Jacksonport Koulias Home’s Fate in Voters’ Hands

Jacksonport voters will be asked to decide the fate of the Koulias home at the town’s Nov. 15 budget meeting.

The town’s monthly meeting on Oct. 25 kicked off with resident Rob Anderson asking questions about an anonymous one-page handout that has been circulating in the town. The handout makes a case for converting the home “into a high-quality lakefront pavilion with flush-toilet restrooms” and that the town should not “throw away a $125,000 town asset.”

Anderson said he was confused by the handout because he understood the town had already decided to get rid of the home, which sits within the confines of the town’s Lakeside Park. He wanted to know the author of the handout (no one confessed at the meeting) and why the author would consider a long abandoned home as an economic asset.

Town Supervisor Tom Wilson said after the board took action for removal of the house, the board learned within the last two weeks that disposition of the house requires electoral approval. He said the appearance of the handout advocating repurposing the building for park use shows there is conflict within the town on the issue.

Wilson also pointed out that “the plan from Day One” when former board chair Al Birnschein was first approached about the property in April 2012 was to remove the house.

“Let’s take it to the electorate and see what people want to do,” he said. “This has been going on forever. We need to keep moving on this park.”

The board also heard reports from the town Plan Commission and Parks Committee on an offer from resident Robert Costa to donate his 20 acres of land to the town for a park and his final resting place.

Tim Bley, the town board member on the Plan Commission, said they decided to thank Costa for his offer but think there are too many open-ended questions to get involved. Tom Wilson, who also serves on Parks, said there are many questions to the offer, so they would like to see a list of his expectations in awarding the property. He suggested the town send a letter to Costa asking him to respond with his expectations from the town, with a deadline for response. The board agreed to do so.

Two Clark Lake residents asked the town to consider adopting an ordinance similar to one approved in Liberty Grove that allows local provider Door County Broadband to build a tower without the cost-prohibitive rules and regulations that were inserted into the state’s 2013-15 budget at the request of large telecommunication firms.

Clark Lake Association member Chuck Birringer said residents are “displeased” with the several internet providers now available to them. He said he has been in touch with Door County Broadband and they would love to put up a tower to serve Clark Lake residents, but the town would need to pass an ordinance similar to Liberty Grove’s to allow the tower.

“I second everything Chuck said,” said Clyde Hutchinson. “My only option is Frontier, based on our location. Frontier was at my house today. This was their 16th visit there since January to try to resolve the Wi-Fi issue. I find it unacceptable at this day and age that they can’t resolve a simple circuit to my house. I would beg for some sort of Wi-Fi availability, or even a choice. I tried satellite. It didn’t work. I’ve gone down every road I can go. We know the Frontier guys personally now. They bring bones to my dog. I would appreciate anything the board could do.”

The board referred the issue to the Plan Commission for consideration.

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