Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Bender Park boat launch is closed as crews clear the way for boats to access Lake Michigan.
The Bender Park boat launch has been closed as work to dredge the harbor is under way. The county has committed $150,000 to dredge the Bender Park harbor this spring while they plan a long-term solution to low water levels at the boat launch. Details are still being finalized on when the work will be completed, County Supervisor Steve Taylor said. The county is also studying solutions for problems at the Bender Park beach, which has been plagued by algae, e-coli and noxious odors.
Monday, May 20, 2013
The project team met a host of challenges to transform Drexel Avenue from a rural, two-lane road into a four-lane boulevard.
The reconstruction of Drexel Avenue was one of the biggest and most complicated road projects in the recent history of Oak Creek. It took almost a full year for crews to transform a rural two-lane road into a four-lane divided boulevard. Workers dealt with an array of challenges, from wetlands, to a Butler's Garter Snake habitat, to water movement under the roadway. They also built a bike-pedestrian path on the north side of the road. The work got done —the road reopened last November—and has been recognized as a Project of the Year by the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Public Works Association. The team led by Brookfield-based R.A. Smith National, along with the city of Oak Creek and Super Western, were recognized at the association’s …
Did Gov. Scott Walker break a campaign promise when he vowed to keep pork out of the state budget?
Some campaign promises build in a bit of wiggle room. The one made by candidate for governor Scott Walker to “Strip policy and pork projects from the state budget” did not. This unequivocal pledge, posted on Walker’s campaign website, committed the candidate to eschewing both parties’ longstanding practice of using the budget to make policy changes and reward special interests. In April 2011, less than four months into Walker’s term, the truth-testers at PolitiFact Wisconsin branded this a broken promise. It noted that the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau had identified dozens of non-fiscal items in the governor’s budget repair bills and first biennial budget. Walker’s latest executive budget, for 2013-15, included what the Fiscal …
Friday, May 17, 2013
The apartment complex near 13th and Rawson would get seven buildings and 56 units bigger under a proposal submitted to the city.
Seven more buildings with 56 additional units are planned at the Southfield Apartment complex, on S. 13th Street north of Rawson Avenue. The Oak Creek Plan Commission is still reviewing the overall proposal but has recommended a zoning change that would help pave the way for expansion to take place. Southfield has a contract to purchase two neighboring properties for the new buildings, according to a report to Plan Commission members. The buildings would each hold eight families. Southfield currently offers one- and two-bedroom apartments and amenities including a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool and a community room.
Interstate 94 between Rawson Avenue and the Milwaukee-Racine county line will close at 9 p.m. Friday and reopen at 9 a.m. Sunday.
If you have to drive in Oak Creek on Saturday, best of luck. With the freeway closing between Rawson Avenue and the Milwaukee-Racine county line at 9 p.m. Friday, local streets will be packed with cars trying to navigate detours until the freeway is reopened at 9 a.m. Sunday. 27th Street, where the state Department of Transportation plans to redirect traffic, will bear the brunt of the closure. Many motorists stuck in traffic, however, will likely make their own routes. Local and state officials also may begin directing vehicles to streets other than 27th depending on how bad congestion gets, Oak Creek Police Capt. Steve Anderson said. South of Oak Creek, vehicles could be backed up as far as Highway 20, Caledonia Police Chief Toby Schey …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Oak Creek will hold a public information meeting on a proposed street that would be built along the east side of 27th Street north of Rawson Avenue.
The city has scheduled a public meeting on proposed construction that would create a new road along the east side of 27th Street north of Rawson Avenue. Under the plan, a road would extend north from Rawson Avenue, go behind businesses that front 27th Street and end at the parking lot of Menards, 6800 S. 27th St. Riverwood Boulevard would also be extended east from 27th Street to the new street. Construction is scheduled for 2015, which coincides with the state's plans to reconstruct 27th Street. Previous coverage: State eyes 2015 for 27th Street reconstruction. The public meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 29 in the Common Council chambers at Oak Creek City Hall, 8640 S. Howell Ave. Residents can view exhibits on the project…
As predicted, traffic is backed up into Racine County because of work being done on I-94 near Rawson Avenue.
**Updated at 5:57 p.m. May 18 Patch reader Mike Hembrook said he had been stuck between the airport spur and College Avenue for over an hour. "Just a crawl and people are cutting everyone off, plus broke down cars every 100 feet," he said. **Updated 9:55 a.m. May 18 As predicted, traffic jams are reaching into Racine County because I-94 is shut down at Rawson Avenue. Cameras from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are showing lines of vehicles snaking north into Milwaukee County from the 7-Mile Road exit. Local law enforcement is warning drivers that back-ups could extend as far south as Highway 20. Oak Creek residents should expect some heavy traffic congestion on local roads this weekend. Interstate 94 shut down at Rawson Ave. at…
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The ambitious plans for the corner of Drexel and Howell continue to move ahead, with work under way at the site now and a public hearing coming up in June.
Progress on Oak Creek's much-publicized Drexel Town Square development comes in both visible and invisible ways. Visible work is happening now at the corner of Drexel and Howell avenues, where several trucks and workers are digging up concrete at the 85-acre site. That work will continue until the end of July, and the concrete will be re-used within the development. The invisible: the Drexel Town Square site plan has begun moving through the city government review process, with a public hearing set for June 18 and a final Oak Creek Common Council vote sometime soon after that. "Given the complexities of the commercial real estate market, the financing market and everything else that's been going on since the crash of 2008, I feel we're …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The city withdrew its application for $300,000 in grant money after the DNR refused to waive a requirement regarding hunting and trapping.
Oak Creek's progress on redeveloping its lakefront was dealt a setback after the state Department of Natural Resources declined to award a $300,000 grant without the city allowing hunting and trapping. Lakefront plans are still moving forward, but city officials say money has to be reallocated and it will negatively impact the development of 250 vacant acres along Lake Michigan, where a mix of public, residential and commercial uses are planned. "It's going to take away from other things we can do on the lakefront," City Attorney Larry Haskin said. Oak Creek had applied for a DNR stewardship grant to help pay for the purchase of 30 acres along the lakefront at 9006 S. 5th Ave. The $300,000 grant, for which city officials say they received …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Some Wisconsin legislators are hoping to prevent any government restrictions on the size of your soda. What about your own restrictions? If any?
If the state Joint Finance Committee gets its way, the Big Gulp will have the freedom to remain, well, … Big. WISN 12 News reports the panel, which includes local representatives Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), placed a provision in the budget bill that would prevent any city or county from limiting the size of a food or drink being sold. The infamous New York City ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces is being challenged in court, but if successful it would dramatically slash the 7-11 Big Gulp (128 ounces) and the McDonald’s Supersize (40 ounces) among others, according to Mother Jones. Setting aside the notion for a moment of how much control government should exert over such a matter, how…