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Lakefront Project Takes Another Step

The Oak Creek Common Council approved contracts for bluff stabilization and stormwater management work, two of many aspects in the battle to open up the city's lakefront.

Oak Creek continues to plug away at its quest to get the city's lakefront opened up for public use.

Contracts for work that will address concerns with stormwater management and bluff stabilizaton — two of the many challenges in the lakefront battle — were approved by city officials this month. The city will pay JJR $116,700 for bluff stabilization and $119,000 for a stormwater master plan services agreement.

The latter contract hinges on receiving a grant to will cover $83,000 of the city's cost. City Administrator Gerald Peterson said Oak Creek expects to get that grant, but it likely won't be finalized until December, which could delay some of the work longer than the city would like.

Grants could also cover up to $22,000 in costs for the stabilization contract.

The city budgeted $1 million for lakefront redevelopment work in 2012. That money comes from public utility aid the city gets from hosting the We Energies power plant.

City officials are actively pursuing grants in both the lakefront and Delphi redevelopment projects, Mayor Steve Scaffidi said. Oak Creek has received more than $1 million for the Delphi site and is on its way to the $1 million mark for the lakefront.

Officials say they want to leverage city money with funding from the state and federal government, as well as private sources.

Both contracts are steps in improving Oak Creek residents' access to Lake Michigan, Scaffidi said.

"It has to be done if we ever want to open that area up for development, and for the public to actually have access to 260-plus acres on our lakefront," he said.

The area is just north of Bender Park and has been vacant for decades, with former factories long-shuttered.

The city has said a public park will be the first component of a years-long redevelopment project to be constructed, which could happen in 2013.

Plans call for a mix of residential, retail, commercial and public space at the site. A new road will also be built to connect Fifth Avenue, which borders the redevelopment area, with Highway 100.

vocal local 1 September 21, 2012 at 10:24 PM
No, expensive lake bluff stabilization and extension of HWY 100 to American Ave. (a road to nowhere) doesn't have to be done and shouldn't be done until the city has all of the landowners of the 260 acres on board. The owners of Wabash and Hynite are not in agreement with the council on development. The two properties sit between the cities planned development on DuPont and Wis Park's Peter Cooper site. The city wants to waste $235,000 on another developmental plan. How much will the actually work cost? They don't tell us this number and will claim they don't have any idea without another study. This council sure knows how to waste tax payer dollars with developmental plans that never materialize.
hermann September 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM
At least the traffic won't be going by your house local 1.
vocal local 1 September 23, 2012 at 09:29 AM
Well, that may be true hermann but what traffic are we talking about? Reportedly, Wisc Park is putting up an office park on 1/2 of the Peter Cooper site. The other 1/2 the city will stablize the cliffs and create a Lincoln Memorial Drive like public access. The owner's of Hynite wanted to develop Condo's. Wabash doesn't see enough profit to do anything considering the cost of stablization and brown field clean up. Also, the cities water intake site tested positive for industrial chemicals thus the need for more expensive clean up on the tax dime. In addition, there is the costly undeveloped main sewer stub extension on American that has to serve the southeast side and is necessary for phase two development of the bluffs, the condo's, running from Fitzsimmons to Oakwood. Again more public money cost as neither Milwaukee County or We Energies will pay for the large portion of installation when it crosses Bender Park and the We Energies utility access property. Further, no parties have stepped up to the plate as interested tenants. All the expensive planned develop costs in the existing economy to market OC doesn't sound lucrative to me. 200 foreclosed properties in OC and a rise in unpaid taxes. No one wants to come here so why is the city pushing the project? Remember, Bolendar and Toman wanted to put city hall on the Dupont site, a new High School on a WWII munitions site? Our friendly federal agency, Fema won't release the records and Dupont Chemicals couldn't wait to dump.

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