Mitchell makes road plans

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

MITCHELL - Town Board members voted to tell the state they were willing to accept some $118,000 in state grant money toward a project to repair Division Road.

The project and funds are a joint venture between Mitchell and its neighboring town of Osceola; how the funds are allocated between the towns and exactly how the project will proceed are not specified at this point but will be worked out later.

The $118,000 was calculated by the state on the basis of resurfacing only. Board member Ken Sonntag was concerned about what could happen if the project — once specified — cost far more than this figure. Would the towns then be able to back out or were they locked into it?

A definite answer to this was not apparent from what board members had already learned of the proposal but the program was specifically designed to help municipalities.

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In another road issue, the other town roads in the worst shape were listed — Mink Creek, Hickory Grove and Scenic Drive, South Valley Road and Division Road.

Scenic was confirmed as the choice for the town’s application for Town Road Improvement Program (TRIP) funding.

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With one member absent, and minor modifications desired, the board tabled signing its agreement with the Mitchell Athletic Club, although it was in substantial agreement with the draft. Among items covered in the agreement are the septic system at the baseball fields as well as rolling the fields as needed, which the town will pay for.

In a separate but related matter, an advisory motion passed at the annual town meeting called for the board to look into replacing the lights at the ball field. Board member Jen Buelow suggested contacting Focus on Energy for advice and volunteered to do it.

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Board member Ken Sonntag volunteered to chair the new Town Hall Remodeling Committee, although he did not want to be a voting member. This was accepted. The board, however, decided to email those who had volunteered for the committee to obtain information on talents and interests before making choices.

A different advisory motion made at the annual meeting suggested looking into fire-resistant cabinetry for town records. An onlooker found a 4-drawer fire-resistant cabinet for $1,329, but another said something that was fireproof might be in the thousands. The board will find out more.

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Board members said they felt that developing a 10- year plan for road maintenance was a good idea, and had talked to county highway officials about it. The county people said the county would help at no charge, as they were doing for a few other municipalities.

The plan would go beyond listing all town roads in the order of condition and continually working on the worst, and factoring in things like road usage as well. The overall aim would be to have all roads in decent shape in 10 years. Chair Jackie Veldman asked for — and got — a motion to further contact the county.

Veldman also reported that the Town Picnic — this Saturday — will feature about ten different post parade activities for children including a free raffle for two (boys and girls) bikes. Kids can enter by merely signing a ticket.

The board, Veldman said, will ride a float in the parade. Originally, she said, the board would board the float at 11:45 in the church parking lot but it turns out the church is involved in a funeral at that time so a new plan will be developed.

Veldman also said that she had been told at a meeting with the Department of Natural Resources that Oak Wilt — a fungal disease that is generally lethal to oak trees — is widespread in southern Wisconsin and that people should not trim or remove oak trees until fall to slow its spread.

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