City Council abolishes contract to enhance Lakeside Park, other amenities, Envision is committed to finding ways to minimize the substantial negative impact on economic development outlook
Envision Greater Fond du Lac, the combined Fond du Lac County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization continues to develop and cultivate relationships with local, regional, and national brands to showcase Fond du Lac County as a viable option for talent attraction, workforce development, business development and expansion. The organization will redouble efforts on this work despite the reputational impact of the recent City Council decision on May 12, 2021 to terminate the Lakeside Forward contract with the City. This previously approved and accepted contract would have leveraged a $6M gift from local businesses to develop land near the lighthouse peninsula with a public-use multi-purpose building, created sports courts (ice skating rink and basketball courts), and an amphitheater. This project was a single step among many towards the journey of talent attraction and business development for our communities. Envision Greater Fond du Lac will continue to work with the businesses and municipalities in our county to strengthen our county identity, improve economic vitality, and invest in the next generation.
“This decision by Fond du Lac’s City Council is certainly a disadvantage to the City and future development and we anxiously await a proactive proposal for spurring future economic development from this council,” Sadie Parafiniuk, President/CEO, said. “Regardless of the Council’s decision, Envision Greater Fond du Lac is open for business and we listen to our stakeholders and community to better utilize our resources to position Fond du Lac County as a great geographical location for development and talent attraction.
Envision Greater Fond du Lac and its Board of Directors as well as many non-profits and businesses in the community, are supporters of Lakeside Forward and their development efforts; however, Envision Greater Fond du Lac is more than this one initiative. Envision Greater Fond du Lac was part of the team with County and previous City Council officials who assisted with attracting and securing new businesses to Fond du Lac such as Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, and A Family Affair Soulfood Kitchen. Within the County, Envision Greater Fond du Lac was instrumental in the expansion projects such as Ernessi Farms in Ripon and Legacy Express in North Fond du Lac. There are also developments underway in Rosendale, Waupun, Ripon, Campbellsport, North Fond du Lac, and Lomira.
“There is energy within the team at Envision Greater Fond du Lac as we continue to find ways to partner with our members and community partners to create economic prosperity,” James Cleveland, Vice President of Economic Development, said. “The Lakeside Park contract termination is a set-back for economic development in the city, no doubt. The city will be viewed differently by site selectors, investors, and talent; however, it is our job to push forward and continue to tell the story of our greater area.”
Envision Greater Fond du Lac values its’ members and investors. The partnership between Envision Greater Fond du Lac, County of Fond du Lac and all 33 of our municipalities is profound. We continue to find ways to work together for the betterment of our citizens, including measures such as an investigation and investment is county-wide broadband access, the highway 23 expansion, and development and recruitment of business to the eight business parks throughout Fond du Lac County.