West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau comes back to the show for 15 more minutes on what's going on in the City of West Bend. On this episode, we discuss the construction on the West Bend Riverwalk, an update on the new businesses going in at the old Shopko building, plans for the renovations to downtown, and a grant to the West Bend Police Department.
There are a lot of cool things going on, so buckle in and join us for another episode of 15 Minutes with Fuzz!
- Governor Tony Evers Announces $91.9K in Funding for City of West Bend Police Department
- Several stores planned for former Shopko building in West Bend
- West Bend Riverwalk - Information on the West Bend Riverwalk.
New episodes every Monday at midnight.
Thanks for listening!
This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:
Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Fuzz Martin 0:09
Oh, hey there. It's good to see you again. Thank you for turning on your podcast player. My name is Fuzz Martin, and this is 15 minutes with Fuzz, the show where I find the positive things that are happening in Washington County, Wisconsin, and I put them right into your ears—just like I am right now. Hey, if you're a fan of the show, please be sure to subscribe to the show. If you're on Spotify, it's super easy. Click the Follow button. It's a nice big Follow button at the top of the page. And then click the little bell icon. On Apple Podcasts, with the latest update. They've made it really difficult. There's a little tiny plus icon in the upper right hand corner of the app. If you click on that you'll be subscribed. And hopefully you'll enjoy the show. And if you have Google podcasts, I have no idea how to do it. However, I assume it's easier than Apple.
This week, West Bend city administrator Jay Shambeau returns to the show to talk about all the cool things happening in West Bend from the Riverwalk Project to the old Shopko building. We get a peek into what to expect in the coming months. And this stuff is really cool. And with that, here are 15 more minutes on the City of West Bend with Jay Shambeau right here on 15 Minutes with Fuzz.
Jay, congratulations. After 36 episodes, you are my first repeat guest other than my wife Shanna, here on 15 minutes with Fuzz. So welcome back.
Jay Shambeau 1:47
Thank you. Awesome. I'm happy to be back.
Fuzz Martin 1:48
And actually, you are the second most listened to episode that I've ever had. So awesome. I'll take that. Yeah, Keith Novotny has lots of friends on on Facebook, then. Listen.
Jay Shambeau 1:59
So he's a tough get.
Fuzz Martin 2:00
Yeah, exactly. So I called you back. Because since our last conversation, there's been a ton of really good news going on around West Bend and things that are moving to improve the city, rejuvenate some things and bring some new funds and opportunities into the city. So let's talk a little bit about that. We've got a whole bunch of things from the Riverwalk and the the old Shopko building, the main street and reconstruction and the new funding for the city West Bend police department. So where do we want to start?
Jay Shambeau 2:32
Wherever it is great. You're right. There is a lot of exciting things going on in West Bend. Right now. The Riverwalk is probably an appropriate place to start. Yeah. The grant that we received from the neighborhood and Investment grant from the state. It's federal money that's funneled through the state. And it was a really competitive grant process where we feel really fortunate that we were able to secure some funds for this project.
Fuzz Martin 2:54
Sure. So does that mean that it's it's ready to run now? And I mean, I think they were doing cleanup couple weeks ago,
Jay Shambeau 3:00
right. And the Parks Department removed some trees in advance of the construction project. And yes, we awarded the bids at the City Council recently. So the project is definitely underway. We're going to construct the phase two of the project, which is from the MOWA or Pocket Park Bridge, okay, south down to veterans park, but that'll be under construction throughout all of 2022. Okay, insert potentially spilling into 23 to finish up a little bit. That construction project will include the alley. Okay, in the alley is going to get a facelift between the Husar House of Fine Diamonds, and the theater building. Sure. It'll be exciting to see that has been mothballed for all for a bit. So the to have that reopened will be a pretty exciting new pathway connection from Main Street down to the river bridge.
Fuzz Martin 3:49
So then the first steps would that is obviously they're doing some clearing, but then is that utilities that comes through first or how's that work?
Jay Shambeau 3:55
So thankfully, we knocked the utilities out in 2021. Okay, we don't have to do that. In advance of this project. We just get to get underway. Just be right to the construction.
Fuzz Martin 4:03
Right. Awesome. So are people loving the bird?
Jay Shambeau 4:07
I think so. Okay, bird has pretty cool.
Fuzz Martin 4:09
The bird is pretty cool. I smile every time I drive past that. So then that's from the MOWA bridge, you said South to Veterans and then the next step would be going north up to The District. Is that right?
Jay Shambeau 4:20
Yeah, concurrently in 2022. We're going to do phase four of the project, which is actually in front of the district or Okay, between Washington Highway 33 and the skate park. Okay. That'll be that'll that section of the riverwalk will receive a facelift in 2022 to try to time it with the finishing of the of the district building
Fuzz Martin 4:39
And then is the last part going to be underneath the tunnel underneath 33 and Washington?
Jay Shambeau 4:45
Right, phase three Riverwalk is including the tunnel under highway 33 and the BMO parking lot the Ziegler building parking lot. We're going to revamp those and include a a new, pretty awesome kayak and canoe launch.
Fuzz Martin 4:59
Oh great. Oh, Awesome. So many big things. That's awesome. That's great news. And it'll be good for just improving the walkability of the city, the downtown experience, and kind of be that centerpiece for West Bend.
Jay Shambeau 5:12
So, yeah, the East Side Riverwalk received tons of love and use and we're expecting the same for the West. Yeah,
Fuzz Martin 5:17
Absolutely. Well, that's great. Let's stick downtown and talk about recently, there was a bid board meeting to unveil some Main Street reconstruction efforts talk about what we're going to see there.
Jay Shambeau 5:28
That's an exciting project as well, one that will be disruptive for our businesses for short term, sure. But for definite, long term gain, the intent is to revamp, so to speak, the design of the Main Street project, the in the 80s, the bricks that were put in along the sidewalks have proven to be complicated to maintain, and trip hazards at times for folks, the bump outs have done their job to slow traffic, they've also eaten up some parking. And as the viability of our downtown becomes greater, the demand for parking becomes greater as well. And so some of the bump outs will be removed and narrowed a bit to allow for additional parking. That's one of the exciting features of the Main Street reconstruction. We're designing it now in 2022. Okay, and so that meeting for the bid board, the bid board formed a subgroup Transportation Committee, and they've met a bunch of times to suggest some design things, some design elements. And our engineering team is working on that design. And we'll be constructing the project in 2023.
Fuzz Martin 6:29
And so one of the other parts too, is they're raising the road operate people who have disabilities and things that don't need this step up stairs to get to the sidewalk as much as possible.
Jay Shambeau 6:34
Yeah, yeah, there'll be some steps still involved in some areas. But sure, we think we can raise the road to eliminate historic, yeah, stepping curbs and jumps and things like that.
Fuzz Martin 6:47
So be good. If you got a stroller, if you're in a wheelchair, or if you're having trouble getting around. That should be a lot, a lot more improved. So then also a couple of loading areas I think you guys are talking about and a lot of other things that are good for the business
Jay Shambeau 7:02
do lighting and yes, a lot of cool features. Yep. Yeah. Great.
Fuzz Martin 7:06
Now over Southside on South Main Street, Shopko left, what was it like four years ago?
Jay Shambeau 7:12
Fuzz Martin 7:13
And that building sat empty. And we're all wondering if anything was ever going to come of it? Or if they're going to have to raise it or what's what's going to happen? But you guys now have an owner, correct?
Jay Shambeau 7:24
We do. We have a developer out of Florida, that company Corta Development has purchased a few Shopkos in Wisconsin, and we're fortunate that they became interested in ours as well. Yeah. And the four businesses that are coming into their communities really excited about
Fuzz Martin 7:41
So what are those four businesses again, if you remember off top your head.
Jay Shambeau 7:44
I can,. Sierra, Five Below, Big Lots and Home Goods are the four.
Fuzz Martin 7:50
Home Goods is probably going to be a problem for some of us in my family. It's a good store a problem in a good way for them. And for our home as well.
Jay Shambeau 8:01
That's an awesome redevelopment, if I if I may the city/county partnership on that project is worthy of noting as well. The economic development of Washington County arm of the county and the city saw this, the city council saw this as important enough to incentivize a blighted site, and to come together and partner with some funding to help this developer make it happen.
Fuzz Martin 8:22
There's a lot of traffic that goes past there. And just to have that big, empty building. blighted building is it's unfortunate that Shopko had to close but having it redeveloped will be good for the city for bringing more business bringing more people there to shop and success at any jobs and online.
Jay Shambeau 8:39
Tax base quite frankly, yeah, for sure. Yeah. It's a big deal for us as well.
Fuzz Martin 8:43
Yeah, definitely. Are there more developments going on? Are there anything that you could talk about that we know of yet?
Jay Shambeau 8:48
Well, on the Shopko property that's kind of a sneaky, big parcel. And so the Florida team has some ideas for additional developments in the massive parking lot. That's clear, but nothing that's come to fruition yet.
Fuzz Martin 9:02
Fun fact when I was doing the morning show on the radio station back in the day, I used to pull into the Shopko parking lot along the line of trees, they're in their large parking lot and I take a nap at like 10 o'clock in the morning every day after the show.
Jay Shambeau 9:15
That is a fun fact.
Fuzz Martin 9:15
...because I'd get in at like four in the morning and then I'd be there till like three in the afternoon sometimes so needed need a little power nap. In addition, all that was just announced from a Governor Evers that there's a grant to the city for the police department are some funding.
Jay Shambeau 9:33
Yep, that is correct, though. Governor Evers office the DOA has put out some money for all cities that have police departments. And we're fortunate to secure just under $100,000. For that the police department in West Bend has been considering a K-9 unit for a few years now. It's been in the capital budget and something that they've been working towards. So this we think will go a long ways to funding that program.
Fuzz Martin 9:55
Great. Awesome. And with that program, not only comes the canine themselves, which I assume are expensive to train, but also training the officers to be canine training officers, right?
Jay Shambeau 10:06
Yep. Chief Dehring is looking into that and a really exploring it in more detail.
Fuzz Martin 10:11
Anything else going on in the city that we can look forward to?
Jay Shambeau 10:14
Well, we talked a little bit about downtown in the Riverwalk, I think maybe the facade grant program is worthy of mention, before we depart the facade grant program has been around for a long time and in the city of West Bend, it hasn't had funding in the last few years. So what what the program is it puts up funds that are available for businesses to apply for and match with matching funds, and then they can improve the historically it's been the front or the main street facing side of the downtown area, this new program that the business improvement district put out and had some funding tied to it in 2022, was really focused on the backs of the building. Sure. So the river facing side that we hope businesses become, continue to improve and might be become the new front of their building. Now that that program, when we put it out, had received a ton of applications way more than the funding that we have available. So it really identified that maybe a new need within the city, sure, and something that we're excited about working towards fixing in the future.
Fuzz Martin 11:12
It's gonna be interesting to see how the businesses changed with that, that new focal point behind them, and moving into that river facing kind of operation. It should be kind of a lot of different cities and things have done this. And it's been really great, and it's walkable, and it's beautiful, and really bring some life to that. And plus he add that in with some of the new apartment developments with The Dist rict and other things down on the other side of Washington. Yeah, exactly. And it's gonna be really exciting.
Jay Shambeau 11:46
That's great to hear your excitement about it. We're certainly excited about it at the city. And we really think it can be transformational with the businesses and some new businesses coming into the backs of those buildings as well.
Fuzz Martin 11:56
For sure. Well, Jay, you're welcome to come back anytime. Well, maybe it'll be our first step, third time guests as well. In a few months. Congrats on all the great things going on. And thanks for your hard work and making it happen. And you and your team. It's been it's been exciting to be in West Bend. Thanks, guys.
Jay Shambeau 12:10
Appreciate being here.
Fuzz Martin 12:14
Thank you again to West Bend city administrator Jay Shambeau for joining me on the show today. Again, if you enjoy 15 minutes with Fuzz. Then make sure it shows up on your phone every Monday. Click the subscribe button which is either a giant Follow button or a little bitty plus sign depending on where you listen to your podcasts. If you ever have an idea for the show, get in touch with me fuzz.cc/guest, that's fuzz.cc/guest I have a lot of great suggestions in episodes coming up. And I'll even have a bonus episode coming out on Wednesday this week. Because we have so many things going on, which is great. I really liked that and I appreciate all of you who have reached out. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. It's @fifteenwithfuzz and we'll talk to you in a few days right here on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz
Transcribed by https://otter.ai