In August 2012, the Fox Point Village Board foolishly gave $30,000 of public money to a private advocacy group called Footbridge Friends Inc. so they could hire a marketing company to raise money for their infamous "footbridge to nowhere." The advocacy group promised to pay back the $30,000.
After 15 months of professional fundraising, the footbridge advocates now admit that fewer than 300 of the village's 6,600 residents have contributed to the footbridge, pledging just $360,000 of the estimated $3 million cost of the project. Each of the village's 2,500 taxable properties would pick up the rest at an average cost of about $1,100 in property taxes.
The Village Board has said all along that the success of the fundraising effort would be their gauge of whether the community supported spending any more public money on this project. Well, the verdict is in. With less than 5 percent of the community contributing to the footbridge it is indisputable that residents are overwhelmingly opposed to it.
After four years of debate, procrastination and excuses and more than one year of failed fundraising, the time has come for the Village Board to vote to officially abandon this costly project and immediately retrieve the taxpayers' $30,000.
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