Sister Bay Revising Facilities Plan Drafts

Discussions about the future locations of several major Sister Bay facilities continued during an Aug. 28 meeting of the village’s Parks and Facilities Committee. 

Consultants from Ayres Associates presented concepts for new locations for the village park-maintenance building, village administration building and post office, as well as a reconfiguration of the sports complex. 

After a lightly attended, two-hour public-input session with the consultants and village administrator Julie Schmelzer, committee members asked questions about the concepts and made several suggestions for revisions, but they did not make a formal recommendation to the village board. Ayres was instructed to make those revisions and return the concepts to the board in September.

The committee came to a consensus that park facilities should be consolidated on the department’s storage grounds on Autumn Court. 

The desires of the United States Postal Service (USPS) remain a big unknown in the process, however. Schmelzer said the village has not received much feedback from decision makers at the USPS about their willingness to move and what they would need in a new building. But, Schmelzer said they have received indications from post-office officials that if the post office moves, it would need to move to a larger facility with better access for trucks delivering large numbers of packages from Amazon. 

The lack of certainty made it difficult to determine whether the maintenance-building location on Mill Road could house a dual administrative and post-office building, or whether it would have to be used only for a post office – if anything. 

The other option discussed for the administrative building is near the wastewater-treatment plant on the former Wiltse property that the village now owns. Committee members also agreed that they would like the village to construct a gathering space with the capacity to hold at least 150 people for meetings and events, likely in that administrative building.

Although the committee liked the idea presented by Ayres to swap the ice-rink location with the Little League field and to construct a larger warming house to serve the sledding hill and rink, chair Denise Bhirdo expressed frustration that the consultant did not provide an estimate for moving the field. 

“Our decision is going to be impacted if the estimate for moving that is $750,000 or a million dollars,” she said. “That’s pertinent information to have.”

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