Green Lake Common Council gives preliminary approval for storm drain murals-1

These are examples of storm drain murals in other communities and not finalized designs for the Green Lake project.

The Green Lake Common Council Monday unanimously gave preliminary approval for the Green Lake Association (GLA) to paint murals near storm drains in the city to raise awareness for the impact of storm drains on Big Green Lake’s water quality.

However, designs and the specific locations for the murals must be approved by the Common Council before work being done.

The GLA and Ripon College plan to partner to paint three to four storm drain murals in downtown Green Lake, with Ripon College art professors making the designs and students painting them, according to a document provided at the meeting.

The murals would be touched up as needed, the document noted.

If they are significantly damaged in a few years, the GLA says it will remove them altogether.

In addition, the designs will not contain political statements, opinions, inappropriate language or imagery.

GLA Communication and Project Manager Jennifer Fjelsted spoke during the Common Council meeting regarding the proposal.

She said storm drains are “direct conduits” to the lake as all the water that flows through storm drains makes it into Big Green Lake.

“People don’t realize that water [from storm drains] does not go to a wastewater treatment facility to get treated before being discharged the way water that goes down our drains at home does,” Fjelsted said. “Storm drain murals are a great way to educate the public to let them know that everything that goes down the drain — including oil from your car and leaves piled in the gutters — will make it into the lake and have phosphorus pollution with them.”

While the Common Council liked the idea, officials wanted to have some input in the process, which is why it approved the project with the caveat that it approves designs and locations before any work being done.

“I would just like them, when everything’s finalized, to come to this meeting before it’s going to happen and just say, ‘these are our three or four that we’re going to use and this is the location,’” Ald. Danielle Reysen said.


In other news from the Green Lake Common Council meeting:

  • The Common Council voted 5-1 to approve a $5,000 donation to the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for Fourth of July fireworks. Ald. Jim Jahnke cast the lone “no” vote. The funds will come from the city’s contingency fund.
  • The Common Council also approved a service agreement with the Creative Enterprise Center (CEC) at Ripon College to help perform economic development work, with the understanding that the city would pay CEC $10 per hour of work completed.
  • The Common Council approved a resolution amending garbage and recycling charges. The resolution changes the rates the city will be charged, increasing the rate for garbage and recycling to $43.56 per quarter or $14.52 per month.
  • The Common Council tabled its discussion of creating a dog park in the area behind the tennis courts and baseball diamonds downtown until May 18 because it may already have approved the location for a dog park several years ago. If it did previously approve that location, the dog park proposal would go to the Plan Commission and then back to the Common Council for final approval.

Written By

Joe Schulz served as the reporter of the Green Laker in 2019 and 2020, before being hired as a reporter for the Commonwealth in October 2020. He is from Oshkosh and graduated from UW-Oshkosh in December with a bachelor's degree in journalism.


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