Since a stormwater retention pond was transformed into a wildlife viewing area more than a decade ago, its use has grown. Runners and walkers can often be seen on the Waunakee Village Center Pond path, along with anglers fishing from the piers.
The Waunakee Rotary Club has been largely responsible for the improvements, including the path and piers at the pond, and the now the club will replace a pier with another that is accessible for those with disabilities.
Rotarian Ken Pesik has led a team of Rotarians, including an architect, Robert Arntz, an engineer, Roxanne Johnson, and another in the trades, to take on the project. Several other Rotarians have helped in the planning.
The Waunakee Parks and Recreation Committee approved the project plan at their recent meeting.
Ken said club members have talked about building an accessible pier for several years, but with other capital projects such as the public library, the Center for Rural History at Schumacher Farm Park and recent improvements to the school district’s athletic fields, the pier wasn’t in the budget.
“We don’t really have a capital project to work on this year. We have the sesquicentennial Waunakee celebration going on, and we thought it would be a good idea to move this project forward,” Ken said.
Over the summer, several Rotarians removed a deteriorating pier near the entrance next to Saint John the Baptist Church Cemetery.
“It was at about a 45 degree angle. I’m not sure how anyone walked out on it without falling in,” Ken said, adding the timing was right to replace the pier.
The new pier will allow access to fishing and wildlife viewing for those with disabilities or mobility issues and will be ADA compliant, while improving the aesthetics, he said.
The pier itself will be over 600 square feet, 12 foot wide and 50 feet long, with 20 feet over the shoreline and 50 feet over the water.
The path to it will be graded to an accessible slope and will be 5 feet wide. Regrading will be necessary to achieve the slope. The guardrail will be 42 inches in height, with sections at 34 inches for those in wheelchairs to fish from. Eight wheelchair stations are in the design, three on each side of the pier and another two at the end.
The Waunakee Rotary Club is raising funds for the project, which is estimated to cost $45,000 for the materials, site preparation and labor. However, Qual Line Fence owner Ray Statz has agreed to provide the labor, estimated at $25,000.
“Without this, I don’t think we’d be doing this project,” Ken said about the in-kind contribution. The club is applying for grants, as well.
Ray will begin installing the pilings for the pier likely in January, once the pond is frozen, so he can move equipment onto the ice.
Sue McDade, Waunakee’s community services director, said she was “thrilled to see the project come to fruition.”
“So many people in our community enjoy that pond and that path, and the fishing. This project is really a wonderful addition to what’s happening over there,” Sue said.  
Donations can be made by visiting the Waunakee Rotary website,
In Other News:
-President Tom Kennedy reminded club members to let their friends know about the village’s sesquicentennial logo contest.  

-Tom has forms available if you would like to order cheese from the East Madison  Monona Rotary Club for the holidays.

-Rotary Giving Day is Dec. 1
Birthdays: Nov. 20, Jennifer Hurley; Nov. 30, Susan Vergeront.
Anniversaries: Nov. 22, Robert and Merrilee Sachtjen.