Wautoma Common Council... Residents voice concerns about White River

Several Wautoma residents who live on the White River attended the Aug. 12 Wautoma Common Council meeting to voice their concerns about the river. Residents Bob Stahl and neighbors Christine Kohl and husband asked the council when the city was going to do something about the river. Both said the river has debris and that the culverts are cluttered.

City Administrator, Clerk-Treasurer Tommy Bohler told them that the city work crew is planning to work on the culverts on Aug. 13, but that they are limited to what they can do along the shores of the river. Bohler said that the council is aware of the debris problem and submitted an application to AmeriCorps to acquire help to remove the clutter. However, Bohler said the city was unsuccessful, but will submit an application again next year.

Bohler thinks people who have river property are afraid to remove tree branches and other debris, thinking they may get fined by the DNR. After further discussion, Bohler said he would get more information from the DNR and would then send out letters, possibly this fall, to White River property owners, clarifying what they are allowed to do on their riverfronts and encouraging them to do so. He also said he would see if the DNR has a work crew that could remove the debris.

MSA Professionals Project Engineer Chad Grundemann attended the council meeting to update the council on projects MSA is working on. He said that the West River Street Project is nearly complete, with only punchlist items and additional ditching work near the Bird Creek Apartments remain.

Grundemann told the council that the Green Meadow, Valley View, and Sandcrest project preconstruction meeting will take place in a few weeks and Kopplin & Kinas plans to complete the pond work this fall. Street and sidewalk construction will not take place until spring of 2020.  The project completion date is expected to be July 31, 2020.

 

Grundemann also told the council that MSA Professionals have completed the survey work for the alley between Main Street and Ste. Marie Street. Design and coordination with property/business-owners will begin this winter. Bidding and construction are currently scheduled for 2020.

He also said that survey work for city hall pavement replacement and drainage improvements, as well as South Water Street drainage improvements, have been completed and design work is nearly completed.  MSA expects to advertise for bids for both projects this month, with construction currently scheduled for September and October of 2019.

In his monthly report, Bohler told the council that the second contractor who was mowing the Wautoma Union Cemetery has been replaced with a mowing contractor from Pine River. Bohler said the second contractor had not completed the job, but submitted a bill to the city for $1,100. After discussion, the council decided to pay only $500 for the work that was completed.

Bohler also reported: (1) The city received a $7,400 dividend from the League of Municipalities Mutual Insurance for having no worker’s compensation claims in 2018, (2) New swing sets at Bird Creek have been installed (replacing old) and are open to the public and said he appreciated the city work crew for the work they did to install them, and (3) He worked with the Wautoma Rotary to establish an “index” for WWII Memorial building servicemen’s photos, making it easier for visitors to locate the plaques of their loved ones.

Bohler told the council that a public hearing will be held on Monday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Letters have been mailed to residents surrounding 327 S. Waupaca, the former nursing home facility. The current owners are proposing they rehabilitate the facility as a residence for up to 100 veterans, but need to have a zone change.

 

In other business, the council approved:

•Payment of pay application #2 to Kopplin & Kinas Co., Inc. for $221,269.25 for work on West River Street. The project is 90 percent complete.

•The contract amendment with MSA Professionals for easement services for West River Street in the amount of $950.

•The donation of $500 toward a Little Free Library at Bird Creek Park, Wautoma.

•Operator’s licenses for Dianna M. Lenz and Marie D. Borrmann (Dollar General).

The next regular Common Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at city hall.