Elkhart Lake looking at public restroom downtown

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE - The Municipal Planning and Development Committee is looking at alternatives for a public bathroom facility in the Civic Center park.

“We have to think about the location, the size and what we want,” Trustee Geoffrey Bray, who chairs the committee, said in a report to the Village Board at their Jan. 15 meeting.

Under consideration are several possible locations and several different configurations, he said, presenting diagrams for all of them to the board.

The building could have just two single-stall unisex bathrooms, or be larger with a men’s and a women’s bathroom with several stalls, or variations on either one.

It could be located by the civic center, near the kiosk, north of the pagoda or by the library building.

Trustee John Schott noted a location closer to the square and downtown would probably be better, as it would be nearer to events and people visiting them.

“I don’t want to see us putting this building behind the statues,” Village President Alan Rudnick stated, referring to the “Pledge Allegiance” statue on the village square. “That guy donated $450,000 worth of statues,” and that shouldn’t be marred by a public bathroom, he said.

“We want it to be in the open so (the police) can drive by it and see it easily,” to prevent any vandalism or damage, Schott said.

One trustee, Richard Sadiq, questioned the need for the facility.

“I was never a fan of this whole idea. We’d probably only be using it a few weeks out of the year,” Sadiq predicted.

Others pointed out that the bathrooms would be available for the weekly farmer’s market, Downtown Night, and different car and race events in downtown, as well as everyday visitors and shoppers.

Sadiq did concede that downtown business would probably prefer not to have non-customers coming into their buildings to use the bathrooms.

Schott agreed, saying that an informal survey of business people found support for the proposal.

Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly suggested that, even if it is not needed immediately, space should be left for a mechanical room should the village at some future point want to install a furnace.

Bray said his committee would continue to study the proposal, with the goal of presenting the board with a plan and potential cost figures.

Rudnick reported to the Village Board on negotiations by the Community Development Authority on the vacant property on Rhine Street near Washington Street.

He said a developer is proposing a building on the site which would either be a fourplex residential development or three apartments with retail/commercial space on the first floor.

“This will be going to the Planning Commission to discuss terms of a possible developmer’s agreement,” Rudnick said.

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