Gibraltar Requests New Bathhouse Designs

It was abundantly clear at the special meeting of the Gibraltar Town Board held Aug. 27 why the community is having such a difficult time trying to come up with a beach bathhouse – everyone has an idea of what it should be, and everyone is giving their input.

In a free-for-all meeting during which spectators were allowed to interrupt presenters and constantly offer input, two presentations were made for the bathhouse. This was the second back-to-the-drawing-board meeting since a July 9 vote by town electors rejected an $850,000 bathhouse design, 153-58.

Sturgeon Bay architect Rick Toyne traveled to other communities on the peninsula and to Washington Island to gather information on what has been done, what works and what does not, and then came up with a proposal that could be built for roughly $240,000. With certain elements scaled back, he said the price tag could be as low as $172,000.

A representative of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), the company the town has been working with on the beach and road reconstruction projects and that presented the earlier rejected building design, presented several options for the bathhouse ranging in cost from $254,000 to $290,000.

After the presentations and much discussion on what the building should and should not include, the board first voted to have Toyne come up with a design. However, board member Bill Johnson suggested it would be better if the town had another option, so the board asked SEH to also come up with an architectural rendering for the board to consider before going to the electorate again for a decision.

The board also opted to upgrade their Wisconsin Public Service wooden utility poles to Trident composite poles. WPS was going to upgrade the poles and would have supplied new wooden poles at no cost, but the town board decided to spend the $450,000 to upgrade to the Trident poles, with the hope that other utilities on poles on the other side of the street from WPS will want to relocate to the sturdier Trident poles. The board agreed this is a good alternative to cleaning up the skyline rather than the more than $3 million required to bury the utility lines throughout the main corridor.

The work to begin punching holes for the new poles is expected to start in November.

The board also decided to deny the legal claim filed by a law firm on behalf of White Cottage Red Door, which was forced by the town to shut down its food truck last fall. The suit was filed May 9, and the town had 120 days to respond.

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