MILWAUKEE – Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez is calling on Milwaukee County to apply for funding from Governor Tony Evers’s Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program to address critical capital projects at the Mitchell Park Domes. The governor announced the Neighborhood Investment Fund on August 24, specifically noting that local governments can apply for funding for “new and improved facilities.”
“The Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program could have a dramatic impact on the backlog of local projects and help launch innovative new programs for underserved communities,” said Supervisor Ortiz-Velez. “For Milwaukee County, it is imperative that we consider all available funding options for restoring and improving the Mitchell Park Domes, including this grant program.”
The County Board formally established that it is Milwaukee County’s policy to repair and preserve the Domes in 2016. Based on this policy position the County Board created the Domes Task Force, which recommended a restoration plan in 2019. The County Board has not formally adopted the task force’s restoration plan.
Because of Milwaukee County’s revenue crisis, finding viable long-term funding sources for the Domes is urgently needed. The Neighborhood Investment Fund grant would be a step towards completing the urgent repairs needed at the Domes.
Securing funding for the Mitchell Park Domes could help the County make progress on its goal of achieving racial equity and becoming the healthiest county in the state. The Domes are a unique cultural amenity that contributes positively to the mental health and overall wellness of visitors as a place of respite and reflection.
Many visitors to the Domes are from the surrounding Clarke Square Neighborhood, which has a population that is 70% Latinx, a 42% poverty rate, and has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.