Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 8, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON —Shawano taxpayers don’t want to pay for an “adult playground” that could cost more than $28 million to build and $400,000 a year to maintain.
According to survey results released Wednesday at a joint session of the school board and common council, residents oppose the proposed Community Recreation Center by a nearly two-to-1 margin. Dozens of Shawano residents attended Wednesday’s meeting to voice their opposition to the plan.
Local government officials had already spent at least $25,000 laying out the plan and gauging public sentiment.
Empower Wisconsin first reported about the lavish proposal based on a tip from Shawano residents who expressed concern about the price tag and whether this community of 9,300 residents really needs a gilded fitness center.
In addition to publishing multiple stories and discussing the issue on local radio, Empower Wisconsin reached out to residents directly to alert them to the survey and upcoming public meeting.
The proposed 100,000-square-foot Shawano Community Recreation Center would include a warm water pool, gym space for basketball, volleyball and tennis, a large fitness area, and an indoor track, among other amenities, but the Shawano Leader reported, the “unfavorable” results have “effectively scuttled” the proposal.