June 27, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Happy summer West Bend. I hope you and your families can make time to enjoy all that is great about your community.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the Dads and congratulations to the Little League on another successful Father’s Day Tournament. Games took place throughout the City and my family and I had a chance to take in a few as we biked around town.
We also took a tour past MOWA and checked out the impressive progress being made on their campus. The first of 700 trees have been planted with many more to come. Thanks to their organization for continuing to invest in West Bend.
The east river bank has been prepped with construction scheduled to begin in the coming days to revitalization that side of the river.
After decades of discussion, we are taking action in 2018. Add to this the Farmers’ Market, Music on Main, TOAD Bike Race, planned Theatre renovations and the new home of West Bend Medical and you can see why there is so much excitement in our Downtown.
It truly is the place to be.
For decades the West Bend Baseball Association has been an integral part of Carl Kuss field at Regner Park. They have invested tens of thousands of private dollars into the ball diamond. After about a century, however, the facility has almost come to the end of its useful life and needs major reconstruction. Thanks to the Association and the Athletic Directors at the High Schools, a national $500,000 matching grant has been secured to help pay for the anticipated $2,000,000 project.
As planned, the field would become turf allowing for more games to be played as well as multiple other sport options. A community fund raising effort is beginning and the Common Council has approved financial support of about 9% of the project. The School District is considering its options and a request of 5% of the project total has been made.
Reasonable governmental investment along with substantial community support is the best way for projects such as this to move forward. I am hopeful the Association, City and School District will stand together as partners with the community and develop an athletic venue worthy of another century of memories.
Two weeks ago the Council was presented with our annual Financial Audit prepared and presented by Baker Tilly. Recent Councils have taken action to improve the financial stability of West Bend.
In 2011, reserves stood 30% below the minimum recommended level for communities our size. At the end of 2017, we are 53% above the minimum and nearing our goal level.
From a debt standpoint, we owed over $83,000,000 in 2010 and have reduced that number by 31% down to $57,000,000. Our advisors and bonding agents recommend continued debt reduction but applaud our recent efforts.
As a community, we should be proud of the progress made the past 8 years and the stronger financial position we are currently in.
The Council is charged with taking this information into account when considering future budgets. We will be discussing the recent advisory road referendum in the coming weeks.
The results proved less than conclusive but talks will continue as road improvements are a major issue. Please know the Council, City Staff and I take our responsibility to help facilitate a high quality, safe, and exciting community very seriously…without incurring massive debt.
One last note, I had to smile this morning when I was riding my bike on the Eisenbahn. At exactly 6 a.m. I passed two young men who looked to be about 13 years old, laughing loudly as they fished in the river.
I wonder if they are that excited to wake up for school each day!!
Once again, I hope you safely enjoy your summer and enjoy your West Bend.
Kraig K. Sadownikow
Mayor – City of West Bend