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Lake Holcombe Town Board - Much-needed updates to take place on the hall

Much-needed updates to take place on the hall Much-needed updates to take place on the hall

Resident and nurse Pam Guthman spoke to the Lake Holcombe Town Board Feb. 8, about her concern over the recent announcement of hospital/clinic closings in the area, and what she personally is doing to try to help resolve that issue. “I really want to make sure we have a rural voice,” said Guthman. “Health affects everything.” Photo by Ginna Young

By Ginna Young

With money left from federal COVID-19 funding, the Town of Lake Holcombe is making repairs to the meeting hall, as well as the shop buildings. Bids were discussed Feb. 8, with some approved and some put on hold.

One such bid approved, was from Jesse Jones Construction (JJC) in Holcombe, for spray foam and fire retardant spray on the ceilings of the two shops.

“New code buildings, they want the fire retardant paint on there,” said town roadman Ben Jordan, adding that they wouldn’t have to do that, as they are grandfathered in.

However, the fire aspect and outgassing is a concern. “I think, safety-wise, you’d want to have it sprayed…for everybody’s health reasons,” said resident Larry Becker.

For just the insulation, through JJC, it costs $1.75, per square foot, where the town could go with 4-inch or 2-inch foam, over 5,000 square feet. Eau Claire Insulation also offered a quote of blown-in insulation at $8 a square foot, while the spray insulation is $10/square foot.

The spray coating by JJC is $1.57, per square foot, for a complete project cost of $23,810.90, for insulation and fire retardant. Supervisor David Staudacher asked what prep work would be involved, but JJC didn’t feel any prep work was needed for the insulation.

Because they lose so much heat through the roof at the one building, Jordan felt that going with 2 inches of insulation would work and they could then install three ceilings fans, to circulate heat back down to the floor.

“That’ll really make a big difference in there,” said town chairman Brian Guthman.

The town also plans to take out the front stairs and the two stone walls at the front entrance of the hall, and install a 10-foot entrance and a metal handrail instead.

“If you notice, it leans way too much, it’s not really accessible,” said Guthman.

Also up for replacement, are the stairs on the side of the town hall. Jordan will get an estimate for composite or wood for the emergency side exit, which is required by law.

“The stone base of it is breaking right up and the slabs on top the stairs are all gone through, the rebar is sticking out,” said Jordan.

As for the back, the door to the steps is actually closed off and concreted over, which was done as long as 50 years ago.

“It’s been like that since I was a kid,” said Guthman. With only one bid in for the work, supervisor Doug Olson preferred to wait to see if one more promised bid comes in, although Jordan thinks it will be at least three times as much as the one from a local contractor.

The board also approved the hire of Delmore Consulting (recommended by the Towns Association), as the DOT is insisting that every 6-foot to 20-foot culvert must be inspected.

“A culvert, you may think of as a round tube…not necessarily,” said Guthman. “It can be square, it can be all kinds of things, as long as it fits in that criteria… In addition, two culverts side by side, count as one. Delmore will inspect the town’s roads and for every culvert they find, the town will be charged $100, which will be reimbursed by the state. The county will then assess integrity of the culvert.

All this comes, because some rural rounds washed out in heavy rain events over the last few years, which proved that some culverts are not doing their jobs.

“They didn’t even know they existed,” said Guthman. Members also passed Cornell Area Ambulance Service Resolution 0001, an intergovernmental cooperation agreement by, and between, the City of Cornell, and the towns of Arthur, Birch Creek, Cleveland, Colburn, Eagle Point, Estella, Lake Holcombe and Ruby. The resolution was required from the service changing its bylaws.

The Sanitary Board is also going in the right direction and while they are not in compliance yet, they are doing the things they need to get there. Guthman says the DNR has been good to work with and the town boards are looking at long-term.

There’s also been someone to step into the secretary position, so the Sanitary Board now exists of three members.

“Actually, there should be five members there,” said Guthman. “One step at a time.”

With the mandated road bans on, school buses, and garbage, propane and septic pumping trucks are exempt, through the town, but are asked to haul half loads. That doesn’t mean someone can’t request an exemption, which would be reviewed by the town board.

“We’ll take it case by case,” said Guthman.