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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

Saukville cops, retired fireman credited with saving man’s life PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Mark Jaeger   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:38

Two Saukville police officers and a retired firefighter teamed up to rescue a 63-year-old Saukville man from a smoky apartment fire on Friday, Jan. 20.

According to Police Chief Jeff Goetz, police were called to an apartment building in the 400 block of North Dries Street at about 11:25 a.m. 

When officers arrived, the building’s smoke detectors were sounding and smoke was seen coming from a second-floor apartment.

The building was evacuated, but tenants said they believed one of the renters was apparently still in the building.

Officer Emily Neese kicked in the door of the apartment where the fire started, but found the smoke too heavy to get through.

Neese then pulled the fire alarm to alert anybody left in the building.

As Officer Matt Caswell drove up to the scene, he saw a man standing at the front window trying to breathe in air.

Although the apartment was smoke-filled, Caswell was familiar with the layout and decided to crawl in after he heard the trapped resident calling for help.

“It was so black in the apartment, you couldn’t find your way out. Officer Caswell managed to grab onto the hand of the tenant and drag him out,” Goetz said.

Retired firefighter Rick Gillson Sr., who lives in the neighborhood, was at the scene and assisted in getting the victim, who was badly confused and unable to provide much information, out of the building.

Police administered oxygen to the victim until the Saukville EMS crew arrived at the scene.

After the victim was removed from the building, the other apartments were checked to make sure no one else was inside.

The chief said officers are not expected to put themselves at risk at fire scenes, but Caswell had previously trained as a firefighter.

Police did not have an updated report on the condition of the man rescued from the fire, but Caswell was treated for smoke inhalation and released from Aurora Medical Center in Grafton later that day.

The victim was also transported to the medical center.

“I am so proud of our officers and retired firefighter Rick Gillson. I am certain if they has failed to act as they did, the victim would not be alive today,” Goetz said.

Authorities have not identified the cause of the fire, but believe it may be related to the large amount of electronic equipment and extension cords found in the apartment where the blaze started.

Firefighters from Saukville, Port Washington, Grafton and Cedarburg responded to the fire call.Daily Press

Port teen who tried to wrestle beer from clerk faces felony PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:35

Nineteen-year-old is charged with attempted robbery, use of force

A Port Washington teenager accused of trying to wrestle a case of beer away from a convenience store clerk who wouldn’t sell it to him because he was underage was charged Monday with attempted robbery with use of force.

In addition to the felony, William G. Breen, 19, also faces misdemeanor counts of retail theft and disorderly conduct in connection with the Friday, Jan. 20, incident.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, an employee of Mad Max South, 1100 S. Spring St., Port Washington, told police that shortly after 9 p.m. Breen came into the store and tried to buy a bottle of liquor.

The clerk said she refused to sell the liquor to Breen because state law prohibits alcohol sales after 9 p.m.

Breen hung around the store for about 30 minutes, she said, then asked if he could buy a case of beer. The clerk said she agreed and took his money, but after looking at his driver’s licence and realizing he was younger than 21, took the beer away from him and placed it behind some displays, the complaint states.

The clerk said she was in the process of refunding Breen’s money when he grabbed the case of beer. She also grabbed the case and a struggle ensued, causing a display case filled with mini liquor bottles to be knocked over. 

Breen then let go of the case, grabbed several mini liquor bottles and ran from the store, according to the complaint.

When questioned by police, Breen admitted to trying to take the case of beer and stealing two mini bottles of Captain Morgan rum, the complaint states.

Breen became angry while being taken to jail and said he wanted to punch and kick the clerk, according to the complaint.

On Monday, Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams set Breen’s bail at $2,000 and ordered him not to have contact with Mad Max stores or the clerk he is accused of scuffling with. He is also to maintain absolute sobriety.Daily Press

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