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Location, environmental concerns stop planned bathroom building at Frankfort beach

Update: 3/19/2024

Plans to install new bathrooms at Frankfort public beach come to a halt after concern expressed by citizens.

At a special meeting Thursday, March 14, City Superintendent Joshua Mills was instructed to terminate the contract with Cole, Inc. to construct the restrooms.


“Article 7 and 14 of the AIA documents govern the termination process: however under Article 14 doesn’t provide an option to terminate due to public opposition. Nonetheless, the contractor understands our dilemma and will cooperate with the city,” Mills said in his monthly report to the mayor and members of council.

“There will be some expense to terminate the contract due to time invested in the project by the contractor; however I do not anticipate that will be significant. The contractor would like to be considered for future work, so they have cooperated with us as we navigated through this situation,” Mills also stated.

In the coming month Mills plans to compile information as they move forward to finalize the design and location within the Miami street area. The township also anticipates a change in the ADA code that will need to be considered when designing the restroom.

“Let’s establish our scope as we proceed. It is possible that we can have similar designed structures that can be used at Lake Michigan and at Bellows Park,” Mills stated.


FRANKFORT — Wooden stakes dot the sand at the Frankfort public beach, marking the spot where new public bathrooms will be constructed.

Frankfort city superintendent Josh Mills says it’s a necessary change, but some people in the city object to the building’s location.

“I would rather see the bathrooms at the other end of the park expanded,” said one resident who chose to remain anonymous.

Mills says the city can’t remodel the current bathroom due to restrictions from a previous grant, and that plans for the new bathrooms have been in the works for almost a decade.


“In 2015, we went ahead, updated our master plan, had a lot of community visioning sessions,” said Mills. “In 2019 we submitted a grant application to the DNR. The scoring criteria that we utilized was favorable more for the beach than it was for Canyon Park.”

Still, concerns over the location and environmental impact persist.

“We have concerns all the time with sanitary sewer distribution systems. We’ve had breaks in the past in other areas. this piping would be a schedule 40 type piping, would be a thick wall,” said Mills.

“And what if that fails? What if the toilet backs up and sewage runs into this beautiful lake?” said Ellie Harold, a concerned resident.

Frankfort city leaders plan to meet Thursday to discuss the plan.

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