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Former Portage Common Council member weighs in on elimination of Silver Lake Park fence

August 11, 2018 GMT

A former Portage Common Council member has weighed in on a matter that generated some discussion at a council meeting last month – whether Silver Lake Park should be fenced.

Daniel Brunt, who’d been on the council from 2002 until his 2012 defeat by Rita Maass, sent an email, dated July 16, to Mayor Rick Dodd, Parks and Recreation Manager Dan Kremer and Parks and Recreation board member Todd Kreckman, expressing support for keeping the park unfenced, except in the area where it abuts private property.

The email was part of the Common Council’s information packet for Thursday’s meeting, and was included on the agenda.

“I have not heard of any support for replacing the fence from the neighbors that I have spoken with,” Brunt wrote.

Brunt added that he hoped his message would be shared with the full Common Council.

At the July 12 Common Council meeting, several members raised questions about the Park and Recreation Board’s decision on July 3 to remove most of the fences from the park and beach area.

Maass said then that many people who live near Silver Lake think the chain-link fence – some of which used to run along Silver Lake Drive – adds a measure of safety in the area of a busy street.

Council Member Mike Charles, a member of the Parks and Recreation Board, responded then that the fence was originally taken down to allow for the installation of new playground equipment. The parks board decided to remove most of the fence permanently because it was deteriorated, and because other city parks are not entirely fenced in, as Silver Lake Park used to be.

Council member Doug Klapper asked whether the Parks and Recreation Board had revisited the question of the fence at its meeting on Tuesday.

No, Charles said, but it was suggested that the discussion continue at a future meeting, and it’s likely that it will.

The council took no action on the matter.