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Park Arthur Could Get $1.1 Million in 2013 Budget

Muskego's newest park as been in development for years, but boost in spending may finally make the park ready for users if $1.1 million request is granted; some aldermen say its about time, others say it's too much.

Progress on Park Arthur, which is situated along Muskego's northern border between College Avenue and Martin Drive, has been steady, but after hearing complaints from residents that projects like the park never seem to get finished, it may now be on a fast track, courtesy of $1.1 million in funding.

Discussion of the park expenditures for 2013 were a part of the city's ongoing budget talks Wednesday night, and initially totaled $881,000, with that amount using the landfill funds. The parks department has historically used those funds along with other sources to develop and maintain the parks, however, dwindling resources may result in the city taking on more of the burden.

The costs would include $245,000 to design and construct an entrance off of College Avenue, $406,000 to add lights to the large baseball field and sledding hill, and completing the other three baseball fields for $145,000. Alderman Neome Schaumberg also requested that a pavilion planned several years out be included in the 2013 number, increasing the total by $300,000.

"I'm seeing a lot of things that will draw the public to this park in the next year or so, but we aren't providing appropriate restroom facilities for years after that? I think it should be part of this plan."

Alderman Dan Soltysiak told parks director Craig Anderson, "I know we've been careful in using only certain revenue sources to fund the parks, but there's a need to look at things differently. Let the council decide on how parks is funded; we want to hear your ideas - it doesn't mean we'll approve them all, but we should hear them."

However, Alderman Neil Borgman was adamantly opposed to the spending, even prior to the $300,000 addition.

"We have a great park at Idle Isle, and a citizen's group that has done a yeoman's job of cleaning it up, yet I see nothing in the budget to help them out. I would prefer to see this spending spread out over four years, and putting more into Idle Isle" he said.

However, other aldermen felt that input received from the public during the last lake park debate indicated that residents felt the Park Arthur project wasn't getting finished, and delaying it several more years wasn't a good idea. In addition, without a specific list of projects to spend money on, most were not comfortable writing a 'blank check' for Idle Isle park.

"We reached out to people who had made complaints - Craig Anderson and I - and we called them to ask them specifically what they wanted to see improved at Idle Isle and we got nothing," explained Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti.

Anderson also pointed out that they generally see a partnership from Muskego Athletic Association and has gotten interest from select leagues to help offset the costs. He pointed out that outfield fencing was also being covered by  Muskego Youth Baseball club, with fundraising at $69,000 of the $82,000

The preliminary straw poll saw most in favor of the $1.1 million price tag, with Borgman and Alderman Eileen Madden, who said she felt they shouldn't spend that much in one year, casting a no vote.

Additional park improvements that were approved for the budget include:

Recreational trails - Culver's to Woods Road along Racine Avenue; Racine Avenue to Mercury Drive along Janesville Road: $450,000

- replacement of fencing at all three ballfields, replacement of bleachers: $55,000

- replacement of the ADA fishing pier: $63,000; may also be eligible for grant monies

- installation of concrete ramp and new piers, which is expected to be offset by 50 percent funding of a waterways grant: $50,000

// - repaving of basketball courts: $30,000

- replacement of skateboard ramp laminate and addition of a sand volleyball court: $25,000

- regrading and replanting of grass, paving asphalt paths to bathrooms from trail: $13,700

Items not making the cut:

Shop improvements at the Parks and Rec building, estimated at $73,429

A Bobcat to remove snow from recreational trails: $55,800

Paul Peardon August 23, 2012 at 06:49 PM
It has been strung out long enough in my opinion and the community deserves to use this facility sooner rather than later. Anyone involved in youth sports in Muskego understands the value that it brings and with the influx of kids playing and those #'s growing every year, it is no longer a want. This is a wonderful and welcome bit of news to me.
Denise Konkol (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
It seems to be a moment of giving people what they say they wanted. But like all things, be careful what you wish for. I'm just thrilled to know the sledding hills will be the first thing ready for use in the park. Look for me and my sled this winter.
Simple Bacon August 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Paul is right. And, the money is available in the Landill Fund. Dragging it out 4-5 years, as some on the Council want to do, makes no sense, IMHO. We planned for it - now let's build it and use it. The add-on of the pavilion / bathrooms seemed like a big hit but that too makes sense. Why build this premier park and put a bunch of port-o-johns in there.
The Warrior August 25, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Hope they don't spend all of the landfill funds on this. And what about the groups raising money for this park? Love how this supposed conservative council is spending all this money! And Bacon, this should not be the premier park in Muskego...
Joyce Ann Waltz August 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Good for the council, let's finish a project finally. I am happy to see a yes vote, too often the no votes are greater. It seems to me there is an opinion from a segment of people that Muskego must .stay as we know it and not progress into the future. The majority of our citizens want our city to be one of pride for it's people. Joyce Waltz
Simple Bacon August 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM
There's millions of $$ in that Landfill Fund. I think those opposed to spending it are holding it for another project (Lake Park v. 3). The alternative to spending these funds on Park Arthur was to borrow tha money and pay interest on top of it. The fact that the athletic groups are contributing to the park shows the community support for it. This is a community project. I may not even use the park myself but that doesn't prevent me from appreciating the value it brings to the city. And I certainly value the council making prudent use of city funds by not borrwing the money when we have it sitting in the Landfill Funds. Remember, $800,000 is added every year to that fund. So, it's not all being spent on this and even then why not spend it on the projects already planned and approved?

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