Kohler Power wants to double parking space

By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Kohler Power Systems wants to nearly double the number of parking spaces at its Saukville facility because of increased hiring at the plant.

The company told the village that it needs to increase the number of spots from 86 to 165 stalls, along with adding handicapped, visitor and semi-trailer parking.

The firm has also proposed adding landscaping to screen trailers and an outside storage area.

Harold Welhouse, superintendent of manufacturing at the Saukville plant, told the village Community Development Authority that the number of people employed at the plant has grown from about 65 to more than 100, putting pressure on parking at the plant located in the Dekora Woods business park. 

Welhouse — along with David Wilson, a company operations engineer, and Ethan Debrabander, a company project engineer — told the committee that plans call for expanding into a vacant lot next door to obtain the additional parking.

“Due to increased business activity ... and subsequent increased associated hiring, the property does not have adequate parking to support transitions of shift overlap,” the officials wrote in a letter to Village Administrator Dawn Wagner.

“We need an almost 100% increase of employee parking.”

Employees currently are forced to park on grass. 

Some of the new parking will be temporarily covered with gravel.

Village zoning ordinances require off-street parking areas to be surfaced with asphalt or cement, but since neither can be installed in the winter months, the company asked for and was granted permission to temporarily allow the use of gravel until early summer.

The committee also recommended to the Village Board approval of a conditional-use permit to allow outdoor storage.

Kohler Power Systems manufactures standby generators.

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