The Minocqua Plan Commission today recommended approval of a new shelter in Torpy Park that would be smaller than first proposed.
Under the latest plans, unveiled at Tuesday’s commission meeting, the shelter would be 30-feet wide by 80-feet long, have a shingle roof and would require removal of just one tree. That tree is in a state of decline, according to two tree experts. The shelter would also have a gable on each side of the roof and a concrete floor.
The commission’s action comes less than a month after public uproar over plans to remove up to 13 trees in the park to make space for a 56-by-96-foot shelter with a metal roof. The town proposed the new shelter, in partnership with the Minocqua Lions Club, to complement the existing historical pavilion in the park.
Surveyor Jimmy Rein said the redesigned shelter would likely be less expensive than the version initially proposed, which was estimated to cost around $100,000.
After lengthy discussion, the commission, an advisory panel to the town board, voted 6 to 1 to recommend that the town board approve the latest design.
Those who voted in support of the revised design said they appreciated that the town and the Lions Club were responsive to the public’s concerns.
“I think this achieves what everybody is looking for,” said commission member Gerry Inman.
Another member of the commission, town Chairperson Mark Hartzheim, said, “Now you have something that looks like it fits there.”
Commission member Joe Hegge voted against that action, noting that questions still remain about what will happen to other areas of the park.
The commission later sought authority from the town board to have purview over the entire park and to consider other improvements.
The town board will take up the commission’s recommendation to approve the shelter on Tuesday, June 3. Electors would ultimately have to give consent to build a new shelter.
Also on Tuesday, several citizens met with the commission to propose an alternative design for the shelter, one that would move it to the north end of the park. The citizens and commission members debated the merits of that proposal but did not reach agreement.
Jonathan Anderson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.