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Closed session discussion on bridge and theatre

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The West Bend Common Council will go into adjourn into closed session Monday night to discuss the bridge and the Downtown West Bend Theatre.

Both the bridge and the theatre have been in a bit of limbo since around January of this year.


On January 18 a story was posted at about the West Bend Common Council accepting a $75,000 surety from the Business Improvement District to save the pedestrian bridge that extends from the back of the West Bend Theatre over the Milwaukee River.


The final vote was 6 -2 and the two dissenting votes were from Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist.

“I represent taxpayers in my district and the groups I’ve spoken to don’t think it makes much sense to save that bridge,” Kist said.

Prior to the vote Mayor Kraig Sadownikow laid out background information related to the efforts to refurbish the theatre bridge.

Sadownikow felt, the mood from past meetings was many were “in favor of maintaining the bridge should no taxpayer money be at risk.”

After meeting with stakeholders, which included the West Bend Cultural Alliance, the organization leading the charge to save the bridge and rehab the theatre, Sadownikow felt the city was safe to move ahead with the project.

Sadownikow did outline seven bullet points for clarification.

  1. Ownership of the bridge – for the short term the bridge will be owned by the city. The mayor acknowledged future ownership could change
  2. Maintenance of the bridge – an agreement with the BID is being sought.
  3. Public bid process vs. a negotiated bid – the project will be designed, built and bid as a public project subject to prevailing wage rates if the project exceeds $100,000
  4. BID dollars – they are public dollars or tax dollars and have to be spent under public money requirements
  5. What if BID dissolves – If the bridge has to come down but the BID dissolves itself, who is responsible. The city attorney said the BID can not legally dissolve until all financial obligations are satisfied.
  6. What the project entails – Project will consist of remodeling of the bridge and the western corridor that leads to Main Street. Also included are lighting, paint and security.
  7. BID still looking to move forward – Surety has been signed and BID agrees to move forward.


Below is how the meeting minutes read:



On that note, the vote was held and the effort to save the theatre bridge from demolition passed.

Since that meeting in January the West Bend Cultural Alliance has been through some significant changes including a change in board makeup and a change in the name of the group.

Tonight’s council meeting gets underway at 6 p.m.


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