(Mayville) Organizers with the Gold Star Memorial Trail are looking to the Dodge County Board to help chip away a cost overrun in the first phase of the project. 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. 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 last spring.
Dodge County Land Resources and Parks Department Director Bill Ehlenbeck says the cost-overrun was initially $250-thousand dollars because 500-feet of boardwalk were required by the state through a wetland area. He says they were able to eliminate that part of the project in thanks to support from several state agencies. He says the Department of Natural Resources, US Army Corp of Engineers and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation assisted with alignment modifications that would allow the trail to go through the wetland areas without the need for boardwalks. Ehlenbeck says they were able to demonstrate that the original plans would not be economically feasible.
Despite trimming most of the cost overrun, the project is still facing a $94-thousand-dollar shortfall. During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Ehlenbeck says his department has unused expenditures from their 2017 county budget that could cover the remaining deficit. He says a combination of staff adjustments, retirements, and reorganization of positions as well as increased park revenues resulted in the available expenditures. Ehlenbeck says organizers are hoping the county board will approve a resolution to use those funds. The county board will vote on the matter this Wednesday.
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.