Janesville50.5°

Milton, YMCA take first steps toward formal park agreement

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Stacy Vogel
May 21, 2008
— After a year and a half of informal discussions and study, the city of Milton and the YMCA might be ready to start formalizing an agreement to develop Crossridge Park.

The city and the YMCA of Northern Rock County in November 2006 released a conceptual design for the 43-acre park. The design from Angus-Young Associates included:


-- A YMCA building to be built in stages.


-- Baseball, soccer and football fields.


-- A horseshoe pit.


-- A skateboard park.


-- A Frisbee golf course.


-- Large and small playgrounds.


That preliminary design hasn’t changed, but city staff members have needed time to study the specifics such a plan would require, City Administrator Todd Schmidt said. The two groups will have to agree on funding, design, facility use and land ownership before building the park.


Monday, the Milton City Council took the first step toward a formal agreement by agreeing in closed session on terms for a possible sale of Crossridge Park land to the YMCA, Schmidt said.


The original plan called for the city to retain ownership of the park, but the YMCA needs to buy land to show potential donors it’s committed to the project, said Tom Den Boer, CEO.


The YMCA is interested in buying land for the building and renting the rest of the park, he said.


The property was appraised in June at $17,500 an acre, Schmidt said.


After the two groups agree on a land purchase, they can turn to other questions, such as how facilities would be shared and who would be responsible for maintenance, Schmidt said.


The total plan for the YMCA building would cost $13 million to $15 million, including a competition pool and a family activity pool, Den Boer said.


But the group initially would build a simpler building that costing $6 million or $7 million, he said. If the Milton School District decides to build a competition pool, the YMCA probably wouldn’t build one, he said.


The YMCA has enough money to buy the land and believes it can get funding for the base building once it buys the land, Den Boer said.


The YMCA could build the base building in 18 to 24 months once it has the land and funding, Den Boer said.


Schmidt wouldn’t hazard a guess as to when the park might actually be constructed. He wouldn’t be surprised if it took another four to five months to finalize sale terms, he said.


The project could have a huge impact on the community if it works out, he said.


“When you’re doing decisions that could have that much of a positive impact, you want to make sure you do it right,” he said. “Personally, I wish it was built today.”



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