Sevastopol: Portal to the Coastal Byway

Sevastopol has a new title that will go on display for all to see this summer: The portal to Door County’s Coastal Byway.

That title will go up on a new kiosk near Grandma Tommy’s Country Store that will introduce travelers to the Coastal Byway and Sevastopol’s role in that.

“This is the starting point of the byway,” said Town Supervisor Chuck Tice during an update of the program at the annual town meeting held on April 16. Tice also serves on the Door County Coastal Byway Council.

Tice said the Council is working with Schmeeckle Reserve at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to create the informational panels that will give visitors details about the communities and special features along the 66-mile Coastal Byways loop on Highways 42 and 57.

Kiosks will also go up in the seven other participating communities, including Egg Harbor, Baileys Harbor, Liberty Grove, Ephraim, Gibraltar, Jacksonport and Sister Bay.

“Ours will be a little more grand because we start it off,” Tice said. “Each sign is particular to the community in which the kiosk will be built.”

The whole project became grander than originally planned, Tice added.

The original kiosk was just a little wooden structure,” Tice said. “We thought it would run in the neighborhood of $2,000. From then on, the project just kept growing, and when you’re dealing with all the municipalities, it’s hard to stick to the original. At a meeting this plan was chosen to build the kiosk in this manner. Then it came up that the locations weren’t proper. With our kiosk here in Institute, you’re halfway through the town already.”

So the Laubenstein family, owners of Grandma Tommy’s, were approached about allowing the kiosk on their property for the full 10-year commitment to the program.

“[Steve Laubenstein] has allowed us to put this on the property at no cost to the town,” Tice said. “He did a have a few requirements to follow. We’re drawing up an agreement right now. When that is finished, we intend to start construction soon.”

He said the estimated cost of Sevastopol’s end of the project will amount to about $25,000, with the town’s commitment not to exceed $5,150.

“The rest of the project is either grant money or donations,” Tice added. “We have a grant from the federal Department of Transportation, which is passed through the state DOT to the Coastal Byways. We applied for several other grants. One was half of what we requested but the remainder was picked up by going out and picking up donations and getting reduction in the cost of services to complete this project.”

The Sevastopol kiosk will have room for four parking spaces, including a wider handicap accessible parking space.

The completed panels, after being proofed and approved by the town board, should arrive within 60 days, Tice said.

“We were looking to have this done by Memorial Day, but it’s looking more like the 4th of July now,” he said.