There are two sides to every piece of playground equipment, and every story.
The Fennimore Common Council heard from several neighbors of Fennimore’s Foxmoor Park last September, who voiced their displeasure with the idea of playground equipment being placed in the park.
While April showers lead to May flowers, the Council heard from two city residents who are in favor of playground equipment being placed in the park during a meeting held Monday evening, April 25.
“After I found out the playground equipment wasn’t going to go in the park I was pretty disappointed,” said Jamie Birchman, a Wilson Street resident. “When I had heard it was going in there, I was pretty excited.”
Thirteen neighbors of Foxmoor Park attended a Sept. 24 meeting of the Council, which began at the park.
“None of us want this here,” Corrina Friederick told the Council last September. “None of us.”
After hearing the concerns of Friederick and others, the Council chose not to take action regarding the placement of the playground equipment.
“The next week [after the September meeting] I was around town and it wasn’t even me bringing it up, I just heard a lot of people saying they were really disappointed that the playground equipment wasn’t going in there,” Birchman said. “We started asking around if there was anything we could do to move forward in getting the playground equipment in the park.”
Amanda Jahnke and Birchman created a petition requesting the playground equipment be placed in Foxmoor Park. Within a few days, 94 signatures were collected.
“I think about 75 percent of the signatures are within about three or four blocks vicinity of the park. Those people in that neighborhood would really like to see the equipment there.”
The playground equipment in question was donated by Hardee’s. The Kiwanis Club of Fennimore has offered to partner with the city to pay for installation costs of the equipment.
Kiwanis Club of Fennimore members Mark Strohbusch and Douglas Daechsel were among those in attendance at Monday night’s meeting.
“We are willing to take whatever role is necessary for this,” said Strohbusch, Club president. “We obviously are not rabble-rousers and don’t try to make trouble.
“We really do, like you, want to know what the people want. If it is something the people want, we want to be part of it. If they don’t, then so be it.”
A 30’ x 50’ area in Foxmoor Park was previously identified as a possible home for the playground equipment by former Director of Public Works John Murphy. The area is on the east side of the creek that runs through the park.
Mayor Charles Stenner told those in attendance a public hearing on the matter will be held on Monday, May 13 at 6 p.m. All interested parties are welcome to attend and share their opinion.
“We are headed in the right direction now,” alderperson Sara Brodt said. “People will have their opportunity to speak to the issues.”
Scott Lang attended the meeting last September and also was in attendance Monday night. He asked if the petition was read by and explained to those who signed it.
Lang explained he was told by one petitioner that they did not read the petition before signing it.
Another audience member stated he was told potential petitioners were “badgered,” which was disputed by Deborah Fuerstenberg.
“This is what we have a hearing for,” Stenner said. “What side anybody is on in this room right now is immaterial.”
Prior to the meeting coming to a close, the Council approved the resignation of Board of Review member Patti Hafner. She and her husband, Gary, have sold their home and will be moving to Missouri in an effort to be closer to family.
“It is with sadness we leave this wonderful corner of Wisconsin that has been a peaceful, safe and beautiful place to live,” Patti wrote in her letter of resignation. “We will dearly miss the good people of this city.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I’m sure you will find a suitable replacement soon.”
A suitable replacement has been found in former Council member Mark Schoepp. The Council unanimously approved Schoepp’s appointed to the Board of Review.