NEENAH, Wis.(WFRV)- There is a rough road ahead for the Lakeshore Avenue Trail in Neenah, as litigation continues between members of “The Lakeshore Group” and the city of Neenah.
“This is very expensive. It started out as one thing, it’s become a number of different things,” said Joe Bachman, property owner. Bachman is a part of the Lakeshore group, an informal group of residents who own homes along Lake Winnebago on Lakeshore Avenue.
“What we have here is a roadbed that’s in a graveled condition,” said Bachman. The group has filed several lawsuits seeking to stop the project from continuing. “We have a problem with the trail being off the road and on our property lines,” said Bachman who owns property on Wheeler Street.
There is currently an appeal filed on an earlier judgment that allowed the project to continue.
The mayor of Neenah Dean Kaufert says that this has been in the city’s waterfront plans since 2001 and there is opposition to it from the beginning. “We’ve done everything we can. We’ve tried as late as two weeks ago, we sent their attorney a note,” said Kaufert.
There has not been a direct dialogue between the city and the group because of the litigation that is ongoing. They are only communicating through their legal representation at this point. ” I’m tired of listening to all of this legal stuff and bickering back and forth,” said Kaufert.
In August 2020, a judge ruled a lawsuit brought against the City’s plan to build the off-street trail along Lakeshore Avenue. In that ruling, the judge said the City acted within its jurisdiction in adopting the off-street trail.
That cleared the way for the City may proceed with the project as planned. Plans for the project were reportedly modified in order to address specific concerns that residents had regarding the removal of trees to allow the project to continue.
“We have had meetings in order to get the public’s input on designs,” said Kaufert. Bachman says that the Lakeshore group has not been heard. “Our frustration stems from the fact that the city has really ignored us in our efforts to engage as stakeholders in whatever happens on this scenic bi-way.”
For the time being, the project is on hold due to weather conditions. The city hopes to resume construction in April of this year.
For more on the city of Neenah’s plans visit https://www.ci.neenah.wi.us/
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