EL board to set walkway permit fee

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – They will start by setting a permit fee.

The Village Board Monday began the process of tightening up regulation of vehicles using the Lake Street walkway.

The board’s Public Works Committee, which is continuing to look into the issue, recommended a fee of $50 for the permits, which had been issued with no charge in the past.

The walkway behind The Osthoff resort was the portion of Lake Street that was abandoned for the resort development. Motorized vehicles, except for emergency vehicles, are prohibited on the walkway without permission from the village.

Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly said the fee would have to be introduced as an ordinance allowing it to be charged, followed by a resolution setting the amount.

“We charge a fee for everything else, don’t we?,” Trustee Lynn Shovan asked during the committee’s discussion of the walkway rules.

Committee chair Michael Wolf asked Reilly what the village charges for other comparable permits, but she answered that she didn’t think there were any comparable permits issued by the village.

Wolf then recommended the $50 fee, to which the committee members agreed.

“I suppose it has to be reasonable, but we’ve got to more or less cover the cost of our guys to go up there to move the barricade (on the walkway) and notify the Police Department to be there if needed,” Wolf commented.

He noted that the issue of a weight limit on vehicles using the walkway also needs to be addressed.

“We’ve never enforced a weight limit and we’ve never set one,” Reilly observed.

Wolf recommended that the original plans and specifications for the walkway and The Osthoff development be researched to determine what weight limit the walkway was designed to bear.

“There needs to be a discussion with the facility as to how we’re going to handle this. 99 percent of what goes on there is The Osthoff or Road America. How do we come up with a way to get equipment in there without a big truck,” Trustee Richard Sadiq commented.

The committee agreed to look at the weight limit issue further after getting the design information from village engineers Kapur and Associates.

In their regular meeting, the Village Board approved requests for two upcoming events in the village.

A walkway permit, banner permit, street closures and a dispensation to allow open liquor containers on the closed streets were approved for the Vintage Concours D’Elegance set for July 18 and 19.

The board also agreed to pick up the cost of portable toilets for the events, as they did last year.

For Elkhart Lake Downtown Night, set for Monday, Aug. 11, the board approved street closures and liquor dispensation.

They also agreed to pay the cost of garbage receptacles and disposal as in past years, but Reilly noted that the village’s new contract for garbage collection with Advanced Disposal calls for no charge for garbage collection for civic events. Trustees said that, if that is true, they may consider another donation of cost of services to the event.

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