Adell moves ahead with water main work on two village streets

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ADELL — The Village Board advanced plans to replace old water mains on two village streets at its March 10 meeting.

Water mains would be replaced on lengths of Wisconsin Street and Edgewood Avenue. The village would contract that work, and then the county would rebuild the streets.

There are no sidewalks on most of Wisconsin Street, but one option the village has is to add sidewalks on both the east and west sides of the street. Parking options could allow parking on one side of the street, or both (or neither).

Several residents in the audience asked questions and made comments about the project.

“You have destroyed the value of my property,” resident Tom Henricks told the board. “I am not going to have any parking outside of my house or garage.”

Don Albright of Kapur & Associates consulted the large aerial photo of Wisconsin Street, on which were marked the proposed sidewalks and other street parameters, and admitted that Henricks’ house was very close to the street. Albright said that a car parked in the driveway would extend onto the sidewalk, something a municipality typically does not allow.

“You’re riding me into an unwinnable situation,” Henricks continued. “That house has been here longer than any other house in this village. I guarantee it. It was there before this village existed.”

Henricks said he’d carefully chosen a property to buy that wouldn’t require him to shovel snow, which he is unable to do because of physical limitations. Even if he could shovel snow, there would be no place to put it if a sidewalk were built in the narrow strip of land between his house and the street.

Henricks proposed not building a sidewalk on the east side of street, where his house is located.

The board discussed options, with each option affecting the other.

Allowing parking on both sides would require a wider street and that would make the terraces (the distance from curb to the sidewalk) narrower and the street closer to the homes.

Trustee Andy Birenbaum asked if parking could be prohibited on both sides of that length of street.

Trustee Jane Schneider asked if the sidewalk could be skipped in front of Henricks’ house.

It was asked if not building the sidewalk in front of Henricks’ house was workable.

Schmitt said the reason for putting a sidewalk on both the east and west sides of Wisconsin Avenue is, “If we put it on one side, then one side is going to be happy, and the other side is going to be sad, because they’re going to pay for it. Because there are assessments involved.” He said one reason to install sidewalks is the truck traffic.

A resident asked if there was enough foot traffic to justify building sidewalks at all.

Resident Jeremy Lawrenz said, “I have little kids that go from this end of town to that end of town, because they play up at that end of town with their friends. So I want a sidewalk there.”

Trustee Kim Peterson asked, “Is there any way to do the sidewalk on one side, and assess people living on both sides to pay for it?”

“That’s against state statute,” Schmitt replied.

Henricks’ home is the closest to the road on the east side, but at least one other property was close enough that a sidewalk would cause the same problems.

“I can see where we’re impacting these people on the east side,” Schmitt said.

Resident Jim Jentsch asked if property values on the east side would be affected if a sidewalk were not built there. Peterson replied that they would not, adding she was a realtor and that while some home buyers want a sidewalk, others do not.

Albright asked Schmitt if that meant property owners on the street’s east side would be assessed for the curb and gutter, while those on the west side would be assessed for curb, gutter and sidewalk. Schmitt said that was correct.

The board unanimously decided to proceed with the project, but to build a sidewalk only on the west side.

“I appreciate it,” said Henricks.

Albright said there were eight bidders for replacing the water main. Degroot Construction Inc. of Green Bay had submitted the lowest bid at roughly $190,000 which, Albright said, was “18 percent less than our estimate.” Albright further said that Kapur has worked with Degroot before, and that Degroot is committed to the project’s schedule of completion by July.

The board voted to unanimously accept Degroot’s bid.

Discussion then turned to the Edgewood Avenue project. At the February meeting, Albright had told the board that replacing the water main and rebuilding the road would impact an owner’s property if the water main was rebuilt on the north side of the street.

Schmitt said the owner did not want that to happen, so the new water main will be built on the street’s south side, in the town of Sherman, for that distance.

“We don’t have to dig on his property,” Albright said. “We’d abandon the old line, in place. We won’t dig it up.” He said he would talk to Sherman Town Chairman William Goehring on behalf of Adell.

The board voted unanimously to proceed with that plan for Edgewood Avenue.

Other board business

The board unanimously approved a request from Scott and Jeannie Marquardt to divide their land on County F, splitting five acres with buildings off from the rest of the parcel.

Adell Fire Department Chief Jeremy Lawrenz announced that the fire department will have a 125th anniversary celebration on Sunday, July 17, at the Adell park. One event will be a car show. Letters with details will be sent to residents.

The board unanimously approved Schmitt signing an updated agreement between the village and the Lakeview Community Library.

A request for water relief from Scott Behnke was unanimously granted.

Use of the new garbage bins will begin in April. For the start, bins will need to be placed in front of houses, because the alleys are not wide or sturdy enough to withstand heavy truck traffic. Schmitt said he understands that people will have questions about this transitional process.

The village will host the Wisconsin Towns Association county unit meeting Friday, April 15. This will be held at the Sherman Station Hall in Adell.

Shawn Bigelow gave a report on public works issues, in the absence of Jeff Kreutzinger.

The next regular board meeting will be Wed., April 13, 7 p.m.

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