Author Archives: Erik Brooks

Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce: School District Gets Fab Lab Grant

Congratulations to the South Milwaukee School District for receiving a $25,000 state grant on Tuesday to expand their Fab Lab.

Among those on hand to award the grant and share a proclamation was Mark Hogan, secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

I was proud to share in the good news — especially as the parent of a sixth grader, as school leaders look to use the funds to expand the lab to more students, including middle schoolers, giving opportunities to kids like Christian that I could have never dreamed of as a student.

It’s more than fancy machines like 3-D printers, laser engravers and plasma cutters. These funds will help tomorrow’s engineers learn problem-solving and leadership skills that will be invaluable as they make their way into the workforce.

More details on the nearly $500,000 in grants awarded statewide here.

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Just Added to the Earth Day Lineup: Can Recycling, Benefiting Human Concerns

Earth Day in South Milwaukee is getting bigger and better all the time … including the addition this week of can recycling, benefiting South Milwaukee Human Concerns.

Check out the full list of activities in the updated flyer, and join us on Saturday.

A complimentary lunch — Cousin’s subs, and the famous beans made from the recipe passed down by decades of mayors’ wives — will be served.

EarthDay2017final 2

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Earth Day: Opportunities to Clean up This Saturday

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The city’s official Earth Day celebration is next Saturday, April 29, but you can get a head start on cleanup opportunities with two events on Saturday, April 22.

  • First, the Friends of Grant Park are holding their annual cleanup starting at 9 a.m. Meet at the beach. The Friends will provide gloves, hot chocolate and bags. Please bring rakes, if possible.
  • There is also the South Milwaukee Community & Business Association’s Kicking Butts Downtown cleanup activity, starting at 3 p.m. Details on Facebook.

Let’s clean up this city!

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Downtown Development Update: 11th and Madison

It’s the question I was asked most on the campaign trail, and beyond: What’s up with the downtown mixed-use development?

My response was always the same: Vetter Denk is as committed to the project as ever. On Tuesday, Vetter Denk’s owners reinforced that commitment. Now the real work begins.

The South Milwaukee City Council unanimously approved a six-month extension of the planning option for the proposed mixed-use project at 11th and Madison Avenues downtown.

At the meeting, co-owner John Vetter said he is more excited about the project now than he was even six months ago, when it was first proposed. During that time, the firm has been doing its due diligence, refining plans for the residential, commercial and public use components of the development. They’ve met with prospective retail tenants, too, including potential microbrewers, although they do not have a signed lease for that part of the project, and may not even as dirt is moved on the apartments.

So, good news. But there is a lot more work to do. In fact, it’s just getting started in many ways.

Details matter, and there are a lot of details to be worked out in coming weeks and months, from further honing the development plans to finalizing potential incentives, including tax incremental financing. There is a long road ahead, with a number of governmental approvals necessary and public comment opportunities to come. Vetter Denk knows this … and is focused on moving the development forward.

We look forward working with them.

Wrote Vetter Denk in the extension request: “We will present the City with a final development that not only meets our pragmatic requirements, but will also be the catalytic project that you have envisioned for the City of South Milwaukee.”

I’ll keep you posted as plans advance.

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You’re Invited: Help Honor our Military — and a South Milwaukee Hero

The 128th Air Refueling Wing Civic Dinner Dance is a truly special event, one that I look forward to every year. It’s a moving tribute to our military, and a great way to honor a different South Shore community icon each year.

This year, it means even more for South Milwaukee, as the honored citizen hails from our city: Gary Wetzel, the Medal of Honor recipient for his heroism as an Army soldier in the Vietnam War.

Please join me at this event to honor our military, and Gary.

Tickets are $40 each, and you can order them through George Becker, a member of the 128th Dinner Dance Committee, by phone 414-764-3299 or email at corvettegeorge2014@gmail.com. Order by April 28.

Let’s get a great South Milwaukee turnout this year!

Dinner Dance flyer

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Making South Milwaukee Beautiful, One Neighborhood at a Time

The Beautification Committee continues to make a difference.

The latest example: The launch of a new and improved Neighborhood Beautification Program, which returns for a second year to help unite neighbors “to improve the ‘curb appeal’ of your neighborhood block.”

Here is a PDF of the flyer … take advantage of the resources, and spread the word!

Neighborhood Community Beautification 5-4-16

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Be Part of Our Branding Efforts

We continue to see a lot of positive momentum on key initiatives these days.

One I’m really excited about is our community rebranding effort.

With dozens of interviews of local residents and their own discovery and research, Savage Solutions is making strong progress on this project, but they need your help.

Be part of the process at this May 3 Community Focus Group — a chance to offer your opinions on topics that will guide development of the new community identity and logo.  Brand meeting flyer final

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