Council Approves City Manager’s Additions To Capital Improvement Plan

The discussion on building a bridge connecting Lakeside Park East to Lakeside Park West took another step forward Wednesday night, as the Fond du Lac City Council unanimously approved adding funding to the 2022 Capital Improvement budget to include engineering and design work for the bridge.

The approval did not come without dissension though. Councilmember Arletta Allen stated the council needed to revisit the Alternative Master Plan that was on the table previously and included the addition of an ice rink and amphitheater among other items.

Fellow Councilman Ben Giles also questioned why council would “approve spending $200,000 to construct a $1.3 million bridge to nowhere” and suggested that Council take a step back and reevaluate moving forward on the bridge construction.

The plan to build the bridge has been in the works for nearly five years, and while there were some members of council that wanted to see the construction of the bridge moved up to 2022, City Manager Joe Moore said it would be almost impossible to add construction of that magnitude to the 2022 timetable. Moore said it would be his recommendation to add the design budget of $200,000 to the 2022 budget, with construction set for 2023. The plan to move the bridge forward was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Mr. Giles voting against.

Earlier in the evening, Mr. Moore informed Council that he was recommending adding an additional $200,000 to the Capital Improvement Plan for repair work on the Lighthouse located in Lakeside Park. Moore showed photos of the lighthouse that highlighted the extend of the water damage to the wooden frame. Mr. Moore said it was important to repair the damage now, correctly, rather than wait any longer.

Council recommended that the pavement resurfacing of Lighthouse Drive and the parking lot near the lighthouse be moved up to the 2022 budget. The estimated cost of that project is $210,000.

City Manager Moore also recommended that $50,000 be added to the 2022 budget for River District analysis, which council also approved.