Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Water main replacement scheduled for spring

After last Monday morning's water pipe blow-out along USH 63 near Snap Fitness that dumped more than 200,000 gallons of water out of the village's north water tower, it was apropos that the Baldwin Village Board dealt with several water issues at their regular monthly meeting last

In addition to approving rebuilding part of Main Street, along with utility work in the street, the Board dealt with a block-long stretch of the main that dispersed its contents last week.

Public Works Director John Traxler noted at the meeting that the hole in the pipe that produced the large volume of water was about fist sized. He said that seven or eight feet of water main was replaced, but the entire main was pitted and is a continuation of the main done last year about a block south.

Traxler questioned whether replacing the block-long stretch of water main should be done in conjunction with the Department of Transportation project rebuilding USH 63 through Baldwin that will begin this spring and continue into the summer.

Village Engineer Mike Stoffel said the stretch of water main along USH 63 from Lokhorst to Summit is 370 to 380 feet and estimated the cost to replace it from $27,000 to $28,000 with new hydrants and valves. He said it is possible that it could be done in conjunction with the DOT project.

The board, after discussion, agreed that it makes sense to do the work when the road is torn up anyway, and approved the work if a price can be negotiated.

The other work along USH 63 that will be performed in conjunction with the DOT project is replacement of water main from the First Bank of Baldwin to the railroad tracks and replacement of sanitary sewer from Newton Street to Curtis Street. The board reviewed bids for the projects and accepted the low bid from Albrightson Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $78,376.

Finally, the board approved a project for the two block stretch of Main Street between 11th and 13th Avenues. That project includes replacing the water main and sanitary sewer, new water and sewer laterals and a new storm sewer drain at 13th and Main, said Engineer Stoffel.

Stoffel said the entire street will be lowered somewhat to improve drainage to and off the street.

Most of the existing sidewalk along the two block stretch will be replaced, with the exception of a short stretch of new sidewalk. New driveway aprons will be installed and the first lift of asphalt will be laid with the final lift going on in 2008, Stoffel said.

The board approved levying special assessments for laterals, sidewalks and driveways aprons to the property owners. Property owners can pay in installments over three years for new sidewalks, but aprons and laterals must be paid for in the year in which they are installed.

The Board approved advertising for bids on the project. Prices for paving the fire hall parking lot and installing curb and gutter and paving the Ambulance Service lot will also be included when bids are asked for the Main Street project.

In other action at the meeting:

-Candidates for the fourth judge position in St. Croix County who advanced to the general election after the primary gave presentations to the board. They are: Howard Cameron and Mark Gherty.
-Spring clean up days for village residents (not businesses) was set for Friday, April 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-A number of June Bug Days requests were approved at the meeting. The annual celebration will be held June 12, 13, 14 and 15 this year. The village will made an $8,000 contribution to the celebration, from the tourism fund.

The parade will be Saturday at noon, starting at the High School and proceeding east to 6th Avenue, then south and past Maple Street.

Dance licenses were granted for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights; picnic licenses were approved (allowing sale of beer); fireworks were approved for Saturday night; and a temporary operator's license was granted to Rick Coltrain.

-The annual lease for the Fire Hall was approved. The building of about 13,000 square feet rents for 50¢ per square foot.
-The board finalized a fireworks possession permit system with a charge of $3 per permit.
-The Board agreed that the village will participate in two loan programs using the proceeds from federal revolving loans. They are the Downtown Facade Program and the MicroLoan Program. The committee members for each program were approved as: Dale Jensen, Larry Knegendorf, Dale Fern, Dave Mattison and Willie Zevenbergen.
-Discussion was held regarding parking on 60th Avenue and whether it should be prohibited. Included in the discussion was whether a parking area could be created on the south side of 60th on village owned property commonly called "Wintergreen."
-The village approved purchase of playground equipment, mulch and trees for "Wood Duck Park" in Berkseth Heights. Cost of the playground equipment is approximately $15,000.
-Police Chief Jim Widiker noted that the kennel to which strays in the village have been taken has been closed and asked members of the board for help in finding an alternative.