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The Green Lake Park & Recreation Board was busy last week touching on issues like boat launch fees, a master park plan, a citywide open house and more.

Here are the top-three takeaways from last week Wednesday’s Green Lake Park & Rec meeting:

1. Boat Launch

Boat launch fees remained a discussion point for the Park & Rec Board for the second-straight month.

Prior to last week’s meeting, the Green Lake Common Council approved a proposal that will enable residents and visitors to pay boat launch fees digitally.

At the same time, the city is working with MSA to get engineering drawings of what a revitalized launch in Deacon Mills Park could look like, and what the cost of revamping the launch could be.

“I had a meeting with them,” Public Works Director Jason Carley said. “They’re going to start putting something together, so we actually get an updated cost.”

At last month’s meeting, the Park & Rec Board discussed potentially increasing commercial boat launch fees. Since then, the board researched DNR regulations surrounding boat launch fees

Chairman Ald. Jon McConnell said the city cannot charge commercial boats more than recreational boats, but gives municipalities the power to determine whether season passes can be used for more than one boat.

“The [DNR] believes that the one-pass-one-vote requirement is probably the simplest to administer,” McConnell said. “... There’s nothing that says that a commercial entity can get just a regular residential season pass and launch many different owners’ boats.”

The city charges $7 per launch for individual boats. The commercial portion of the city’s ordinance was changed last year to allow businesses to pay $7 per launch up to a total of $650 for the year.

Prior to the adjustment last year, commercial boat launch users would pay an annual donation of $650.

McConnell noted the thinking behind the $650 was that at the time it cost $5 to launch, so $650 covered 130 launches. With the new $7 fee, it would be $910 for a season pass.

“We could put it in the ordinance that the optional season pass for commercial entities would be 130 multiplied by what the daily launch rate is,” he said. “Then we wouldn’t have to change the ordinance every time there’s a price change.”

The Park & Rec Board voted unanimously to modify the ordinance to set the annual fee at $910 annually or $7 per launch up to $910 for commercial entities.

2. Master Plan & Open house

The city of Green Lake is planning to host a workshop next month to review the Master Park Plan.

Elaine Houser, an advisor to the Park & Rec Board, has been working closely with McConnell and Carley on the master plan.

She described the plan as being in the “homestretch,” as she has been working on the “guts of the plan” with McConnell, Carley and board member Amy Gerstein.

She noted the city is working on a community survey to gauge interest and enthusiasm for different priorities in the plan.

Houser added that approval of the master plan could be sought in a special Common Council meeting in April.

“We’re trying to hit a deadline of the end of April for the purpose of hitting the next cycle of grant funding,” she said. “That’s why we want to have this approved through the council by April 18.”

The city will host a pair of citywide open houses Wednesday, April 6, from 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the City Hall gym.

“This is for all departments of the city,” McConnell said. “... It gives our constituents a chance to come in and talk to us face-to-face and ask any questions they want.”

Gerstein plans to distribute the surveys online ahead of the open houses. There are 13 questions on the survey about things residents would like to see in the future.

“The data will be collected and we will turn it into the master plan,” she said.

3. Grants

McConnell said the city and the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (GLACC) would like to repaint the bandshell in Deacon Mills Park.

The city received a grant for roughly $1,400 from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance, which it plans to use to repaint the bandshell.

“It really doesn’t cost the city anything because we’re getting a grant from the league to do that,” he said.

In addition, Grant Administrator Robin Wallenfang applied for a $50,000 grant from T-Mobile for the athletic field lighting replacement, dubbed the “Lake Street Sports Complex Baseball Field Replacement Lighting.”

The city received support in its grant efforts from American Legion Post 306, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area and Green Lake School.

As part of the grant, the city may explore potential Wi-Fi for the baseball fields, which would enable Green Lake School to stream games.

Correction: This article was corrected to state that the grant for the band shell came from League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance. In its agenda and during the meeting, the city only referred to the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

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 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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