MENOMINEE — Proposed landscaping improvements to Triangle Park made some progress at Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation/Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting. Part of the plan for Triangle Park was recommended by the committee and will be sent to the city council for approval, however most of the design remains conceptual for the time being.

The approved section of the new design includes the Triangle Park fountain and the landscaping, flagpoles and extra sidewalks around it. The part remaining conceptual includes the rest of the park, notably a proposed sidewalk going down the middle of the park.

When driving south down 10th Street past the park, the new design features a view of the fountain partly surrounded by flowers with some small sidewalks running diagonally through them, and a new position for the flagpoles behind the landscaping. City Manager Tony Graff mentioned discussing with the landscape architect the possibility of adding walls behind the poles, but because of the 360-degree view, he stated that walls would not likely be added.

The three flagpoles would  be similar to the poles that are currently in Menominee’s parks, standing about 16 to 18 feet tall and flying the city, state and American flags.

“If the sidewalk (through the middle of Triangle Park) is built,” Graff continued, “it gives a backdrop of a garden-type park.” In between the trees, there is a possibility for pockets where plants unique or native to the Menominee area could be planted. Along the proposed sidewalk, benches could be placed for people to “enjoy a garden” despite traffic from US 41 regularly passing by.

Graff also mentioned that the GFWC Menominee Woman’s Club wants to set up a kiosk in the pergola area of the park for visitors to get more information about the community, noting that there are grants available for electronic kiosks. The club is also working on the landscaping of the pergola.

The proposed design did raise some concerns, however. Mayor Jean Stegeman said that, “with the number of sidewalks in town that are crumbling, I would have a hard time supporting a sidewalk through the middle of Triangle Park.” Stegeman also said that the new design fails to allow Triangle Park to be used as it is now, a place where, as she said from what she had seen there over the summer, grandfathers in town taught their grandchildren how to cast a fishing line and where people would fly remote-controlled airplanes. 

Council member Dennis Klitzke was present as an observer at the meeting. When asked by the committee about the project, he said that, “if people complain about their sidewalks because there’s a new one down there: This is a donation and a grant that normally we wouldn’t get.”

Before voting to send the design to the city council for approval, Stegeman stated, “I want to make sure that, when we are approving this, no money from the general fund is coming out to do this.” She wanted to make it very clear, “not just to the council, but to the public as well,” that running a sidewalk through the middle of Triangle Park will not affect the general fund.

Committee member Heather Nelson made a motion to bring the recommended improvements to the city council. The motion was seconded by Nick Malone and amended to include Stegeman’s suggestion. The motion passed and will be brought to the council for approval.

The council meets at 6 p.m. Monday and will discuss the improvements in greater depth.