12/23/17 – The Gold Star Memorial Trail is looking at a mid-January deadline to raise a quarter-million dollars. The ten-foot wide paved trail – which would honor local fallen veterans – would initially extend two-miles from Mayville’s Theiler Park to the Horicon Marsh Visitor Center, running along County Highway TW and State Highway 28. A Gold Star Family is the name given to those who have lost a loved one while defending our country. The Friends of Dodge County Parks successfully raised $650-thousand dollars for the first phase by a December 31, 2016 deadline but learned about unexpected expenses during the design phase this spring. It was determined that four boardwalks would need to be built on the trail in wetland areas and a rock retaining wall would need to be built along part of the trail on State Highway 28 to ensure that it would not be washed out during large rains. As soon as the state approved the permits, the project was put out to bid. Eight contractors bid but all of the bids came in higher than originally estimated. The bids ranged from just under $825-thousand dollars to over two-million-dollars. The low bid of $825-thousand came from Woleske Construction in Beaver Dam and is set to expire on January 15. Dodge County Land Resources and Parks Director Bill Ehlenbeck says if the Friends group is unable to raise the necessary funds before the bid expires, the project will need to be rebid at a later date when additional funds are raised, either through donations, or additional grants. Future phases of the project would bring the Gold Star Memorial Trail to Horicon and then eventually Beaver Dam. The Friends group maintains separate fund accounting for each phase of the project, so Ehlenbeck says it’s never too early to contribute to the future phases. However, he says fundraising and completion of phase one is critical to the entire project.
Material donations and volunteer interests should be directed to Glenn Daily, President of the Friends of Dodge County Parks, Inc., at [email protected] or via call or text to 262-370-3224.
Monetary donations will be accepted by check payable to: Friends of Dodge County Parks Inc. c/o Gold Star Memorial Trail, P.O. Box 72, Juneau, WI 53039.
The Dodge County Land Resources and Parks Department can be contacted with questions or information requests regarding the Gold Star Memorial Trail at [email protected] or 920-386-3700.