Share this page on facebook
Port Washington


City doubles its investment in breakwater PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 17:49

Council decides to pay consultant another $15,000 to seek grants that would supplement Army Corps funds

    The Port Washington Common Council on Tuesday doubled up its efforts to get grant money to repair the deteriorating breakwater.

    The city agreed to pay an additional $15,000 to Foth Engineering — doubling the funds it has already committed — in hopes of obtaining state grants that will supplement $950,000 allocated by the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the breakwater this summer.

    “What is now a $950,000 solution could become a $2 million to $3 million solution,” Mayor Tom Mlada said, noting that while the work that will be done by the Army Corps this summer is only a partial fix for the breakwater.

    “This is our window of opportunity. We can’t bank on the fact there’ll be another $950,000 next year and $2 million after that,” he said.

    Corps officials are willing to work with the city to maximize the work that can be done and coordinate it, he added.

    City Administrator Mark Grams said the $950,000 Army Corps allocation “is almost like seed money” that can be used to match any grants the city gets.

    The city can’t afford not to take advantage of this, said Ald. Dave Larson, chairman of the Finance and License Committee.

    “It’s opening the door for more grants,” he said. “Now that we have this momentum, we certainly want to continue to move forward.”

    Army Corps representatives told the city last week that it doesn’t know how much it can achieve with the $950,000, Mlada said. It seems as if much of the project will be surface work, he said.

    The Corps plans to send a structural engineer to Port in the coming weeks to examine the breakwater and check the surface, face and sides to try and determine how much deterioration has occurred since last summer’s inspection, he added.

    Even then, they may not have a clear picture of how much work is needed until the project begins this summer, officials said.

    “It’s like exploratory surgery, where they go in and look around to find out what’s wrong. They might not know until July, when they take the cap off,” Grams said. “They don’t know what exactly they’ll find.”

    The Army Corps said work is expected to begin in late July, Mlada said, which gives the city time to apply for additional funds for the project.

    “The challenge is that much of the work will happen during the height of the tourist season,” he said.

    Grams said it is feasible that the city could obtain an additional $1 million to $2 million in grant money for the breakwater. That money could be used for such things as armor stone around the breakwater to protect it from erosion.

    “I think they (the Army Corps) would like to do armor stone, but I think the breakwater structure itself is the first thing,” Grams said, adding armor stone is expensive.

    It’s difficult to determine what grant funds would be used for, he said, because the city doesn’t know exactly what the Army Corps project will entail, he added.

    The city’s original $15,000 contract with Foth and SmithGroup JJR includes the preparation of one grant application.

    “Now that we know what programs are out there, we need to move ahead,” Grams said.

    That’s especially important because Port’s breakwater is a low priority for the Army Corps, which owns the structure, Mlada said, noting the city is no longer a commercial port.

    While the original contract with Foth and SmithGroup JJR is being funded with marina funds, the extension approved Tuesday will be financed through the city’s contingency funds.

    A portion of the grant funds obtained could be used to replenish the contingency fund, Larson said.

    Aldermen also approved an increase in the daily and seasonal launch rates at the marina, to $10 and $95, respectively.

    Any funds in excess of the $25,000 in budgeted revenue from each of these fees will be designated for breakwater repairs.

    The measure may not bring in much money this year, Grams said.

    “With the long winter we’ve been having, fishing is not going to be very good,” he said, and that often determines how many launches occur.

    But it is a way to drive home the message to users of the marina that they have a stake in the breakwater issue, and to assure city residents that they are not alone in tackling the issue, Mlada said.

   

 
City takes aim at restricted bow hunting PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 17:29

Proposal would allow but limit activity in response to state law

    Port Washington bow hunters may soon be able to take to their tree stands in the city.

    That’s because the state legislature last year took away a municipality’s ability to ban hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow, effectively ending the city’s prohibition on shooting these weapons.

    The legislature did, however, give the community limited powers to regulate bow and arrow hunting, and the Common Council is poised to approve an ordinance on Tuesday that does just that.

    The proposed ordinance requires hunters to shoot in a downward direction and prohibits hunting on public property or within 100 yards of a building without permission from the property owner.

    “If we want to regulate bow hunting in the city, this is essentially what we can do,” City Administrator Mark Grams told aldermen when they had their initial review of the ordinance on March 4.

    City Attorney Eric Eberhardt said the state law is an effort to curb the deer population in urban areas.

    “We’ll see how that works,” he said.

    The effect, however, is to greatly limit what a community can do to regulate hunting, he said.

    Does it mean people can hunt in the city? Yes, he said.

    “Clearly if you had a tree stand and were shooting at an animal below you, it would be shooting toward the ground,” Eberhardt said, adding that people with tree stands or standing on a roof or ladder could do the same thing.

    “There are a lot of bells and whistles, but theoretically you could do it,” Grams said.

    However, he said, since few houses are farther apart than 100 yards, people who want to hunt will have to get permission from all the surrounding property owners in order to hunt in the city.

    And because that is likely to be difficult, the ordinance may essentially prohibit hunting in residential areas, he said.

    One exception could be the former VK Homes property, which the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust is trying to purchase. The parcel on the city’s southeast side is large and undeveloped, so if the property owner allows it, bow hunting could occur there, officials said.


 
Snowmobile crash claims life of Town of Port man PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 20:07

Relative says Schlenvogt, 37, died in ‘freak’ accident along Upper Michigan road

    A snowmobiling trip to Upper Michigan turned tragic early Sunday when a 37-year-old Town of Port Washington man was killed in an accident.

    Chad Schlenvogt died about 2 a.m. March 2 in a rural area of Dickinson County, Mich., less than a mile from the Wisconsin state line, according to authorities.

    He was driving on the west side of Pine Mountain Road in Breitung Township when he struck a guardrail on the west side of the road, according to the Michigan State Police.

    The snowmobile overturned and Schlenvogt was ejected.

    A passing motorist found him lying on the shoulder of the road, which is well traveled, probably within minutes of the accident, according to the state police. He was unresponsive, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

    The accident has stunned many people in the town and city of Port, where Schlenvogt was well known and his extended family is active in local government.

    Schlenvogt’s wife Jenny is the Town of Port Washington clerk, his brother-in-law Jim Rychtik is a town supervisor, and his uncle, Lee Schlenvogt, is the Ozaukee County Board chairman and a former Town of Port chairman.

    Schlenvogt was a fixture at Town Board meetings and was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

    The accident has also left people shaking their heads in disbelief. Schlenvogt was an experienced snowmobiler, Rychtik said, who knew and respected his limits.

    “It was just one of those freak, freak things,” he said. “Everything would have to line up perfectly for him to get hurt, and it did. If he hit an inch over, he’d probably have a big bruise right now and be joking about it.”

    Schlenvogt wasn’t originally supposed to be up north, Rychtik said. He and a group of friends intended to go snow goose hunting in the southern United States, but the trip was cancelled because of weather.

    Schlenvogt and two friends, Tom Didier and Jordy Schwanz, decided to go snowmobiling up north instead, Rychtik said.

    “The snow up there is just amazing,” he said.

    The trio left for Florence County on Thursday and planned to return Sunday night, Rychtik said.

    They arrived late Thursday, then took a 180-mile snowmobile trip to Eagle River on Friday, he said.

    On Saturday, they stuck around the cabin, then decided to drive to Pine Mountain Ski Resort about 10 miles from where they were staying to watch a snowmobile hill-climbing contest. They spent the day there.

    The group returned to the cabin, then decided to go back to the resort, Rychtik said.

    But when they headed back to the cabin, one of the snowmobiles wouldn’t start. Didier and Schwanz decided to ride together, and Schlenvogt drove on ahead, Rychtik said.

    Rychtik said he believes Schlenvogt, who was familiar with the area, took a shortcut to bypass a two- to three-mile jog in the snowmobile trail around a ravine. That shortcut apparently took him along Pine Mountain Road, which is a wide road with snow along the edges of the shoulder.

    "What happened next is anyone’s guess," Rychtik said.

    “I think the ski possibly caught either on a big chunk of snow or the edge of the guardrail,” Rychtik said, pushing the snowmobile up the rail just enough to tip it, ejecting Schlenvogt.

    When Didier and Schwanz returned to the cabin, they were surprised that Schlenvogt wasn’t waiting for them, Rychtik said. They tried calling him, but got no answer and started panicking, he said. They thought about going out to look for him, but their snowmobile was out of gas and the truck they had driven wouldn’t start.

    “They didn’t have a clue where Chad was,” Rychtik said.

    It was only when authorities contacted them later that they discovered what had happened.

    Authorities told the family they believe Schlenvogt hit the handlebars when he was ejected, causing his death, Rychtik said.

    Rychtik said he does not believe speed was a factor, noting Schlenvogt was found near the snowmobile.

    The snowmobile, he added, is intact and operable.

    Although the state police said alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash, Rychtik said Schlenvogt generally did not drink or drank minimally when driving a snowmobile.

    A funeral Mass for Schlenvogt will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at St. Peter of Alcantara Catholic Church in Port Washington.

    An education fund for his two young children has been set up at Kohler Credit Union.

    A complete obituary for Schlenvogt can be found in this edition of Ozaukee Press.

 

 
City fine-tunes signboard regulations PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 18:19

    The controversy over the use of signboards in Port Washington ended last week when the Plan Commission adopted new guidelines to regulate their use.

    “I just think this is not only cleaner but better for our downtown merchants,” Ald. Dan Becker, a member of the commission, said.

    There are now seven regulations, as opposed to the previous nine, many of which were never enforced by the city, said Randy Tetzlaff, director of planning and  development.

    The regulations were sent to downtown merchants, and there were no objections logged, he said.

    Port Washington Main Street Executive Director Lauren Richmond also reviewed them, Tetzlaff added.

    The new regulations call for merchants to obtain a permit for the signboards, giving the city an idea of who owns them and who to contact if there are issues, Tetzlaff said.

    They require businesses to display the signs in front of their main entrance unless a special exception permit has been granted by the commission — a step required so shops on side streets can place placards on Franklin Street directing customers to them.

    The signs cannot block intersections or cause a hazard to pedestrians or motorists, and they must be removed when the businesses close each day.

    The signs, which can be no larger than 24-by-48 inches, must be neatly painted and maintained. They must be professionally lettered, although chalkboards are allowed to be hand lettered.

    Although ubiquitous, the sandwich board-like signs prompted controversy earlier this year when some commission members complained about the appearance and locations of some placards.

    Tetzlaff said the new guidelines allow the city to take steps to avoid issues in the future.

    “If we still have problems, you can take another look at this and be harder,” he said. “I think it’s better to start out with less.”

    The new regulations, which are part of the city’s ordinances, will be considered by the Common Council next week.

 
City to consider tougher sidewalk sign regulations PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 19:44

Port commission will review rules for appearance, location of sandwich boards in downtown Port

    The Port Washington Plan Commission will tackle the topic of sandwich-board signs when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

    Commission members will consider seven proposed regulations that cover everything from the size of the signs to aesthetics and locations.

    The regulations would also reflect the city’s current practices when it comes to the signs, said Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development.

    For example, the city ordinances require all signboards to be approved by the Design Review Board — something that hasn’t been done, he said.

    They also don’t allow for businesses on side streets to place placards on Franklin Street, although that is a common practice, he said.

    “We’re trying not to be burdensome,” Tetzlaff said, saying the proposed regulations would set minimal standards for the signs.

    The signs — a common sight on the sidewalks in downtown Port — have been the topic of debate recently, with some officials criticizing them for cluttering the sidewalks and others hailing them as a sign of vitality.

    The discussion was kicked off by complaints from some business owners as well as a commission member.

    At least one complaint was about a poorly made sign outside the downtown, and other complaints cited signboards that were placed on the sidewalk in such a way that they impeded pedestrians, he said.

    Some officials also expressed concern that the sandwich boards add to the clutter on the sidewalk, especially at intersections when multiple signs are placed.

    In 98% of cases, Tetzlaff said, the city has no issues with the existing placards.

    “We need to have a process to review them,” he said, noting that this will give the city the authority it needs to address potential problems when they spring up.

    While some people question the need for the regulations, Tetzlaff noted that the city requires businesses to meet standards for other types of signs.

    “Is it really fair to allow businesses to put up these signs without any controls?” he asked.

    The proposed regulations would require all signboards to be professionally lettered and neatly painted, except when the signs are blackboards. Then, hand lettering would be permitted.

    The signs can be no larger than 24 inches wide and 48 inches high, according to the proposal.

    One signboard would be allowed for each business, and it must be displayed in front of the main entrance of the store unless a special exception permit is approved by the Plan Commission.

    This permit, Tetzlaff said, would be used to allow businesses on the side streets to display their signs where pedestrians and motorists are likely to see them on the main streets.

    Signs may only be displayed when the shop is open and must be removed at the end of the business day, the proposal states, and they cannot block intersections or cause a public safety hazard.

    A one-time permit must be obtained for each signboard, and those that do not comply with the requirements may be removed from the right-of-way.

    The permit, which would likely cost a nominal fee, is needed so the city has some idea of the number of signs and their owners, Tetzlaff said.



 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 8 of 55
advertisement
Banner
Banner
Banner