Episode 89

Published on:

10th Oct 2023

West Bend Updates w/Jay Shambeau & Jess Wildes

This week, Jay Shambeau and Jess Wildes, the City Administrator and Assistant Administrator for the City of West Bend, join me to discuss the soon-to-be-reopened Downtown Main Street, updates on the progress of the West Bend Riverwalk, and highlight some great events happening in West Bend this winter that you won't want to miss. There are tons of great things going on in West Bend!

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

Howdy folks, season three episode 11. This is the 89th overall episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. I am your host Fuzz Martin and each week I speak with someone or multiple someone's about positive things happening in and around Washington County, Wisconsin. Why do I do this? Because there are tons of great things happening in our local communities. And you wouldn't necessarily know it if you just followed your local gripes page on Facebook. So consider this a palate cleanser for your soul. Yes, instead of chicken soup. This is a saltine cracker for your online soul. What a wonderful ringing analogy fuzz. Some of us like saltines, and I digress.

Fuzz Martin 0:52

e talked about the Riverwalk,:

Fuzz Martin 1:49

Jay and Jess, thanks for coming into Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. I appreciate you having me in the studio today. It's been a while it's the first time in season three so far. All right.

Jay Shambeau 1:57

We're excited to be here. Usually. Yeah,

Fuzz Martin 1:59

we usually have, you know, a couple episodes here. So everybody loves the City of West Bend updates, because people like to hear what's going on. And obviously there's a ton going on in the city of West Bend. So I'll let you start with what you think the biggest story that you'd like to talk about is so far,

Jay Shambeau 2:19

we definitely think there's a lot going on and City of West Bend Main Street project is maybe top of mind for most of Riverwalk is right there as a close second. Both projects are going great and nearing the end, are really excited to celebrate the success of both of those projects.

Fuzz Martin 2:36

So as we're recording this, I have seen the asphalt is down and like they're finishing touches. So we're getting close, right?

Jay Shambeau 2:45

That was scheduled to be completed October 23. The main street projects been under construction all summer. And we're really thankful for everybody supporting the businesses and for the businesses being strong and positive throughout this process. The first lift of asphalt is down. The second lift is to be placed Monday and Tuesday of next week. And then the paint striping occur at the conclusion of that. And we are anticipating without any complications that the road will be open 10 days early. We're really excited to announce that 10 days early on Friday, October 13.

Fuzz Martin 3:17

Wow. All right. So as you're listening to this, we're recording this on Friday, the 6th. And so that Monday you mean this, which would have been yesterday as this podcast airs is when they're scheduled to put that second lift down and you're saying that Friday 13th is up just

Jay Shambeau 3:33

five days later, it will be open, we'll cut a quick ribbon and celebrate the road opening and then have everybody at downtown for the weekend.

Fuzz Martin 3:40

Outstanding. Congratulations. That's That's awesome. Any Yeah. So it's been a long time coming. Can you give us a refresher on some of the upgrades that we're going to see now that that's going to be

Jessica Wildes 3:51

sure you're gonna be able to see all new asphalt like you mentioned, but new sidewalks instead of the brick pavers that were there before they're smooth portrait framed, concrete sidewalks, new lighting is going to be a new audio system, new landscaping, so many different things. It's really looking amazing.

Fuzz Martin 4:11

And there's more. There are more parking spaces now. Right?

Jessica Wildes 4:14

There are more parking spaces. Yes, that was one of the project goals is to get as many more parking spaces in there as we could also incorporate a few sort of temporary loading zones that are going to be there during the day for some of those larger deliveries from like UPS or whoever. And then they open up at night as well into parking.

Fuzz Martin 4:33

Great. And then so we've got the the downtown Main Street reconstruction opening and then behind that is the Riverwalk, so what's the status right now the Riverwalk.

Jay Shambeau 4:45

led to be complete by June of:

Fuzz Martin 5:17

I would love to know the city's budget for ribbon this year. A lot of ribbon cutting, but the he

Jay Shambeau 5:23

We have to celebrate the wins

Fuzz Martin 5:27

Absolutely. And I know everybody's looking forward to that. And the riverwalk is looking beautiful. And now that goes how far is that all interconnected. Now

Jay Shambeau 5:34

it is it goes past the new District buildings and all the way to the skate park.

Fuzz Martin 5:39

Excellent. Well, that's a lot of stuff going on. So now in your vision of downtown West Bend and now that we've got the the road that will be finished on Main Street and the riverwalk will be finished what is your your vision for what the businesses are going to be doing with the river walks in?

Jay Shambeau 5:55

So we think several businesses are going to re face that from Main Street or maybe have a second entrance. Okay, facing the river. A couple of them have done that already Mountain Outfitters has a really good look towards the river and with the restaurant that was temporary closed we're excited about Copper River coming back in some form or fashion and and just the potential of others doing that as well as is really the future is really bright.

Fuzz Martin 6:19

Awesome. And it's it's super walkable now, and I mean, it's gonna be really cool once that's all open.

Jessica Wildes 6:26

Yeah, it's definitely it's already fully accessible to walk back there.

Fuzz Martin 6:29

. And we're all excited about:

Jay Shambeau 6:37

It'll be soon I saw his announcement for help work workers. Okay, just be posted recently. Kyle Vetter is a great young owner are really excited to partner with him on on this project. And he was in town recently, and we had a chance to meet with him and view his project and, and the status of it. He's hoping to be open in November sometime.

Fuzz Martin 6:58

Oh, really? Okay, very soon. And then also, I saw that the city had shared some photos of some renderings right on your Facebook page.

Jessica Wildes 7:05

So it looks really nice in there, it's going to be an amazing space. There's a great outdoor patio area. And then inside, it's going to also sort of serve as like a coffee bar, and then the brewery tap rooms that have area and then have like a window for some food options. So it's kind of like a flexible space, one that can be used in the morning all the way to the evening. And it'd be a nice addition.

Fuzz Martin 7:29

that's on the lowest level of:

Jay Shambeau 7:34

Coffee by day beer by night. What could go wrong?

Fuzz Martin 7:37

Exactly. I could be there all day you guys

Jessica Wildes 7:41

evelopers of that project and:

Fuzz Martin 7:51

forgive my ignorance, because I haven't you know, obviously, it's been closed off with construction and such. But where's the parking for that facility?

Jay Shambeau 7:59

The underpass really provides the public parking lot behind the BMO building.

Fuzz Martin 8:04

Gotcha. Okay, so you park on the south side of 33. Washington Street and then walk into the underpass to the building.

Jay Shambeau 8:10

ome parking right in front of:

Fuzz Martin 8:52

Yes, it's gonna be great. Yeah, that's, that's cool. That's cool. Speaking of events, the city's got some events coming up here later this fall and even into the winter, just what kind of things we have going on.

Jessica Wildes 9:03

There's a lot going on right now, which is awesome. As something every weekend right now, for sure. The farmers market is continuing, you know, through the 21st. And then it's really kind of just a time of celebration. Since all these projects are wrapping up. Businesses are excited communities excited so kind of things start kicking off with the big celebrations at our annual tree lighting ceremony that takes place on Thursday, November 2, okay, this year, it's really going to be special. We're kind of expanding the holiday decorations. Significantly, the bid and some private donors in the city have come forward and invested more there's going to be the walk through Christmas ornament and best pocket park me new decorations on all the streetlights and then there's going to be live music and that's just me a great day. So that's kind of kicking off around 536 and then the actual ceremony itself is at 6:30 in Old Settlers Park and to follow that is going to be a new event. The Downtown West Bend Association is putting on it's called back on Main And it's just a full weekend of celebration. The shops are involved the theatres involved and MOWA has its bloomin holidays going on. We just have a huge weekend coming up at that time. So I'd encourage everybody to come down for it. There's something going on day and night. So, yeah, really exciting.

Fuzz Martin:

That is exciting. That's lots of good stuff. And then there's also a new festival coming to West Bend as well, right?

Jessica Wildes:

Yes, there's a new festival coming up in March. Okay. It's called Bockfest. We've had a lot of people ask why March and it's for a good reason. It's to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It's traditionally done at that time. It's also a time when tourism is lower in the city of West Bend. So the Tourism Commission was game to support something that would bring people here at a time when we need it most. So this event is sort of centered on Bock beer. And we talked about 1840 and Kyle Vetter, his team are going to be brewing some specialty back beer for the attendees to enjoy. You want to talk about experience?

Jay Shambeau:

Well, it's a beer festival. So we're hosting it outside at Regnar Park, our premier park, and it's rain, snow, sleet or shine, the event will go on through people will dress appropriately. They'll probably be in costume of sort pack is related to goats. So there might be some goat attire in addition to leader has a lot of fun stuff going on. Regarding the winter season. Well, we're gonna have some prizes for costumes. And we'll announce all of that and also featured around music so not just beer, but we're gonna have some great bands in attendance, we already have confirmed our local band, the Blaskapelle band. Oh, great. We'll be playing that local German band is going to kick the event off. And then we have some other ones. We're working with the band on that. And with hometown.

Fuzz Martin:

Well, first of all, when you said it has its roots, and I was like German or German heritage here in West Bend, and then you said goats and now I have to go Google that one. Right. So that's bak fest, again, that you said it's in, in March, what what weekend in March,

Jessica Wildes:

that's March 2, it's a Saturday it's going to take place during the day. And actually tickets are already available to purchase in advance. And so it's a $15 ticket. And that includes a 24 ounce beer stein or mug that's custom to the event. And also $5 of lockbox that people will be able to use throughout the city spend any business that wants to participate, the businesses get reimbursed fully, it's our way of trying to get people to experience the city while they're here. And then the stain is mainly for the poking of the beer. So part of this event is there are fire tenders. So people will be volunteering at the event with beer pokers. And they're in a hot flame. And they actually put the beer poker into the back of beer. And it creates sort of this carmel-ly froth, and it's really kind of an experience. You know, it's really a lovely flavor and color and just fun to see it.

Fuzz Martin:

Yeah, that sounds super cool. I had no idea. It's awesome. I

Jay Shambeau:

mean, it's very safe. The fire tenders will be behind a rope and Okay,

Fuzz Martin:

yeah. Where can people find those tickets?

Jessica Wildes:

They can find those tickets at bockfestwb.com.

Fuzz Martin:

All right, very good. And we'll check that out. So again, lots of stuff going on in West Bend. And it's really cool to see how things are progressing and how the the rejuvenation, I guess of the city. So congrats to both you for making all this stuff happen. And obviously the community and people involved with making all this happens. It's cool to be a part of a great, thanks. You're welcome. And we'll talk to again, I'm sure.

Jay Shambeau:

Yes, good. All right. Thanks, guys. Thanks.

Fuzz Martin:

Thank you again to Jay Shambeau and Jess Wildes for joining me on today's episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz lots of great things are happening in West Bend, and I appreciate them coming in to share the latest breaking news with me and you and the world. If you ever have an idea for a guest on this show, it's really easy to get in touch with me. You can either email fifteenwithfuzz@gmail.com Just be sure to spell out the word 15 as a word, not the digits. Or you can use the for super simple go to fuzz.cc/guest but that your browser fill up the form, and it will find its way to my inbox again. fifteenwithfuzz@gmail.com or fuzz.cc/guest. New episodes come out every Tuesday. I made a little whoopsie last week and said that we'd be talking popcorn this week. But that's actually next week, when Mark Laufenberg from Laughing Mountain Popcorn joins me to share their story. Again, that'll be Tuesday, October 17. And I will talk to you then right here on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.

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About the Podcast

Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz
Showcasing the positive things happening in Washington County, Wisconsin.
Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz is sheds light on all the great things going on in and around Washington County, Wisconsin. The host, Fuzz Martin, is a local business owner (EPIC Creative) and a former radio personality (92.5 WBWI - now Buzz Country). New episodes launch on Tuesday mornings. https://fifteenwithfuzz.com

Whether you're in West Bend, Kewaskum, Slinger, Hartford, Germantown, Richfield, Jackson, or anywhere else in the area, 15 Minutes with Fuzz serves the community with fun and positive people, places, events, and attractions.

About your host

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.