Muskego — An informational meeting to gather public input on a proposed small park on the shores of Little Muskego Lake will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Muskego City Hall, S8200 Racine Ave., the Muskego Common Council decided.
The open house-style meeting will have exhibits explaining the park proposal, staff to answer questions and public input forms to fill out. Those who cannot attend the meeting can submit written input for at least a week after the information meeting, Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said last week.
The park proposal involves the city buying and razing two homes on the shores of Little Muskego Lake along Janesville Road just west of Pioneer Drive. The heirs of the woman who owned the homes for many years and died in August 2012 have offered the city the first chance to buy them. One of the houses was part of a larger lake park proposal in 2010. That proposal failed for various reasons.
The council decided to go with the open house format rather than the more formal setting where speakers come up to a microphone because some people are afraid to speak in front of a large crowd and some have limited time. With the open house format, they can get information, give their input and leave.
Grant money could be scarce
The information meeting is being held even though the council experienced a certain amount of dismay at a report that grant money to help with park creation might be harder to get than originally thought.
Next year the state has allocated far fewer dollars for the Department of Natural Resources to use to help with such outdoor projects, Muskego Community Development Director Jeff Muenkel reported to the Common council last week. Not only that, but more than the usual number of projects are already in line asking for grants and some of them involve large land areas, which the DNR likes, and involve giving people the opportunity to trap and hunt, which the DNR especially likes, he said.
"It's already highly competitive," Muenkel said.
Even if the city gets a grant next year, it could take a while to get the money, he said; some communities that have won grants this year for projects are still waiting for the money.
Hard to give opinion
Getting a grant would go a long way to reduce the estimated cost of $666,000 to provide a grassy lakeside park. Not having a reasonably accurate idea of the proposed park's cost will leave residents at a disadvantage in giving an opinion about whether the park is a good idea, aldermen said.
Chiaverotti said the only thing to do is consider the full cost estimate as a starting point, knowing that grants might be obtained and the final negotiated price could bring the cost down.
Despite the negatives, an information meeting that would still give at least some indication of whether there is overwhelming support so the council can feel somewhat comfortable in considering the next step, Alderman Rob Glazier said. He represents the area.
"I'd really like to get a read," he said.
WHAT: public information meeting, open house style on a proposed park on Little Muskego Lake on Janesville Road west of Pioneer Drive
WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 12
WHERE: Muskego City Hall, S8200 Racine Ave.
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