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Sold-out sails in August to bring tall ship back to Port PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 18:55

Denis Sullivan will return for Labor Day weekend

    The tall ship Denis Sullivan will return to Port Washington for the Labor Day holiday, thanks to a successful visit earlier this month.
    “All of the sails were sold out,” City Administrator Mark Grams said of the Aug. 11 to 13 visit. “You couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”
    The deck tours and five sails had been projected to bring in $5,000, he said, but instead raised almost $8,000.
    That money is enough to pay for the Sept. 1 to 3 visit approved by the Common Council last week.
    The 137-foot schooner will offer five sails over the Labor Day weekend, including a live music-themed trip — the visit is being held in conjunction with the Paramount Music Festival on Coal Dock Park — and a sunset cruise on Sept. 2.
    Ald. John Sigwart noted the importance of the Sullivan’s visits to the city, since they have allowed the community to regain its status as a commercial port and made the city eligible for federal grant funds for such projects as the breakwater repairs.
    “I’d like to see a little better funding by the council,” Sigwart said. “It’s really important to have the Sullivan in the harbor so we can continue to recieve grants.
    “I’d like the council to consider a little more investment (in the visits) so we can continue our commercial harbor status.”
    Mayor Tom Mlada reiterated the importance of the designation and the city’s relationship with the Sullivan and Discovery World, which owns the vessel.
    “We have a couple of really big grant applications out there (for the breakwater repairs and lighthouse restoration),” he said. “If we didn’t have this relationship, these grants wouldn’t even be in the pipeline.”
    Mlada also suggested the city needs to continue its marketing position, which he said is instrumental in promoting three major events, including the Sullivan visits.
    “If we can keep Nicole (Styles, the city’s marketing and communications coordinator), in place into January, we can do more planning,” he said.Daily Press

Officials voice concerns, table Bielinski rezoning PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 18:48

Aldermen delay action on controversial plan to build three-story apartment building in Port subdivision

   Port Washington aldermen who appeared ready to reject a request to rezone a portion of the Hidden Hills subdivision to allow a 35-unit apartment building to be constructed among single-family homes instead tabled the issue Tuesday.
    “I feel this will be defeated,” Ald. John Sigwart said before making the motion to table a decision because aldermen Doug Biggs and Mike Ehrlich were not at the meeting. “I feel bad because we have two aldermanic districts that aren’t represented tonight.”
    Unable to sell land zoned for commercial development in its Hidden Hills subdivision north of Highway 33 on Port’s westside, Bielinski Homes has proposed a multi-family development instead, which would require the city to rezone a portion of the subdivision.
    Bielinski’s plans sparked opposition from residents of the subdivision when they were proposed in November and have been modified in attempt to address some of those concerns.
    The current proposal calls for a three-story “active adult community” apartment building to be constructed along Highway 33. Of the 35 units in the building, 80% would have to be occupied by at least one person age 55 or older.
    Hidden Hills resident Rickie Lovell told aldermen during a public hearing Tuesday that he did not plan on living next to an apartment building when he built his house, and is now concerned the building would “drastically change the nature” of the subdivision and diminish property values.
    “The request to rezone and build the ‘community’ by Bielinski Homes is a breach of good faith with the homeowners of Hidden Hills,” Lovell said. “Bielinski represented to me and others that this is a development of single-family homes and that there would only be commercial development” on land along Highway 33.
    Referring to residents of the subdivision, Lovell said, “Our interests need to come before the interests of Bielinski Homes. They made representations of what this area would be like and they want to change that.”
    Bielinski Homes lawyer Tim Voeller said the company’s plan to build multi-family housing on land once slated for commercial development reflects the fact that there is little demand for commercial property in the area. In fact, he said, there are vacancies in the current commercial building in the subdivision.
    Voeller said plans for land use change all the time, noting that the city wants to sell lakefront land that has long been a parking lot for the development of the Blues Factory entertainment complex.
    The Plan Commission has endorsed a preliminary site plan for the apartment building and recommended the zoning change in recognition of the fact the market for commercial land isn’t what it used to be, Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development, said.
    “We have an overabundance of commercial properties,” he said.
    City Administrator Mark Grams noted that the reconstruction of Highway 33 compromised access to the Bielinski property, making the commercial land in the subdivision even less desirable.
    But other city officials were less sympathetic to the developer.
    Referring to Lovell, Ald. Dave Larson said, “He bought his property with certain expectations. And other than downtown, we have more than enough multi-family units in the city.”
    Sigwart said, “I’m not yet convinced we have an obligation to make the Bielinski property more useful.”
    But Mayor Tom Mlada, chairman of the Plan Commission, said commission members didn’t have the interests of Bielinski Homes in mind when they endorsed a zoning change they believe will make undeveloped land more desirable.
    “It wasn’t about the developer but what’s in the best interest of the city,” he said.  Daily Press
    Ald. Michael Gasper, however, said the change would amount to spot zoning.
    “We shouldn’t be doing spot zoning,” he said. “It’s a bad practice.”
    The Plan Commission had been scheduled to consider a final site plan for the apartment building on Thursday, Aug. 17.

Repeat drunken driver accused of beating cop PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 18:46

Port man pleads not guilty to charges stemming from fight over OWI arrest

A repeat drunken driver has been charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with fighting with and injuring a police officer who was attempting to arrest him outside the man’s Port Washington apartment.
    Derek L. Overbay, 45, is charged with fifth-offense drunken driving, resisting arrest causing a soft tissue injury to an officer and battery to an officer, all felonies.
    Overbay, who is being held in the Ozaukee County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, also faces one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
    Overbay pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday.
    According to the criminal complaint, at 7:12 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, police officer James Russell was on patrol when he saw a Ford Mustang that was stopped at the intersection of Sunset Road and Spring Street on Port Washington’s south side squeal its tires and speed away.
    Russell lost sight of the car, but remembered seeing the Mustang earlier parked outside of an apartment complex on Westport Drive.
    At the apartment, Russell found Overbay, the driver of the car, who invited him into his apartment. Overbay told Russell that his car has clutch problems, which is why he squealed his tires. But during the conversation, Russell noticed Overbay smelled of alcohol and was slurring his speech, the complaint states.
    By this time, Russell was aware that Overbay had been previously convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated four times and could not drive with a blood alcohol level of more than .02, significantly lower than the normal legal threshold for intoxication of .08, according to the complaint.
    The men were outside so Overbay could show Russell the alleged problem with his car when Russell asked Overbay if he had been drinking. Overbay said he had been, but not since 3 p.m. that afternoon, the complaint states.
    When Russell told Overbay he believed he had been driving while intoxicated, Overbay argued with him, then began to walk away.
    Russell tried to stop him, eventually grabbing his shirt and shoulders in an attempt to get him on the ground. Overbay then grabbed Russell and both men fell to the ground where they struggled, according to the complaint.
    Russell was able to free himself and stand up, but when Overbay tried again to escape, another struggle ensued. Russell attempted to disable Overbay with his taser, but the device was ineffective and the fight continued, the complaint states.
    Eventually the men separated and Overbay locked himself in his apartment. Other officers arrived and, after trying unsuccessfully to convince Overbay to come out, began prying open his door. Overbay then came out and was arrested.
    Russell had soreness and stiffness as a result of the altercation with Overbay, according to the complaint.
    Fifth-offense drunken driving is punishable by a maximum five years in prison and five years of extended supervision.
    The resisting arrest and battery charges Overbay faces are each punishable by a maximum three years in prison and three years of extended supervision. Daily Press

County asks judge to order ‘vicious’ dog be euthanized PDF Print E-mail
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Written by JOHN MORTON   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 18:44

Burnese mountain dog/shepherd mix twice attacked bicyclists, petition states

An attack by a dog on two bicyclists within two weeks has prompted Ozaukee County officials to ask a judge to declare the dog named Buddy vicious and order he be confiscated and euthanized.
The petition filed last week by Ozaukee County Corporation Counsel Rhonda Gorden states the dog is vicious and that its attacks caused serious injuries without reasonable cause while off its owner’s property.
The dog, described as brown, black and white in color, twice bit people along River Park Road at St. Finbars Road in the Town of Fredonia, according to the petition.
The first incident was at 6:30 p.m. on July 25, when a couple who were biking were approached by two dogs beyond the driveway of a farmhouse on River Park Road.
The larger of the two dogs bit the man’s calf, drawing blood. After the man squirted the dog with a water bottle, it retreated to the farmhouse property.
According to the petition, the man said he called out toward the farm house but got no response. He later sought medical treatment.
When contacted by authorities, the property owner, Roy Rau, said he was out of town at the time. His dog, a Bernese mountain dog/shepherd mix, was quarantined for an examination.
Then, on Aug. 5, Buddy struck again at 9:19 a.m., biting a woman who was biking in the same area, the petition states. The woman’s husband reported that two dogs surrounded her before the one attacked, and that his wife suffered a puncture wound.
When contacted, Rau acknowledged the dogs were running free while he was in West Bend shopping for a washing machine.
The dog was once again quarantined and Rau was cited for a dog at large.
Rau issued proof that his dog’s vaccinations were current, the petition states.
The petition asks that the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department be allowed to confiscate the dog until it is euthanized.
Rau could not be reached for comment.
The case has been assigned to Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Joseph Voiland. hearing date had not been set as of Tuesday. Daily Press

Washington can’t woo Ozaukee with merger talk PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by JOHN MORTON   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 19:06

Local county officials decide not to join initiative to study partnerships

Washington County officials, who call  their’s and the state’s political and financial landscape “grim” and “unsustainable,”  could not convince Ozaukee County to join it in a program designed for strategic planning and possibly the merger of the two counties.
The program, called the Future Regions Initiative, would have cost Ozaukee County between $12,000 and $14,000 to participate in three workshops.
At its Aug. 2 meeting, the Ozaukee County Board rejected the offer, which came in a July 17 letter written by Washington County Board Chairman Rick Gundrum and County Administrator Joshua Scholemann. It included an Aug. 11 decision deadline and a Sept. 30 application deadline.
“Our Executive Committee discussed it before the meeting and decided we already had a staff qualified for this,” Lee Schlenvogt, the board’s chairman, said Monday. “We don’t need to double up with an outside source and spend that kind of money.”
Currently, Washington and Ozaukee counties share a health department and are discussing the same for transit services.
“We’ll continue to work with any counties on consolidation of services, but the idea of removing borders and becoming one county? Well, that would require a lot of research,” Schlenvogt said.
The topic did, however, get Schlenvogt active in seeking a possible strategic-planning partnership with a different county.
“I’ve talked to the (Waukesha) county executive (Paul Farrow) and he has a staff that is quite qualified for this type of thing,  so we’ll be talking about what things we can do together. In fact, I’ll be talking with (Waukesha County Board chairman) Paul Decker later today about doing something similar and about other possibilities.”
The Future Regions Initiative was developed by the Local Government Institute of Wisconsin. Its workshops focus on collaboration, engagement and accountability, according to its promotional material. Daily Press

City calls on state to lower Hwy. 32 speed limit PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 19:04

Port council responds to subdivision residents who say turning onto increasingly busy thoroughfare is dangerous

    Responding to concerns from residents of the Misty Ridge subdivision that the 55 mph speed limit makes it dangerous to enter and exit their neighborhood, the Port Washington Common Council on Tuesday agreed to slow down the traffic.
    Aldermen agreed to ask the state Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit to 45 mph until just south of Misty Ridge Lane, following a recommendation from the city’s Traffic Safety Committee.
    Residents told aldermen how dangerous it can be trying to leave their subdivision, noting that if they turn south, they risk being rear-ended by a car cresting the hill behind them as they try to get up to speed.
    If they turn north, they have to cross two lanes of traffic without seeing who’s coming over the hill in order to get to the northbound lanes, they said, and then they risk northbound vehicles coming over a hill and striking them.
    “It’s been relatively safe, but it’s getting more hazardous,” Matt Panhans, 2307 Willow Pond Way, said.
    Not only has traffic on Highway 32 increased, but the entrance and exit to the subdivision is hidden in a valley between hills, he said.
    “You have about 10 seconds to make a decision — is it clear? Can you get out?” Panhans said. “Reducing the speed limit would get you a couple more seconds. This is something we should do.”
    Cathy Hanson, who earlier this year presented the council with a petition seeking the reduced speed limit, noted that the change would have a minimal impact on those driving on Highway 32 while drastically increasing safety.
    “I don’t think it’s a big sacrifice on anyone’s part,” she said.
    Steve Bennett, 1801Windrush Dr., noted that the subdivision is home to many young families, but these youngsters will soon get their driver’s licenses.
    “To start to drive and come onto this intersection is not safe,” he said. “The last thing we need is to have a tragedy.”
    Police Chief Kevin Hingiss, a member of the Traffic Safety Commission, noted that there haven’t been many accidents there. However, he said, many people speed through the area.
    “I think a lot of the points brought up here tonight are legitimate,” Hingiss said.
    Ald. Doug Biggs, who lives in the Misty Ridge subdivision, said traffic on Highway 32 has increased over time and makes it difficult for residents, particularly those turning left, to cross the intersection safely.
    That’s especially true in winter, when slush and snow make the roadway slippery, he said.
    “Particularly in winter it is very, very dangerous,” Biggs said. “And people aren’t coming down the hill (on Highway 32) at 45 mph. They’re blasting down that hill going southbound.”
    When the Traffic Safety Committee considered the residents’ request, committee member and Ald. John Sigwart said his wife will not turn to the north when leaving the subdivision, instead turning south and making a U-turn to head back into the city.
    The situation will only get worse as more houses are built in the subdivision, committee members noted, since Misty Ridge Lane is the only way in or out of the neighborhood.
    Even if a second exit is created as roads from the adjoining NewPort Vista subdivision are connected to those in Misty Ridge, the problem will likely continue because Misty Ridge Lane is the most convenient exit, City Administrator Mark Grams, who lives in the subdivision, said.
    Ald. Dave Larson asked whether the city could also extend the 35 mph speed limit farther to the north, to First Street, when the Misty Ridge speed limit change is made, saying that Highway 32, aka Spring Street, is wide enough to handle this.
    “There’s no reason it shouldn’t be 35 mph,” he said.
    Hingiss disagreed, saying police already find that many people driving in that area are exceeding the speed limit.
    “You move it to 35 mph, they’re going to go a little faster,” he said.
    Aldermen dropped that suggestion while approving the change sought by the Misty Ridge subdivision residents. Daily Press

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