In a recent post, I referenced Milwaukee Journal Sentinel articles regarding Mark Neumann's efforts to stop the DNR from providing public, handicapped access to Moose Lake in Waukesha County.
Neumann would like us to believe that he tried to stop the DNR from purchasing property on Moose Lake simply because he wanted to save the taxpayers’ money. In a recent interview with WTDY Radio in Madison, Neumann tries to discredit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's account of the events that took place from 2001-2002.
"The people on the lake wanted to provide a public boat launch at no cost to the taxpayers and then charge a small fee for the maintenance and upkeep of the boat launch. So what was going to happen is there was going to be a boat launch there but instead of spending nearly a million dollars of the taxpayers' money on it, people on the lake were going to do it and open it to the public."
The facts support the newspaper's account which said:
"But surrounding homeowners objected to the perceived intrusion in their neighborhood. After first trying unsuccessfully to orchestrate their own purchase of the property, homeowners lobbied state lawmakers to block funding for the project."
Meeting minutes from the Moose Lake Area Association confirm that Neumann and his neighbors wanted to buy the property in order to prevent the public boat launch entirely. They were concerned that a public boat launch would negatively impact their property values and allow the wrong kinds of people to use the lake.
At no time did they express concern for taxpayers. In fact the only potential benefit they saw to the DNR plan was that the DNR would pay for their upkeep!
MLAA FALL MEETING Fall September 19, 2001 Meeting Minutes
Boat Launch – Larry Schmidt and Ray Grosch reported that Greg Jackson has given the DNR an option to buy his property that is effective through January 31, 2002. Larry and Ray approached Greg and told him they would be willing to give him $25,000 more than the DNR price, but have not received a response.
They reported that the DNR plans to develop the land, creating retention ponds, 5 car-boat trailer parking stalls, 1 handicapped stall, and 5 car stalls, adding restrooms, a handicapped access fishing pier and possibly upgrading of the boat launch itself. The launch will be unmanned, and the Town will not police it. Their concerns are:
Ø Additional boats will create an increased safety problem
Ø People coming on the lake do not “take care of” it when they are here
Ø Concern that it may affect property values
What would be good about having the DNR on the lake is that they would help us manage the lake, i.e. help with such things as Watermilfoil treatments.
Larry and Ray proposed that a group of lake residents raise the money needed to purchase the property from Greg Jackson.
- Option 1 – buy and develop the property; maybe put a new house on it.
- Option 2 – Buy and sell to someone else with an easement on the property to allow lake residents access to the boat launch.
A lot of discussion ensued. Mark Neumann and Tim Michelic volunteered to join the committee to work on the creation of a survey to the general membership. This survey would ask how much money each resident would be willing to contribute toward a fund to purchase the property.
The DNR will hold a Informational Meeting at the Merton Town Hall in North Lake onThursday, October 4, 2001 between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to explain the proposed project, listen to residents concerns and answer questions. PLEASE ATTEND.
What Else You Can Do: Until the end of January 2002, you can write to the DNR secretary, the Joint Finance Committee, the Governor, and the Natural Resources Board.
DNR Secretary, Darrell Bazzell, and DNR Regional Director, Gloria McCutcheon, can be reached at:
Southeast Region Headquarters
2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
PO Box 12436
Milwaukee, WI 53212-0436
Governor, Scott McCallum, can be reached at:
Office of the Governor
115 East, State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
Joint Finance Committee can be reached at:
Joint Committee on Finance
316 South, State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
Natural Resources Board, Trygve A. Solberg, Chair, can be reached at:
PO Box 50
Minocqua, WI 54548