South Pier to get new fish-cleaning station

South Pier Fish Cleaning 1

For Phil Pagels, there'll be no more stinky trips home after a day of fishing on Lake Michigan.

The City of Sheboygan plans to start construction next month on a new fish-cleaning station and restroom facility on the South Pier District peninsula. Completion is scheduled for June.

The $224,000 cleaning station and restrooms would be built near South Pier Drive and Illinois Avenue, next to the Sheboygan River, where a number of fishing charter boats dock.

"I'm all for it," said Pagels, 41, of Sheboygan, fishing Friday on South Pier with his 13-year-old son, Taylor. "It's going to be great because we don't have anything on this side (of the river)."
There is an automatic cleaning station near Deland Park, which will undergo some refurbishing this fall, but Pagels said having one near South Pier would be very convenient.

"There's a lot of people who fish here," he said.

The South Pier District cleaning station still requires Common Council approval; the lowest responsible bidder is H. Tod Culver, Inc. of Fond du Lac.

The station would feature an industrial automatic disposal unit that grinds up fish waste and sends it to the city sewer system. A stainless steel tub and water would be available for cleanup. Besides the restrooms, the facility also would have an overhang with a picnic table underneath.

"That ought to be really great; I like the idea," said Russ Barber, 44, of Fond du Lac, while fishing off the pier Friday. "After you're done fishing, you can clean 'em up quick, throw them in the cooler, and everything's good."

Cost of the fish-cleaning station is covered under the tax-incremental financing district expenditures for street, utility and other public improvements for the South Pier District. All told, the city is spending about $9 million on the South Pier District public infrastructure improvements.

Dave Biebel, deputy public works director, said the cleaning station replaces an old location that was removed last year during construction of the street improvements and public promenade along the river. The city decided to keep the new station in the same area, rather than build it closer to the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center.
"Given the use and the odor associated with it, we thought it would be better in this location," Biebel said.

The station was designed by LJM Architects and follows the popular fish shanty design of other buildings along the river. It will feature stained cedar siding with a metal roof, accented by a carved fish sculpture on a pillar supporting the overhang.

"We tried to do some fun things with it," said Scott Matula, an architect with LJM.

Petrie, Bob. “South Pier to get new fish-cleaning station.” The Sheboygan Press. September 18, 2004, page A1.