Early work on school path irks residents

Construction on route from subdivision before final approval raises questions, safety concerns
Ozaukee Press Staff

Work that has started on a proposed path from the Emerald Hills subdivision to the Northern Ozaukee School District campus has some residents complaining about the amount of traffic the project has already created. 

The Fredonia Plan Commission approved the concept of building the path to give emergency vehicles access to the school grounds and sports fields. It would be paved but would have a chain stretched across it.

A side benefit would be to allow Emerald Hills children to walk to school across a wetlands area and not have to be bused to school, officials said.

The district jumped the gun, however, by beginning construction on the path without a permit. They used materials readily at hand from work being done on the school under the $14.95 million referendum that was passed in April 2018, officials said.

Village Public Works Director Roger Strohm, noting that residents were “a little miffed,” said the village has not approved any permits for the work the district has done or plans to do.

Brad Meyer, a subdivision resident, said increased traffic in the neighborhood poses a danger to the many small children who live there.

“I would hope we could work together for the safety of our children,” Meyer, who is a junior-varsity basketball coach at Ozaukee High School, told the school district’s Buildings and Grounds Committee.

School officials said the source of many complaints is the construction that has occurred at the school, especially related to work on parking lots.

“I think what you’ve experienced has been a perfect storm” with construction forcing some people to gain access to school grounds by using the path, School Board President Brent Neis told Meyer. “I expect it will lighten up.”     

Meyer said he also is concerned that the district has begun construction on a parking lot just a few yards from his house.  

“We had an opportunity to create a path at virtually no cost,” district Supt. Dave Karrels said. “We have not determined a long-term plan. We put down crushed asphalt but nothing has moved forward with a parking lot.”

A master plan for future sports fields unveiled recently shows the path being used to access the fields and a nearby parking lot. Strohm said the school district needs to come to the village to finish the path.

“They need a building permit and we expect engineering and drainage drawings” because of the presence of wetlands, he said. “Any outside work needs to go to the Plan Commission and Architectural Review Board.”

Village and school officials plan to meet in the next few weeks.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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