Monday, July 03, 2006

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond

Newly-seated Oshkosh councilman Dennis McHugh is pushing for a fence around the detention pond near the Fair Acres Plaza on Murdock Avenue and Main Street. He believes it is a safety issue that needs to be addressed, especially in light of the city's requirement that certain backyard swimming pools be enclosed.

But his resolution, though moved by councilor Paul Esslinger, died for lack of a second at the June 27 council meeting. Therefore no discussion on the matter took place. But there are no requirements at present time for detention/retention ponds to be enclosed.

Some agree with McHugh, saying this is a safety issue. Others agree with the position of city staff that it is unnecessary and there is no precedent for such an enclosure to be installed. Some have even likened it to ponds and larger bodies of water in parks not being enclosed and they are places actually frequented by children.

How do you feel about the issue? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

[following are comments that were made on an earlier version of the Eye on Oshkosh site]

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: oshwi324 on Monday, July 03 2006 @ 04:53 PM MDT
We have to decide one way or the other. Either we require a fence around these retention ponds, or we do away with the ordinance requiring fences around swimming pools.If you're interested in this topic, you know about the issue surrounding the open water or Murdock Av. Let me call your attention to another, more heinous example of this same issue: the retention pond created in the new subdivision called Casey's Meadow at the end of Mockingbird Way on the city's west side.Picture an entire city block in which all of the backyards end at the detention pond. This pond is nothing small--it's 20 feet deep! The city is so concerned about my pool that holds water 30 inches deep that they require I put a fence around it. But the retention pond 20 feet deep that will be in the backyards of dozens of kids requires nothing from a safety fence perspective.What's wrong with this picture?

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: DBCooper on Tuesday, July 04 2006 @ 08:45 PM MDT
I've done some research on these fences. Seems as though the experts, the people who engineer them, overall are against fencing them. If there are communities where the ponds have fences, it's because city councils have gone against the recommendations of the experts and enacted ordinances requiring fences.This site says that fencing is generally not desirable, but it doesn't explain why.
Then click the article "Stormwater Detention Pond Fencing", note that it is in word.doc format. It has questions and answers about fencing. An editorial on considering safety when designing ponds.
I had a good look at the pond near pick and save yesterday afternoon. Oddly enough, there is a pair of blue-winged teal using it, strange considering they are usually very private birds. It won't be long before the geese find it. I think that some very low growing shrubs around this pond is all that is required. A fence, especially a cyclone fence, would be an eyesore and have maintenance costs associated with it. Right along Murdock Street, perhaps some short wooden posts with a cable strung about 18" off the ground would be prudent. If some kid lost control of his/her bike on the sidewalk, it would help prevent taking a ride down the embankment.

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by:Jim B. on Wednesday, July 05 2006 @ 02:58 PM MDT
If we use the logic, if we have to fence in pools, then we should fence in the retention pond, wouldnt we be obligated to put a fence around Lake Winnebago? What about the pond(s) in South Park? Or all the other retention ponds in the city! And we have a few miles of the Fox River to fence in as well.The comparison of fencing pools to retention ponds is apples and oranges. The pool issue came up after these port-a-pools started popping up all over the place. An existing ordinance was already in place.I feel like Mr. McHugh has way more important issues to tackle, but I am unimpressed with his ability to comprehend the process. Is this "Columbo act" just that, or is he out of his league? It is becoming commomplace for our elected council members to jump on irrelevant issues, and not take the time to research the big issues! Jim B.

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: oshwi324 on Wednesday, July 05 2006 @ 07:55 PM MDT
The question I raise is, are we working too hard at protecting ourselves from ourselves? The fencing ordinance is a perfect example of that. If you can have a house with a backyard on Lake Winnebago and you don't need a fence, why do I need a fence around a 3 foot deep wading pool?I agree with your apples and oranges illustration, Jim B. I didn't think of it that way. But I still maintain the design of the retention ponds are a bit rediculous, being 20 feet deep and so close to roadways and backyards. I think the could have been more strategically placed.

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: admin on Thursday, July 06 2006 @ 06:25 AM MDT
I took a good look at the detention/retention pond yesterday afternoon, and while I can't see putting a fence around the entire thing, there is one very small section toward the far southeast end of it that is dangerously close to the sidewalk. Someone on a bike could accidentally ride into that section. It was also suggested to me that kids might try a dare-devilish stunt by trying to jump over a small section of that end of the pond that small section with their bike, and fall in during their attempt. While we cannot protect everyone from themselves - nor should we try - the very fact that a true accident could happen, especially in that one area, leads me to believe a small barrier might be prudent. Such a barrier might be stakes with a cable (as was suggested earlier by DB Cooper), a short section of fencing (not cyclone though), bushes or shrubs (which might be more aesthetically pleasing and less obvious) or something else of a similar nature.Granted, the likelihood of something happening is probably slim, but why can't we be proactive for a change instead of reactive? Let's not wait for an accident to happen before exercising some caution. - Cheryl

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: NewVoice on Thursday, July 06 2006 @ 03:14 PM MDT
Now don't anyone get their panties in a bunch about this suggestion. I am not saying whether or not there should be a fence around a 20' deep pond in the city, inches from a sidewalk, blocks from an elementary school. I do want to comment on the type of fencing discussed. It is amazing that when someone doesn't want a fence they remark how ugly a snow fence, or chain link would be around this pond near a shopping area. I imagine if the same person wanted a fence, they would discuss the simple beauty a small picket fence woulod add to the shopping plaza's landscaping.Anyway, as an artist, I wonder what anyone thinks about a three to four foot wood plank fence with a beautiful mural depicting notable features of our community? Safety and an asthetically pleasing option to cyclone fencing.

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: got it on Thursday, July 06 2006 @ 08:30 PM MDT
Great idea! Beautiful, even. Now I have to ask the question no one wants to hear. How much???

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: NewVoice on Friday, July 07 2006 @ 07:02 PM MDT
Fence might be a couple of hundred that could be raised by donations from those wanting the fence. Paint might be another couple hundred, maybe could be done cheaper. Also bought with donations. I'd do the mural for free with the help of the students of the neighboring school contributing design ideas.

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: admin on Friday, July 07 2006 @ 07:17 PM MDT
I wonder if the same kids who helped plant flowers along Jackson Drive would be willing to help beautify this area. They could help New Voice.
- Cheryl

Councilman pushes for fence around detention pond
Authored by: Target on Saturday, July 08 2006 @ 10:11 AM MDT
Does this mean we will finally see who New Voice is?Maybe we can find out who Target is then. Although I am not an artist. Unless you want a mess, then you can count on me.


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