, who left her post Jan. 18, the Town Board last week agreed to see if Schlenvogt would fill the interim post.

However, Town Chairman Jim Melichar said, Schlenvogt said she did not have the time to complete all the duties of the clerk.

Melichar said he asked Krueger if she would take the interim post, noting she had applied for the clerk’s job 18 months ago and was still interested in the part-time job.

“She was one of my top picks,” Melichar said. “She had a very good interview.”

Melichar asked the board to appoint Krueger to serve as interim clerk until Feb. 7, since the board is to review resumes for a new town clerk on Feb. 6.

However, board members agreed that time frame was too limited, and they appointed Krueger to serve in the interim post until March 1.

“What if someone has a resume that’s amazing but they’re out of town?” Supr. Jim Rychtik asked. 

Even if the board were to appoint a new clerk on Feb. 6, he added, that person would likely need to give at least two weeks notice to their current job.

Appointing an interim clerk to serve until March would also mean someone would be on hand to cover the Feb. 21 primary election, supervisors noted.

County Clerk Julie Winkelhorst said her office would provide as much help as it can to the town as the election approaches.

As interim clerk, Krueger will be expected to spend at least 16 hours a week on the job, and she will be paid $17.50 an hour for her time. She will also receive $50 per diem pay for meetings she attends, the board said.

Krueger, who lives at 2023 Dixie Rd., will be able to fulfill her town duties on a flexible schedule, working around her full-time job with the Grafton School District, the board agreed.

While someone needs to staff the Town Hall during regular office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays, Melichar said he, Schlenvogt and Krueger will work together to ensure that happens.

All three will undergo the training needed to handle early voting duties, Melichar added.

Krueger, along with two others considered for the post 18 months ago, has applied for the town clerk’s job, Melichar said. Three other candidates have also applied, and other potential candidates have indicated interest in the job.

“There have been calls and inquiries,” he said.

If Krueger gets the job, Melichar added, the interim post “will let her get her feet wet.”

The Town Board will accept applications for the job until 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6. The board will review the applications that night and decide whether to interview candidates or hire someone immediately.

Karrels was paid $35,100 annually.Daily Press

Listening sessions to feature City of Port candidates PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:39

A series of listening sessions designed to define the issues voters in Port Washington’s 3rd aldermanic district are most concerned about and hear what the three candidates for alderman have to say about these concerns will be held beginning this Friday.

The first session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, with the remaining sessions set for 3 p.m. on Sundays, Feb. 12 and 19.

The sessions will be in the Lakeview Community Room in the former Wilson House at the corner of Main and Franklin streets in downtown.

The three candidates — incumbent Ald. Bill Driscoll and challengers Don Cosentine and Michael Gasper — will face off in the primary election Tuesday, Feb. 21.

“We’re at a critical juncture in this town and things are happening very quickly,” said Nick Spencer, who is helping coordinate the sessions. 

The sessions are intended to give people a way to let their concerns be known and to give the candidates a forum to address them, Spencer said. The format is intended to be more intimate and interactive than a typical debate, he said.

“We’re trying to move away from people coming and listening to candidates going on and on,” Spencer said. “When we do that, we ignore the citizens.”

Spencer said the candidates are expected to be at each of the sessions. During the sessions, each candidate will be at a separate table and those attending will be split among them.

The candidates and residents will be able to introduce themselves and define what issues are most important to them, he said. The residents will rotate to the various tables during the session so they get a chance to voice their concerns equally.

If time permits, Spencer said, the candidates will be able to address the issues brought up at each session.Daily Press

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