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Group to study O’Donnell Park parking garage’s future

A Milwaukee County workgroup could explore the future of the O’Donnell Park parking garage in 2014.

A Milwaukee County budget amendment, which passed 18-0, directs the Office of the Comptroller, Department of Administrative Services, Parks Department and Corporation Counsel to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the structure should be sold.

The amendment also directs the county to commission a study of the demand for parking in that area in light of the anticipated Lakefront Gateway improvements with the Interstate 794 ramp redesign. The workgroup would be expected to report to the County Board before selling or leasing the parking garage.

County Executive Chris Abele’s proposed 2014 budget had slated the structure for sale by the fourth quarter of 2014. The board’s version of the budget now goes to Abele for possible vetoes.

• Work to redesign the parking lot of the South Shore Beach boat launch is expected to start in 2014.

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an amendment to the proposed 2014 budget, 15-3, that would include $84,000 to begin planning for the parking lot’s replacement.

According to the amendment, construction is scheduled for 2015 and would include new storm water management features to help mitigate water quality issues at the beach.

• Supervisors on Tuesday also voted unanimously to keep open two indoor pools the county executive had slated for closure.

Through his proposed 2014 budget, Abele suggested Noyes and Pulaski pools be demolished and replaced — Noyes with a skate park and Pulaski with a splash pad. According to Abele’s proposed budget, the pools are underutilized and require significant maintenance.

Instead, the County Board voted to direct $1.96 million, including a $100,000 private donation, to pay for repairs at the two pools.

— Beth Kevit

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