Decision time for skatepark
On the agenda
The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. An informal listening session with council members is scheduled at 6 p.m.
Items on the agenda include:
-- A proposal to build a skatepark.
-- A TIF development agreement with Hendricks Development to house the expansion of Universal Recycling Technologies.
-- A presentation from Active Network on its marketing plan. The council hired the company to raise an estimated $100,000 through advertising on city property.
JANESVILLE A deadline for a skatepark fundraising committee is nearly up, and City Manager Eric Levitt is recommending the city council either put the idea on hold or get more involved.
City engineers have decided that a proposed skatepark location at Monterey Park would work after some soil work necessary because the location is in the flood fringe.
A remaining issue is whether geese and their droppings would continue to plague the area.
The council is scheduled to discuss the skatepark issue Monday night.
The council in December 2009 voted to commit $50,000 to a skatepark if the private fundraising group could raise $250,000 by the end of 2010.
The group has raised about $40,000.
Levitt is recommending the council either direct staff to be more involved in fundraising or put the project on hold until a new proposal is brought forward.
The proposed location at Monterey Park is between the two softball diamonds southwest of the stadium.
Staff believes the location works because of existing amenities such as parking, bathrooms and the bike trail, Levitt said in a memo.
The location is in a flood fringe where building is permitted if it is elevated above the 100-year-flood plane.
During the 2008 flood, the proposed location had minimal flooding. Staff believes similar flooding would not permanently damage the facility or equipment.
Before construction, the soil would have to be removed and replaced with other material. The ground surface would need to be "slightly" elevated, according to Levitt's memo.
Staff believes the cost of removing and replacing the soil would be "far less" than building bathrooms and parking lots at another location.
An unknown variable for the site is the geese, Levitt said. Geese typically congregate in the Monterey Park area and leave droppings behind. Whether the geese would be kept away by the noise and activity at the skatepark would have to be monitored, he said in his memo.
Finding a site for the skatepark has been a five-year ordeal.
In 2005, the leisure services committee recommended a site across from Lions Beach, but the council instead chose a site at Palmer Park. Roger Streich, who is leading the fundraising for the skatepark, preferred Palmer Park.
The leisure services committee chairman quit in frustration, asking why he had wasted so much time working on a recommendation for a location when the council didn't take the committee's advice.
Later, the city council began having doubts about the Palmer Park site and asked the leisure services committee to take a second look at locations.
The committee in March recommended Monterey Park, which the city council approved April 12.