A Look Back at 2012 Around Waukesha

Both a lot of good and bad things happened around Waukesha in 2012.  I personally choose to focus on the good things, or events that are not tragic.  The mainstream media does a good enough job of covering those stories so I’m not going to.

Safe New Year Celebration Travel Encouraged

While everyone in Waukesha rings in the 2013 New Year in their own special way, people should be vigilant about driving if they have been drinking anything.  Drunk driving is completely preventable.  Using the Free Rides program through Waukesha Metro Transit is one option available to ensure that people celebrating New Year’s Eve and consuming alcohol will get home safely.  For the past 24 years the Free Rides program has provided rides New Year’s Eve in Waukesha County.  See the schedule here: New Years Eve Schedule

Happy 2013 Waukesha!


2012 in Review:


West Side Bypass Project

A final alignment is to be selected by early 2013 for the estimated $53 million west Waukesha bypass project that is expected to improve commuter and truck traffic. Resolutions on the West Waukesha Bypass were voted on by the county, 22-1 in favor of the Pebble Creek alternative, the city, 15-0 in favor of the bypass, and the town, 4-1 against all resolutions on the building of the bypass.


Common Council Candidates

District 15 Alderman Duane Paulson and District 12 Alderman Richard Hastings announced they will not seek re-election for the spring 2013 election.

Emanuele Vitale, who served District 8 for six terms until he lost to Skinner in 2010, will look to earn a spot back on the council. Lenny Miller, who lost to Patton in District 11 in 2010, will look to unseat the downtown alderman.

After Marga Krumins was passed over for Jankowski in July for the District 6 seat, she will attempt to win the seat in an election.


Hebron House Overflow Shelter Stays Open for Winter Months

The Hebron House needed $55,000 to stay open from December through April of 2013 and they were barely able to reach their goal.  Further, they raised just enough money to stay open for three months.


Let it Snow

After unseasonable mild temperatures throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest, Waukesha finally saw it’s first snowstorm on December 19th-20th, meaning we were going to enjoy a white Christmas.


Water Deal Reached with Ok Creek

After many negotiations Waukesha finally came to a deal with Oak Creek to obtain water from Lake Michigan.  The letter of intent between Waukesha and Oak Creek has been forwarded to the DNR for review, and will need the approval of the eight governors of the Great Lakes states.


No Annexation of Five Diamonds into the City of Waukesha

After much controversy between neighbors and 5 Diamonds Fields the owners of the baseball field sought annexation into the City of Waukesha.  Fortunately the Common Council dropped the ball and did not vote in favor of the annexation. (*More to come on this topic in 2013)


The Downtown BID has a Board

It took some time but the Downtown Waukesha Business Improvement District has an 8 member board and can resume contributing to the growth and development of downtown Waukesha.


Waukesha Guitar Town Phase II Announced

With the great success of the Waukesha Guitar Town Project that was launched on June 1st of 2012, Mayor Jeff Scrima announced in October that there will be a Phase II of the Guitar Town Project in 2013. Like Phase I, Scrima said the new series will include a new round of 10-foot guitars and regular-sized guitars.


Walmart Market to Replace old Store

The Town of Waukesha approved the acquisition of a new Walmart Neighborhood Market that is scheduled to be completed in later 2013. The 42,000 square foot market would replace the Walmart discount store on Coral Drive and the Les Paul Parkway that closed in 2010. The neighborhood market will include a supermarket with deli, bakery and liquor departments, a full-service pharmacy and pharmacy drive-through.


Waukesha GE growth Meant More Job Opportunities

In September GE unveiled a $3.1 million innovative engineering center at their Waukesha Gas Engines Facility at 1101 West St. Paul Avenue, and also announced the hiring of 115 employees in Waukesha in the last 18 months.


Woodman’s Market Comes to Waukesha

The new Woodman’s Market broke ground at the old Spancrete location and has been swiftly moving along for the past several months.  The store plans to open in early 2013 and will truly prove to benefit our community.


Waukesha County Fair sees Record Attendance in 2012

The 2012 Waukesha County Fair saw an increase in attendance by around 4,000 people from 2011.


Waukesha Guitar Town Project is Born

June 1st 2012 marked the starting of the Freemen Friday Night Live and the Birth of  Guitar Town Waukesha.  As the Home of Les Paul, Waukesha was named as one of eight guitar towns around the world.  With 10’ tall guitars and numerous playable guitars located throughout Waukesha, the guitar town project raised $105,000 in 2012 and was divided into the following dontions:

$45,000 to the Waukesha Public Schools for purchase of new musical instruments and art supplies.

$45,000 will benefit the planned Les Paul exhibit at the Waukesha County Museum. $15,000 will be donated to Waukesha Memorial Hospital to help fund the new Community Health Clinic, which will serve uninsured or under-insured individuals.


5 Diamonds Fields Opens

The Ceremonial First Pitch was thrown at 6:30pm on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 at the 5 Diamonds Fields complex located at W234 S3555 Les Paul Parkway in Waukesha.

The $2 million privately-funded project was the brainchild of owners Tom Kelenic and Greg Beatty, who have children in the Blazers program.


Fox River Shoppes Expands

Construction for Phase II of the Fox River Shoppes began at the end of April with stores that include Charming Charlie’s, Cosmetics, T.J. Maxx, Ulta Salon and Rue 21.

Overall there has been a lot of business and economic growth throughout Waukesha county and the downtown Waukesha area.  2013 looks very prosperous for our community and I look forward to another great year in the great city of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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