Report: Several Milwaukee recreation sites need to be repaired or replaced

Report: Several Milwaukee recreation sites need to be repaired or replaced

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A new Wisconsin Policy report released Friday reveals that several popular Milwaukee recreation sites need to be repaired or replaced.

The report found that the collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum is threatened by leaking pipes and a lack of climate control. The report says the museum lacks current technology and is facing $30-million in deferred maintenance.

The museum is now at risk of losing their accreditation, but that's not the only county building dealing with problems.

Leaks are also threatening the collections at the Charles Allis Art Museum and the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

The report also finds that the Milwaukee County Historical Center needs about $750-thousand dollars in repairs.

The County’s only historical park, Trimborn Farm, needs repairs totaling up to $2-Million.

The report reveals that county ratings list the Mitchell Park Domes in poor condition and in need of major repairs or replacement.

The report also looked at County Parks and found that 65% of the park walkways need to be reconstructed within the next decade, and about half of the tennis and basketball courts will need to be rebuilt within the next 10 years too.

“If we are unable to maintain these assets then certainly it speaks to whether we can maintain our quality of life and whether we can be the type of place we can retain and attract the talent we need,” Rob Henken, Wisconsin Policy Forum President, said.

If the County were to fix all these problems, the report says they would need to more than double their spending on cultural institutions, like the museums, and increase their spending for parks tenfold.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says the County is not surprised by the report’s findings.

“The County has fallen way behind on maintaining facilities and the reason isn’t because anyone wants to fall behind, it’s because we have less and less and less resources to work with,” Abele said.

Abele says it’s a result of a shrinking county budget and how the State funds local government.

“If I were to illustrate this, I would draw a picture of Milwaukee holding a big cash bag giving it to a person labeled “State” giving a small cash bag back and say…we need to make the cash equal,” Abele said.  

The Wisconsin Policy Forum will have a report coming out next year with suggestions on how to finance all these repairs.

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