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Village of Kronenwetter Community Development Director
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Village of Kronenwetter Community Development Director Randy Fifrick testified today in support of legislation to restore a municipality’s ability to use eminent domain to extend or build bike lanes and sidewalks. The legislation is Senate Bill 794 and is authored by Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton) and Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah). The bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs.
The Village of Kronenwetter has been working to develop a multi-use trail along Old Highway 51 in the Village since 2010. “The project has been full of many hurdles which have caused the Village to redesign the project multiple times in order to work with our partner landowners and meet the requirements associated with the Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement grant. After seven years of planning, the Village planned to build the project in the summer of 2018,” said Community Development Director Fifrick. He continued, “Unfortunately we hit another major road block last fall through the real estate acquisition process with this budget provision being slipped in last minute. This happened weeks before we were to begin real estate acquisition.”
Fifrick joined Curt Witynski, Deputy Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and City of Middleton Administrator Mike Davis in supporting the bill.
The bill was introduced at the request of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities to clarify a state budget amendment and allow cities and villages to extend current bike lanes and sidewalks and to provide for new facilities. As Witynski stated in his testimony, “Ironically, the Legislature is currently giving its blessing to spending millions to broadcast ads in Illinois to recruit millennials to our state, while at the same time tying the hands of communities trying to create walkable, bikeable environments that young people are looking for as places to live and raise their families.”