Kristin Formolo enjoyed a community where bike trips to a local park meant ice cream, and now that she lives in Muskego, she saw a similar opportunity while enjoying
Formolo, who has run other businesses as well, came before the Parks and Recreation board Monday night to discuss more of the details and answer questions about the seasonal business, which would occupy about 174 square feet of the pavilion at the park.
"I want to create a nice gathering place for people to come to and enjoy the lake," Formolo said. "I'm hoping to draw more families into the park, and eventually draw music there in the evenings, like jazz in the park."
Initially Formolo said she would commit to hours over lunchtime (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and more extended times on the weekends, and increase time as the public demanded it.
The only hitch in the plans is that the concessions space would require additional sinks per Waukesha County health codes, which Parks Director Craig Anderson said would cost about $7,000 to install.
The costs would cover the required three-section sinks as well as a hand-washing sink, and the necessary plumbing to hook it up. As the building is a city property, it would have to be absorbed by the city before any concessions could be run.
Jerald Hulbert, board member, initially was reluctant to approve the costs, saying that he couldn't see a return on the investment. However, Anderson pointed out that improvements to the building like this were no different that others made to the parks, and their purpose is not to garner money back for the city directly.
"We have to ask when we spend money in the parks, 'Does it bring about a social good?' In this case, it would benefit the community and draw more people to the park, which was something brought up earlier in the lake park discussions that not enough people use this park."
The board agreed that the expense was too great to have the Parks Department pay for this year, and said other avenues would have to be explored to fund it. The matter would have to be sent to the finance committee to review and make recommendations to the Common Council. Formolo herself said she had already invested about $10,000 into the business, and hoped it could be up and running by summer.
Alderman Dan Soltysiak, who also sits on the board as a Common Council representative, agreed that their could be money available for the upgrades to the pavilion.
"We've had projects this year that have come in way under budget, so I believe there is a possibility," he said. "We will have to see if there's an appetite to fund this with finance and council."
The board unanimously agreed to forward the proposal on to finance committee, which could take up the issue as early as their next meeting on Tuesday, May 22.