Western Avenue water main, street project awarded

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Drivers can look forward to dealing with a construction zone on the city’s western edge this summer.

The City Council Tuesday awarded a contract for a water main relay and street project on Western Avenue from Factory Street to the west city limits.

The $659,190.50 contract was awarded to Buteyn-Peterson Construction of Sheboygan, the lowest of 11 bidders on the project. “That is really a big number,” Public Works Director Bill Immich said of the number of bidders. The estimate for the project was $673,000.

A 12-inch water main line will be installed along the length of the project, along with new laterals from the main to the curb stop at each property. After that, the street will be repaved.

“We have contacted each property owner and recommended that they replace their water service from the curb stop to the house if it is lead pipes,” Immich told the council. “It’s not required, but it is recommended by the DNR.”

The street work portion of the project will be paid for out of city capital projects funds, while the water main work will be paid by Plymouth Utilities, according to Immich.

A reorganization of clerical/records positions in the Police Department was approved by the council.

City Administrator Brian Yerges said the changes were precipitated by the retirement of the department’s administrative assistant.

“We looked at the job descriptions and the people available,” following the retirement, Yerges explained. “The position that was to be vacant was not being used as a true administrative assistant position.”

That position was combined with other existing positions in the department to create a senior records person/municipal court reserve clerk position as well as two records person positions.

Yerges noted that all three positions will report directly to the police chief and the deputy police chief. In the past, the records persons had reported to the administrative assistant.

The council approved a resolution opposing ‘dark store’ property assessment.

Yerges explained that the resolution, requested by the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, addresses an assessment issue impacting many communities across the state and elsewhere.

According to Yerges, big-box store retail chains have been suing municipalities to have the assessments for active stores lowered to match the assessment for similar vacant big box stores.

The result is a much lower assessment for active stores “to gain dramatic reductions in their property tax bills at the expense of homeowners and other taxpayers,” the resolution stated.

Yerges noted that the states of Indiana and Michigan have adopted legislation prohibiting the ‘dark store’ assessment practice.

The resolution calls on the Wisconsin legislature to adopt similar legislation.

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