EL gets grant for lead water line replacement

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – The village has money available to help residents replace lead water service lines.

Village Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Reilly told the Village Board Monday Elkhart Lake has received a $94,000 federal grant through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to replace lead water service lines in the village.

“We applied for the grant a month ago and we got it,” Reilly told the trustees. The original grant was for the downtown area, but she said it has since been limited to service lines in the area west of State 67 (Lincoln Street) and north of Rhine Street.

“We’re going to send letters to all those people to see if they’re interested,” Reilly said.

The grant money can be used by property owners to replace lead private service lines – the service line from the curb stop to the residence or building.

Village officials decided a co-pay by property owners would be wise, “just so they have a buy-in,” Reilly ex- plained.

While Reilly said she and engineer Don Albright of the village’s consulting engineers, Kapur and Associates, suggested $100 or $200, Trustee Richard Sadiq proposed $250, which the board approved.

The grant money would pay the rest of the cost up to $6,000. Reilly assured trustees that the grant would cover landscaping and other costs associated with replacing the lead service lines.

Elkhart Lake is one of 38 villages and cities across the state to receive the grant. Those range in size from Bayfield (population 487) to Milwaukee. The city of Sheboygan was the only other grant recipient in the county, receiving $335,000.

The board authorized Village President Alan Rudnick to meet with the Northern Moraine Utility Commission — which the village is part of along with Glenbeulah and sanitary districts in the towns of Greenbush, Plymouth and Rhine — to address some of the village’s concerns.

At the Public Works Committee meeting preceding the board meeting, Trustee Michael Wolf explained that the utility is seeking a sewer rate increase for 2017.

He noted that the commission is looking to build up its reserve funds as well as cover operating expenses with the increase.

“It’s not like something has failed out there and we all have to fix it,” Wolf said of the utility’s rate increase request.

The board approved a list of requests related to the annual Schnee Days event the final weekend in January, including walkway permits and course and time approval for the Schneelauf Run.

Rudnick noted that the requests were pretty much the same as in the past for the event.

Trustee Richard Baumann reported that the Tourism Commission had approved a $1,000 grant for the Schnee Days event.

The Joint Emergency Response Committee has asked Fire Chief Pat Zorn to get prices for a new ladder truck. “In 2018 we’ll be looking for a new one,” Trustee Steve Kapellen, the board’s representative on the committee, explained.

The committee is also looking into an ordinance to set fees for excessive false alarms, Kapellen said.

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