Despite a referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot seeking voter approval for an ordinance that would require the village to submit for voter approval any capital improvement project exceeding $1 million, the Village of Egg Harbor has decided to proceed with its $7.9 million marina renovation and expansion project.
Village Administrator Josh Van Lieshout said the ordinance that would be required if the referendum were to pass would not apply to the marina, as the rebuild has been in planning for two years, with construction slated to begin this fall.
A petition was submitted in July requesting the village place the following on the November ballot for voter approval:
"Prior to the start of any physical construction of any municipally financed (in whole or in part) project requiring a Village capital expenditure of $1 (one) million or more, the Village Board shall submit to the electorate a binding referendum for approval of the project. Failure of the binding referendum shall preclude the Village from proceeding with the project. The wording of any referendum shall provide the specific purpose, location and cost of the project. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to preclude the Village from exercising its role in the planning or design of such publicly financed projects. This ordinance shall be in full force and effect upon passage and publication as provided by law."
Van Lieshout said construction of the marina breakwater would likely begin at the end of October, with placement of the inner docks to come in the fall of 2009 because the permit issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources precludes any significant work next spring because of fish spawning in the harbor. Construction is being scheduled to have as little impact on the marina’s regular operations as possible this season and next, Van Lieshout said, and is expected to be fully operational in 2010.
The village was awarded a $1.185 million grant for the project from the Wisconsin Waterways Commission July 23.