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Vandalism Brings a Rocky Road to Island Ice Cream

Owner started with a lot of optimism and support, but a rash of vandalism targeting the small business has Kristin Formolo thinking she might close for good.

With a lot of fanfare, and a production schedule that brought a tiny business to the Idle Isle Park pavilion in record time, started serving up scoops in June.

However, just as quickly, the business suffered a rash of vandalism that has cost owner Kristin Formolo about $4,000 in product, and thinking that she may close at the end of the season...for good.

"It's just been a weird summer," Formolo said in an interview with Muskego Patch."We've had to close several times, and it's frustrating and disappointing."

At least seven different incidents involving various pieces of equipment, including an air conditioner and coolers, have resulted in destroyed product. At first Formolo felt there was an issue with the electrical but a couple of visits from an electrician ruled that out.

Locking the breaker box alleviated the problem for a short time, but Formolo began to suspect it was someone unplugging the cooler after she left for the day, only to plug it back in when she came back to open at noon every day.

Her suspicions were confirmed when one day the plug was simply laying across the cooler when she walked in. She said she has also found soda cans on the floor in the morning and missing food. As she is the one there closing every night, and one of a handful of people with access to the store, she's disheartened over the incidents.

Muskego Police have been actively investigating and have tried several times to capture the culprit, with only limited success, which has only been more frustrating to Formolo. MPD has declined further comment in order to protect the investigation, and increase their chances for success.

No other vandalism has been done to the pavilion during the summer.

"I can't believe it's that difficult," Formolo said. "I was hoping for a much quicker resolution to this. There's only one way in to the store."

She feels that it is someone "who just doesn't want a business on the island. Who would do this otherwise?"

The otherwise upbeat Formolo was resigned as she said, "I came forward with this idea because it seemed like the community asked for this. I saw it as a response to that," she said of the ice cream shop. "Ice cream shouldn't be this contentious."

Deanna Kuhn Knasinski August 24, 2012 at 02:43 PM
That does sound weird but don't think it's someone who doesn't want it there. Put a video camera up to catch the culprit, sounds like dumb kids. We love the ice cream shop there!
Marcia August 24, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this. I think her idea is wonderful and a great addition to Idle Isle. I certainly hope MPD is able to get to the bottom of this soon so she is able to stay.
Sheepshead August 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Look at MEG and the other NIMBYs
Denise Konkol (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Be careful about accusations without any proof.
Denise Konkol (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 03:20 PM
We are looking into a reward fund....
Muskego Mike August 24, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Someone is very sick. How can you be against Island Ice Cream and someone doing something fun like this in Muskego. I hope the Muskego Police find this nut.
DB August 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Denise, I agree that unfounded accusations such as the comment by "Sheepshead" should not be permitted. So why haven't you removed the inappropriate comment? Given resolution 75 (resolution promoting civil discourse) being passed, shouldn't you be putting an end to such an attack?
DB August 24, 2012 at 08:43 PM
And while I also have no proof, I suspect that this vandalism is a crime of boredom rather than personal attack. I was told by a P&R staffer that a convenient garbage can was no longer being placed near the walking path in Horn Field due to vandals knocking it over (don't imagine that clean-up while eating), so vandalism is happening in our other parks too. Our police can't be everywhere at once, so in order to help them we need to stay aware of our surroundings and share suspicious actions when they are observed.
Denise Konkol (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 09:18 PM
@DB - it falls a bit short in my opinion (especially the nimby mention - there is no formal group), and in some cases it's left there so people can see the exchange. If I delete comments, people never see the conversation, which means I'll be deleting more of them as people continue to comment in the same way.
Denise Konkol (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Excellent point. I KNOW from sitting at P&R board meetings, folks watch that park, so someone is bound to know something. However, if they're bored, why arent they causing problems to other parts of that building. Lots of stuff in the storage area, I believe.
Adam Thomas August 24, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Pathetic...
Adam Thomas August 24, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Edited to make "more" appropriate. "I thought extortion and retaliation went out of style with the mafia". There that's better. Now no personal accusations against specific groups of peopke that don't want the shop there. ;)
Mark Goldstein August 24, 2012 at 09:57 PM
As a local small business owner also, I feel it is sad as to what has happened to the ice cream shop. If Kristin Formolo would like to contact me, I will be willing to install surveillance equipment for FREE!!! Kristin would just have to purchase the equipment. Contact Mark at yourhandymanmark@gmail.com
Marcia August 25, 2012 at 05:04 PM
So people are getting inside the building - without breaking in? Sounds like the locks should be changed.

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