Website provides details about lakefront project
Village Board approves referendum question
June 16, 2010 | 08:59 AM
Fontana — The village is launching a new website to ensure residents have plenty of information about the lakefront project before ballots are cast this fall.
On Sept. 14, voters will decide whether the village should spend up to $2.8 million to reconstruct Lake Street, the adjacent parking lot and construct a Lakefront Activity Building.
The village is launching a website — www.lakefrontbuilding.com — which includes a collection of documents related to the project, a history of the building, maps, explanations of tax increment financing and outlines of the proposal.
"There is just about everything anyone would want to know about the project," Wilson said. "There are links to minutes, presentations and many, many pictures."
Although a vast amount of information on the project now is available at a click of a button, it isn't intended to persuade voters to support the project.
"The intention of the website is simply to inform — just tell, not sell," she said.
Village Administrator Kelly Hayden agreed that it was important to have the website informational only and allow voters to make their own decisions.
Hayden said the website isn't the only way the village will share information about the project with the public.
In addition to the site, the village will host at least one open house, include information in its newsletter and send a mailing to residents.
Wilson has set out a goal to inform as many people as possible about the project before they vote.
"My goal is to have every single person over 8 years old know about the building," Wilson said. "Whether they are for it or against."
The website and the mailing will cost the village $5,000.
In just under three months — as voters select candidates in the primary elections for governor and the state assembly race — they also will decide the fate of the lake front project.
Planning for the project began when the Tax Increment District was formed in September 2001. In May 2002 the village hired the planning firm PDI to draft a conceptual plan for its lakefront.
Since then, the village has sent out surveys to gather opinions about the lakefront, held dozens of meetings and numerous public hearings.
Now that the plans have been scrutinized and reviewed for several years the village is waiting to see if the public approves of the project.
There are three aspects to the project, the building, the reconstruction of Lake Street and the reconstruction of the Lakefront parking lot.
Along the shores of Geneva Lake, the village owns the property located at 454 Lake St., which is currently leased to the Lake Geneva Marine Company.
If voters approve the referendum, the Lake Geneva Marine Company will continue to rent the building and run its current operation out of it.
However, the new building also will include a coffee shop, an activity room for public and private events and non-motorized watercraft rental operation.
Lake Geneva Marine owner, Kevin Kirkland, likely will manage the entire building.
Images depicting what the completed building are available on the lakefront building website.
Parking lot/Lake Street
The elevation of the lot will increase to improve stormwater management in the parking lot.
"The intention with the lakefront project is to bring the elevation to the lake level to help drain water to the middle of the parking lot," Workman said. "So, it can be treated before it's discharged."
Workman said the elevation to the village's beach house is higher so storm water could be treated before it enters Geneva Lake.
Currently, some stormwater drains directly into Geneva Lake.
The project also will include a bio-retention swale, which uses vegetation to absorb stormwater.
"The roots act as a filter before it is discharged," Workman said.
Currently, a water main that runs under Lake Street is undersized and too shallow, Workman said.
"It's only about two feet below the ground," Workman said. "There is always a fear it will freeze during the winter."
Additional improvements also will be made to the pedestrian area along the street, which includes new sidewalks and pedestrian lights.