Tom Moniz, right, explains the Murray Park pavilion project while Alds. Al Schraeder, left, and Doug Iverson listen.
Tom Moniz, right, explains the Murray Park pavilion project while Alds. Al Schraeder, left, and Doug Iverson listen.

   It appears the Ripon Common Council is leaning slightly toward using nearly a half-million dollars from the estate of Lloyd and Grace Mitchell toward the creation of a bigger and better pavilion at the ball diamonds in Murray Park.

   But, to mix metaphors, it’s not a slam dunk.

   Given its first chance to consider how to use the money following an extensive vetting process by the park and recreation committee, multiple council members expressed an interest in using the money toward the pavilion project.

   The proposal — brought forth by parents Tom Moniz, Greg Dragolovich and Bill Stollfuss — would create a new building in the middle of a quad of ball diamonds that would serve as a concession stand, public restrooms and would offer a second-floor space that could be used for scoring and more.

   Though several aldermen seem to support this, the council is hardly unanimous in that position.

  • Mayor Gary Will (who can only vote to break a tie) would prefer a community building at Barlow Park, and stated specifically that he does not support the pavilion concept.
  • Ald. John Splitt would like some kind of pavilion at Akin Park, or maybe a museum proposal submitted Tuesday directly to the Common Council.
  • Ald. Aaron Becker would like to give the second-place proposal, a new senior center, another year to fund-raise.
  • And its unclear whether, despite Ald. Joel Brockman specifically asking for the issue to be put on the next council agenda as an “action item,” whether it actually will be.

   All of that amounts to a lot of uncertainty for how the Mitchell money could be used.

   The rules, per the gift, state that the money must be used “to construct any non-sectarian building for public use, and to forever maintain the same, or purchase land for a park under the same conditions [with the] building or park to be known as Grace & Lloyd Mitchell, building or park.”

Read the full story, with many quotes from elected officials stating their position, in the Aug. 15, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.