In a letter to Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfield Monday, Governor Tony Evers has ordered for emergency funds to be used for immediate repairs of the Potawatomi State Park observation tower. In this letter the governor says with restoration of the tower now the path forward, it is clear there is a significant and imminent need to preserve and stabilize the structure. He also mentions how the emergency stabilization project will allow for the bracing and jacking of the tower and also will allow for wood member testing and preservation where feasible. The governor then authorized the use of up to $500,000 from the state building trust fund and other available funds appropriated by the departments of agriculture or natural resources.
This comes as good news to local State Senator Andre Jacque and State Representative Joel Kitchens who recently sent a jointly penned request to the governor to authorize just such emergency funding to stabilize the structure. Soon after the announcement of the emergency funding authorization, Kitchens commented, “It is overdue, but I am grateful Governor Evers has taken this step to stabilize the tower. We should bear in mind that the $500,000 allocated for stabilization would cover the cost of repair of the tower.”
State Senator Jacque says the effort to save the historic tower is an example of public engagement at its best, bringing together citizens, local governments, and community groups, such as the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation.