Disc golf friends group forms
The Friends of Lustig Park Disc Golf Club has raised about half of the $3,000 needed for new disc golf baskets at the park.
Anyone who wants to donate can contact the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin at (608) 758-0883.
JANESVILLE The city’s disc golf course would get an upgrade if the Janesville City Council on Monday agrees to shift some responsibilities from the city to a new friends group.
Staff recommends the council sign a contract with the Friends of Lustig Park Disc Golf Club.
Those who frequent the park looked around and took note of the outdated equipment and the need for trash pickup, said Mike Brose, the group’s president.
“We started getting some people together and decided that we wanted to fix our park up,” said Mike Brose, the group’s president.
The disc golf course at Lustig Park has become popular since it opened in 2001, but keeping it in good condition is a challenge for the parks division, Parks Director Tom Presny said.
“Tighter budgets and reduced staffing just create great challenges for us for active recreation areas,” Presny said.
For instance, Lustig Park was the focus of controversy when disc golfers complained about a mowing schedule enacted to save money by cutting the grass less often. The council eventually reinstated a higher level of mowing after residents complained.
“That’s an example of how funding levels and budget challenges cause us to react in ways that don’t allow the public to be able to use the parks the way they would like,” Prensy said.
If the agreement with the Lustig friends group is approved, the city would provide general course maintenance.
Brose, 38, said his group’s first priority is to replace the homemade golf disc baskets.
“They work fine, but it’s kind of like having a basketball hoop without a backboard,” he said. “That’s the biggest complaint from everybody that plays down there.”
With professional baskets, the group can bring tournaments to the course that could attract up to 100 people over a weekend, Brose said.
“We could make this a really, really nice course,” he said.
That would be good for the city, he said, because the course is free and attracts young and old people.
The group also plans to help schedule leagues and “how to” lessons, Presny said.
Presny said he regularly hears from disc golf players that Janesville has one of the nicest public courses in the state. With a friends group, it can only get better, he said.
Presny sees friends groups becoming more and more important as the city relies on their comments and participation to free up staff time and tax dollars and to keep an eye on the facilities.
The city has friends groups at Rockport, Riverside, Traxler and Optimist parks. American Legion Baseball recently formed a friends group to maintain the baseball field in Riverside Park. The Rock Trail Coalition focuses on trails, and residents and/or groups have adopted 43 sections of the 25-mile bike trail.
The newest friends group would be a “great example of what we’ve started and what we need to continue,” Presny said. “We need to continue to find ways to stretch community dollars to satisfy recreational needs.”
ON THE AGENDA
The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. The council will host its regular, informal listening session at 6 p.m., at which some or all members will attend. Items on the agenda include:
-- Consent to allow the Watering Hole to extend its alcohol boundaries to its volleyball courts.
-- The purchase of property at 1909 Joseph St. The property was damaged in the 2008 flood but was not eligible for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This money comes from Community Development Block Grant Emergency Assistance program. Purchase price is $90,000. The building will be demolished and property kept as open space. This would be the 12th home purchased and demolished, and staff anticipates it to be the last under this program. Offers are based on pre-flood appraisals minus any duplication of benefits, including insurance and FEMA assistance.
-- Approval of a settlement involving General Motors and the city’s disposal facilities.
The disposal facility includes three adjacent landfills and a waste processing facility south of Black Bridge Road and east of North Parker Drive that operated from 1952 and 1985. In 1986, the federal government began enforcement actions because of environmental issues at the site. Since that time, the city and five major industrial users have been working cooperatively to address the environmental issues.
Estimated cost for the remaining 16 years is about $1.76 million, with the General Motors portion estimated at $650,000. General Motors recently filed for bankruptcy. Based on the projected claims payout of the bankruptcy court, the city’s claim is $240,000 to $300,000. Payment would be made in GM stock and redeemed on the open market at the city’s discretion.