Elkhart Lake Village Board ensures public works director transition

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The Village Board assured a smooth transition atop the Public Works Department Monday.

The board approved hiring Public Works assistant Patrick Zorn to replace current director Richard Solek when he retires next January.

Both Solek and Zorn presented annual reports to the board, Solek for the Public Works Department and Zorn as fire chief for the Fire Department. Tourism Director Kathleen Eickhoff also gave her annual report to the board.

Eickhoff told the board tourism continues to grow and thrive in the village. She said the focus in the coming year will be on attracting meetings to the village, especially during the off-season, and promoting the culinary offerings in the village.

“We’re going to continue to do co-op advertising,” among all of the village’s tourism-related businesses, Eickhoff said. “It really helps us extend our buying power in the Milwaukee and Chicago markets.”

Bringing more meetings to the village, “is going to help us gain more activity in the off-season,” Eickhoff explained.

The Tourism Commission continues to sponsor media tours of the village and its attractions. “The media tours have really given us a lot of attention. We’ve had some phenomenal coverage since November,” she said.

“We’re in a growth mode,” Eickhoff said of the overall tourism picture for the village. She added that advance bookings for this summer “look fantastic.”

Zorn reported that his department currently has 31 members.

The department will be looking to replace ladder truck number one in 2018.

Zorn said a resident of the fire district donated 16.7 acres of land in the town of Plymouth on Hill and Dale Road to the fire department.

“We’re looking to sell that land in the future,” Zorn said. The proceeds would be used to help the department purchase new air packs for its members.

“We got a $10,000 donation from the Lions Club for air packs,” Zorn noted.

Solek gave his last report for the Public Works Department. He noted street paving and repaving projects in the city, along with the installation of three hand railings on Lake Street in front of Nordic Accents and Gesserts.

He reported two water main breaks during the year, one in January and one in December. Both were due to the failure of repairs on previous breaks, according to Solek.

The board approved starting the process of hiring an assistant in the Public Works Department. A job description will be posted by April 10 and the job will be advertised, Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly told the board.

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