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Irving Young's Mama Mia

Chamber wants to expand building

August 25, 2010 | 09:14 AM
Three weeks ago, Lake Geneva aldermen wondered about the future of the Geneva Lake Area Chamber of Commerce building as part of the Flatiron Park improvement plan.

On Monday night, chamber executive director George Hennerley presented a drawing to the council showing a footprint for a 700-square-foot addition to the current facility. The 16-by-38-foot addition would be located on the south side of the building on the side where the Andy Gump statue is located.

"It will serve us well for a number of years," Hennerley said about the addition. It will allow the chamber to open up the entryway for more walk-in visitors and to display more brochures and information about its members.

The proposed addition comes on the heels of discussions from the Aug. 2 Committee of the Whole meeting in which renovation plans for Flatiron Park were presented. At that time, some city officials voiced concern that the chamber's facility was not taken into account. Hennerley also said he had not been included in the talks about the Flatiron Park enhancements.

For nearly two years, the Committee for the Beautification of Lake Geneva focused on a design plan to improve Flatiron Park. They unveiled plan specifics on Aug. 2.

Key feature improvements included in the design plan are walkways in the park that all lead to the "ceremony" open space in the middle of the park. Next to that will be the elevated stage and on the other side the ceremony gazebo.

A splash water feature is on the drawing along with more plantings around the Three Graces Fountain and a sidewalk on the east side of the park along Center Street.

The other additions in the design plan include the pedestrian pathways leading to walkways across the busy Wrigley Drive and include speed humps to slow down traffic.

Hennerley presented the plans Monday night because he hopes the work on the renovation can be done during the Wrigley Drive bridge work, expected to start in October and be completed by Memorial Day weekend in 2011. That bridge work is also why the Beautification Committee proposed the renovations be done to Flatiron.

"If you are planning on these improvements, it would be a good opportunity to build the parts you want," Winkler said earlier this month. "The Wrigley Drive bridge work will greatly reduce the number of people in the park and you could get this work done. It's a great time to do it."

Hennerley said the loss of the bridge will reduce the amount of foot traffic coming into the Chamber office, making that a good time to build the addition.

"It's good to know what the chamber needs," Alderman Tom Hartz said. "As we consider the Flatiron Park Plan, this gives us a good idea of what you need."

Alderman Todd Krause said he believed the location of the addition was "logical."

Alderwoman Mary Jo Fesenmaier said she thought the Flatiron Park improvement project was going to be discussed at the meeting, but it wasn't on the agenda. She tried to table discussion on the chamber building, but it failed for lack of a second.

The chamber building addition issue was sent to the Park Board, Plan Commission and Tree Board for further discussion. The other improvements in Flatiron Park are expected to be on a future Lake Geneva City Council agenda.

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