Ephraim Looks to Acquire Land for Parking

The Village of Ephraim hopes to add nearly 100 parking spots downtown by acquiring land on German Road.

“Parking has been a continuing issue since I’ve been on the board,” said Trustee Steve Sauter, who was elected last April. “We have run into situation where trailers have been parked on the highway and RVs in the beach parking lot and we have no place to tell them to go.”

The village hopes to use a combination of room tax dollars and marina funds to purchase two acres behind Bridenhagen gallery to add 97 parking spots, including boat trailer parking.

“It is geared toward the marina, but it will help with our overall parking problem,” said Village Clerk/ Administrator Charity Buhr.

The land is a short walk from Wilson’s restaurant, the village marina, and the public beach. The village has made an offer to purchase the land for $425,000 from the Evergreen Beach Motel, though the total project cost is projected to be between $550,000 and $600,000.

“Using those funds means there’s no financial load on property owners,” Sauter said.

The village could lose some shoulder space along the highway when the state Department of Transportation resurfaces the highway through the village in 2012. That shoulder space has often been used for parking.

There is a building on the property now, and the village has yet to determine what it will do with that structure.