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City seeking bids for downtown park in long-vacant lot

Artist's rendering of improvements to the empty lot at Crooks Avenue and Second Street in Kaukauna.
Artist’s rendering of improvements to the empty lot at Crooks Avenue and Second Street in Kaukauna.

KAUKAUNA — The city of Kaukauna is seeking bids from contractors for the reconstruction of the long-neglected lot at the corner of Second Street and Crooks Avenue downtown.

The project is one of three that are part of the bid package.

The project also will include the municipal entry sign and plaza at Second Street and Main Avenue and the Main Avenue terminus at the north end of Main at the Kaukauna Utilities power canal.

Contractors can download plans and specifications HERE.

The deadline to submit proposals is 6 p.m., June 19, 2017 in the city clerk’s office, Municipal Services Building, 144 W. Second St., Kaukauna. Bids will be opened in the council chambers by the Board of Public Works at 6 p.m., June 19, 2017.

The work will be let as a single base bid to the lowest responsible bidder and must be performed in accordance with the specifications and contract on file with the city clerk, according to a post on the city’s website.

The city hosted a public information forum March 2, 2017, to gather input on proposed improvements to the downtown.

City officials outlined plans for decorative plazas in the vacant lot at Second Street and Crooks Avenue and at the north end of Main Avenue near the pedestrian bridge, according to a news release posted by Julie Schroeder of the planning department.

Features proposed for these plazas will include theme lighting, brick pavers, benches, landscaping and unique art installations.

The intersection has been the focus of on-again, off-again improvement plans for more than a year.

In April 2016, during an ongoing discussion in the Facebook group Kaukauna Pictures about some of the more worn looking properties downtown, Shannon Wendricks posed this question:

“I guess while I’m at it I have to ask about this corner as well (Second and Crooks). Does St. Vincent De Paul own this one? So much sunshine here, couldn’t this be a community garden? Or somehow a school garden for Riverview students? As a charitable organization this could be done in a heartbeat.”

Wendricks, who owns Valley Seamstress on Wisconsin Avenue and La La Land Costume Sewing, received numerous replies and several meetings took place to look into the possibilities.

The city owns the lot, but it has a significant amount of concrete fill, which could be problematic for a garden or other plantings, according to Alderman Tony Penterman.




He posted to the group that city engineers told him they discovered the concrete fill when they ran sewer and water in that area.

“I guess a long time ago the building that was there started on fire and when they demolished it they just knocked it down into the hole and covered it with dirt,” Penterman wrote.

But as part of the latest project, the corner could finally become a centerpiece to the downtown area.

 

The empty lot at Second and Crooks in Kaukauna. Shannon Wendricks photo
The empty lot at Second and Crooks in Kaukauna. Shannon Wendricks photo

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Dan Plutchak
Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.
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