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News & Notes: Aug. 14

Aug. 14, 2012

City helps church zinged by loss of grant

West Allis - Epikos Church, which has already spent close to $2 million to restore the landmark Paradise Theater, has received a financial break from the city to offset the loss of a $50,000 grant.

The congregation had planned to use the $50,000 Community Development Block Grant toward architectural services the Common Council approved, but that grant cannot be used. Requirements by the Wisconsin Historical Society have made the project infeasible.

So, because the church cannot use that grant, the Common Council has reduced the church's share of creating additional parking by $50,000. The church had agreed to contribute $60,000 or $110,000 toward a municipal parking lot, depending on which of two proposed lots the city chose to construct.

Officials noted that Epikos has substantially completed everything the city wanted it to do.

Far west Greenfield Avenue not the place to be for a while

West Allis - With the closing of the Wisconsin State Fair, construction was slated to begin on Greenfield Avenue from 106th to 124th streets this week.

The 1.2-mile project will resurface the pavement and make intersection improvements.

Greenfield Avenue will be open to traffic with lane restrictions. Crews will work on the inside lanes first, transitioning to the outside lanes later this fall. Utility work is under way now.

Other project enhancements include:

Adding left turn lanes, and extending existing turn lanes at 108th Street.

Extending existing turn lanes at 124th Street and 116th Street intersections

Converting existing parking lanes to bicycle lanes

Improving pedestrian and transit facilities

Improving traffic signals at 108th, 116th and 124th streets

Access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction.

This $4.7 million project is being coordinated in advance of the Zoo Interchange project to ensure that vital alternate routes will be available during major reconstruction work from 2015-2018.

The contractor, Payne and Dolan, will finish work in November, weather permitting.

Pair of hearings slated on physical, spiritual care

West Allis - Separate hearings on an adult day care and occupational and physical therapy service at one location and a new at another location will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at the City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave.

The day care and therapy services would be at the Easter Seals administrative headquarters, 2222 S. 114th St.

The Cornerstone Christian Life Tabernacle would like to open its doors at 5433 W. Burnham St.

Both are seeking special use permits from the city.

Design student to sign autographs at fest

West Allis - It's not every day that a college student gets to host an autograph session, but Dana Christoph of West Allis will do just that as part of winning Irish Fest's 2012 poster design competition.

Christoph's design was chosen in April as the official 2012 Irish Fest poster after a design contest that included students from Mount Mary College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and MIAD. The contest has been held for the past half dozen years and Christoph is the first Mount Mary student to win.

Christoph, who is entering her senior year at Mount Mary, created the poster as part of a class assignment. The poster melds the historic Irish traditions of music, dance and dress with a new land, Milwaukee.

She will be at Irish Fest from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 18 to autograph copies of her poster, and, from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 19, she'll talk about her design as well as sign copies.

City mulls request to remove basketball courts

West Allis - With a petition in hand calling for the removal of the basketball courts at Liberty Heights Park, the city will hold neighborhood meetings to discuss in the issue.

Officials said the meetings could lead to alternatives that might not involve removing the hoops.

The residents near the park, 1540 S. 62nd St., complained that games were going on past the 10 p.m. closing, causing noise into the night.

One possibility brought up to deal with that is having portable basketball hoops that could be put away at closing.

The West Allis Common Council put the petition on file last week to give time for options to be developed and debated.

Proposed restaurant steps closer to reality

West Allis - A special use permit needed by the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe to open a bigger restaurant at its location at 6832 W. Becher St. and 2074 S. 69th St. was approved by the West Allis Common Council last week after a public hearing.

The owner said he hopes to open an addition with a sit-down deli type restaurant by Christmas.

Health department offers vaccinations for school

Greenfield - The Greenfield Health Department, 7325 W. Forest Home Ave., will offer all the required vaccines that preschoolers through high school seniors need.

The meningococcal (meningitis) and HPV vaccines, which are recommended for adolescents but not required, will also be available.

Vaccinations will be given from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 23 at the department. The fee is $10 fee, but no one will be turned away if they can't pay.

Appointments may be made at (414) 329-5275.

Prizes, give-aways part of bank re-opening

West Allis - Bank Mutual held a grand re-opening of its West Allis bank office at 10296 W. National Ave., on Aug. 4.

As part of the celebration, the bank will offer prizes and giveaways all month.

MADACC gets grant to help lost pets get home

West Milwaukee - The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission in West Milwaukee has been awarded a $6,000 ID ME Animal Tagging Program grant from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

MADACC is one of only 25 municipal animal care and control agencies across the country to be chosen for this grant program.

Starting this month, MADACC is offering a personalized tag and collar, free to each dog and cat that leaves the shelter, either when returned to their owners or adopted. That way, if they are lost, the pets can be returned home.

The grant covers the cost of an engraver machine, pet ID tags and collars needed to participate in the ASPCA ID ME project.

West Allis official leads consortium to national honor

West Allis - The city's Health department director, Darren Rausch, is chairman of a 13-community consortium that was recognized for exceptional emergency preparedness by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The organization honored the consortium for being ready to handle large-scale public health emergencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took part in the selection process.

The consortium demonstrated that member agencies can work collaboratively to handle bioterrorism events, new epidemics, natural disasters and other public health related emergencies.

Since 2006, only 270 local public health agencies out of about 2,800 health departments across the nation have received the recognition.

Sponsors, volunteers needed for bigger, better car show

West Allis - The Downtown West Allis Business Improvement District is seeking volunteers and sponsors for the 22nd annual Downtown West Allis Classic Car Show, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 7 on Greenfield Avenue between 70th and 76th streets.

Greenfield Avenue and all adjacent side streets will be closed to traffic to provide the space for the many activities that will be part of the event.

Last year, more than 4,000 visitors came to the show, and organizers hope to top that by increasing the number of classic cars and activities for families of all ages. To meet that goal, the business district will need even more volunteers and sponsors.

More information is available from Emily Eineichner at (414) 774-2676 or by email atpromotions@downtownwestallis.org.

Podium donated as Eagle Scout project

Greenfield - An Eagle Scout has donated an awards podium to Greenfield High School that is large enough to honor six winning athletes.

Shaun Fleischhacker built the podium with the help of other members of Scout Troop 600 for his Eagle Scout project. He and the troop officially donated the podium to the school at a recent Greenfield School Board meeting.

He told the board that, as a member of the school's swim team, he noticed that other schools have such podiums and he wanted Greenfield to have one too, to enhance its image.

Grant might mean new world opening to bicyclists

Greenfield - Greenfield will ask the state for a $38,500 matching grant to connect its recreation trail along Beloit Road to Milwaukee County's Oak Leaf Trail that bicyclists can take all over the county, even to the lakefront and into the North Shore.

If granted, the trail segment might be usable next summer. The current Greenfield trail stops at about 117th Street.

Another problem is getting a bridge built in about the same area so that users of the trail can get over Wildcat Creek. A condominium development is responsible for building the bridge. With an improving economy, the bridge might become a reality, Alderman Karl Kastner said.

That would be a wonderful addition to the city, enabling young people to bicycle to the high school, the YMCA and other destinations, he said.

Owners have five days to cut grass, if so ordered

West Allis - The time property owners have to mow their grass has been cut to five days, once West Allis tells them to do so.

The city can order owners to cut their grass if it is longer than six inches. Homeowners had previously had 10 days to comply, but city officials said that is too long, especially in wet weather when grass grows quickly.

The city became noticeably untidy in the wet spring from grass growing like weeds especially at foreclosed homes, officials said.

Old freight property could be worth $6 million

West Allis - A $6 million development might be coming to the former Yellow Freight Terminal property at 11528 W. Rogers St., said Patrick Schloss, community development manager.

The city is working with a development firm that has a tenant needing about 60,000 square feet. Although the firm is looking at other locations, a development agreement that would cement the project in West Allis could come in the next two or three months, Schloss said.

Meanwhile, West Allis is working on cleaning any environmental contaminants at the site.

Booster clubs still able to get parking money

West Allis - Once again, the booster clubs of the city's two high schools were able to get money from offering parking on city land across from State Fair Park during fair time.

Although a large hotel development has been announced for the redevelopment area, the parking continued to be available as a revenue source for the groups.

However, this year they have to split those revenues 50-50 with the city, which is more than they contributed last year. But the city will keep the money in the redevelopment district and use it to get the property onto the tax rolls faster.

Customers longing for Silvers' seafood

West Allis - Lovers of the Long John Silver's products, until recently part of a Taco Bell franchise on 60th Street and National Avenue, will now have to fill there taste needs elsewhere.

Like Long John Silver's in Oak Creek and Burlington, the West Allis restaurant shared a building with Taco Bell. That arrangement was fine for years, because both restaurant brands were owned by the same company, Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Ky.

But last September, Yum sold Long John Silver's, along with A&W, as part of a strategy to devote more of the company's resources to expand in Asian markets.

The Taco Bell franchisees have expanded into the space that the Long John Silvers occupied in West Allis, Oak Creek and Burlington. The nearest Long John Silver location is now in Saukville, north of Cedarburg.

Junior nationals held at Romine's High Pockets

Greenfield - Romine's High Pockets in Greenfield was host to a prestigious 24th annual Billiard Education Foundation Junior National 9-Ball Championships.

More than 130 junior billiard players, ages 8 to 18, from 28 states Billiard players competed for prizes and the chance to represent the United States at the 2012 World Pool-Billiard Association World Junior 9-Ball Championships.

Romine's High Pockets has 42 pool tables.

Greenfield native on leadership team

Greenfield - The Rev. Scott Wallenfelsz of Greenfield was elected to the leadership team of the Salvatorians who serve in 45 countries and on six continents.

Wallenfelsz was installed as consultor to the U.S. Salvatorian priests and brothers at Queen of Apostles Chapel in Milwaukee.

Salvatorians are a Catholic religious community of priests, brothers, sisters and lay people founded in 1881. Salvatorians serve in parishes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and elsewhere.

City objects to streetcar if it means higher bills

West Allis - The West Allis Common Council has approved a resolution objecting to Milwaukee's streetcar plan if utility relocation costs are passed on to non-Milwaukee residents in the form of higher bills.

Some local officials are concerned that relocating underground utility lines used by We Energies, AT&T and Time Warner Cable for Milwaukee's downtown streetcar project will prove costly.

"They can do whatever they want with their money," said West Allis Alderman Dan Roadt, as long as the costs should stay within Milwaukee's borders.

"There are a lot of unknowns here, and we just don't want to absorb it," he said.

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