Monthly Archives: June 2010

South Milwaukee High School Principal Heading to Menomonee Falls and Other Headlines of Interest …

Here is some other news of note from around the South Shore …

Also, County Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her July edition of e-News. Click here to see it.

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Bucyrus Deal Should Save South Milwaukee Jobs

Some good news about the Bucyrus International bank loan mess …

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this afternoon:

The U.S. Export-Import Bank has agreed to reverse a decision to deny $600 million in loan guarantees for mining equipment that would be manufactured in the U.S. for a coal mine in India, saving up to 1,000 jobs, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) said Wednesday.

Kohl said the bank would support the loan guarantees provided that the Indian borrower, Reliance Power Ltd., moves ahead with renewable energy projects that also could use U.S. made equipment.

Click here for the full story.

While this doesn’t keep the headquarters in South Milwaukee (see the post below), at least we can look forward to some new jobs …

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Back to Blogging: Catching up on Bucyrus and Other Topics

It’s been quite an active couple weeks for South Milwaukee.

Neighbors upset with a sex offender living near Lakeview School. A chemical leak at Grobschmidt Pool. An explosion at Appleton Electric. A serious car accident sending five people to the hospital.

Indeed, I missed quite a bit while I was on vacation at the Georgia coast. But the biggest news came from, and continues to come from, Bucyrus International.

It started with a story in The Business Journal of Milwaukee that Bucyrus would officially make the former Midwest Airlines headquarters in Oak Creek its new “home base” once it moves its senior management there later this year.

Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan confirmed this fact in a story by reporter Rich Rovito … and in doing so confirmed my fears when Bucyrus first announced the acquisition of the Oak Creek property in May. I laid out my concerns in this post.

Simply, the Business Journal story clearly states that South Milwaukee will no longer be able to say that we’re home the world’s largest mining equipment manufacturer. Oak Creek can now make that boast, thanks in part to the help of some tax credits.

That news was bad enough. Then came word from the Wall Street Journal that Bucyrus may lose a major order for mining machinery because olf decision by the U.S. Export-Import Bank against providing loan guarantees for the project.

More from the story:

The decision is equivalent to “throwing 1,000 jobs in the ditch,” Tim Sullivan, chief executive of the South Milwaukee, Wis., maker of mining equipment, said in an interview Friday. Bucyrus has estimated that the order would create or protect 984 jobs in 13 U.S. states.

That potentially includes hundreds in South Milwaukee, tempering any enthusiasm for the planned addition of new jobs for the city arising out of the Terex Corporation acquisition.

Of course, the story is national now, and the bank may reportedly reconsider its decision. Let’s hope so.

I link these two stories because the Export-Import Bank case proves an important point: Manufacturing jobs can come and go … in this case, perhaps thanks to the vote of two people on a three-person loan committee.

So while South Milwaukee should celebrate the potential addition of jobs to our local plant, there is only one true “home” for Bucyrus, and that is now Oak Creek.

We (maybe) gain some jobs, but lose the headquarters. That’s disappointing news … and a net loss for South Milwaukee.

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Taking a Break from Blogging … But, First, Don’t Forget About These Items

To all of the readers of the 4th District blog, thank you.

Traffic is steadily growing, and I am so grateful that people are dialing up my site to learn about what’s happening in the district and South Milwaukee.

I’m taking about 10 days off from posting, but I wanted to remind you of a few things in my absence from the blogosphere:

  • The big public works project in the 4th District remains 15th Avenue. Weather has impacted it a bit, but it’s still expected to wrap up by August 30. Check out the timeline in my previous post, and thanks again for your patience during the construction.
  • Work on resurfacing the “stub streets” off of 15th began this week.
  • Don’t forget about the South Milwaukee Downtown Market, every Thursday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. on 11th Avenue south of Bucyrus. With more than 50 vendors and a great new seating area and entertainment, we’re really picking up steam. Stop by some night … grab dinner … do some shopping … enjoy some great music and fun. Learn more at our website, and be sure to join us on Facebook.
  • Also, tell your friends about the Bucyrus International Cycling Classic on July 20. Learn more in the post below.
  • And good luck to the South Milwauke High School softball team! The Rockets play Watertown on Thursday in Madison in the first state tournament game since 1998.

We’ll talk again in late June.

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More Reasons to Come up with a Hoan Bridge Solution Soon …

The Daily Reporter has an interesting story about the crumbling Hoan Bridge and the short-term fix planned to address it.

Check it out here. From the article:

Small pieces of concrete have fallen from the Hoan Bridge, a Wisconsin Department of Transportation official said, prompting a plan to hang a net beneath the Milwaukee structure. The WisDOT plan is feeding the concerns of a Milwaukee County supervisor who wants the bridge rebuilt.

As I’ve stated before on this blog, I have taken a different view on this issue. I want to see a formal study of all options when it comes to the bridge before deciding that a simple redecking in its current footprint is what’s necessary.

However, as the bridge continues to crumble, it’s looking more and more like redecking is the only way to go. With a short-term fix needed, there may not be enough time to truly look at the long-term future of the span, and that’ s unfortunate.

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Coming July 20 … the Bucyrus International Cycling Classic!

Heritage Week is already a great time to be in South Milwaukee. Spaghetti dinner at the firehouse. Evening on the Avenue. Lionsfest. Car cruise. Heritage Days parade. Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse Duck Race.

This year — and hopefully for many years to come — we welcome another great event: the Bucyrus International Cycling Classic.

The Classic, planned for Tuesday, July 20, promises to be a day full of competitive international cycling AND family fun.

Races begin around 10 a.m. and conclude around 8, as hundreds of cyclists, from amateurs to professionals, loop through a 2.8-mile course through the heart of downtown South Milwaukee and into the Oak Creek Parkway and Grant Park.

The start-finish line is planned for 9th and Milwaukee Avenues, and that’s where the fun continues with a special Tuesday edition of the South Milwaukee Downtown Market and a Wheaton Family Medical Group/South Shore YMCA family fun area.

Learn more in this press release, and I’ll have plenty more details in the weeks to come. Also check out our website, where you can learn more about sponsoring the race or taking part in the Downtown Market.

I also ask you to consider volunteering for the event. We need dozens, if not a hundred, volunteers to pull this off. Please consider giving a few hours of your time to help bring this wonderful day to life. Email me or comment on this post if you our your group is interested.

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More on the Plale Challenge and Other Headlines You May Be Interested in …

Here are some other headlines from around the South Shore:

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Races That Bear Watching: Plale, Honadel to Face Primary Challenges

State Sen. Jeff Plale, a South Milwaukee Democrat and 4th District resident, will face a challenge in the September primary from Milwaukee County Supervisor Chris Larson, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

State Rep. Mark Honadel is facing a Republican primary fight from Oak’s Creek’s Jason Scott Komorowski … and he is likely to face a sitting Oak Creek alderman in November.

Learn more about Plale’s competition in this Journal Sentinel story and this blog post. Larson’s quote: “There are definitely folks on the left (who) are not happy with the way things are going in Madison.”

Check out the press release announcing Larson’s candidacy and his website, which is currently under construction.

So far, just one Republican, Milwaukee attorney Jess Ripp, has formally declared his candidacy in the Senate race.

Oak Creek Alderman Tom Michalski is the only Democrat to formally declare in the Assembly race. Learn more in this Blogging Blue post.

Both races bear watching, and I’ll keep you posted as the Sept. 14 primary nears.

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Congrats to the South Milwaukee High School Softball Team

The South Milwaukee High School softball team rolled past Oak Creek, 11-1, on Thursday to qualify for its first WIAA state tournament berth in 12 years.

Here is the full story.

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Woman Drives Off Grant Park Cliff and Other Headlines of Interest …

Here is some other news of note from around the South Shore …

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Join us for the Downtown Market Thursday!

Week two of the 2010 South Milwaukee Downtown Market is here … and we hope you can join us.

This week, Lopez Bakery, the “kettlecorn guy” and Quednow’s Heirloom Apple Orchard are back, joining more than 50 other vendors for what promises to be a great event.

(And here is a quick sneak preview for June 17: Next week’s market features both the Health Department Poker Walk and a performance from the South Milwaukee Municipal Band!)

Learn more at our website, and be sure to become a member of our Facebook page.

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Don’t Forget: District Town Hall Meeting on Saturday

Alderman Dave Bartoshevich and I hope you can join us for our second town hall meeting starting at 10 a.m. this Saturday at City Hall. We’ll cover a variety of topics, from all of the road projects going on in the district to the water rate increase.

Learn more in my previous post in our summer newsletter.

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More on the Bucyrus Purchase in Oak Creek

Bucyrus paid $9 million for the former Midwest Airlines headquarters building in Oak Creek, according to a story just posted on BizTimes.com.

Here is a link to the story, which clearly states that Bucyrus is moving its corporate headquarters to Oak Creek from South Milwaukee. (Other media outlets, and Bucyrus itself, have been a bit fuzzier on that reality.)

From the BizTimes.com story:

“At $9 million, Bucyrus purchased the 120,833-square-foot office complex for $74.48 per square foot. The property had been listed for $14.9 million, or $123.31 per square foot. …

Bucyrus, which manufactures mining equipment, has grown significantly in recent years and in February closed on the acquisition of the mining division of Terex Corp. With that acquisition, the company says it will create approximately 700 jobs in the Milwaukee area in the next 2 to 3 years. That means the company needs more office space, which is why it is purchasing the Oak Creek campus. Bucyrus plans to renovate the Oak Creek buildings and will move its corporate staff there in about 3 to 5 months.

The sale of the buildings should provide a property tax boost to the city of Oak Creek. Midwest Airlines did not pay property taxes on the property under a state property tax exemption for airlines with hub facilities in the state.”

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Smoking Ban Information Meeting Set for June 15

Update: Here is the actual ordinance we passed. It basically mirrors the state law but clarifies issues around definition of an enclosed space, permitted smoking areas at municipal buildings and the use of approved cigarette receptacles.

As you probably know by now, the statewide smoking ban goes into effect July 5.  (Hooray!)

And, as you may not know, the City Council unanimously voted last week in favor of a local smoking ordinance that clarifies a few points contained in the state anti-smoking law.

You can learn more about both the state law and local ordinance at an informational open house from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2424 15th Ave. While the open house is aimed at business owners, anyone who has questions about the ban is welcome to attend. Please note that this meeting is for informational purposes and to answer questions regarding compliance with the law.

Learn more about the state smoking ban on the Smoke Free Wisconsin website.

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A Quick Thanks for a Great Downtown Market Opener

One night down, 19 to go. And night one went great.

Opening night of the 2010 South Milwaukee Downtown Market was a big success, with more than 50 vendors taking part and hundreds (maybe more than a thousand?) area residents enjoying shopping, food, music and fun.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and we hope to see you next week and beyond.

Tell your friends, check out our website and be sure to friend us on Facebook!

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