At tonight’s Redevelopment Authority meeting, the purchase of the property at 4804 – 37th Avenue was approved. The commission had gone into closed session before making this decision. This property will be acquired from Lentz Partners, and is currently assessed at $143,600. The purchase was approved up to the asking price of $125,000. At a meeting held earlier this year (on January 17th), it was decided that these properties would be purchased between the amounts of $115,000 and $125,000. (Click here to review the article on the meeting held in January: Wilson Neighborhood Project Plan Progresses.)
At Monday night’s Finance Committee meeting, the proposed resolution by the mayor authorizing the issuance and sale of $13,990,000 (originally $13,650,000) in general obligation refunding bonds was approved unanimously. Gene Schultz, the broker handling the sale for the city, stated that the amount is always tentative. The reason for the change in the amount of the bonds to be sold was the change in interest rate. Schultz stated, “Costs total $357,000 on the sale. The total difference in par value of $340,000 was due to the increase in the interest rate. Previously, the savings to the city would have been $9 million. Now, it is $8,555,000, still a substantial savings to the city.”
Alderperson Tod Ohnstad asked if approval tonight locked in the rate, and Schultz replied that it did. Alderperson Daniel Prozanski asked if we are losing anything to lock it in, and the reply was that we are not. “You will not have to levy a cent to repay this,” stated Schultz.
The vote was unanimous in favor of the issuance and sale of the bonds.
At last night’s Common Council meeting, the subject of Kenosha’s Harbor Market predominated the discussion both during the citizens’ comments portion of the meeting and when the item came up on the agenda. The agenda item dealt with a proposed ordinance change sponsored by Alderpersons Theodore Ruffalo and Tod Ohnstad regarding the temporary closing of a city street. It simply clarified in what instances a city street may be closed for a civic event. With the incredibly high turnout at the meeting, one might have thought that the ordinance change dealt specifically with the Harbor Market, but this was not the case. The ordinance change passed with a roll call vote of 16 to 0.
The Pleasant Prairie Police released the following statement regarding St. Patrick Day traffic enforcement:
If you’re leaving Kenosha County and heading north or trying to get back here from the Milwaukee area a crash on I-94 at about Seven Mile Road has all lanes of the highway blocked.
Scanner transmissions also indicate that Racine County public works crews are barricading both the east and west frontage roads near the crash.
UPDATE 5:08 p.m. — WisDOT says traffic still blocked.
UPDATE 6:46 p.m. — Scanner transmissions seem to indicate that some Racine County accesses to I-94 being opened now.
UPDATE 7:03 p.m. — journaltimes.com has a fuller story now. One dead, 10 injured.
Jeff Wamboldt, one of Kenosha’s two crime prevention officers, writes in his spare time. His recently published book, “Christian Trials on the Christian Trail: Insignificant Miracles,” is a book that can be used to open up dialogue between parents and children which addresses teen pregnancy and abortion. If you’re a parent of a teenager, you know that these serious, sensitive topics are sometimes hard to talk about. It’s a very short book, only 87 pages, a quick read for you and your teen to read together, or separately. Then, the discussion can begin.
The book describes a mother (Debra) and a daughter (Rachel) going on a journey of researching advice from all the sources they can think of, an ob-gyn, a pastor, a Planned Parenthood sidewalk counselor, and a radio talk show host. The reason for this quest is so that Rachel can advise her pregnant friend intelligently. Finally, Rachel asks her mother for her perspective. Debra has a secret of her own to reveal, which you can probably guess, but there is a twist. “God works his miracles through others, sometimes the most insignificant people,” said Wamboldt, thus the title of the book.
Let’s listen in as Wamboldt reads the opening paragraphs of his book:
- A request from the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha for the following on Saturday, June 23, 2012 (rain date of Saturday, July 7, 2012): To hold their Juneteenth Festival in Pennoyer Park with the Bandshell (1st choice) or Harbor Park and Celebration Place (second choice); Request to utilize park equipment; and Full Sponsorship. Chairman Michael Orth still wanted to talk to the representative regarding the reason for the move from Lincoln Park. Jeff Warnock, parks superintendent, did talk with the organization’s representative before the meeting, and the reason given was to pre-empt potential problems. The commission approved a 50% sponsorship, and they are leaving the details to be worked out by the chairman and the parks superintendent (that is, which park will be used). Orth stated that Pennoyer Park with the Bandshell makes more sense because of the kiosk concessions, stage, parking, bathrooms, etc. He stated that that would be his first choice, but he will discuss it with the organizers.
The Public Works Committee met earlier this evening. The following agenda items were approved:
- A request for use of Celebration Place by the Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha on July 27, 28, and 29, 2012, for the 4th Annual Taste of Wisconsin event. Candy Eisenhauer was present representing the organization. When asked why they wanted to move their venue, Eisenhauer stated that they felt too constrained at last year’s location. “Plus, it’s safer, and there’s more parking. No one uses it much.” In case of rain, Eisenhauer stated that the parking would have to move from on the grass to on the street. “People could take the trolley,” she said. Chairman G. John Ruffolo encouraged her to work with the Public Works staff on a rain plan. Eisenhauer stated that “they work closely with us. They are a great bunch of people.”
The Kenosha Unified School District’s (KUSD’s) standing committee meetings met this evening. All of the agenda items were approved unanimously to send on to the full board which meets on Tuesday, March 27th. Below are the highlights from each of the six meetings:
- The proposed middle school boundary changes in relation to the closing of McKinley Middle School were approved. Click here to review the new boundaries: Proposed Middle School Boundaries. Brenda Dahl wanted to know how the boundaries were derived. Patrick Finnemore, director of facilities, said that students’ proximity to schools drove the boundary decisions more so than the schools’ capacity. Washington Middle School is more than 300 under capacity, yet there is only an increase of 41 in the number of students. Finnemore stated that there are classrooms in the basement that are not up to the same standards as at the other four schools.
The Public Safety & Welfare Committee met last night. Agenda items included:
- The aldermanic request for a “No Parking Sign” at 35th Avenue north of 60th Street was approved for a trial period of ninety days. Alderperson Anthony Nudo placed the request. Norma Carlson, a citizen who lived in the area for more than thirty years, spoke at the public hearing. “Most of the time, parking is satisfactory. Four years ago, it changed. The Kenosha Steam Baths is there, and they needed parking. Budget Rent-a-Car is another business on the corner. There was no parking right at the corner. Now, there is two-hour parking on both sides of the street.”
Ted Batwinski spoke at last night’s Public Safety & Welfare Committee meeting about the traffic problems in front of Tremper High School. He is a resident since 1983, and he organized a petition of his neighbors who live from 27th Avenue to 30th Avenue asking that the speed limit be lowered to 25 mph in order to help slow traffic in front of Vernon Elementary School and Tremper High School. “Kids cross everywhere. Mailboxes have been hit by cars going around other cars. The police department has clocked cars going 85 mph down that street. The stop light at 26th Avenue only works for one hour in the morning, and one hour in the afternoon. The other times it is a flashing yellow light. People go through it because they’re not used to it being a regular traffic light,” said Batwinski. “People will still be doing 10 over; 35 mph is fast enough. We’ll need six signs to be changed lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25.”
At tonight’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting, the city of Kenosha received a ton of good news.
Jim Richie, Southeast Region Grants and Loans Team Leader, from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), provided information on six grants that have been awarded to the city of Kenosha, totalling $730,791. “These are very competitive grant programs,” said Richie. Shelley Billingsley, director of engineering, was praised for her efforts in preparing these grant applications. All of the six grants that were applied for were awarded for funding. The parks receiving funding include Sunrise, Shagbark, Strawberry Creek, Poerio, Simmons Island, and Southport. (Click here to see a chart outlining the projects and monies awarded: 2011 DNR Grant Applications.) Grants for the last two, Simmons Island and Southport, require archeological investigations before the awards can officially be made.
If you’ve been waiting for a streak of warmer weather instead of just a day, looks like this is going to be your week.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for high temperatures of 60 and above all week. Wednesday’s high could be 77 degrees.
After a 70 percent chance of rain today, there’s only slight chances of more rain in the forecast later in the week.
The Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce event is a showcase of local business. It also provides a variety of family fun activities and food, too.
Turnout was strong on Saturday, with chamber Executive Director Lou Molitor estimating about 3,000 attending.
Sound like fun? Lucky for you there’s another day. Expo continues Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UW-Parkside. Admission is $2 per person.
Here are some more photos from Saturday:
Expo will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on March 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Frank J. Petretti Fieldhouse.
Expo is a family-friendly, fun and informative opportunity to meet the many businesses and organizations that make the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce such a strong association. This community event will showcase many businesses and organizations, many with products and services for purchase on-site. This year, the Kenosha Community Health Fair has been incorporated into the Expo featuring health screenings and so much more. For more information about the health fair, click here.
The Expo also features the Great Kenosha Raffle — your chance to support the 2012 Scholarship Fund and win great prizes. The Kenosha Area Noon Optimists Club presents the Family Activity Area at Expo with a chance for kids 18 and under to win bikes and free t-shirts.
Admission to Expo is $2.
A crash involving a car and a dump truck sent one person to the hospital Wednesday.
The City Plan Commission met earlier this afternoon, and one of the agenda items was the conditional use permit for a 1,920 s.f. restaurant with a drive-thru lane to be located at 4028 – 75th Street. This is the old Payless Shoe store building. The plan is to raze that building and construct a new building which will house the franchise store.
Mark Schneider and John Clark, representatives from Dunkin Donuts, appeared before the commission and brought samples of the siding and stone material that will be used. There was some discussion about the use of the hardboard backing, and not the styrofoam backing for the stone material. Dunkin Donuts also expressed their desire to only take the stone material up to the windows, but the ordinance reads that the stone material needs to go above the windows. Anita Faraone, Art Landry, and Jessica Olson expressed their desire to have Dunkin Donuts follow the city’s ordinances, and not the typical “cookie cutter” Dunkin Donuts design. Alderperson Anthony Kennedy asked the representatives to bring the mock-up’s and cost estimates to the next Common Council meeting to assist the council members in making their decision.
Ticket price is $6. Kids 3 and under are free. Carry outs are available. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
The meal will be prepared and served by leaders and Scout of Troop 505.
The Common Council meeting held on Monday night started off with the mayor presenting Youth Commission Awards to approximately twelve youth. Citizen comments dealt with the harbor dredging and the Harbor Market lawsuit. Yolanda Adams spoke about the waiver request for the re-inspection fee for her organization, the Urban League, which was on the agenda. She also urged the council to break up organizations by size when dealing with funding. Deborah Paulsen spoke about experimentation on human subjects.
The following items were acted upon:
- Approval of eighteen operator’s (bartender’s) licenses; and four special Class “B” beer and/or special “Class B” wine licenses. These are on file in the Office of the City Clerk.
At about 3:48 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a tree on fire in the 2500 block of Seventh Street, in Somers.
At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, Mark Modory was approved for his mayoral appointment to the Kenosha City/County Joint Services Board of Directors. His term would expire on May 1, 2014. This item had been deferred from the previous meeting which was held on February 20, 2012. The issue at that meeting was the fact that Modory had failed to mention that he served on the Ethics Board of the organization, Kenoshans for Open & Honest Government, when he completed his economic disclosure statement. Last month, the council wanted the issue to be delved into; therefore, the item was sent back to the Public Safety & Welfare Committee for further review. (To read about the Public Safety & Welfare Committee’s review, click here: Dredging is a Topic on the Public Safety & Welfare Committee Agenda.)
The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for an area that includes Kenosha County. Conditions are expected to produce winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts of 40 to 45 mph. The advisory goes into effect at 8 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m.
It should also be warm again today, with a high of 64 in the forecast. There’s a 30 percent chance of rain today and a 100 percent chance of rain tonight.
Temps will cool down on Thursday and Friday into the 40s.
The Finance Committee met last night for an hour and a half. The following items were acted upon:
- The proposed resolution by the Parks Commission to create the AFSCME permanent part-time position of golf course clubhouse manager and to establish its 2012 wage rate was approved. Alderperson Tod Ohnstad had asked for a deferral at the last meeting because he wanted to know what the clubhouse manager would be doing in the winter. Jeff Warnock, parks superintendent, stated that the manager would be involved in helping to organize the winter activities: the ice rink, cross-country skiing, and sledding that will take place at the golf course. Also, the person may be able to help in parks administration. Chairman David Bogdala asked about snowplowing, and Warnock said that that, too, might be a possibility.
At last night’s Finance Committee and Common Council meetings, the amended lease agreement between the city of Kenosha and New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, for property located at 1613 Washington Road, was approved. The Finance Committee approved the agreement unanimously, and the vote at the Common Council meeting was 13 to 2, with Alderpersons G. John Ruffolo and Steve Bostrom voting against.
At the Finance Committee meeting, Jim Kremers, a citizen, made the comment, “If this will solve carrying around an expensive paperweight, I’m all for it.” Tricia Conway, a representative from AT&T, and Bill Richardson, assistant city attorney, were present at the Finance Committee meeting. Chairman David Bogdala asked Richardson to give a synopsis of the changes from the last lease agreement. The major changes are:
- The prior agreement outlined that the city had no obligation to AT&T if they left the leased premises. In the redevelopment agreement, “no further obligation is owed to the city” if AT&T leaves before the rent abatement credit is used up.