The mayors of both Muskego and New Berlin are optimistic about the coming year with Muskego celebrating its 50th anniversary and New Berlin looking forward to improvements in retail business areas.
Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said the city will celebrate the completion of the widening and beautification of Janesville Road, a major thoroughfare through town, toward the end of summer.
"It's fabulous this is happening with the city's 50th year," she said. The new road will help define the city and will help its branding efforts, she said.
And it has already inspired merchants to spruce up their business facades and will help attract new business, Chiaverotti said.
"It definitely re-ignited community pride," she said.
Along with that, the city is working with manufacturing and retail businesses in the Moorland Road corridor to try to assist them with expansion plans, she said.
New police officer, path
The new year also brings the city's newest police officer. He is Sirius, Muskego's first police dog. Sirius and his handler attended a five-week training course and, as of December, were already on patrol.
Also in 2014, the Racine Avenue recreation trail section will be completed, closing an eight-mile loop around the city, Chiaverotti said.
"That is a long-anticipated trail completion," she said.
Also looking ahead to 2014, work in Park Arthur will include three youth baseball/softball fields with lights, a pavilion with open air shelter, a concessions area, storage and heated year-round bathrooms, and lights on the regulation baseball field and sledding hill, she said.
The bathrooms at Park Arthur were to open last weekend to serve youngsters on the sledding hill that has been heavily used already this winter.
In New Berlin, Mayor Dave Ament sees a lot of attention focused on the New Berlin City Center, the Target area and section 35, a large tract of former farmland that was prepared for development this year with sewer and water service.
As far as section 35 goes, Ament said, "We have a lot of nibbles."
There is lively interest in all aspects of the tract from its residential areas to its retail area along Moorland Road to its industrial area, he said.
"I expect a lot of activity," he said.
Meanwhile, the city will be working on helping businesses that are tucked far back in commercial areas such as along Moorland Road and in the City Center get better exposure.
"So we don't repeat businesses moving in and are gone, moving in and are gone," Ament said.
Those that have gone through that cycle have told him that the biggest problem was that drivers along busy streets couldn't see their signs and couldn't find them, he said.
To combat that, the city will try to change the sign ordinance for those areas where traffic is fast and businesses are set back. To do that, the city will work with businesses to find things that work for both them and the city, Ament said.
To that same end, the city also will review the sign waivers it granted to get a further indication of the types of changes businesses need and will seek to change the sign ordinance accordingly.
Many waivers have been granted and the signs have been attractive and also have gotten the job done for businesses, he said.
He also would like to see a better symbol or identification found for the City Center this year. A clock tower seems nice, but whatever the symbol is it is would have to be something the businesses could afford and not cost taxpayers anything, he said.
Road improvements also will continue in 2014, with a major one being completing the widening and redoing of Coffee Road. The 2014 work will be from National Avenue to Calhoun Road and like the western part of Coffee that was done this year will show off the kind of road the city wants to see, with 5-foot shoulder paths beyond the road shoulder for bicycles and the like, Ament said.
"I'm very optimistic. I'm very positive. This is a great community with great people," Ament said
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