Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:27
Construction stalls as village awaits state OK for work in wetlands
Busy work schedules and regulatory red tape have stalled progress on the Village of Fredonia’s disc golf course in Marie Kraus Park.
The village’s Parks Committee learned last month that installation of tee pads, used to mark the start of each hole, will not be completed this year.
A tentative plan called for the installation of the tee pads last month.
Public Works Director Roger Strohm said the primary obstacle is a review by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, that is required because part of the disc golf course is thought to be in wetlands.
A DNR permit is expected to be required for the erection of several bridges on the course as well as any other construction.
“Once we get a wetland delineation done, we’ll find out if any of the holes are actually in a wetland,” Strohm said.
“The way things are going, I don’t foresee this getting done this year.”
Although much of the construction work on the course is being done by volunteers, Strohm said, village workers have been unable to lend a hand because they are tied up with tasks related to the reconstruction of Fredonia Avenue.
Trustee Jill Bertram, chairman of the Parks Committee, said timing is a touchy issue.
Bertram said the village cannot start charging for play until the course is complete. In addition, disc golf supporters have said they would like to hold a tournament on the course next year.
Still, she said, optimism about the project is running high.
“The desire is to just keep moving forward,” Bertram said.
It is frustrating to have progress on the recreational facility hampered by a state agency that is supposed to encourage outdoor activity, she said.
“It would be nice if we didn’t have to jump through so many hoops. They are making it more difficult than it really needs to be,” Bertram said.
“This isn’t something that is going to be detrimental to the land.”
Community support for the course has been strong. Local companies Badger Paperboard and Guy & O’Neill have made cash donations for the course, and a resident has offered to donate a drop box for lost-and-found items and donations.
The disc golf course has been in the planning stage since 2011.
The committee also talked about the need to update its Parks and Recreation Plan by next year if it wants to remain eligible for DNR grants.
The plans are supposed to be updated every five years, but officials felt the village plan hasn’t had a major rewriting for at least 10 years.
Strohm said if an engineering firm is hired to prepare a new plan, it would probably cost about $10,000.
“We would get a fresh look at what we have and how we measure up against the various park benchmarks,” he said.
The committee agreed to recommend funding for a parks plan be included in the 2016 budget.