Fate of Dock Holiday docks on Prairie du Chien riverfront unknown

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The Dock Holiday-owned docks are available to private owners for usage on the Lawler Park riverfront in Prairie du Chien. A recent severe storm brought on discussions between the majority owners of the LLC and the city council. The docks are for sale, and the city gets first crack at purchasing them.

By Correne Martin

The fate of the boat docks at the Lawler Park riverfront in Prairie du Chien is up in the air.

Dock Holiday, LLC, sent a letter Aug. 18 to the city administrator stating that, since the late-July 2017 storms totaled the docks, the majority of its owners do not wish to reinvest the needed capital into the docks at their current location due to expense, strong currents and wave action at that location. Another reason given in the letter is because the city would not allow electrical or water hookup “as originally agreed upon,” which Dock Holiday feels is essential for boat safety and convenience.

Additionally, the majority of Dock Holiday owners have decided to get out of the dock ownership business moving forward, so they’ve decided to put the docks up for sale to the highest bidder. Then, upon distribution of all of the organization’s assets, Dock Holiday plans to formally dissolve by the end of September, according to the letter. Due to these decisions, Dock Holiday has requested that the city officially release the LLC from the current lease agreement, signed on Sept. 11, 2015.

At the Tuesday, Sept. 5, common council meeting, the council addressed the Dock Holiday letter and met with a few of the majority owners.

Mayor Dave Hemmer acknowledged after the meeting that the city never should have had private docks in that area in the first place.

However, the city and Dock Holiday representatives agreed during the meeting that the majority owners should now decide upon an asking price for the docks and return to the council within 30 days. The council will then have the first opportunity to purchase, decline or negotiate the price on the docks. Regardless, the docks will remain at their current location through the end of the current boating season, Oct. 31.

It was reported that the docks have been repaired enough that they are safe to use, but they still need more work.

The council has not provided any sense of whether or not the city will choose to purchase the docks or walk away at this point. That answer will come after Dock Holiday returns to the council with its proposal.

Several of the Dock Holiday owners have expressed an interest in continuing to dock their boats in Prairie du Chien.

“We love the area and support the city’s efforts to improve the marina options into the future. We want to be your future customers when all is decided and implemented with the new city riverfront planning effort,” the letter stated. “Our goal is to not ‘burn any bridges’ but rather work together going forward.”

Dock Holiday’s majority owners include Dick and Deb Schroeder, Rich and Mandy Schumacher, Peter and Holly Purman and Fred Petrie.

Other council business
•The council and its public works committee have been considering possible amendments to the covenants for its Woodridge Acres subdivision, as there have been no houses built in the three-year-old, 24-acre development. After requesting local realtors’ input on potential covenant improvements to entice purchasers, comments were that it has not been the covenants, rather the location of the subdivision, that has hampered interest. Suggestions are for the city to put forth some attractive incentives that might lure buyers.

•An Oct. 17 hearing was set for the potential vacation of part of 21st Street, north of Brunson Street and south of Wells Street. According to administration, this vacation is a “cleanup” because city records contradict whether this part of 21st Street was ever vacated. This process will formally vacate the street. Notices are to be served 30 days prior to the public hearing to abutting property owners.

•The Mississippi River Sculpture Park Committee asked and the council approved the addition of accessible pathways around the existing sculptures, so as to connect the shelter, fire circle and parking, and also improve the experience of the park. The pathways will be at least four feet across and made of crushed limestone. The city agreed to fund part of the labor cost, about $200 from park improvement funds. The committee will provide the materials and remaining labor.

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