Downtown Mukwonago strategic plan completed
Board to consider committee’s recommendations; officials urge community to stay involved

By Brandon Anderegg

May 31, 2018

With a drafted strategic plan soon to be reviewed by the Village Board, a few changes may be on the horizon for Mukwonago’s downtown.
Submitted photo

MUKWONAGO — The Downtown Strategic Plan Steering Committee has drafted a strategic plan consisting of recommendations to be considered by the Village Board at a June 20 board meeting, said Jason Wamser, village trustee and chairman of the DSPSC.

In 2017, the DSPSC was created as an advisory committee comprised of property owners, public officials, community members and stakeholders tasked with developing a strategic plan for the enhancement of downtown Mukwonago.

The mission of the DSPSC is to make the downtown a pedestrian-friendly destination centered on historic preservation, business development and cultural and recreational opportunities, according to the DSPSC website.
 

Recommendations

The strategic plan categorizes recommendations in two tiers with the first having priority and a timeline of one to two years, Wamser said. With a total of six first tier recommendations, the top four include developing a roadway design and streetscaping enhancement plan, adopting a trucking route ordinance that would circumvent traffic from downtown Mukwonago, creating opportunities in community spaces to encourage activities as well as re-establishing a historic preservation committee, according to the strategic plan.

The tier two list consists of investing in pedestrian safety features, developing a design plan focused on exterior building improvements and roadway design and promoting the collaboration between Mukwonago’s public library, the Red Brick Museum and the Wisconsin Historical Society for events and programming. These recommendations have an approximately four-year timeline, Wamser said.

The recommendations are for the most part based on a review of historical downtown plans, discussions by previous committees and advisory groups, community e-survey results, and feedback received during the 2018 Open House, he said.

“We adjusted our discussion and direction to match the public intent,” Wamser said. “I wouldn’t say we did 100 percent, but we did so where it made sense, deviating from our assumed direction.”
 

Next steps

The committee’s findings are a wide collection of community ideas and input, Wamser added. And while the process has been successful, now it’s time to see the plan through, he said.

“I’m here to see implementation,” Wamser said. “We talked smart, now we have to act smart.”

Some recommendations may come sooner, such as crosswalk safety features, which are already in the works, Mukwonago Police Chief Kevin Schmidt told a Freeman reporter. Village Economic Director John Weidl added that the village attorney is in the process of drafting the trucking route ordinance.

Other recommendations, however, are not set in stone and require more discussion. This also means that the timeline for recommendations could vary, Weidl said.

“We’re going to try to stick to it as best as possible,” he said. “But opportunities arise and there could be an opportunity for funding today that won’t exist in the future. We’re going to have to be realistic and flexible with it.”

But Weidl is somewhat wary that the plan steering committee’s initiative may lose momentum if community members and village officials don’t step forward. Money and time will need to be set aside, and staff can’t take on the recommendations themselves, he said.

“If the community doesn’t stay focused and more importantly involved, some of these things might not happen,” Weidl said.

Throughout the process, committee members encourage property owners to think about the elements of the plan they can directly impact, such as installing bike racks, undertaking building facade improvements, and encouraging the Highway 83 jurisdictional transfer.

In the meantime, stakeholders throughout Mukwonago can continue to voice their opinions and support for the village’s initiatives to make the downtown pedestrian-friendly and historically significant, according to the strategic plan.

For more information on the strategic plan and a complete set of recommendations, visit www.villageofmukwonago.com and under the agenda and minutes tab, click the May 24 e-packet under Downtown Strategic Plan Steering Committee.