By: Kate Pabich
What does the future hold for the old Credit Island Lodge, badly damaged by fire?
That's the question residents and city leaders hope to answer soon.
The Credit Island fire happened early this month and has left the entire island closed off to the public. And for the first time Tuesday, residents were able to speak their minds and share their memories.
"We used to have a lot of hog roasts, so I'd going out and talk to people and check their beer permits."
Gene Paasch used to manage Credit Island and he says the best times of his life were spent there and he wants others to experience it.
"I want to see them rebuild something, maybe not as big."
But according to the city, it might not be that easy. Since the building is in a flood plain, renovations would have to stay under 300 thousand dollars or else new standards would apply. And with the significant damage to the clubhouse, it would be difficult.
It's a big decision and that's why First Ward Alderman, Nate Brown wanted to listen up.
"We want to reach out to the community and we want to find out where we can go from here and the best way to do that is to reach out to the community members."
But community members say if the city can find money for a ferris wheel, they should be able to cough up the cash for a historic building.
"We need to save the Credit Island building, we can keep the first story and build a shed for the second story we need to save the building no matter what"
But Brown says, the island has more to offer than the lodge.
"The island is still a great park to visit and enjoy and it will be there which ever direction we go."
The city is in the process of creating a task force that will look into all of the options, and costs.