Drowning Raises Questions Regarding Park Safety

Drowning Raises Questions Regarding Park Safety

Some Neenah residents want a fence built around Riverside Park - After 6-year-old Elijah Vanderhoof drowned in Lake Winnebago
NEENAH, WI. (WFRV-TV) - 

Riverside Park sits just feet from Lake Winnebago, and Tuesday's tragedy has some like Susie Taggert second-guessing the lack of a barrier between park and water.

        "I think that putting up a fence would be a good idea so that the kids won't get a chance to go near the water," she says. "If the parents would keep an eye on them that would help too but, I think if the fence was up, maybe we could keep better track of the kids."

Others like Melissa Garcia, say a fence isn't the answer.

        "That might give a barrier, but it's not going to totally prevent anything," she says. "There's water there."

The issue has made it's way to the Mayors office, where Dean Kaufert has been answering emails from concerned citizens. He says he's open to suggestions, but that a fence - like the one surrounding the Neenah Dam - isn't the answer.

        "It's probably not practical number one. We have literally miles of shoreline here in the City of Neenah," he says. "The unfortunate thing is a lot of the things we do all across the state of Wisconsin are near water."

Kaufert says an accident like this hasn't happened in decades, but that it should catch the attention of nearby parents.

        "We just have to be diligent as adults as citizens," he says. "We've got to keep our eyes open, we've got to watch out for our neighbors. One of these is too many, and today's a tough day."

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