Council Makes No Decision On Lakeside Park Master Plan; Will Donors Keep $5.2m On Table?

The Council Meeting Wednesday night felt like you were trying to get your car out of snow drift. For the first ninety minutes, the conversation rocked back and forth between supporters speaking in favor of the Lakeside Park Master Plan, and opposition to mainly a bistro and multi-use building being placed on the lighthouse peninsula. Once Council began it’s discussion, you felt as though there was some traction, as Council member Arletta Allen brought a motion to the floor that included a Resolution and Agreement that would have fast-forwarded the project.

When that failed to get Council approval, City Manager Joe Moore presented an alternative plan, that basically included the nuts and bolts of the Agreement put forth by Allen, but took out a few items that Moore said were needed in order to get City backing on any version of the Binding Agreement put on the table. One of the key additions included the City earmarking $5.2 million towards the Lakeside Park project, matching the money that has been offered by the business donor group. And at that point, you felt there was some traction. But when all was said and done, the only things accomplished were Council President Brian Kolsted telling everyone that this project would move forward, and Council Member Donna Richards making a motion to have council reconvene, ideally within a week or so, to have further discussion on the matter.

The big question now is, with a donor deadline that was basically set to expire last night, will the business group keep the funding on the table? Or will they collect their funds and move on to other projects? At this point, no one really knows.