BROOKFIELD -- City leaders see the zoo interchange project as an opportunity. The chance to take fill from construction and turn it into a 70-acre park with walking trails. But many people who live around the area aren't convinced that's the best idea.
"This is a beautiful, beautiful treasure," long-time resident Pat Haukohl said.
That treasure lies just through Haukohl's back yard. 85 acres of private property sitting dormant since 1978.
"It is a quarry, but it has reclaimed itself," Haukohl said. "God and nature and reclaimed it. It doesn't need more fill to make it more beautiful."
The city wants to turn that property into a new park, calling the land unstable and unsafe. Brookfield would work with Menomonee Falls-based Super Excavators to dump one million cubic meters of fill from the zoo interchange project into the property.
"We have a very extensive park system," Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto said. "But this one has been on our radar for decades."
The Mayor says the city has the money and could have the fill process finished in four years. He worries if the city doesn't control the fill process someone else will, potentially drumping much more for much longer.
"Do you think someone from Illinois would care as much as someone who lives in this area," Ponto asked. "Someone who has a reputation to worry about? Which is the case with Siepmann [Realty] and Super Excavators."
But many people who live around the property are worried about the process, forming 'B.R.A.D' - Brookfield Residents Against the Dump. Their signs dot Burleigh road, where trucks carrying the fill would drive.
"If it's a million cubic yards, that is a lot of activity, a lot of activity," Haukohl said. "Over four, five years."
That's a time frame Mayor Ponto thinks is a reasonable compromise for the end result.
"We want people to tell us what their concerns are because we're trying to meet the concerns about dust and noise," Ponto said.
"I know the city is working hard to get this right," Haukohl said. "But we think it is not a landfill site."
People will get the chance to voice their opinions soon. Monday night, B.R.A.D will hold a rally at Brookfield East High School. The city has a public hearing scheduled for Monday, September 9th.