EL board weighs new DPW building options

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The village has a preliminary design to contemplate as it explores constructing a new building for the Public Works Department.

Don Albright of Kapur and Associates presented a site evaluation to the Village Board and the Public Works Committee Tuesday.

The analysis was of a site adjacent to the current DPW building on Maple Street. Albright’s plan showed a 17,200-square foot building with inside parking and storage, three small offices, a bathroom, break room and meter testing room.

“It looks like this is a feasible way to use that property,” Trustee Michael Wolf, chair of the Public Works Committee, commented. “This is something we definitely need. Where (the DPW) is now is completely inadequate.”

Wolf added that it was the consensus of the committee and village officials that the Maple Avenue property would be a better location than near the firehouse or in the village’s industrial park, both of which are on the edge of the village.

“When we put this together, one of the things we thought was that we can use the current building for storage so it wouldn’t have to be torn down,” Wolf added.

Albright said he could not provide any cost estimates for the proposed new building at this time without going into further detail on the plans.

Village President Alan Rudnick said the matter could be referred to the Administration and Finance Committee and the Public Works Committee jointly, to work with Kapur on some preliminary figures.

The Village Board approved an application to the state Public Service Commissionfora3percent across-the-board increase in water rates. The application will be filed next month, Administrator/Clerk/ Treasurer Jessica Reilly told the board.

A permit to run vehicles on the Lake Street walkway will now cost $50 after the board adopted an ordinance setting the fee.

An ordinance putting an 8-ton weight limit on any vehicles using the parkway was introduced for action at a future board meeting.

A contract was awarded to Advance Construction of Green Bay for the North Lake Street extension project for $526,477.

The project would extend the street past the recent Sargento addition to the Boy Scout camp.

Albright noted that the low bid from Advance was about 6 percent above the original project estimate. Reilly added that the total is still below the amount the village budgeted for the project, $530,000.

Village resident Clyde Morter appeared before the Public Works Committee seeking permission to put pavers in the parkway between the sidewalk and the street at his 151 S. Lake St. home.

Morter explained that he has not been able to grow grass in his yard or the parkway, and has put pavers in his yard in front of his house.

“I believe it will look totally better than what I have now,” Morter said of the pavers.

Reilly noted that the village has allowed property owners to put plants and flowers in parkways, but not pavers.

Director of Public Works Rich Solek expressed concern over liability if the village would strike or damage the pavers while plowing snow, noting that plow trucks do occasionally run up over the curb.

Trustee Richard Sadiq wondered what the village’s liability might be if pavers came loose.

“We give permission for somebody to plant (in a parkway) and we don’t water or maintain the plants,” Wolf responded. “If they don’t, they have to remove them and replace it with sod at the property owner’s expense.”

“Maybe it’s as simple as doing an agreement with the property owner,” Rudnick commented.

The board tabled the request in order to research the issues further.

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