Milwaukee ARPA Commission Turns Down Request for Repairs to Landmark Mitchell Park Domes

by Benjamin Yount


There is, apparently, a limit to what Milwaukee County considers coronavirus-related relief.

Milwaukee County’s American Rescue Plan Act Task Force last week unanimously rejected a proposal to spend $19 million of ARPA dollars to rehabilitate the Mitchell Park Domes.

“This Task Force has spent millions of dollars on initiatives to ensure that houses in suburban Milwaukee aren’t falling into disrepair, potentially rushing foreclosures. They have taken care of our golf courses. Additionally, they’ve appropriated $20 million dollars for our Medical Examiner’s office to build a new facility. While I support Milwaukee County constructing a new facility for the Office of the Medical Examiner, and the Office of Emergency Management, pitting these two items against one another was a calculated way to justify not funding our Domes,” Supervisor Juan Miguel Martinez said in a statement.

Milwaukee County has received over $180 million in American Rescue Plan dollars. The county’s own website says 63% of the money, or about $115 million, has gone to make-up for revenue lost to the coronavirus outbreak. Just about 15% of the money, or $23 million, has gone for actual coronavirus relief,

Martinez said without the ARPA dollars, he fears the Mitchell Park Domes will not be maintained.

Other county supervisors agree.

“We must find creative solutions to preserve a true jewel in the Milwaukee County Parks system,” Supervisor Felesia Martin said.

[The Domes are] not only beloved by the south side of Milwaukee, but it is an iconic structure that is enjoyed by visitors from around the world.” Supervisor Dyango Zerpa said.

Instead of ear-marking money for the Domes, Milwaukee County’s ARPA Commission decided to spend $20 million for the planned purchase of a purpose-built Center for Forensic Science and Protective Medicine. The new building will be home to both Milwaukee County’s Office of the Medical Examiner and the Office of Emergency Management.

There is no word when that project will begin.

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Benjamin Yount is a regular contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Mitchell Park Domes” by GPA Photo Archive.


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