Some residents oppose limiting parking to one side of the street, but board says they’re in the minority
Main Street reconstruction plans will move forward with limited parking, even though a handful of residents want parking to remain available on both sides of the road.
The Belgium Village Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve the plans presented at last month’s public information meeting, with one change suggested by the Main Street and Public Works Committee.
Project designs include limited parking to accommodate the addition of a five-foot bike lane, required because the project is being partially paid for with federal funds.
From the west village limits to Elevator Lane, parking would be allowed on the north side of the street only. From Elevator Lane to Oak Street, parking would be allowed on both sides of the street. Between Oak and Lar Ann streets, parking would be on the north side only.
The committee requested adding parking on the north side of the street from Lar Ann Street to Highway LL.
Carol Mcgilvary said she is worried because she lives across the street from apartments and parking would only be allowed on her side of the street. Drivers don’t travel at the posted 25 mph speed limit, endangering those who cross the street, she said.
“If a kid gets killed crossing the street, it’s on your conscience,” she said.
Mcgilvary was one of a handful of residents who live on Main Street that voiced disagreement with the parking plan.
The board, however, cited a lack of opposition to the design. Of the 49 people at the public information meeting, eight turned in comments about the project. Six of those requested parking on both sides of the street.
“The majority of the people don’t disagree with the plans,” Village President Vickie Boehnlein said. “I would have certainly reconsidered the plan if the interest would have been clearly made.”
Trustee Josh Borden said he counted 54 cars were parked between Oak and Lar Ann from March 12 to April 11.
“In my opinion, the numbers don’t lie. The cars aren’t parked there,” he said.
In related business, the board unanimously approved the state’s latest funding proposal for the reconstruction project, taking the recommendation from the Main Street and Public Works Committee. Trustee Dale Pfeifer was absent.
The new proposal calls for splitting the project between 2017 and 2018, rather than doing all the work in one year.
A state grant originally offered 80% of the project, which was slated to total $4.2 million. Ozaukee County and the village were to evenly split the remaining costs, each paying $420,000.
A more recent cost estimate came in at $6.9 million. The state agreed to increase its funding but not to the 80% level. The village’s cost increased to $1.4 million.
Days later, however, the state found a way to increase its funding back to 80% by using funds from 2017 and 2018.
That means the village and county will pay $690,000.
The county’s Public Works Committee last week unanimously approved paying its portion of the project.
Splitting the work between two years makes for easier traffic flow but speeds approvals of design details.
“We have to decide things much faster than we thought we had to,” Boehnlein said.