Category Archives: Milwaukee County

Take Your Kids Fishing Saturday at the Mill Pond

The Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek are hosting a children’s fishing clinic this Saturday (tomorrow) at the Mill Pond.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with hands-on instruction around knot tying, safe use of fishing equipment and proper techniques.

Families are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, although the Friends also have poles available.

Children age 15 and under are welcome, with adult supervision for young children. Pre-registration is not required, so come on by!

Check out the press release about the fishing clinics – being held at 11 Milwaukee County Parks ponds – for more information.

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Filed under Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, Parks, South Milwaukee

Reminder: Watershed Plan Kickoff Meeting Set for April 12

Oak Creek Watershed Future Logo - 1

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March 28, 2016 · 5:00 pm

Candidate Forum Set for March 24

Learn more about the candidates for Milwaukee County Board and Cudahy mayor.

Thanks to the South Shore Chamber of Commerce for holding this event, and to the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center for hosting it.

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Filed under 2016 Elections, Cudahy, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Tracking Coyotes

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Coyotes are becoming an increasing part of everyday life across the county — and that includes South Milwaukee.

Take a look at the website Milwaukee County Coyote Watch, a new public database that aims to track coyote sightings across the area and learn from that data.

Here is one report from South Milwaukee from October …

We hear coyotes on a regular basis howling across the street from our house on Oak Creek Pkwy in South Milwaukee. On this date, October 12th, I watched one walk right down the middle of the street past our house at approximately 10:15pm.

Learn more about the coyote database here and here.

And here is the county’s press release on efforts it’s taking to address urban coyotes, including trapping and tagging them in Wauwatosa and West Allis.

So, what should you do if you see a coyote? First, please record the sighting on the Coyote Watch website — do not call our Health Department.

From the tracker website …

  1. Do NOT feed coyotes (directly OR indirectly – pet food left outside, fallen fruit in yard, fallen bird seed, etc.)
  2. Reinforce the fear of humans when encountering a bold or habituated coyote (chase and yell at the coyote, use projectiles – rocks/sticks, use repellents – such as a hose if it’s a backyard encounter).
  3. Keep pets on LEASH!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also has information on coexisting with urban wildlife. Bayside also has some great tips for dealing with coyotes.

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Filed under Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

County Board: Two Vie For District 8 Seat

Two people are running to replace Supervisor Patricia Jursik on the Milwaukee County Board.

The two candidates for the District 8 seat are …

  • Tony Bloom, 1428 Michigan Ave. in South Milwaukee
  • David Sartori, 6000 S. Buckhorn Ave. #215 in Cudahy

Cudahy’s Kevin Fech, who had filed a declaration of candidacy for the seat, informed me today he will not be running.

The deadline for nomination signatures was 5 p.m. today.

You can see a list of all 2016 spring candidates on the Milwaukee County Election Commission website here. And here is Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage on contested races.

Election day is Tuesday, April 5.

Jursik announced in November she would not seek another term.

Look for more information as the race heats up this winter.

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Filed under 2016 Elections, Cudahy, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

Beech Street Bridge Put In Place

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Good news for students, dog walkers, bikers and runners: The Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek was put in place on Monday.

According to Milwaukee County, “Work is progressing on the approaches today (Tuesday, Dec. 22).  The bridge is usable but still hard to get to without the approaches. … The bridge should be safely usable by Thursday.”

Paving the approaches and turf restoration will not occur until the spring.

Thanks to the Parks Department for their work in getting this done before Christmas, and to County Supervisor Pat Jursik for leading the charge to get this built as quickly as it is.

This bridge will stand the test of time, and it’s great to see the county’s continued investment in our parks and parkways.

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Oak Creek watershed, Parks, South Milwaukee

Approved: Oak Creek Watershed Restoration Plan To Begin In Early 2016

Oak Creek Parkway fall

What a watershed week for the future of the Oak Creek watershed.

In the past week, the South Milwaukee Common Council, Milwaukee County Board and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Board all approved intergovernmental cooperation agreements for the creation of an Oak Creek watershed restoration plan.

Next: The beginning of the planning process itself in the first couple of months of 2016.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission will do the work, as it develops recommendations to improve water quality, recreational access and use, habitat conditions and targeted stormwater drainage and flooding issues. The status and future of the Mill Pond and dam will also receive special focus as part of the study.

It’s much-needed work that is too long in coming — about 30 years, to be exact. That’s how long it’s been since the watershed has received this kind of holistic planning focus. And I’m proud to help drive it.

Of course, patience is encouraged, as we take a long-term view in fixing the watershed.

The study will take more than two years to complete. My ask: Be heard, throughout.

There will be plenty of opportunities for public input, comment and reaction. In addition to regular meetings of a technical committee comprised of representatives from each watershed jurisdiction, there will be a number of stakeholder meetings for area residents, an open house and other chances to weigh in. More details to come on that early next year.

The study will cost $542,900, with MMSD contributing $280,000 of that — equal to the amount of watershed land mass in the sewerage district boundaries. SEWRPC is contributing $225,000 in-kind, while the remaining $18,950 shares will be paid by the City of South Milwaukee and Milwaukee County.

I have every confidence this will be money well spent, as it yields the information, science, context and road map we need to make decisions big and small in bringing the watershed back to life.

In other words, the work toward a cleaner and more vibrant Oak Creek watershed begins now. Dive in with all the partners who have come together to make this restoration plan a reality.

Let’s go.

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Filed under City Council, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek watershed, South Milwaukee

Supervisor Jursik To Not Seek Another Term

South Shore Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik announced today she will not be seeking another term on the County Board.

From her newsletter

On Tuesday, November 24, 2016, I filed my Declaration of Non-Candidacy for the position I have held since 2007. This is the formal document indicating that I will not seek re-election for the office of County Supervisor in District 8.

It has been both a privilege and a deep personal honor to represent my fellow citizens in the South Shore of Milwaukee County. Our government is formed to allow a single individual to represent many in the particular level of government in which they serve. I have never lost sight of this representative capacity. I know you may not always have agreed with my decisions, but I hope you always felt that I was trying my best to represent our larger district and the best interests of the people. I found that this is no easy task since you will always be “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” in some circles. This being said, it has nearly always been my experience that the people of District 8 are good, hard working folks that are fair minded and grounded in common sense.

I have filed my papers well before the actual deadline of December 28, 2015 in order to give those interested in running a full month to gather signatures on nomination papers. I do ask that all voters to learn about these candidates and remember that citizenship not only includes rights but also responsibilities. Please be an informed voter. I will not endorse any candidate. This is your job, not mine.

My last day in office is April 17, 2016. I will continue to fulfill my duties until that time. God bless all of our fellow citizens in the great South Shore of Milwaukee County.

I have mixed emotions about this. While I wish Pat all the best in her retirement, I will miss her deeply in this role.

We are losing a strong, caring and tireless advocate for South Milwaukee and the entire South Shore. I respect Pat tremendously, and, while we didn’t agree on every issue (we did on most), I wish I had four more years to work with her on priorities like enhancing our parks, revitalizing the Oak Creek watershed, economic development, and other important issues.

Good luck, Pat.

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Politics, South Milwaukee

Update: Beech Street Bridge Expected To Reopen Before Christmas

Beech Street bridge

Milwaukee County has provided an update on the Beech Street pedestrian bridge, which was removed this spring after officials deemed it unsafe.

The headline: The bridge over Oak Creek is excepted to reopen the week of December 21, about a month behind schedule.

Here is a quick rundown of expected activities in the next six weeks, provided by the county …

  • Caisson and abutment contractor mobilize: Week of Nov. 9
  • Bridge shop drawings from bridge supplier: Nov. 11
  • Review and approve shop drawings (assumes no resubmittal needed): Nov 13
  • Caisson and abutment construction complete: Dec. 4
  • Complete grading for bridge approaches (crushed stone surface):  Week of Dec. 7
  • Current bridge delivery schedule: Dec. 18
  • Set bridge: Week of Dec. 21 (bridge open for use)
  • Pave asphalt approaches: Spring 2016

I thank the county for their continued work on this, and I appreciate your patience. With funding approved on July 16, I am glad to see work will still be substantially complete before the dead of winter sets in. This is an important connection for a number of residents and our schools, as well as recreational users of the Oak Creek Parkway, me included.

The good news: Once this is done, we should have a bridge built for the long term, another in a line of significant recent investments in the Oak Creek watershed and our local parks.

I think it will be well worth the wait.

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Filed under Construction, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

For A Smoother Parkway

Oak Creek Parkway road

Milwaukee County is proposing to spend close to $1 million to rebuild Oak Creek Parkway from the railroad trestle near South Milwaukee High School, east to Chicago Avenue.

The project, contained in the county’s recently released capital budget proposal and pushed by Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik and County Executive Chris Abele, would begin in 2016 with planning and design, with the construction work being done in 2017. From the capital budget plan …

The project scope for 2017 work is anticipated to include reconstruction of the storm sewer and pavement systems. Storm water best management practices and green infrastructure is included. Replacement of municipal utilities such as sanitary sewers, water mains, and storm sewers are being coordinated with this project.

I ask that the full county board approve this plan. If you’ve driven this stretch lately, you know it’s necessary work — or, as the budget plan puts it, a “highest priority” project for a road in need of “immediate renovation.”

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Filed under Construction, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Celebrating Our Parks: Several Cool Events Coming Up

Mill Pond winter

Just a reminder that the Restore the Lagoon group is holding its fundraising festival this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Mill Pond on Oak Creek Parkway.

Enjoy food, drinks, live music, a silent auction, a kids’ corner and more for this second-annual event. Check out a flyer and more information on Restore efforts on the Restore the Lagoon Facebook page.

Also, our local Friends groups are planning several special events in September …

  • September 12: Grant Park Beach Walk, 5-9 p.m. Enjoy a lighted walk on the beach, music, s’mores and more.
  • September 19: Grant Park Beach cleanup. 9-11 a.m. Learn more here.
  • September 26: Mill Pond Warming House open house, noon to 4 p.m. Celebrate restoration efforts with food, raffles and more.

Learn more about the beach walk and open house here.

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Filed under Grant Park, Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Take The Survey, And Share Your Feedback On Grant Park

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The Milwaukee County Parks and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse are partnering on a survey to better understand the experience of park users in and around South Milwaukee.

They are specifically looking for thoughts on Grant and Bender Parks.

Access the survey here.

Please take it, and share the link with your family, friends and other users of the local parks. In fact, even if you haven’t been to Grant Park recently, please take it — your feedback is valuable, too.

I thank the UW-La Crosse’s Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation program for their interest in our local parks — and for the Parks Department for agreeing to allow the survey.

The honest feedback they gain should be invaluable. Please do your part and share your thoughts — good, bad and everything in between.

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Filed under Grant Park, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Grant Park Updates: Oak Leaf Trail, Last Call For Beer Garden

Beer garden

A couple quick updates on the ongoing work in Grant Park …

  • First, I’m told repaving and widening work on the Oak Leaf Trail through the park is expected to start around July 13. It will begin near the golf course clubhouse and work north, with a completion date around August 20. The park drive may be closed for a short period during tree removal. This is a significant project that is long overdue — and just one of a number of upgrades planned along the Oak Leaf Trail and other trails throughout the region. Learn more here and here.
  • The traveling beer garden at Picnic Area 5 ends Sunday night. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with last call at 9. It’s been a big success, by all accounts, and sales are very strong. Now let’s work on bringing it back in 2016!

More to come in the park this summer, as Ferch’s Beachside continues to work toward its opening … stay tuned.

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Filed under Grant Park, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Emergency Repair: County Board Backs Bridge Funding

Beech Street bridge

Good news for South Milwaukee from the Milwaukee County Board today, as supervisors overwhelmingly passed a measure to spend $200,000 in emergency funding for reconstruction of the Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek.

Here is the press release from County Supervisor Patricia Jursik, who drove this effort.

I thank Pat for her hard work on this, and for all who voted for this important piece of legislation for South Milwaukee. This foot bridge is a vital connection between our middle and high schools and the northwest side of town.

From all the upgrades under way at Grant Park to investments in Grobschmidt Pool to the continued partnership around an Oak Creek watershed restoration study, the county continues to make an investment in South Milwaukee.

I am very appreciative to see this project added to the list, and was happy to get behind this effort.

I will keep you posted on timelines for replacement. The hope: We have a new bridge in place in time for the start of the new school year.

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Mobile Beer Garden Opens Wednesday!

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The 2015 Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Garden tour makes a stop in South Milwaukee and Grant Park starting Wednesday.

Join me at 4 p.m. for a ceremonial keg tapping at Picnic Areas 5-6. The garden is then open to 10 p.m., with last call at 9.

The garden will appear at Grant Park through June 28.

Check out hours and more information here. From the parks …

Each of the stops on the 16-week tour features craft beer, gourmet sodas, Hard Root Beer, Hard Ginger Beer, and other refreshments from Sprecher Brewing. Authentic German food is available from Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub. The Traveling Beer Garden™ is run by Milwaukee County Parks concessions staff. All revenue collected goes back into improving the parks across Milwaukee County.

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Filed under Events, Grant Park, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee