Race for Milwaukee Co. executive: Chris Larson accuses Chris Abele of "inflating" cost to repair Domes

MILWAUKEE -- The candidates for Milwaukee County executive continue to spar over the future of the Mitchell Park Domes.

Senator Chris Larson held a news conference on Sunday, March 20th, and he accused Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele of "inflating" the cost of repairing the Domes.

The Domes have been shut down since concrete fell from the Arid Dome on January 29th.

Abele has announced the creation of a "steering committee" consisting of "neighborhood organizations and stakeholders" that will "bring expertise and guidance on a wide range of issues related to the Domes, such as their impact on tourism and economic development, the cultural importance and historic legacy of the Domes and Mitchell Park, revenue and funding sources, and operational needs and structure."

On Sunday, Larson accused Abele of wanting to tear down the Domes in the future.

"I think that`s important to preserve for our kids and all kids, the same way it was thought about and preserved and invested in by the generations before us," Larson said.

Abele's campaign said this in a statement to FOX6 News:

"Senator Larson's inconsistency smacks of political opportunism. On the Estabrook Dam, with the science squarely against him, he dodges accountability for his past votes by saying he'll 'listen to the public'. But on the Domes he isn't interested in what the public thinks. He's already made up his mind that what he thinks is best.

Chris Abele is the only candidate for county executive who has put together a comprehensive approach to addressing the Domes. That plan includes repairs already underway to re-open the Domes safely and a community-driven process for the public to weigh in on their long-term future.

That's the choice in this election. Real leadership versus empty rhetoric."

The Milwaukee County Board on Thursday, March 17th approved $500,000 in funding for repairs to the Mitchell Park Domes.

Officials with Milwaukee County Parks are expected to come back to the County Board in May to provide an update on the project — and possibly request additional funding to repair the other two Domes (Arid and Tropical).

The goal is for the Show Dome to reopen in May, and for the other two Domes to reopen by the end of the year.