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Smell gets worse in West Allis office building

March 21, 2014 4:31 p.m. | Everyone thought the sewer smell plaguing a West Allis office building would go away when two neighboring companies stopped loading up the sewer with wastewater, but the smell has only gotten worse.

For the last four or five years, employees at an office building housing We Energies, 500 S. 116th St., have felt ill and some have gone home sick, said Brian Manthey, We Energies spokesman.

Sewer fumes have emanated from restrooms but other fumes have come through the building's ventilation system.

The city has stepped in because of a possible health hazard. It notified the newer of the wastewater companies that the discharge limit was lower than it was pouring into the sewers and flows were reduced to the proper limit, Development Director John Stibal reported Tuesday to the Common Council Safety and Development Committee.

Another possible source of the smell is a plumbing leak and city officials had hoped that smoke testing would find one. Testing was done last week, but the plumbing proved tight, Stibal said.

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West Allis residents to clean up or shell out

March 21, 2014 3:27 p.m. | Within the month, a crackdown on those who invite rodents by leaving garbage around will come crashing down in West Allis with fines to get the cleanup message through.

Driven by an increasing rat problem on the city's east side that some say is spreading to other areas, the Common Council has ordered increased enforcement of city rules aimed at keeping garbage and trash away from animals.

Normally the city has bent over backward for residents, giving them chance after chance. But there can be no more Mister Nice Guy, said Michael Lewis, public works director.

The clear direction from the city Public Works Committee Tuesday was strict enforcement with almost no mercy, he said.

"That's what we'll do," Lewis said.

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'Sole Sisters' running club to hold expo April 5

March 21, 2014 1:03 p.m. | The "Sole Sisters" Womens' Running and Walking Club LLC will celebrate it second anniversary with the second annual "Sister's Vendor EXPO & Social"  to be held Saturday, April 5 at the West Allis Wisconsin Athletic Club from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  

There will be 25 vendors including local artists, handmade crafts, jewelry, accesories, a fun photo booth, food samples, mini-massages, makeovers and manicures. Moms, sisters, girlfriends, co-workers, all are welcome. The event is free and open to the public. For more information go to www.solesistersclub.org.

West Allis tries to find way to allow café to serve cocktails

March 19, 2014 6:23 p.m. | Urban Joe's Café, which opened six months ago in downtown West Allis, could end up serving cocktails after all — that is, if the city can narrow the parameters enough so that it won't be deluged by similar requests for liquor licenses, which have already surpassed a self-imposed limit.

The Common Council originally denied the request by Urban Joe's owner Pullum Tairi for a liquor license, but pleas at the council meeting two weeks ago led to the request being sent back to the License and Health Committee, which met Tuesday night.

The committee was sympathetic, but told Tairi that if it goes further over the limit for him it will have to do so for anyone asking for a liquor license, thereby crippling the city's effort to reduce the number of taverns. (The city current has allowed 124 such licenses, four more than it wants.)

But noting that Urban Joe's is the kind of business the city wants to attract, especially to the downtown, the committee did some creative thinking, resulting in it finding a way to narrow the parameters for granting a license so much so that others would be unlikely to qualify. The Community Development Department is now working on the details and will come back to the committee and the Common Council.

Urban Joe's has become a popular breakfast and lunch spot. Tairi wants to serve cocktails to make the shop an attractive night time destination for business people and couples.

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