Village President Talks Main Street: 'There Seems to Be Confusion'
After last week's public forum, Village President Greg Goetz addresses the Main Street reconstruction project, explaining why the project must be done, and how public input has just begun.
The latest comments have been tallied after last week's public forum concerning roundabouts on Main Street, but Sussex Village President Greg Goetz thinks some residents may be confused.
Goetz read a prepared statement during Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting addressing some of the comments from the forum, and in his own words explained why this project needs to be completed.
In addition, Goetz said the time for public input has just begun.
“The Village of Sussex has received a lot of feedback over the past several weeks about the Main Street project, and I am glad we have heard so many thoughts and comments,” Goetz said. “This conversation has illustrated the broad and varied passion for ideas that exists in the community, but at the same time has highlighted some confusion about this project, its purpose and goals.”
Goetz went on to explain why the reconstruction project isn’t about vanity, but necessity. He outlined that the road was initially designed in 1959 for a population of less than 1,000 people, and although it was topped with asphalt in 2000, it only expanded the road’s life by 15 years.
“The concerns that... this was a done deal are so unfortunate because they are just wrong.”
“A lot has changed sine then and growth will continue,” Goetz said. “Sussex alone will grow by another 33 to 50 percent from its current population over the next two decades, and the impacts from that growth are just starting to show up as frustrations amongst drivers and pedestrians on Main Street.”
The road needs to be reconstructed within the next five years, according to Goetz, and this will be something the village isn’t expecting to do for another 50 years or more.
And there is a long list of issues that need to be addressed:
- The bridge near Silver Spring Drive and Main Street needs to be replaced.
- The DNR is requiring Spring Creek be reopened by M&M Restaurant.
- Utilities up and down the street need to be repaired.
- The actual road is 53 years old and needs a new surface.
- Stormwater management needs to be evaluated because it’s currently lacking.
- The floodplain needs to be adjusted to help local businesses and landowners who were impacted by FEMA’s new floodplain maps.
- Traffic needs to be evaluated on how it will flow for possibly the next 50 years.
- Lastly, Goetz says Sussex cannot miss an opportunity to help grow the vitality of the central core of the village.
Goetz says the village has been collecting comments and information since day one, first by collecting input on what residents didn’t like about Main Street, followed by input at Springfest, and again during last week’s meeting.
“Up to this point the Village Board has not discussed the concepts in any detail because we did not want to prejudice the public’s input process,” said Goetz. “The concerns that were raised by many residents at the Main Street meeting that this was a done deal are so unfortunate because they are just wrong.”
The Village Board will discuss the residents’ comments for the first time during the May 15 public meeting, although details of the meeting have not been finalized. While Goetz said the board wouldn’t be making any major decisions that night, the project’s design consultants will be there to answer their questions.
Goetz said he hopes the explanation cleared up any confusion or lack of communication with the village. This is not a done deal...
After that meeting, another public forum to gather citizen comments will be held.
“Ultimately, the Village Board will select a road and streetscape design later this year which may include elements of various concepts,” Goetz said. “The Village Board will make that decision based on the comments from the public, how the plans accomplish goals of the community, and the cost factors associated with the plan elements.”
In closing, Goetz said he hopes the explanation cleared up any confusion or lack of communication with the village. This is not a done deal, and he says the Village Board is still open to many concepts and ideas the project engineers and residents bring forward.