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Resolutions on shared vision for highway project
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MONROE - Two local infrastructure priorities in the City of Monroe's Comprehensive Plan will not be included in the scope of the upcoming state project to reconstruct Wisconsin 11 and 81 around Monroe in 2019 and 2020, according to the state DOT.

The two items, which were prominently addressed in the Comprehensive Plan, included the construction of a box culvert or tunnel under the Wis. 11 bypass to connect the Badger State Trail. Currently, the trail has an at-grade crossing requiring trail users to cross four lanes of traffic. The second item was the desire for a paved walking path that connects Monroe's sidewalk system to the county's Pleasant View and government services campus. Community members noted during the Comprehensive Plan process that individuals often walk along Wis. 81 to reach services at the campus.

Having heard the DOT's decision to omit the items from the project, the Green County Board of Supervisors and City of Monroe City Council decided to address the issue directly with state and federal elected officials. The two bodies unanimously approved separate resolutions this month to send to officials asking for the inclusion of the items in the scope of the project.

City of Monroe Mayor Louis Armstrong was supportive of the item being placed on the Council's June 7 agenda, where it saw unanimous support from members. Armstrong stated that the DOT had said they won't include these items in the scope of their project. He also stated that based on the community's vision, serious consideration should be given these items in the scope, as the opportunity will not come around again for another 20 to 30 years.

Members of the Green County Board felt the same way, passing the identically worded resolution the next week. County Board member John Glynn was instrumental in the resolution's drafting and placement on the County Board's agenda. Glynn noted that it doesn't cost anything for the city and county to pass a resolution, but the collective statement can have an impact.

County Clerk Mike Doyle added that the passage of the resolutions shows the city and county can come together cooperatively for the benefit of residents. Doyle stated that the city and county both want to do what's best for residents. Having the city's recently completed Comprehensive Plan as a tool and guide in this instance made it easy for both bodies to come together on this issue. City Council member Chris Beer echoed that statement during the council's meeting, saying she would like to see the city and county collaborating on issues and showing a unified front.

The approved resolutions along with an explanatory letter were sent to the offices of State Sen. Howard Marklein, State Sen. Janis Ringhand, State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, State Rep. Todd Novak, State Rep. Mark Spreitzer, State Rep. Sondy Pope, Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.