Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 18:56
County officials abandon plan to use Fredonia site that also has gun range for deputies
It turns out a mountain bike park adjacent to a shooting range isn’t the most practical idea.
Just weeks after the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department identified 39 acres of county-owned land in the Town of Fredonia as a potential location for a mountain bike park, county officials quickly shot down a
proposal to use as much as 25 acres for the park.
The problem isn’t a mountain bike park, but where it would be located.
About eight acres in the northeast corner of the parcel, known as the Pinnacle site, are used by the Sheriff’s Department for a shooting range and by the Public Works
Department for equipment storage.
“We fully understood there were existing uses at the site and that’s why we didn’t consider it at first,” Planning and Parks
Director Andrew Struck told Public Works Committee members on Feb. 20. “We understand the potential safety issues and the Sheriff’s Department concern (of putting a park on the land).”
“This probably isn’t the best place for a park at this time.”
The issue now is what to do with a $30,000 grant the county was offered last year to develop a mountain bike park. The County Board has delayed accepting the grant until a suitable site can be found.
Struck said he has talked to the Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources to see if the grant money could be used for something other than a bike park.
The City of Port Washington recently approved a mountain bike park near the skate park off Moore Road and a mountain bike trail on Hales Trail near the Interurban Trail.
“It’s possible, but not necessarily likely, that we would be able to transfer the grant to the City of Port to develop its park, but we’ll explore that option,” Struck said. “We will also see if the grant money could be used for some other type of park, not necessarily related to mountain biking.”
The Port mountain bike trail is being developed and constructed by the Ozaukee County Mountain Bike Club.
This is the second setback for the mountain bike park plan. Initially, county officials had planned to use county land in the Town of Port Washington, but the sit was dropped from consideration in the face of local opposition.
The Pinnacle site has been identified as a future park in the county Park and Open Space Plan, but only after current operations on the land cease.
County Administrator Tom Meaux said the Public Safety Committee had “a lot of resistance because of the proximity to the shooting range and curiosity involved with young people.”
“There are other mountain bike areas in the process of being built or just having been built,” Meaux said. “We’re not sure if this is a good idea to pursue right now. In fact, you could argue that it is not a good idea.”
The Mountain Bike club has built and maintains Pleasant Valley Park in the Town of Cedarburg.
“The thought was raised of ‘Do we need another park right now?’ Potentially not,” Struck said. “It may be worthwhile to go with the two parks we have for now.”