Onalaska planning committee boils ideas in to two riverfront designs

It's day two of Onalaksa River Landing project charrette

Tuesday city planners took all of the ideas residents shared with them on Monday and boiled them down into two well thought out plans. While there are still a lot of kinks to work out the city and residents think they are rapidly approaching one solid design scheme.

On day two of the Onalaksa charrette resident’s ideas on the two Great River Landing project plans were heard almost immediately.

Onalaska resident Paul Kante made his first trip to City Hall ever for the meeting.  He said he went because he could directly speak to the designers of the plan.

“I’m concerned about the safety of crossing the tracks,” said Kante.

His concern was answered. A bridge crossing over the rail road is in both drafts of the plans. Project manager Gregg Calpino said he wants to make sure ideas like Kante’s are incorporated.

“There were two to three things we could kind of wrap our arms around,  where people were in agreement and I think our job now is to document that right and show them where they combined,” said Calpino.

Aside from both plans having some similar features like nature trails, and bridges the plans are somewhat opposites.

Option A is called “Main Extended.” It has an active area above the tracks featuring a public square, farmers market and an amphitheater, but with less attention down by the river.

Option B is called “Black River Engaged.” It has a laid-back area up by the tracks, but lots to do down by the river including camping, zip-lining and a bridge over the spillway.

Calpino said the plans are a balancing act.

“The option that has more activity on the bottoms has a quieter upland and the option that has a more active upland has a quieter down land and we are doing that to balance out costs,” said Calpino.

Calpino said is seemed like Option A, the one with more urban action was the top contender, if you’d like to stop in on a design meeting you can go to City Hall until 7:00 p.m, Tuesday.