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Lois Aubinger Park won’t be renamed

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – Lois Aubinger Park won’t be renamed after a motion to do so Tuesday, July 23, by Trustee Gary Paul died for a lack of a second.

The matter was on the village board’s agenda after the Parks and Recreation Board voted a week earlier in favor of renaming the park as Aubinger Park, in recognition of the entire Aubinger family.

Village President Mary Kardoskee said she and Rex Mehlberg, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, had a few phone calls the day of the village board meeting about the proposal to rename the park, which is located at the southeast corner of South Ridge Road and Marvelle Lane, also the site of a water tower, playground area, picnic tables and an open air shelter.

“I know this was approved at (the) park board last week – the renaming of the park to either Aubinger Park or Aubinger Family Park,” Kardoskee said. “Rex reached out to Annette Aubinger, and she did send an email that she would really prefer that the park remain Lois Aubinger Park. She felt that Lois did a lot for our community.”

The Parks and Recreation Board favored renaming the park to also honor former Village President Mike Aubinger, the son of Lois Aubinger and husband of Annette Aubinger, who passed away in 2017.

Last year, the Green Bay Packers designated a road in the Titletown District off of South Ridge Road between Lodge Kohler and Kroll’s West as Mike Aubinger Way.

Mehlberg said both Mike and Lois Aubinger “are well known in the community and have done a world of good for Ashwaubenon,” but in this situation where the surviving spouse feels strongly about not renaming the park, he would be inclined to keeping the name of Lois Aubinger Park.

“We’re fine whatever way we go with this because Lois is worthy, Mike is worthy, but if Annette feels that Lois should be the one recognized, as was originally planned, then we’re fine with that, too,” Mehlberg said.

Paul said the idea of renaming the park either Aubinger Park or Aubinger Family Park came up “because the Aubingers have done a lot in this community, past and present, including their spouses that were with them.”

“Lois Aubinger herself is somebody that, if you’re… an older person of the community, you realize who she is and what she’s done,” Paul said. “The younger community that we’re working with, they don’t know her, but they all knew Mike.”

Trustee Mark Williams, who chairs the Parks and Recreation Board, said he didn’t want to make whether or not to rename the park a contentious issue.

“Lois did her part starting the park department and the park system for Ashwaubenon, doing a lot that way,” Williams said. “Mike has a street named after him on Ridge Road as well. They’ve both been recognized by the community already.”

Paul said former Village President Ted Pamperin, who backed the initial effort to rename the park from Tower Park to Lois Aubinger Park, said he had no problem with the name change now being proposed.

Trustee Chris Zirbel said he voted on the Parks and Recreation Board in favoring in renaming the park to forward the matter for further consideration by the village board.

“I’ve got no problem with either (name),” Zirbel said. “Once you bring Annette into the mix, that pulls a little bit of weight.”

Kardoskee said she also doesn’t have a problem renaming the park, if the board would choose to do so, but when Annette Aubinger stated the park’s current name should remain, “I will have to support Annette in that decision.”

“She is the Aubinger that is left, and I wouldn’t want to go against what her wishes were,” Kardoskee said.

Smith Park pathway

The village board approved the low bid of $20,160 from Quinn and Sons Concrete for a pathway extension to increase ADA accessibility throughout Smith Park.

Currently, the pathway starts at Shady Lane and allows ADA access only to the shelter and playground.

The extension will connect the current pathway to View Lane and the tennis courts.

In addition, an extension off the current pathway to the drinking fountain will replace the current crusher dust pathway.

The pathway extension has been budgeted for $19,000. An additional $1,160 will come from the park maintenance budget.

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