Letter to the Editor: Village Board to Vote on Fox Point’s $1.9 Million “Footbridge to Nowhere”

Fox Point resident, Larry Booth, talks about the Village Board's possible vote on Tuesday and why he believes the Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge shouldn't be replaced.

If a small vocal group of people get their way, Fox Point taxpayers will now have to pay $1,917,000 for a useless “footbridge to nowhere."

This includes the new higher cost estimate of $1.75 million for construction, $142,000 in consulting fees and about $25,000 for legal fees and staff costs.   In a village of just 6,600 people, $1.9 million is an extraordinary and unprecedented expenditure of public money especially for something that is essentially a private footbridge used by only a handful of residents in a very exclusive neighborhood.

Consider this:  

  1. Every Fox Point taxpayer will end up paying an average of about $810 in additional property taxes for the footbridge.  
  2. A found that only 10 percent of the public want to rebuild the footbridge, 18 percent want it repaired, and 72 percent want it removed --- and that was before taxpayers were aware of the new $1.9 million cost estimate.
  3. No Parking signs and a village ordinance prevents parking anywhere within ¾ of a mile of the footbridge. This severely restricts the public’s access and for all practical purposes makes the footbridge a taxpayer-funded amenity for a very small number of people in that exclusive neighborhood.
  4. The only argument footbridge advocates have made to rebuild the structure is that it’s a wonderful place for them to look at the Fall leaves. Really?! Does that justify spending $1.9 million of taxpayer money? 

There are many other places in the village and surrounding communities to look at leaves --- and they won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

The Village Board will hear public comments and then vote on this matter at their Be there! This may be your last chance to stop this absurd waste of taxpayer money.  

Larry Booth
Fox Point

Jane Klein April 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Where is Mr. booth getting his numbers? He was at the last Village Board meeting where we were all told the cost to a taxpayer who owns a home valued at $300,000.00 will be $25.30 per year. Also, the cost to taxpayers is HALF of whatever the cost of replacement is because private donations will be raised to cover half the cost. There is already a group organized and ready to begin fundraising as soon as the project is officially underway. Mr. Booth's statements are INCORRECT.
Larry Booth April 06, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Mr. Klein; There are 2,597 taxpaying properties in Fox Point. The cost to rebuild the footbridge will total at least $1.9 million plus interest on $1.75 million at 2.844% annually. You do the math. Advocates like yourself keep saying half the cost will be raised. Really? You have had over two years to raise the money and not one cent has been raised.
Jane Klein April 07, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Donations cannot be accepted until the project is officially going ahead. The organization has been formed and is waiting to begin. The math of $25.30 per $300,000.00 of assessed value was presented at the last village board meeting and was published in a recent Patch article.
Larry Booth April 07, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Jane; These phantom donors you talk about have had more than two years to start a fund drive and pledge their contributions. They did not have to wait until the project begins to make a pledge. But not one dime has been pledged. The promice of hundreds of thousands in donations is nothing more than a hollow tactic to get the project going and then stick it to taxpayers.
Kathy Pykett April 09, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Please repair the roads! Have you driven down Whitney Rd? Kathy Pykett


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