A West Allis man has made the decision to pay the city - making sure his neighbors have curbs low enough so that cars can drive onto lawns.
A West Allis man has made the decision to pay the city out of his own pocket - making sure his neighbors have curbs low enough so that cars can drive onto lawns.
Jack Oleskow - the man paying the extra cost - is a retired electrician who says his neighborhood has a long history providing parking for people headed to the nearby Wisconsin State Fair Park.
Currently the view from his front door is mostly blocked by construction construction equipment taking over South 85th Street between Greenfield Avenue and Washington Street.
But most visitors to the streets probably know it better as 'that neighborhood across from the Original Creampuff Pavillion'.
"We're about 240 steps from gate 4," Oleskow said.
Oleskow sells parking during the state fair with other neighbors including Peter Ritzman who lives a few doors down.
"I'm usually out at 8 o'clock in the morning as soon as the fair starts. And I sit and park cars all day long. I take off of work, take vacation," Ritzman said.
"A lot of people know us coming in from Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa. some of them call us," Oleskow said.
"Everybody pulls cars up into their yard, parks a trailer up there or whatever. And the straight curb that they were proposing to put in which is pretty much everywhere else wouldn't have worked for us," Ritzman said.
The six inch curb is the new standard for West Allis. Neighbors like Oleskow said they preferred something similar to what they used to have: a three and a half inch mountable curb.
Oleskow said he went to hours of Common Council and Public Works meetings and presented petitions with signatures from his neighbors trying to change the type of curb that would be installed.
"It kept running around like a dog chasing its tail," Oleskow said.
"The only possible solution to this problem was that one person voluntarily steps forward and pays for it. And then the whole thing can be completed," Oleskow said.
And Oleskow decided that person would be him. The West Allis Common Council voted to accept his $1220 check for the alteration to the East side curb.
Oleskow said he did not pay with the expectation that neighbors would pay him back. Some neighbors said they are going to pay him back anyway.
"As soon as I found out Jack had paid I made sure that I had $40 on me so that when I saw him I could give him the money," Ritzman said.
"It's confusing...," Oleskow said, '...and a little bit ridiculous but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. And I'm hoping once state fair comes and we're parking cars on our yard and they're driving over the curbs, that everybody can just turn around and smile."
If he construction is completed ahead of schedule it is possible the road will be ready ahead of this year's State Fair which starts in August.