1-14-20 lakeside park development plan

A Fond du Lac city councilmember who is leading the effort to change the course for developing Lakeside Park says he believes there is momentum for the plan supported by a group of Fond du Lac business and industry leaders.  The plan to be unveiled at a public meeting next week will include what is described as an island amphitheater.  “The amphitheater is going to have capacity for thousands of people.  It will have parking accomodations that are already somewhat already built into Lakeside Park,”  Councilmember Ben Giles told WFDL news.   Giles the plan also includes locating a Fond du Lac History museum in the park.   “We really want to encapsulate the history of Fond du Lac and what has made Fond du Lac so special,”  Giles said.   Perhaps the most controversial part of the plan would be locating a restaurant, the business group is calling a Wharf Bistro,  in the park.  A restaurant was included among a  list of recommendations from a park exploratory committee,   but rejected by the advisory park board and city council following public opposition.  Giles says there is new interest in revisiting the issue.  “The landscape is changing,”  Giles told WFDL news.  “I know back then there were a lot of vocal people who came out and said maybe a restaurant isn’t what we want but we’ve also been hearing in the recommendations that a restaurant could be a good idea.”   Giles says the new plan calls for renovating the existing pavilion, instead of building new.  He says the business group will contribute to the new plan, but did not say what the total cost would be or how much taxpayers would be asked to fund.  “The private sector and community leaders have made it very clear that they’re interested in helping fund this endeavor.  Whether that be through phasing or through a development in 2021.  While the numbers aren’t out to the public right now we’ll get clarity in the next couple weeks as to how significant that investment will be,”  Giles said.   The public meeting will be held January 20.  The Advisory Park Board will review the new plan the following week.