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GLAD YOU ASKED: Concession stand at boat ramp; Pavement issues at Ohio Street and Republic Avenue; Governor's pens

GLAD YOU ASKED: Concession stand at boat ramp; Pavement issues at Ohio Street and Republic Avenue; Governor's pens

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While visiting the boat ramp on Fifth Street, we noticed the concession stand was not open. Can you tell us the reason?

It's closed, like a trout's mouth around your lucky lure.

Joe Hrouda of Caledonia was involved with the stand for 26 years. He called it quits this year after the city installed a self-serve kiosk for boaters who wanted to launch at the Pershing Park ramp.

Before that, people could pay the launch fee at the stand and Hrouda kept a percentage.

"I tried it one year without it and I lost money," he said.

The city expected Hrouda to continue this summer, said Donnie Snow, director of parks, recreation and cultural services for the City of Racine. Snow said nobody expressed interest in running the stand the last time the city put it out for bid.

So, at least for the near future, it's BYOS - Bring Your Own Snacks.

On the corner of Ohio Street and Republic Avenue, water has been coming up through the pavement ever since they finished paving the road. What's going on there?

No one has seen any indication of leaky or broken pipes, said John Rooney, an assistant commissioner of public works for the city. Apparently that's one of a few spots in Racine where the groundwater table is simply closer to the surface.

"It's nothing that's alarming or a big concern to us," he said.

The reader may be right that a bit more water is surfacing since the construction work on Ohio Street, Rooney said, but to him that's better than the alternative. Water that's trapped under the pavement because of poor soil conditions can weaken the road when it freezes and thaws.

Rooney said workers replaced the water main in that area in conjunction with the roadwork.

Can you please find out about the pens the governor uses to sign bills? I would like to know how many are used, the cost and to whom they are given afterward.

The rebellion against wasteful spending has come to this, eh?

That supply of snazzy pens ranges "from just a few to 30" depending on how many guests attend a bill's signing ceremony, according to Cullen Werwie, spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker. Most often those mementoes go to legislators, and sometimes they go to other visitors who are affected by a particular bill.

The pens cost $1.79 each, Werwie wrote in an email response. Wonder if they hold up any longer than the 10-cent ballpoints I ravage with teeth marks each week.


Mike Moore compiles the Glad You Asked column. To submit a question of local interest, call (262) 631-1758 or email:



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