BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – Nearly two years ago, the Brown County Parks Department expressed interest in purchasing a property to create a new boat launch. Now that idea is getting closer to reality.

The launch would be built at the former Eagle’s Nest restaurant location. The county board’s Education and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to recommend purchasing the building and land.

According to Brown County Parks, the Eagle’s Nest property has been appraised at just over $1 million. The county is acquirin the land to add to the other three boat launches that exist along the bay because the current ones aren’t meeting current needs.

“Water access is much more than just a boat landing, whether it’s a motorized craft or a non-motorized craft for kayakers, stand up paddleboards, canoers, and all those other uses that people tend to do near the water,” says Matt Kriese, director of Brown County Parks.

The site could help address stormwater drainage issues.

While there is public support for the idea, not everyone is enthusiatic about the plan.

Martin Webber, who lives near Eagle’s Nest, says he wonders where Brown County is going to get the money for the project.

“Right now the projection from an engineering firm is talking about $8 million to build. I have not been able to get an answer from the county how they are gonna do this.” Webber adds that the loss of tourism money because of the pandemic means the county shouldn’t be spending money likes this.

The Nicolet Neighborhood Association submitted a 260 signature petition to stop the development.

Kriese says the funding is actually coming from grants.

“So with that funding, that is coming from state and federal grants along with a public works flood abatement project that property would be used for.”

The Brown County area has 66 square miles of water but there are only three developed areas for boat access.

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