April 19, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Some positive news for neighbors in the City of West Bend as word came down that the State Joint Finance Committee approved a grant for $555,000 to help finance the downtown Riverwalk Project. The note below was sent to city staff from Park and Rec Director Craig Hoeppner.
I’m pleased to report the State Joint Finance Committee officially approved our DNR Stewardship Grant in the amount of $555K+ at 1:03 p.m. Wednesday.
There had been a lot of discussion with the State on this topic over the past three weeks.
This is a $100,000 reduction from what was tentatively awarded, but we are confident the project is financially sound and this keeps the Downtown Riverwalk – East Project on track for our expected 2018 construction schedule.
A big thank you to the Mayor, Jay Shambeau, Cindy Leinss and Sen. Duey Strobel for all of their efforts in making this large DNR Stewardship grant a reality. We are looking forward to a great project this summer.
Mayor Kraig Sadownikow watched the process as it went before State Joint Finance Committee in Madison and cheered the 11-4 vote to award the grant. “This is the final piece of the funding puzzle,” said Sadownikow. “I’m thankful to Sen. Strobel for supporting this project through the Joint Finance Committee. Everyone on the Joint Finance Committee recognized that we’ve got a very unique funding mechanism with some local dollars, some state dollars and then a very significant portion of locally, privately-raised money and that doesn’t happen very often in a public works project like this so it’s great West Bend stepped up to support something that’s been needed for decades.”
Watch meeting and vote at 35:52 at State Joint Finance Committee on Wisconsin Eye
March 2018 – The City of West Bend is moving forward with construction of the Downtown Riverwalk project on the east side of the Milwaukee River. The $2 million project is being funded with a combination of grants from the Department of Natural Resources, funds from the City of West Bend and donations from private foundations and businesses.
“This is a very unique public / private project,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “It is awesome to see several businesses and community foundations rise to the occasion to assist the city with the Riverwalk. This project will be an important part of the downtown fabric for years to come.”
The downtown portion of the Riverwalk, located between Washington Street and Water Street is overdue for a total renovation. Originally constructed in the early 1980’s the Downtown Riverwalk is part of a popular multi-use trail that spans the city. Reconstruction of the Downtown portion on the east bank of the river includes removal and replacement of existing retaining walls, addition of new walkways, plazas, stairs to the river for direct water access, a new pedestrian bridge, and new seating and lighting.
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company Charitable Fund, West Bend Economic Development Corporation, West Bend Business Improvement District, Serigraph, the Ziegler Family Foundation, the Johnson Family Bus Foundation, We Energies, Walmart and Roots & Branches have all contributed funding towards the project.
The City of West Bend has had restoration of this cherished amenity as one of their goals for many years. “The Riverwalk improvements will enhance tourism and economic development opportunities for our entire city,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau.
“This is an exciting time for the downtown area with the pending Museum of Wisconsin Art Cultural Campus project, proposed Brewery apartment complex and our thriving Main Street businesses.”
Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in late fall of 2018.