Facilities Plan Would Dramatically Reshape Sister Bay

Sister Bay’s public facilities will have a dramatically new look – and a steep price tag – if the village follows through on a new facilities plan it adopted on Oct. 17. 

The plan, developed by Ayres and Associates over the course of the summer with input gathered from village officials, stakeholders and public input sessions, calls for replacing and relocating many village buildings and facilities. 

1. Parks and Maintenance Building – $4 million

The plan identifies the relocation and replacement of this structure as the top priority. Moving these operations off of a prime property on Mill Road has been on the village’s agenda for 15 years. The plan calls for consolidating parks operations at the Sports Complex and building a new building and storage building at an estimated cost of nearly $4 million. The current site would be cleared for a potential new home for the U.S. Post Office. 

2. Village Administration Building – $3 million

The plan calls for construction of a village hall and administration building that would accommodate up to 150 people at a cost of almost $3 million. The village has outgrown its administration building on Maple Drive, built in 1972 when the village staff was a fraction of what it is today and the village population was just 483 people, less than half what it is today. 

Ayres recommends moving the administration building to a site on the Wiltse property east of the Sports Complex, or on other land the village is interested in purchasing. The village has not said what land that is, though the village has previously expressed interest in the property owned by Barbara Hull on Woodcrest Road, and the Logerquist farm on the Corner of Woodcrest Road and County Road ZZ. The village entered into closed session on Oct. 17 to discuss the purchase of 40 acres of land, but after 20 minutes of discussion, reconvened without announcing any decisions from closed session.

The Village Administrative offices are located in this 1972 building on Maple Road, behind On Deck. Photo by Myles Dannhausen Jr.

3. New Post Office – $1.65 million

The village has been seeking to move the post office off the village waterfront since at least 2007. The plan calls for locating the post office at the former parks and maintenance building on Mill Road, but the village has not had substantial discussions with the post office about its willingness to move or what it would require in a new location. Ayres estimated a new building would cost approximately $1.65 million.

Sister Bay is considering moving the post office off the waterfront. Photo by Myles Dannhausen Jr.

4. Teresa K. Hilander Ice Rink – $2 – $3 million

The plan from Ayres incorporates estimates for the construction of a new ice rink with a cooling system, as well as an expanded warming house. Ayres recommends moving the ice rink to the location of the Little League Field. The Sister Bay Ice Rink Development Group – of which this writer is a member – has proposed that it raise private funds for much of the cost of the new surface once the village makes a commitment to the project. On Nov. 6 the Parks and Properties Committee recommended the village commit at least $500,000 to the project in future years if private funds are raised.

Sister Bay’s 5-year plan might include improvements to the Teresa K. Hilander Ice Rink, where a poorly designed surface makes it difficult to maintain ice for winter skating and other activities. Photo by Myles Dannhausen Jr.

5. Sports Complex – $495,000+

Additional recommendations include moving the dog park to a location south of Autumn Court to make room for the park buildings at a cost of $75,000; added parking for the dog park at $240,000; four pickleball courts for $180,000; and the relocation of the long-term marina parking to a parcel behind the new parks buildings at an estimated price to be determined. 

The Sister Bay dog park is located across the street from the Sports Complex on Autumn Court, next to the wastewater treatment plant. Photo by Myles Dannhausen Jr.

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