Tuesday, June 24, 2008

USH 63 reconstruction project will take longer than expected

Mohamed Mounir, Department of Transportation Project Manager for the USH 63 project through Baldwin.

There's good news and bad news about the USH 63 reconstruction project through Baldwin.

The good news is the same as always: when it's finished there will be a new, smooth roadway; left turn lanes; and new traffic signals, including a new signal at 60th Avenue.

The bad news, due largely to unforseen conditions in the roadway itself, is that the project is going to take longer than initially forecast.

Officials of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the contractors for the upgrade project thought before it started that it would be completed about July 18. Now, after a meeting Monday morning among contractors, DOT and village representatives the completion date has been pushed to August 28 according to Mohamed Mounir, Department of Transportation Project Manager.

The problem, according to Mounir, is that the original plan envisioned not having to remove any existing curb and gutter along USH 63 between Florence and Hillcrest Streets. However, when contractors got into the work, they discovered that the existing pavement was about 14 inches thick, rather than the eight inches that had been estimated. Leaving the original curb and gutter, then, would have left a grade of five percent from the center of the road to the curb line, which is too much for safety reasons, said Mounir. So the solution is to remove all the existing curb and gutter and replace it with new, which will result in a longer project.

Mounir noted that the bridge replacement project over the Baldwin Creek is progressing according to schedule.

In the end, said Mounir, correcting the plan to provide for the right slope for the road is the right thing to do, although it will draw out the project. "I believe is will be a benefit to the town-to do it right," he said.

Impact Ministries open house is July 5

Pastor Steve Olson stands at the entry to Impact Ministries, Inc. in Baldwin located at the Baldwin Residence at 640 Main Street. An open house will be held on Saturday, July 5 at the faith-based recovery program.

By July 5, Pastor Steve Olson will have new flooring, fresh paint on the walls and furniture moved in to the west wing of the Baldwin Residence at 640 Main Street that will serve as Impact Ministries, Inc. faith-based recovery center.

An open house will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 5 and area residents can see the facility and ask any questions they have.

Steve Olson is the director of Impact Ministries, Inc. In a brochure explaining the recovery program he says he experienced 23 years of alcohol and chemical abuse but in 1998 he found himself at a defining moment and changed his life. "The true definition of repentance is: to turn around, or change direction. My exact words were, 'This stops now!' From that point on, through realizing the transforming Power of God in all His Goodness all things have become new."

Impact Ministries will be located in the lower, west wing of the Baldwin Residence. In addition to client rooms, there will be an entry/office; a common room for dining and group sessions. A new porch and stairs will be used to gain entry to the Impact Ministries portion of the building.

Impact Ministries will be a six to 12 month program, depending on the circumstances of the client, said Olson. When clients complete the program they will have sustained sobriety, a savings account, a work record and a faith-based background.

The program is for men 18 years and older. Although Olson does not have any clients signed up at present, he has a couple of possible clients.

Olson has training as a chemical dependency counselor, pastoral training and completed an 880 hour internship as part of his chemical dependency counselor training. Also on staff will be a certified AODA counselor.

More information about Impact Ministries can be found at its web site at www.impactrecovery.org

Fire damages rural home

United Fire and Rescue Department was called to a residence in the Town of Eau Galle on Tuesday, June 17 when a neighbor reported smoke coming from the home.

According to Baldwin Station Chief Gary Newton, a home owned by Xia Lee at 2366 50th Avenue suffered extensive damage from the fire and smoke. Newton said no one was home at the time of the fire and no cause has been determined. Firefighters remained on the scene about two hours, Newton added.