- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - With an eye on a multimillion-dollar windfall from excess Lambeau Field taxes, Green Bay leaders are considering whether to contribute toward an amphitheater for the city’s botanical garden.

The project was one of 16 ideas pitched at a recent meeting for how the city should spend its $5.3 million payout, and WLUK-TV (https://bit.ly/1VcPBfA ) reports that City Council members consider it a viable option.

“People love the botanical garden,” City Council president Tom De Wane said. “You’ve got street projects that could be done. You can do two or three projects with this I think.”

The garden expansion plan would add a stage and seating space for lawn chairs and blankets along with a shelter with restrooms and concessions.

“Can you imagine anything better than sitting on a lawn chair eating your cheese and crackers, drinking a glass of wine and listening to some great music?” asked Susan Garot, the garden’s executive director.

The 1,500-seat concert venue is the centerpiece of a $4 million proposed update. Garden officials didn’t ask for a specific dollar amount at the Dec. 17 listening session. Garot says a six-figure contribution would help jump-start a fundraising push in the spring. She and others hope to have the “Grand Garden” expansion completed by 2018.

WLUK reports that the council hopes to start making decisions for how to spend the money by March. The funds - more than $17 million shared by local governments in Brown County - must be used for economic development, debt reduction or lowering property taxes.

Other projects pitched that would involve Green Bay’s share include a trail expansion, an update for the children’s museum and an arena that would be used to help attract a minor league soccer team.


Information from: WLUK-TV, https://www.fox11online.com

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