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Gilman board hears options to fix basement leaks

Water was the focus of the Gilman Village Board, Feb. 12, as members heard options for fixing water leaks in the library basement. The water is entering the basement through cracks in the wall on the east side, adjacent to downspouts draining into landscaping planters.

MSA Professional Services requested options to fix the problem from Rhom Construction. Rhom provided two options and then collaborated with K.C. Landscaping for another two options. The first option would extend the downspouts past the face of the landscaping planter concrete block walls.

“It’ll get the water away from the building, but you’re putting the water on the sidewalk and you’re going to create a problem along there with ice on the sidewalk,” said Scott Copenhaver, K.C. Landscaping.

The second option would use PVC piping, but Copenhaver says that plan would also deposit water onto the sidewalk.

Instead, Copenhaver suggested a third option, where the downspouts would be attached to pipes, much like in option two, only the pipes would take the water toward the alley, where a French drain would be located. Copenhaver says the French drain would also catch water running off the west side of the building and down the elevation change.

“It’s all going to run toward the alley, where it wants to go,” said Copenhaver. “The water wants to go there, we just need to help get it there.”

Copenhaver also said there would be holes drilled in the pipe, to prevent the pipe from freezing and to let the pipe lose water along the way. He said during normal rains, the water would stay on the property and not go into the alley. The plan would also prevent flooding neighboring properties.

Trustee Cheryl Rosemeyer asked if the trench for the French drain would be far enough from the building that it doesn’t flood the basement. Copenhaver confi rmed it would be.

In the fourth option, the drainpipe for the downspouts would be buried.

“You could put it on top of the ground, but who wants to look at that ugly pipe?” asked Copenhaver.

Copenhaver said they would saw cut the new concrete along the building and bury the pipe, so it is out of sight. He says he could extend the block wall around the corner of the building and end it in the dirt bank that is there now, providing a finished look to the building. Copenhaver said the wall would be about 22 inches high, which is a nice height for youth to sit on.

“That’s an added bonus,” said Copenhaver.

Director of Public Works Rick Johnson said, as far as he is concerned, the building shouldn’t have had downspouts and the water should have been put into the storm sewer system. Copenhaver said, if the village decides to put a storm sewer on the north side of the alley, he would like the storm sewer in first so he can grade the landscaping to the storm sewer. Copenhaver also said he would still want to install a French drain, even if there is a storm sewer installed, to catch water running off the slope.

Trustee Eileen Grunseth asked what impact the French drain would have on the clinic. Copenhaver said the French drain should not impact the clinic at all. Grunseth asked if it would stop water from rushing toward the clinic and Copenhaver confirmed it would.

Grunseth asked if Copenhaver didn’t feel the project would be “finished” if they went with option three.

“You look at that wall there, and it’s just not finished,” said Copenhaver. “And that’s replacing the existing wall here, too” Copenhaver went on to say the current wall has failed because there is no base or block below grade. He says a minimum of one to two rows should be buried.

“It’s essentially a floating wall, like a floating slab,” said Copenhaver, adding it has lasted this long because each block is glued.

He said the cement around the glue is failing and the wall is cracking and going to give out.

Clerk Candice Grunseth said funding for the water project should be able to come from grants.

Members voted in favor of pursuing option four, for a cost of $17,864.

Trustee Bob Mechelke also noted money had been given to the Friends of the Library by donors for an above-ground garden section on a slab, with benches, an above-ground planter and some decorative elements.

“Nothing has been contracted with anyone yet,” said Mechelke.

Copenhaver said he can make sure the downspout is back far enough to avoid the garden area if he knows what size the library group is planning. He said an L-shaped design would work and suggested the group look into options for shade.

“It sounds like the library would almost need to coordinate,” said Jane DeStaercke, village president.

Rosemeyer asked if the village needs to get bids for a storm sewer. C. Grunseth said she would check if the storm sewer could go through the grant, if MSA is the engineer for the project.

In other business, board members talked about the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The village was asked to add an action item to the plan for the village to complete, to be included in the Taylor County plan. C. Gunseth suggested adding publicly-accessible heating and cooling shelters as the village’s action item. She noted the only other village to have that on their plan is the Village of Stetsonville. C. Grunseth said the board can choose whichever idea they want.

E. Gunseth suggested putting up lightning safety signs in playground areas, adding the school may be interested in signs near the baseball, softball and football field areas.

“Can we name more than one suggestion?” asked DeStaercke.

C. Grunseth said they can suggest more than one addition to the plan. Members voted in favor of adding both the heating and cooling shelters and lightning signs as action items for the Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Members also approved forming an ad hoc committee to form an improvement plan for the mobile home courts.

Board members also voted in favor of adding Marion Devries to the election board as a sub.

C. Grunseth reported the grand opening for the library is set for Saturday, April 18. She said the group would like to close a portion of Fourth Avenue and put a tent up for the event. C. Grunseth said the only concern, is whether they can drill holes in the street surface to hold one tent up, or if they need to bring in weights to hold it.

Trustee Mike Kinas said weights would definitely be needed. DeStaercke said closing the street seems like less of an issue than the tent, since drilling could weaken the street surface.

Members voted in favor of closing the street for the library grand opening. The board tabled action on the tent until they get more information.

Members also discussed community room updates. Some of the walls in the room need painting. C. Grunseth also asked what the board wants done with the room’s baseboards. E. Grunseth said there is no doubt the baseboards need fixing. Members agreed it would be easier and cheaper to replace the boards.

C. Grunseth said they should try to put the updates through MSA. Members approved painting the necessary walls and replacing the baseboards, with the updates structured through the grant, if possible.