Waldo dam

No bridge until it’s compliant
by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

WALDO — A lively discussion developed during the public comment portion of the Village Board meeting Monday night.

While soliciting contributions for the recent carp derby, Jack Parrish of the Waldo Pond Improvement Association (WPIA) was unexpectedly given a donation of $1,000, which WPIA could use toward building a bridge over the Waldo dam, given two conditions:

• That the donation is matched by another donor(s). Amounts totaling over $2,000 were quickly pledged, so that stipulation was met.

• That the bridge is built by the end of the current year.

Parrish said he’d heard Hingham had built a bridge over their dam and that no state approval had been needed; that the only requirements were that it be built with volunteer labor and paid for with donated funds.

Parrish told the board enthusiastically about being offered materials that could be used to help build the bridge.

That enthusiasm was quickly dampened.

Village Administrator Bruce Neerhof said the dam was scheduled to be inspected the next day. Neerhof had asked the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about building a pedestrian bridge over the dam.

Neerhof was told that any structure attached to the dam would need DNR approval, “with plans submitted by professional engineers showing that it’s structurally sound.”

However, Neerhof continued, “Currently, the Waldo dam is not in compliance with the 500-year flood event. We have to get another 465 cubic feet of water per minute through the dam or there would be catastrophic failure of the dam.”

Neerhof said the DNR “would not allow any modifications to the existing dam, including a bridge, until we’re in compliance.”

The discussion swung from what could be done to bring the dam into compliance (no option being inexpensive and where the money would come from) to how Hingham could build their bridge to questions of the validity of the 500-year flood standard to the next day’s scheduled inspection of the Waldo dam.

Trustee Mike Hintz asked if that inspection would result in enough information to hold a special board meeting to address bringing the dam into compliance and building a bridge. But Neerhof and Port pointed out that the engineering firm would have to write its report; that it would have to be submitted to the DNR; that the village would have to work with the engineer to develop a means to bring the bridge into compliance; that those plans would need to be submitted to the DNR; that this process could take months.

It was generally agreed that a bridge over the dam would not be built this year.

Other village business

Rachel Mixon, a history teacher and Alderperson from Hartford, spoke to the board. She is running for the 59th District State Assembly. She told the board she’s visited 17 of the 30 government boards in the 59th District.

Mixon said her emphasis is school safety, education reform, and local government

Hintz told Mixon that some companies are mixing biofuels into their diesel fuel. Hintz said notification at the pump of the presence of biofuels is not required even though it results in shortened engine life. Hintz suggested it should be required to post that information, so consumers know what they are getting. Mixon had not been aware of this, and asked, “Why is the law always behind technology and progress?”

Spitz questioned emission standards and whether reformulated gas was really needed in the county. Hintz said those were federal standards, but Mixon said, “There’s always something we can do at the state level.”

• • •

Clerk/Treasurer Michelle Brecht said that as the concrete was dug up near the Village Hall to create new sidewalks and parking spaces, a piece of concrete with “1926” on it was unearthed. Brecht said resident John Port sent her an e-mail with background on George B. Ogle, who owned and operated a store at that site, starting in 1899. Port said the “1926” on the discovered marker “must have represented the date of some improvement.”

Dekker thought it would be appropriate to set the discov- ered marker where it was found.

Brecht also told the board:

• She and several election workers had received training on new election machines. She said they would be in use for the Aug. 14 primary.

• Author Melinda Roberts is writing a book, “Little Wisconsin,” on small communities in Wisconsin, and plans to include Waldo.

• She will be out of the office (and the office will be closed) from July 10 through 20.

The board unanimously approved four requests for village facility rentals.

Police report for the past month: Two warnings (both for speeding); no complaints investigated; 16 property checks; one citation for $10.00 (no proof of insurance).

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