Egg Harbor News and Notes: Marina, streetscaping, beach improvements on tap

Egg Harbor Village President Nancy Fisher sees big things for her community in the years ahead, thanks to a handful of developments in the year nearing its end.

“Egg Harbor is the most exciting place to be,” she said. “It’s on the cusp of being at its very best. It’s been an eventful year no question.”

One of those developments is the unexpected revenue boost the 5.5 percent room tax has generated. The municipality receives 30 percent of room tax revenues collected in the village.

“The revenue that has come in is astounding,” she said. “We forecast $30,000 – 35,000 and we will nearly double that.”

An agreement is being hammered out to give a chunk of the money to the Egg Harbor Business Association (EHBA). Meanwhile, the village will use much of the remaining funds for better signage and beautification. The business association hopes to book the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center regularly in 2008. The center was completed this year and hosted a limited schedule.

“We want it to be a venue that’s lively, with things happening that aren’t going on anywhere else,” Fisher said.

Fisher is excited by the expansion of the public beach as well, made possible when the village decided to purchase the Richard and Mary Ann Troup property, nearly doubling the size of the public beach for $1.6 million.

In coordination with the purchase, steps will be taken to improve aesthetics and water quality at the beach. Fisher said steps will be taken to discourage birds from gathering at the beach in an effort to reduce droppings that lessen water quality. Bill Schuster from the Door County Soil and Water conservation department is working with the village and researchers from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to create a soil, gravel, and sand natural filter at the beach as well.

Plans are in the works for roadwork in a couple years as well. When the state Department of Transportation resurfaces the village’s roads in 2009, Fisher said the sidewalks on the north and south ends of the village will be extended, parking spaces added, and new “dark-sky-friendly” lighting will be added.

Marina expansion plans are on the docket for a similar time frame. The plan is to expand from 40 to 70 slips with more amenities and landscaping, and improved safety for boaters and vehicles as well.

“We wanted to be bold, to do something that will stand for 50 years,” Fisher said.

The next step in the project involves wave and lakebed modeling, which will be performed in Kingston, Ontario by JJR consultants. The modeling will help predict how changes in the shoreline, lake levels, and wave action will affect sediment deposits, boat traffic and erosion. The working cost estimate for the marina is $6 million, and Fisher said firmer figures should be available after the modeling is completed. Work is expected to start after the 2008 boating season and completed by 2010, though the marina will still be open during construction.

Fisher said the village is also working toward becoming a more environmentally responsible administration, with energy-efficient light bulbs, new lighting to reduce light pollution, reed-bed expansion at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and plans on the agenda for more improvements in 2008.

Fisher said the litany of improvements and leaning of the board should improve economics in the village.

“Three fifths of the board of trustees are members of EHBA” she explained, “so there’s an understanding of the importance of business needs, but also for the general quality of life here. I think prospective business owners can look at Egg Harbor and say ‘this is a community that wants us to succeed.’”