Fox Point’s $1.1 Million “Footbridge to Nowhere”
Fox Point resident, Larry Booth, gives his two-cents on the controversial Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge.
At the same time the Village of Fox Point is talking about cutting back on essential services and infrastructure, the Village Board has authorized spending up to $1.1 million of taxpayer money to rebuild an unused and unneeded FOOTBRIDGE.
That $1.1 million price tag was 44 percent of the village’s ENTIRE 2012 capital budget. In other words, the board authorized spending nearly as much on a single footbridge as it has on all of the critical road, sanitary sewer and stormwater improvement projects in the village.
That enormous price tag is not the only problem with this project:
- The existing footbridge was built nearly a century ago to meet a need that no longer exists (to provide access to a long-gone country club north of the bridge).
- Only a handful of residents have ever used this footbridge (or ever will) because it’s in a very exclusive neighborhood east of Lake Drive --- at the end of a secluded dead-end street.
- Rebuilding the footbridge will do nothing to improve the livability of the village or the well-being of its residents. It will, in fact, have a negative impact on residents by increasing taxes and diverting scarce resources from much more important projects like roads and sewers.
And the $1.1 million is not the only cost to taxpayers. The village is paying two engineering firms $142,000 to develop proposals for the footbridge. Taxpayers are also paying interest on the $1.1 million loan equaling about $31,000 in the first year alone.
One of the most puzzling things about this project is the fact the Village Board has never taken a formal vote on whether spending $1.1 million on a footbridge is a wise use of taxpayer money. At the Village Board’s February meeting, the Village President even denied a resident’s request to have the Board vote in public on the matter. This raises two troubling questions:
Why is the Board President blocking a vote on this crucial issue and why is no one else on the Board speaking up?
If you agree a $1.1 million footbridge is a waste of YOUR money, join us at the Village Board’s public meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, at the Fox Point Village Hall. We need to send a clear message to our elected officials: Stop squandering our hard-earned money on ridiculous projects like this.