A controversial proposal to build a new shelter in Torpy Park has moved forward, but the project is not yet a done deal.
In a unanimous decision, Minocqua’s town board on Tuesday night endorsed a plan to construct a 30-by-80-foot shelter in the southern end of the park, and allocate up to $50,000 for the project. Final approval of the plan is subject to a vote by town electors – action that is required under state law.
The initial shelter had been substantially larger – 56 by 96 feet – and would have required removal of up to 13 trees. But in response to citizens’ concerns, the town and the Minocqua Lions Club, which is helping pay for the shelter, scaled it down and modified its design.
Under the revised design approved on Tuesday, just one tree would have to be removed. Experts say that tree is in a state of decline.
No date has been set yet for when electors will vote to accept or reject the shelter, but such a vote cannot happen for at least two weeks, according to town Clerk Roben Haggart.
Also on Tuesday, the town board voted to delay a decision on whether to remove unhealthy trees in Torpy Park. Officials are waiting for guidance from a specialized forester.
A lawyer for the town's insurance company has advised that any hazardous trees in the park should be removed immediately.
Board action on what to do with problematic trees could come in the next two weeks.
The Lakeland Times will have more in Friday’s edition.