Council hears more Fowler Lake discussion
Pro-project speakers dominate latest council meeting

By Dave Fidlin - News Graphic Correspondent

Oct. 23, 2014

OCONOMOWOC ó The Fowler Lake Village debate continued at the regular meeting of the Oconomowoc Common Council on Tuesday night, but for the first time those speaking in favor of the project outnumbered those speaking against it.

The public comments session lasted over an hour and included petitioners representing both sides of the Fowler Lake Village debate. However, for the first time, a majority of them expressed a favorable opinion of the project. The group included prospective buyers, downtown business owners and potential neighbors.

The projectís developer, Jeff Seymour, made a presentation explaining the project in greater detail and talked about his role in it. He said he has always been motivated by making communities better, something he said is proven by his work in Waukesha, which includes fostering an arts scene and receiving two keys to the city.

The meeting also included a brief discussion about the placement of the Fowler Lake boat launch if the development were to be built, a primary concern expressed by many opposed to the project.

The plan discussed would place the launch just 50 feet to the east of its current location.

The launch would sit just west of the green space near St. Paulís church. Per Department of Natural Resources regulations, five parking spots would be required for boat trailers. But Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry John Kelliher said the guidelines give about a quarter-mile radius in which the spaces could be designated.

The council also approved a $267,450 purchase of a new generator for City Hall. The price tag includes some renovation work on the building to house the new generator, which is too large to fit into the old space.

Mayor Jim Daley said he was at first shocked and dismayed by the price tag, but that when the Public Services Committee members explained the need and framed the cost as a long-term insurance policy he understood its importance.

The increase in capacity and size is necessary, Alderman Mike Nold said, because there are increased critical systems that run on electricity. The last generator was bought 30 years ago.

In other business:

■ The council approved a first reading of an ordinance that would remove a two-acre section of land from the Oconomowoc School apartments property for development as an elder care facility.

■ The council approved the final plat for the Pine Ridge Estates Subdivision.