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De Pere wants to update boat launches

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – Two boat launches in De Pere could get updates this year if the city receives two Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recreation grants.

The odds of it happening increased when the De Pere Common Council gave the OK Jan. 7 to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to apply for the grants.

The grants include a $5,000 matching grant for refurbishments at Perkofski Boat Launch and a $4,000 matching grant for upgrades at Fox Point Boat Launch.

Plans for Perkofski include repairing the damaged steel frame of one of the five steel-and-wood docks and replacing its wood parts with a recycled plastic decking material.

It should last longer than wood, said Marty Kosobucki, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.

The current wood decking, which is about 15 years old, is deteriorating and could present safety issues.

The cost estimate for the dock upgrades is $10,000.

Half the money would come from the city.

The project would start late next fall to avoid interfering with the summer boating season.

Located at 1500 Fort Howard Drive, Perkofski Boat Launch is near the Brown County Fairgrounds and the De Pere Ice Arena.

The 15-year-old special-use park was established in 2005 and named after Jerry Perkofski, who served as director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for many years.

The city plans on upgrading one boat launch per year, funding each with small grants from the DNR.

Alderman Scott Crevier asked about the rationale behind the incremental strategy and how long it would take.

Kosobucki said the smaller grants are easier to obtain than grants over $10,000, and the process goes faster.

Larger grants take longer, because the application process is more complex and the requirements more stringent, he said.

It will take about four years to finish the rest of the boat launches.

Enhancements to Fox Point Boat Launch are being called an expansion.

No acreage is being added; rather, Kosobucki said they want to add three sections of floating dock to cope better with high water levels in the Fox River, such as the area saw last year.

The estimated cost for the three floating dock sections at Fox Point is $8,000.

The 4.47-acre Fox Point, established in 1990, is located west of North Broadway, by Zesty’s.

In other news, the council approved the hiring of Daniel Lindstrom as development services director.

He takes the reins from Kim Flom, who left for a position as assistant city manager in McKinney, Texas.

Lindstrom most recently served as a principal planner and community development manager for Vierbicher Associates in Madison.

He has served as a community planner and zoning and sign administrator for several communities in the state and has experience with tax increment financing (TIF), said Mayor Mike Walsh.

Lindstrom worked in the planning department for the City of Green Bay from 2009-15, and served as the head coach of the De Pere High School girls swimming and diving team from 2010-15.

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