By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Village Board approved putting two large projects out for bid at its Oct. 19 meeting. The board voted to move forward with the Village Square improvement plan, slated to be done next year in conjunction with Walworth County Highway ES resurfacing.

The board also approved the construction of a multi-use trail along Highway G/120 from the Village Square to Brookstone Subdivision. The estimated cost for the trail is about $163,000; the board had previously approved $200,000 in the 2021 capital improvement budget for the project.

At the advice of Village Engineer Tim Lynch, of Lynch and Associates, the board decided not to pave the Mill Pond Park parking lot, which had been under consideration. Lynch pointed out that the staging point for the East Troy Dam removal would be the parking lot and recommended paving the lot after that project.

The revised plan for the Village Square renovations will move to the full engineering stage now with the project going out to bid this winter. Department of Public Works Director Jason Equitz asked the board for final approval on the concept plans, which it approved. Lynch provided the board with some estimates on the project, which is expected to cost the village about $1.4 million for road/sidewalk improvements, another $850,000 in utility costs and about $245,000 in curb and gutter work.

The improvements to the Village Square include more trees and plantings, wider sidewalks, additional parking and some safety measures, including a traffic pattern change that will have vehicles stop at all access points to the square.

“We talked through the stops signs with the county and they had some concerns with the stop coming from the east, but conceded ice would only be a concern a couple of times a year on the square and agreed that stopping traffic entering the square was a good idea,” Lynch told the board.

The board members had a few questions, including where the new sidewalk on Church Street connecting the square to the railroad would be. Lynch told the board the sidewalk would have to be on the east side of the road.

Village Board President Scott Seager said he had heard from some businesses in residents on Church Street and their concerns.

“Some businesses utilize some of that space for parking and I feel sorry for them, but part of the reason we got the grant to do this was to connect the railroad to the square. It’s in the best interest of the community as a whole,” Seager said.

The board discussed how best to keep the businesses and residents on the Village Square informed of the progress and timeline for the project. The board members talked about sending out mailings and possibly having another Committee of the Whole meeting.

Trustee Fortune Renucci said he wanted to be able to get property owners the cost of the special assessments for the upcoming work, but Equitz said they won’t have those numbers until the bids come back, and in the past, the village has always waited until the bids have been approved before notifying property owners of the special assessments.

Other business

In other recent business, the Village Board approved a developer’s agreement with Jeff and Vicki Mckone for a multi-tenant building with sushi restaurant and bakery at 2919 Main St.

The Community Development Authority purchased the used car lot, which is west of the Village Square, and solicited proposals for development, according to a memo to the board from Village Administrator Eileen Suhm.

The McKones and CDA worked together on the plan for the site. The proposal includes a drive-thru for the bakery and outdoor dining and rooftop seating. The existing building on the site will be razed and the new building will be closer to the road.

Some of the Village Board members had concerns about adequate street parking in the area because the lot for the building has limited parking. The board will address a possible ordinance change, at a later meeting, for the parking on Clark Street to give customers options.

The board also approved the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Santa on the Square celebration Dec. 5 along with the East Troy Lights display, the chamber tested last holiday season.


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