Stone Bridge Park

A bench in Monona’s Stone Bridge Park looks out at Lake Monona with the State Capitol in the distance.

Stone Bridge Park will be getting its makeover after all.

At its Oct. 5 meeting, the Monona City Council discussed a budget amendment that would have decreased the budget for a park redesign at Stone Bridge Park to $26,000 from $315,000. After a lengthy discussion on the topic, a vote was set for the council’s Oct. 19 meeting.

At that meeting, Councilor Kristie Goforth brought forward a budget amendment that would have cut the budget by much less, with a $250,000 budget set to make improvements at the space.

However, the council voted against Goforth’s amendment, meaning the park’s budget of over $300,000 will move forward as originally planned, with future preservation of 1880s-era Springhaven Pagoda, a walkway down to the park’s lakeshore pier and a stormwater management project.

Goforth wrote in her proposed amendment that with Schluter Beach and a future park at the recently purchased San Damiano property both in the area, keeping Stone Bridge Park as a “meditative space, rather than converting it to another destination park, would provided needed diversity in our northern parks.”

She also expressed concerns about having enough funding to make the San Damiano property a destination space, saying a “minimal cut” at Stone Bridge would be a step in the right fiscal direction.

Councilor Kathy Thomas and the rest of the council voted against the budget amendment.

Thomas cited preserving history as one reason for her vote, saying, “these are always tough decisions to make. It is not an inexpensive improvement, but each park in Monona is unique.”

She said she talked to members of the community, asking, “If you cannot invest in your history, what can you invest in?”

In addition to the parks project budget, there is also $408,500 targeted for stormwater management work at the park, of which $206,150 is being contributed by Dane County as a grant.

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