Residents push to delay street projects

by Steve Ottman
Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE . Village residents pushed for a delay to the start of the Kennedy Avenue and Appletree Road projects scheduled for this summer at a public hearing Tuesday at the Village Hall.

During an hour-long informational meeting, Don Albright of Kapur and Associates informed the residents about the conditions of the roads, assessments and time schedules.

At the public hearing, Albright stated that the residents of Kennedy Avenue don’t feel that the road work isn’t needed. Appletree Road was a different situation with the future new construction to the Harvest Homes project.

Also there were questions on repaving and whether new storm sewer was needed. There are obvious issues of standing water and ponding on Appletree Road.

Residents also questioned the assessment charges and felt that they would be challenging.

Village President James Scheiber thanked everyone for their concerns. He noted that the Public Works Department decides which roads need work and these two were next in line.

Albright felt that the truck traffic on Appletree Road was a concern if the Harvest Homes project is started and thought it would be a good idea to hold off until the village knew the construction time table from Harvest Homes.

“We have time to delay this because we have funding for Appletree,” said Albright.

Department of Public Works Director Ryan Welsing stated that Kennedy needs to be done to use the funding available or the village would lose it.

Scheiber felt that the assessments are normal compared with other streets in the past and referred to the past referendum that was approved, stating that 80 percent of the residents favored special assessments compared to tacking it on to the village budget as a whole assessment.

Residents of Kennedy Avenue showed pictures of storm sewer and curbing in good condition and contended that spot patching and repaving could save a substantial amount of money. They added that they would rather pay $500 versus $6,000 for an assessment.

Also, they said, the truck traffic needs to be diverted off Kennedy Avenue to ease road traffic.

Appletree Road residents’ opinions were mixed with concerns of construction traffic and the need to get rid of the standing water. Scheiber asked the board members for their thoughts.

Trustee Steve Roelse agreed the truck traffic is an issue with delaying Appletree Road. Trustee Ed Pahl also asked to delay Appletree Road.

Albright restated that Kennedy Avenue mainte- nance could be delayed five to six years. However, he cautioned, costs will continue to rise and that it will get more expensive, adding that he understood both sides.

Scheiber felt that the Public Works Committee will need to reconvene to dissolve these issues and called a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, to survey Kennedy Road with the residents and then move forward with a decision.

“We will take your concerns into consideration,” said Scheiber.

The open bidding process for the 2016 road projects for local road improvement project funding was tabled until the committee meeting decision.

The resolution for declaring intent to levy special assessments for Appletree Road and Kennedy Avenues and Mayflower Lane as part of the 2016 road project plan was tabled.

The board heard an update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant. There were two agreements that needed to be approved. One was the upgrade of the plant and the other was the phosphorus compliance agreement.

Phosphorus samples were taken from four different areas. There was also a discussion of the Department of Natural Resources schedule of compliances for water quality efforts.

The DNR is exploring a variance from the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a balanced approach and is very hopeful that it would allow the treatment plant criteria that would be easier to meet.

An engineer from Donahue and Associates stated that this would give them numbers to help the plant on future decisions.

The upgrade was approved and the phosphorus compliance study was approved.

Board members approved a recommendation to allow Welsing to proceed with research and receive bids from vendors to replace the village patrol truck by May with delivery by November.

The village discussed options for the garbage and recycling contract that is coming due with Veolia. Renewing would be cheaper, trustees agreed, however they would like to compare other options that other municipalities use throughout the county.

Village Clerk/Treasurer Joanne Lesser gave an update on the TID #2 project with Harvest Homes.

The developer has determined that an initial plan of one 24-bed facility wouldn’t be feasible. Instead, they have come back with plans for two eight-bed facilities and two other four-bed facilities on separate lots. She said she was waiting on the building permit applications.

Lesser explained that she saved the village money on a new voting booth. The village of Omro donated two booths that they weren’t using and Shorewood donated paper for voting.

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