Opposition to Eagles Nest purchase surfaces with park damage
By Kevin Boneske
BROWN COUNTY – The damage sustained Thanksgiving weekend at the Bay Shore County Park boat launch and the cost to fix it is being pointed out to Brown County officials by those opposed to the county purchasing three parcels along Nicolet Drive for a safe harbor on the Bay of Green Bay.
The county is in the process of seeking grant money to purchase the 4.54-acre Eagles Nest restaurant and marina property with half of the money from a state grant and the other half from a federal grant, so that no tax levy dollars would have to be used for the county to acquire the property, said Parks Director Matt Kriese.
However, the county would be responsible for coming up with other funds for developing the site into a boat launch.
Upon the county acquiring the property, Kriese said input from those living near the Eagles Nest and others would be sought as to how to develop it, for which no design plans are currently in place.
A group of property owners along Nicolet Drive has been opposed to the county obtaining the site to develop a boat launch.
They say the property doesn’t meet the safe harbor requirements and is not needed as a marina.
Martin Webber, a Nicolet Drive Neighborhood Association member, wrote earlier this month to County Executive Troy Streckenback and all county board members urging them not to pursue the Eagles Nest purchase and instead focus on repairing the damage and expanding Bay Shore County Park as a boat launch facility.
“As you are all well aware, the Bay Shore ramp was destroyed by (the Dec. 1) storm which will now cost the taxpayers, at a very minimum, $1 million to repair,” Webber wrote. “Given this unfortunate situation, how one could even fathom spending taxpayer dollars on a new boat ramp is beyond comprehension. What makes sense is to expand Bay Shore, as planned, while repairs are being made to the existing ramp. We already own the land, make use of it.”
Kriese, who calls the $1 million figure for the amount of damage “not accurate,” said there currently is no specific estimate as to how much it will cost to make the repairs at Bay Shore County Park, where asphalt for the parking lot broke into pieces with the erosion and debris being washed upon the shore.
When asked about where the money would come from to make the repairs, Kriese said launch fee money could possibly be used along with alternative sources of funding for the Bay Shore County Park boat launch to reopen this spring.
As for the Eagles Nest site, County Board Chairman Patrick Moynihan Jr. said the board has yet to make a decision on whether to acquire the property, which will be dependent upon receiving grant money to do so.
Moynihan said the possible purchase of the site would have to come back to the board for approval.
The board passed a resolution in April authorizing the Parks Department to submit a grant application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources related to purchasing the land, which is now for sale and stands vacant.
Upon the county being awarded a grant, the remaining 50 percent acquisition cost and improvements would be borne by the county and/or additional donations and grants, according to the resolution.