The Fennimore Common Council’s Cemetery, Buildings, Property and Recreation Committee has chosen four potential locations for playground equipment in the Foxmoor Greenway area.
Members of the Committee visited Foxmoor Greenway during a meeting Wednesday evening, Sept. 9, to see firsthand where the playground equipment may be installed.
Logan O’Brien has expressed interest in coordinating the project for his Eagle Scout project. O’Brien, a freshman at Fennimore Middle/High School, will need to complete the project by the time he is 18 years old.
“He has to coordinate it,” said Fennimore Boy Scout Troop 76 leader Rob Rands. “He has to organize it, he has to make sure the funds are available. He has to get the people to work. Not necessarily does he have to do the work, but he has to make sure if the City says they are going to do the digging, he has coordinated that and who the contact person is. How much money is he going to spend? Where is the money coming from? He has to see it from one to the end.
“When he is done he has to write a report and take pictures of what he has accomplished. I don’t think it is a hard project for him, it just doesn’t happen overnight. It is up to you whether it is going to happen.”
The installation of playground equipment in Foxmoor Greenway was a hot topic in “The City on the Move” almost three years ago. When the Council met at the Greenway to consider a location for the equipment in September 2012, 13 neighbors attended and many voiced their displeasure.
When the Council weighed the matter again the following April, it received a petition signed by 94 individuals requesting the playground equipment be placed in Foxmoor Greenway.
A public hearing concerning the oft-discussed playground equipment was attended by 30 people in May 2013. The Council took no action on the matter.
One Greenway neighbor vowed during the public hearing to remove the playground equipment if it was installed near their home. Another claimed they would install a barbed-wire fence to keep children off their property.
The Cemetery, Buildings, Property and Recreation Committee voted unanimously in June 2013 to allow playground equipment installed in the Greenway, if funds for the purchase of new equipment were raised.
Not much was said of the project in the more than two years that followed until the Committee learned last month the Fennimore Kiwanis Club was willing to pledge $9,000 to the purchase of playground equipment. Two anonymous donors have also both pledged $3,000 to the purchase of playground equipment, the Committee learned Wednesday night.
Mayor Charles Stenner told the Committee on Aug. 13 of an area immediately south of 16th Street that could be home to the playground equipment. When the Committee met last week, that option was deemed not as favorable.
“You have to remember that it may not be just the playground equipment itself, but sometime maybe a shelter would want to be put up somewhere near it and everything,” Stenner said. “So that area very limits any type of expansion.”
Regardless, the option is one of four that will be inspected by Game Time, a manufacturer of playground equipment.
Additional sites to be considered are:
• an area west of 15th Street, near the existing Greenway walking path.
• an area west of 14th Street at the corner of Roosevelt Street.
• an area betweeen 15th Street and 16th Street.
Committee member Jessie Strack voiced her concern with the area west of 14th Street at the corner of Roosevelt Street.
“I am thinking of all the homes and children [to the south], that [the other options] would be more of a gathering spot,” she said. “I know it is not that much further, but it is.
“If you put it on paper you have the playground and the Arborvitae Park. So are you just going to keep bunching them up all in one area?”
Stenner replied the distance between the options is approximately 100 feet.
“It is a difference,” said Foxmoor neighborhood resident Amanda Jahnke. “I agree with Jessie.”
Committee members also weighed the access to nearby parking when discussing each option.
“People, don’t worry about parking because that is what you are going there for,” Stenner said.
“People are going to walk to the park,” Committee member Christine Schaefer said. “There are not that many people that drive to a park, really.”
Stenner cautioned the Committee last month the location of the playground equipment will likely be met with opposition,
regardless of where it is located, and spoke to that fact again last week.
“Something you all have to remember is this is a City park,” he said. “You have to do what is best for the City, not necessarily what is best for the neighbors.”
At the conclusion of the discussion, the Committee unanimously moved to recommend the Council accept the $9,000 donation from the Fennimore Kiwanis Club and the two $3,000 donations. The Council approved the donations during its semi-monthly meeting on Monday evening.
The Committee also visited Kramer Park, located between Kramer & Brownlee law office and the Fennimore Veterinary Clinic.
City personnel mow the grass in the Park and removes snow from the walking path in the winter months. Other landscaping maintenance done annually is minimal.
The Committee voted to recommend the Council approve continuing with maintenance of the Park. The Council concurred during its meeting Monday night.