UPDATE: Dilworth, Gardetto Back Out of Lake Park Deal

Developer says thanks, but he is no longer interested in pursuing a purchase agreement with the city for park land on Little Muskego Lake; adjacent property owner Nan Gardetto agrees, citing delay requested by the city for ending the agreement.

According to the City of Muskego's Facebook page, Michael Dilworth, developer and property owner of land along Janesville Road on Little Muskego Lake, is "no longer interested" in selling the land to the city.

The deal has been at the center of heated public debate since it was introduced last August. 

The city has shared a letter from Attorney Gerald Boisits representing Michael Dilworth and Ener-Con Companies, Inc., states 'My clients have indicated that they are no longer interested in promoting and/or offering any land for what is known as the Little Muskego Lake Development, effective immediately. As such, we would like the "Park" taken out of the master plan.'"

In addition, a similar letter from Foley and Lardner, the law firm representing the Nanette Gardetto trust stated that as "the City now has decided to postpone indefinitely any action with respect to the Little Muskego Lake development project" they were withdrawing their interest in selling the property to the city.

Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti responded, "On behalf of the City of Muskego, I wish to thank both property owners for offering their property to the community in support of the City's Comprehensive Plan and Parks and Open Space Plan. The City further appreciates the professional and genuine manner in which both property owners worked with the City and Council throughout the process."

We are in the process of gathering more reaction to this development, and will update the story as more information becomes available.

Denise Konkol (Editor) April 03, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Pick a different handle 'Muskego Politics...' or lose the last three words. Please.
Muskego Politics Make Me Bitter April 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Where's your mind, Denise? I just meant Muskego politics make me like a hard, bitter person. Ah, I got it: "Muskego Politics Make Me Bitter". Would that be acceptable?
Simple Bacon April 03, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Don't blame MEG. If they are as small and unimportant as everyone claims how could they have had this effect? If you believe in the value of the park you should think through what happened. Who was it that ran this through council while limiting debate? Operating in closed session and literally yelling at alderman who asked legitimate questions ordering them to "vote now!" is not how you champion an idea. Who attended meetings with alderman present only to call the DA and cry foul? Who spent more on legal bills, looking for a way around due process, than OJ Simpson? Who refused to acknowledge that there was enough of a communication gap to inspire 3,400 people, across districts, to sign a petition asking to take the matter out of the hands of the council in favor of direct legislation? If the lake park was this significant to Muskego you need to focus your attention on the one person who had the most ability to make this project work. Who I suspect was more afraid of losing her job than the park. If you honestly believed in this park you need to turn your attention to those that failed to govern not those who questioned the governance.
The Anti-Alinsky April 03, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Bacon, I don't think anyone said MEG was unimportant. Just annoying. The mayor runs the day to day operation of the city. The Common Council gives direction by passing resolutions and ordinances. ANY alderman has the ability to bring a resolution to a common council meeting. Apparently the three stooges didn't know that until the last resolution that competed with the Snead's. You have made no small bones about disliking the mayor, but keep it real would ya? MEG tried to obtain a mantle of legitimacy by doing whatever it took to get people to sign their petition, including lying and hitting the bars.
Simple Bacon April 03, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Anti', I've made no secret of my diassaproval for the way the mayor has run the show. And, she does run the show. She's the Mayor. She should run it. If you want to minimize her role this much we have to wonder if we really even need a mayor. Also, if you think that 3,400 people were duped or drunk when they signed the request for a referendum then you have less faith in our community then the rest of us do. Those of you in the 3,400 take a minute to consider what Anti-Alinsky and some of the other posters are saying. You are not smart enough to think for yourself. You must have been drunk or are just stupid. Is this true? As to keeping it "real" Many of us have taken the mayor and our aldermen to task for they way they "run the show" by shining a light on the process. No need to make it personal ("the three stooges") because it's not about the people. It's about good government. About representing your consituents. You seem to know quite a bit about procedure and how the manuevering is done. Maybe we need less manuevering and more openess. I'll take a sincere servant less aware of procedure over the cynical tactician any day of the week. No small bones here. I'm pretty transparent about where I see the problems. So, back to my central argument. If the Lake Park is that good for our community why did our leadership let it fail? And that's a rhetorical question. I don't need an answer.
Simple Bacon April 04, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Uhh, yes TGIF, I think maybe that a tax-paying office over in the Moreland corridor is a higher priority then a tax-costing park. There was no develoment offered at the park. Only park. If there was a plan for development around the park that would have been good to see.
Simple Bacon April 04, 2012 at 12:24 AM
One more thought Anti'. Back a while ago I was a huge proponent of the community center. Remember that one? I really believed the anlysis showed it could support itself and that it would be of value to the community. That thing was so demonized that it got clobbered by the voters (as an aside I was aligned with the very same people I oppose on this lake park) and I couldn't understand why. I blamed those darned people that "spread the lies" against it and "just don't get it". But after a little reflection I realized that it wasn't the people opposed to it as much as it was a failure of communication by those of us in favor. If it really was the great thing we thought it was we should have done a better job of communicating that. Or maybe we were wrong. In the end however it wasn't the end of the world that it didn't happen and I didn't stew about it. You win some and you lose some. Same thing with Bring Back the Lake. I know you remember that one. I did not like the idea of the city being a developer but I gave a lot of credit to Johnson and Werner for making the time to go out and present the concept. I didn't agree with the plan but I admired that they were so forthright to work up the plan, with the financials, and stick their neck out to champion it. But this deal is different. No earnest proposal just manuevering to build it now and understand it later. That's what, I think, has bothered people and probably what led to many people signing the petition.
Marguerite Ingold April 04, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I don't blame the sellers for pulling out. With the trashing they have received, I would too. Has anyone even looked at plan "A", do you even know it exists. Yes, it's their property and they can do what they want with it. More condos? Nice and newer than next to them? that's called "Location, location" Hmmm?. Everyone should quit talking about all the "Parks" on the lake. They just don't exist!! Just try to use one and you will find out. What defeated the lake park was lack of information, rumors and lies. I think this will go on and on and on and no one will win. I was at those council meetings and never saw anything like what has been portrayed. Citizens drove a good mayor out of office, now you're doing it again. You are driving the others left into the ground. This is not how its supposed to be done. I guess you deserved the re-called mayor..why not call him back and elect him again. Maybe we can reverse all the recalls this way since we seemed to be the ones who started it all.(for good reason, that time) MEG makes it's own trouble. They too will deserve what they get. Muskego limps away once again, tail between its legs, into the sunset. Another sad day in our history.
obtw April 04, 2012 at 12:48 AM
"it's their property and they can do what they want with it." Subject to current zoning restrictions and DNR requirements, of course. No Casinos for now.
Johanna Glish April 04, 2012 at 12:59 AM
All MEG wanted was transparency....instead of B and Ming about it do something like MEG is doing standing up for what they believe in. I do not wish to have the park for that price and would rather see the money be reallocated for a different project not a park. Just take care of the ones you have or I don't know redo Durham road from moorland to woods its awful and breaking apart. Another idea with that money create a business incubation site you can get a tax credit and put in the credit to add more development to it. Muskego has a lot to offer just not another park, I would rather see business development that another park that costed us way to much money for what it is. No more condos or apartments houses are great just no more rent-able living space!
JS April 04, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Whoever said anybody was willing to pay anything for Dyer's property? I believe you are making that up to insinuate an alliance that does not exist. MEG is trying to prevent another Parkland Mall from occurring. Anybody that thinks Dilworth and his property are going any where should think again. He's not going anywhere. His property is not going anywhere. Dilworth is going to try something else and the Taxpayers are going to be paying the freight because he can't pull in cash from anywhere else but City Hall.
Denise Konkol (Editor) April 04, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Bloggers have to present their real names. That would never work for most of our commenters.
Muskego Politics Make Me Bitter April 04, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Simple Bacon: I know who you are now: Dave Taube! The way you just described your involvement in the proposed community center gave it away. You're Dave! We all notice you recently purchased a new polo shirt for yourself! Congrats!
Muskego April 04, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Is Holz Island a park? You used to be able to duck hunt near Holz Island but you can no longer because it is a city park, or that is what the Police will tell you. Muskego has an ordinance that says you can not hunt within 100 yards of a city park. If it is not a park please let us know.
Sheepshead April 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Buying Boxhorn was seen as more cost-efficient instead of leasing it as they had been.
Simple Bacon April 04, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Holz island is a 2 acre park. It's obviously a challenge to actually get to it but it's on the city's list of parkspaces.
Home Isp April 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Check comments under Feb.13! Developer pulls out!!
The Anti-Alinsky April 05, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Bacon, while the mayor leads the common council, and sets the agenda, ANY council member can bring forward a resolution. If any of the council members feel their voices weren't being heard, then perhaps they don't have the back bone to hold that position. and yes, I do feel that MANY of the people that signed the petition were misinformed. I know of three people that were approached by at least two separate people who said the city wanted to raise our taxes by 4 million dollars to pay for the lake park. And are you saying MEG didn't hit the bar? Because I could find a couple of people that would say otherwise.
The Anti-Alinsky April 05, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Bacon, I could not find where Holz Island is listed as a park. Are you sure it is not a conservation area? Can you provide a link?
Marguerite Ingold April 05, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I think I will have a picnic on each of the "Parks" on the lake this summer, if I can find them. Denise, I think everyone should "out" with their names. This spot gives them too much creditability when when they don't have to own up to their remarks. I do consider these blogs as remarks as some of them can't possibly be their REAL opinions. Let's hear what you REALLY think! LOL
The Anti-Alinsky April 05, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Ms. Ingold, that is an excellent suggestion. In fact, here the link from the city website showing where all the lake access sites are: http://www.ci.muskego.wi.us/parksrecreation/Parks/Maps/LittleMuskegoLakeAccess/tabid/480/Default.aspx Hopefully everyone will have a chance to go out and enjoy them
Marguerite Ingold April 05, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Thanks! They look very interesting. See U there this summer!
obtw April 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
While we on the subject of parks.....there is a real jewel in Muskego. The Muskego County Park. A small lake, wetlands, rolling hills, hardwood forest, open prairie, hiking trails, bridal paths, and camping. You have to pay for a day pass or a season pass. Well worth it.
Marguerite Ingold April 05, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I know about that park and it's very nice. It's not on the lake, tho, also not downtown Muskego and not a city park. Let's just hope "those" people oft referred to don't discover it.
The Anti-Alinsky April 05, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Muskego County Park has a nice beach on it, but there is no other activity on the lake. If people wanted to just see a body of water, there are dozens of small lakes and ponds around the city. A larger lake with more activities is a whole different animal. Ms. Ingold's idea is a good one. It's a great way to see more of Muskego from the best views available.
Denise Konkol (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
To clarify, these sites are required by the DNR. My folks live near one, but it's not a park by any means. It also doesn't have parking to speak of. Access points and parks are apples and oranges in this discussion.
obtw April 05, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Why does there always have to be a "but"? It's a nice beach, "but" It's very nice, "but" Why does there always have to be a rebuttal to everything? I simply made a positive comment about Muskego County Park and it generated two negative comments. And Ms Ingold managed to get in four negatives in two sentences. Stop and smell the roses.
The Anti-Alinsky April 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM
What was negative about that comment? I was simply pointing out the differences between the county park and Little Muskego Lake. Nice suggestion by the way. Muskego County Park is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
Marguerite Ingold April 06, 2012 at 06:41 PM
There were no buts in my comment. As was mentioned above, required DNR access points are not parks and that is what there are "15" of around the lake. I like Muskego park, the swimming there is great and there are large camping groups from Milwaukee that actually spend the whole summer out there. For them its just like having a second home up north even though their lake is just a large lagoon. We are really lucky here in Muskego, I even think I have a lake near me.
Mary C. Steinbauer February 14, 2013 at 04:48 PM
It is interesting to re-read these comments one year later. Many people moved out to Muskego about fifteen or ten years ago because they liked the lower taxes and small schools and the "backwards" people. They are good people nontheless. The city was 50% farmland when I moved here in 1984 and the people that ran things did a pretty fair job. This city was offered the land where condos are now, on the lake and as far as I know the city rejected the cost that was $750,000 so Ingersol bought the property. I hope that in my lifetime the "tree farm" will be developed.


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