Port committee unveils community campaign to pay for improvements expected to cost more than $200,000
An ambitious fundraising campaign to finance hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements to Port Washington’s lakefront was announced Tuesday at the Port Washington Common Council meeting.
Mayor Tom Mlada provided aldermen with a list of 10 items the Waterfront Safety Committee is seeking financing for, noting that additional opportunities are likely to arise as time goes on.
The items, which total more than $200,000, range from $100 to erect each of four signs at the entrances to the beaches to $90,000 to build a pavilion on the coal dock in memory of Tyler Buczek, Peter Dougherty and others who have died on the lake.
“Our goal was to have something for everyone who wants to contribute,” said Mlada, who is chairman of the Waterfront Safety Committee. “There are opportunities to fund things in full or in part, and opportunities for people to provide not just money but also gifts in kind and gifts of talent.”
Mlada said the committee is preparing to pitch its initiatives to community groups, adding many of these organizations have been asking how they can help.
“The response, at least initially, has been great,” he said. “They want to be an active part of what we’re doing.”
The city will act as the collection point for donations, he added.
Mlada said the committee does not have a timeline for the improvements, although members hope some, such as life vests and signs, could be instituted this summer. Just as important, he said, are educational efforts.
“It might take us time to get all this done, but I think it’s something that will happen,” Mlada said. “The education is critical.”
To that end, the committee is planning a surf rescue program to be held June 23 at the American Legion Hall and lakefront.
The financing opportunities include:
• $400 to erect two Sea Grant signs at the north beach and one each at the breakwater and south beach. The signs were free, but it will cost $100 each to place them.
• $4,000 to erect entrance signs at the north and south beach. These signs will display beach rules and information on water quality and rip currents.
• $1,800 for 24-inch diameter life rings to be mounted on posts. There would be four or five on the north beach and one or two on the south beach and at the filtration plant.
• $4,000 for 30-inch life rings on the breakwater. The city has obtained six used rings that need to be refurbished and installed in cabinets, Mlada said.
• $800 for adjustable ladders to be placed on the breakwater.
• $25,000 plus the cost of labor to install a WiFi system from the filtration plant north to Mile Rock. This includes five solar-powered modules in a stand-alone wireless system.
In time, this system could be expanded from the treatment plant south to the marina and to downtown.
• $10,000 for 911 call boxes. The WiFi system must be in place for this to work.
• $17,500 for a camera system to help view the lakefront and aid in searches. This would also require a WiFi system.
• $5,000 for electronic signs.
• $50,000 to help fill holes in the breakwater and make the walkway safe. Mlada said the city will also work with Congressman Tom Petri to try and get the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the breakwater.
• $90,000 for the memorial pavilion on the coal dock.