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Softball families, homeowners disagree on location of new detention pond

Posted at 7:28 AM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 08:28:18-05

ALLOUEZ (NBC 26) — The Village of Allouez plans to build a storm water detention pond in or around Riverview Park, and the location is causing controversy among residents.

  • The Village Board is considering four options of where to a place the pond
  • Dozens of community members attended Tuesday's board meeting to oppose two of the options
  • Some homeowners who live near the park say one of the options is too close to their backyards, and that it would be dangerous and reduce property value
  • The board decided to table the issue and research a new fifth option, which would put the pond in the northwest corner of the park

After two-and-a-half hours of discussions and public comment Tuesday night, there’s still no resolution to the on-going debate of where to put a new detention pond.
The Village Board was considering four options of where to a place a stormwater detention pond.

Two of the options would involve removing two softball fields — which dozens in the crown spoke to oppose, including Damien Doufek and his daughter.

"Field time is hard to find around Green Bay area right now," said Doufek, a board member for Allouez Girls Softball. "Fields are booked up — there's a lot of people looking at fields, baseball and softball. So it's going to have a huge impact. If we have to turn girls away, nobody's going to feel good about that."

"If we lose two of our fields, we lose dreams," Reagan Doufek said.

Some homeowners near Riverview Park are on the other side, saying not to put the pond near their houses because it could be an eyesore and safety hazard

"You are asking of us — that's our view, 365 days a year — that's what you're asking of us," Amy Pagel said. "I think that's a way more huge sacrifice."

The board decided to table the issue and research a new fifth option, which would put the pond in the northwest corner of the park.

Earlier in the day, we spoke with other stakeholders on the issue. The vice president of Allouez Girls Softball, Mary Rose Orcutt, said the potential loss of the fields would be devastating to the community.

"We feel like this has been our home for the last 40 years, so we're hoping not to lose any fields," Orcutt said.

Another neighbor who lives near the park reiterated safety concerns about the option that .

"The drowning accidents are so scary," Kelly Seefeldt said. We all have kids around here. We know how important things like this are to our community, but we're looking at the safety of our families as well.

Seefeldt prefers one of the options that move the field further from Riviera Rue.

Allouez girls softball thinks losing the fields is a greater cost, says their game schedule would be stunted.

The Village staff says the pond has get built, one way or another, to appease Department of Natural Resources storm water quality requirements.

The public works director, Sean Gehin, says there are three main factors for the Village when choosing where to put the pond.

"Coming to a compromise, number one," Gehin said. "Two, constructability. And then three, cost."