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Fond du Lac budget includes changes to Lakeside Park

Dog park at Lakeside Park West
Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 18:51:57-05

FOND DU LAC — The Fond du Lac City Council recently passed their 2023 budget, which includes money for the 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan.

The plan will cost over $164 million over the next four years. Costs vary by year, and range from $30 million in 2026 to more than $40 million in 2023.

Among other things, it will feature funding for the wastewater treatment plant, police department renovations, and improvements to Lakeside Park.

City Council Member Kenneth Cassaday was the lone “no” vote to the plan.

He said that is because of the $1.8 million that would go toward building a bridge from Lakeside Park to Lakeside Park West.

“This is what I see is that it's an expense that is not necessary, and it will probably would be best put off at least [until] later when there's more attractions I'll say in the west side of the park, where there's really nothing over there,” Cassaday said.

City Manager Joe Moore agrees that Lakeside Park West doesn’t get much use from city residents compared to the east park, but believes the bridge could change that.

Right now, someone starting along the walking trail in Lakeside Park would have to walk about 50 minutes, including along a busy portion along the highway, to get to Lakeside Park West.

“So the pedestrian bridge will connect the two of those and I think it will make for a lot more use of Lakeside Park West,” Moore said.

But city officials have differing views on whether this would ultimately benefit the public.

“I went around and purposely asked probably 15 or so people and not one of them wanted that bridge, not one of them,” Cassaday said.

Others at the city believe it will enhance the city’s overall appeal.

“I think that all these recreational amenities make a big difference in a very positive way when somebody's considering where they want to live,” Moore said.

The city is already building a boardwalk into the marsh at Lakeside Park West with an observation deck.

“It's an amenity and Lakeside Park West we've never had before and it's going to be very nice,” Moore said.

The measure passed, and Moore said the project will begin in the spring and be completed by the end of the summer.

Meet Margaret Cahill: NBC 26's reporter in Fond du Lac!

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Margaret Cahill

1:39 PM, Jul 22, 2022
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