Twin Lakes cost share of East Lakeshore Drive project with county to increase

/From a village of Twin Lakes document

Twin Lakes’ portion of the cost of a joint project with Kenosha County to repave and bring other improvements to East Lakeshore Drive (county Highway EM) such as wider pedestrian shoulders and improved drainage has gone up.

Last January, an estimate of the $2.86 million project’s cost put the village’s contribution at $250,000.

But after the project was reviewed by the state Department of Natural Resources and it was bid out the total project cost grew to $4.67 million and the village’s proposed share increased to $750,000, the village was recently notified. The project also lost about $200,000 in anticipated other funding. Even though the project cost increased, a grant from the state remained at $985,000.

At Monday’s regular Village Board meeting the board discussed how to approach the added cost to the village.

Ultimately, the board voted unanimously to ask the county to adhere to a memorandum of understanding on the project in which the village agreed to pay 20 percent of any increased cost in the project. That would add about $340,000 to the village’s portion for a total of about $590,000.

“I would ask that they stick with the agreement,” said Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald., who heads the Streets & Roads, Equipment, Streetlights, Weeds, Lake Planning & Protection committee.

Trustee Aaron Karow, who is a civil construction engineer, said his study of the current plans showed the project has gotten more complicated from the initial design, but that should mean even more benefit for village residents in pedestrian safety and cleaner drainage to Lake Elizabeth.

Karow explained that use of box culverts, catch basins and having less open ditches will keep debris from draining as readily into Lake Elizabeth.

“Essentially what we’re getting here is a lot of upgrades,” said Karow. “There really is significant improvement to drainage. There’s a significant percentage of open ditches that are going away.”

Karow, who also serves on the County Board, said he felt the county — in taking on more of the increase — was trying to be fair.

The village planned to meet the original $250,000 cost by using federal COVID relief funds it has received. Any additional cost will have to be met with other funds. Discussed Monday were reserves and lake district funds. Those options would not require any new taxes.

“The village can swing it,” Fitzgerald said. “There would be no further tax burden on anyone.”

Fitzgerald said the project presents an opportunity to address long-standing problems on the road that may not come again for the foreseeable future.

“This is the only chanceĀ in the next 30 years,” Fitzgerald said.

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