Nelson Family Pavilion gets additional funding
BY LEE REINSCH
DE PERE — In a record-setting six-and-a-half-minute meeting, the De Pere Board of Park Commissioners got more done than many sessions of Congress put together.
New free community classes, more flexibility in the adult basketball league, a donation and an update on the future new home for concerts and other community activities at Voyageur Park topped the agenda last Thursday.
Plans for the future Nelson Family Pavilion at Voyageur Park are getting down to the last details, but they hit a few speed bumps over the past two years when new updated price quotes put construction costs over the initial estimates given to the board before the pandemic.
The project’s largest donor is contributing an additional $250,000 for the project on top of its initial donation of $500,000.
“We went to the Nelson Family Foundation and explained to them what has happened over the course of the year and a half with construction costs, and they have actually given an additional $250,000,” Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Marty Kosobucki said. “So their total donation going forward is $750,000.”
Kosobucki said cost estimates went up by around $500,000.
“We still need in the neighborhood of an additional $400,000 to $500,000,” Kosobucki said.
He said flyers recently went out to the community, businesses and potential donors.
It’s possible that some additional funding could come from American Rescue Package Act distributions expected in January, if the Common Council approves it, according to board of Park Commissioners Chair Randy Soquet.
Plans for the pavilion call for an indoor community space, restrooms, outdoor patio, furniture and equipment storage area and more.
In other business, the commissioners unanimously approved a drop-in pass for adult basketball.
The pass would help teams prevent forfeits by allowing for one-time players to join a game without having to commit to the whole season.
Any liability issues would be addressed through the sign-up process, which would be allowed onsite the night of a game.
According to the parks department, at a preseason meeting this year, several team managers said they were having trouble filling their rosters and were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to have enough players to make it through the whole season without having to forfeit.
In a memo to the board, Recreation Supervisor Chelsea Moberg addressed a few potential concerns that could pop up.
One concern was that teams would bring in ringers, or superior players, as drop-ins in an effort to affect their team’s standings.
To combat that, they’re limiting the number of drop-in players a team could use to two per week. In addition, drop-in players won’t be allowed during championship games.
Another concern she addressed was the potential for a loss in revenue. Moberg pointed out that enabling teams to allow fill-in players to pay piecemeal — $10 a game — would actually result in bringing in more money for the league, as the setup would allow people to play if they want to but just can’t commit to a whole season.
The Board of Park Commissioners also approved several wellness-oriented classes to be held this winter through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, in conjunction with Inner Dimensions Wellness of De Pere.
Classes include two Holiday De-Stress Meditation Sessions to be held in early December; monthly guided meditation sessions focusing on different aspects of wellness; meditative fusion, which combines meditation and yoga; and Cardio Gold, which focuses on active fitness.