EL looks to write rules for walkway use

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The village needs stricter rules to govern use of the walkway formerly known as Lake Street.

The Village Board Monday directed the Public Works Committee to craft a set of rules for vehicular use of the walkway behind The Osthoff resort.

The impetus was a request to run vehicles across the walkway for an event at The Osthoff this week, including a truck to put up tents for the event.

The walkway was constructed as part of The Osthoff along the right-ofway of what had been Lake Street between East Street and Osthoff Avenue.

It was designed to be available for use by emergency vehicles and the village was given authority over other vehicular uses of the pedestrian walkway that overlooks the lake.

“The Public Works Department is having to do repairs on that every year,” Trustee Pam Garton said of the walkway. “At some point we’re going to have a big repair job there and we don’t have a kitty anyplace for walkway maintenance and repair. There’s no cookie jar for that.”

Trustee Michael Wolf said that, at the very least, the village should set a limit on the weight of vehicles that are allowed on the walkway, noting that heavier vehicles and trucks have a greater potential to do damage to the walkway.

Garton also commented that the board often gets requests to use the walkway at the last minute or with incomplete information that delays a decision.

She suggested that the village should consider instituting a charge for walkway permits to cover the cost of village staff time to issue and administer the permit, as well to possibly build up funds for repair and maintenance.

“We’ve had enough experience with this that we should have a policy,” Garton concluded.

“We discussed that at our department heads meeting and said there should be a policy in place,” village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jeanette Reilly told the board.

Trustee Richard Sadiq suggested that representatives of The Osthoff should be involved in creating any policy. “We don’t want to discourage any events there. It is their property.”

Village President Alan Rudnick assigned the task to the Public Works Committee of the board.

Rudnick reported that the Planning Commission has completed its work on an aviation ordinance for the village. It will go to a public hearing before the Village Board at the June 16 meeting before the board takes final action on it.

The Parks Commission has scheduled a grand opening and ribboncutting for the new Jeanette Moioffer Park for Saturday, June 21, Rudnick told the trustees.

The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the June Vollrath Athletic Park Booster Day, he added. The new park will provide an entrance from the east to the Vollrath Park complex.

Wolf reported that the county Highway Department will be able to bid on construction work on Osthoff Avenue and South Lake Street scheduled for this year.

The cost of the street work will be paid out of tax incremental finance district funds, he added.

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