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Green Bay preparing permit application to restore beach at Bay Beach

A rendering of what a boardwalk and beach would look like at Bay Beach Amusement Park. (Photo Credit: Patrick Engineering)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt is using his State of the City Address invitations to send a message on the future of Bay Beach Amusement Park.

The invite shows what it could look like to have a beach and boardwalk back at the park.

“At a minimum is what you see in that rendering,” said Schmitt.

The city's parks department is currently preparing an application to receive the necessary permitting to construct the beach. More than $200,000 has already been spent on engineering design work.

The beach would extend along the park's east end, with the boardwalk going out approximately 400 to 500 feet.

“While we don't have the exact footage, that would be the ballpark,” said Schmitt.

Schmitt has also said the ballpark construction cost is between $1 million and $3 million. He believes that money will mostly be privately raised, with some coming from people who remember the days of swimming at Bay Beach, more than 70 years ago.

“I do think there is a group of people, philanthropy in this community, that will help fund this,” said Schmitt.

“The Friends of Bay Beach have been phenomenal,” said Randy Scannell, a Green Bay alderman. “I expect they'll step up again, so I don't think the city will have to put too much into it.”

“As we've seen with Colburn, people privately funded it and the project didn't go forward, so I think people might be a little hesitant to give towards something like this,” said Chris Wery, a Green Bay alderman.

Wery also has water quality concerns.

“I want to hear definitively is it safe to swim there?” said Wery.

“We wouldn't be making this investment unless we thought the water, you could go into the water,” said Schmitt.

In 2015, the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission released results from three years of water quality testing. Those results showed no concerns were found with utilizing the beach for swimming and recreation.

Schmitt says he will release more details about the project at his State of the City Address on April 12th.

Schmitt's goal is start construction next year.

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