City wants public input on lighthouse   « Back

Author: Kristin Halbig Ziehm
Source: Ozaukee Press

Nov. 4, 2015

Port officials say residents’ stories about landmark will boost chances of acquiring it

Port Washington officials are hoping for help from the public in putting together an application to acquire its iconic lighthouse from the federal government.

Mayor Tom Mlada said Tuesday that the committee compiling the application wants to get residents’ stories about what the lighthouse means to them in order to bolster its chances of acquiring the landmark.

“Even if you don’t want to be part of the committee, you can be part of the effort,” Mlada said.

“We’d like to invite the public to share their stories, their narrative about what the lighthouse means to them.”

By the end of this week, he said, the committee hopes to have postcards at local businesses that can be filled out with similar information.

The Coast Guard decided earlier this year to divest itself of the Port lighthouse, and both the city and the Michigan-based Geek Group have told the government they are interested in acquiring the structure.

The applications are due by Christmas, Mlada said, and the committee is working to get cost estimates for the repairs needed. Those include painting the structure and repairing broken portholes.

“We need to have as robust an application as possible,” he said.

To gain support and answer questions about the process, a public informational meeting on the lighthouse will be held at city hall at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, he said.

The city is also continuing its work to repair the breakwater on which the lighthouse is located.

Repair work to the steel-cell portion of the breakwater is slated for next summer, and aldermen on Tuesday approved applying for a $98,000 grant to spruce up the gateway to the breakwater.

The gateway will be cleaned up, planted with native plants and a stormwater wetland created to filter runoff.

The breakwater itself will be widened in the area and a handicapped-accessible fishing platform created.

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