County says something must be done with State Road bridge
State Road bridge near the village of Rib Lake’s wastewater treatment plant is the worst rated bridge in the county as far as conditions and potential for failure.
At the Rib Lake Village Board meeting on September 14, Ben Stanfley, highway commissioner for Taylor County, presented about the State Road bridge.
“The State Road bridge is the worst bridge efficiency rating-wise in the county” he said. The bridge is rated at a 22 showing the need for immediate action.
The board was given three options from Stanfley in regard to the bridge, noting the state recently became more stringent with bridge classifications.
Option 1 is to make no change to the bridge. In this case, Taylor County would no longer do inspections of the bridge, nor would assume any responsibility if something were to happen due to the integrity of the bridge. The Board would need to find and pay their own inspector for the bridge.
Option 2 is that Taylor County continues to provide inspections of the bridge and will put in for bridge replacement with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), with the potential for replacement in 2025. The cost of this in today’s money is $589,000. The projected cost in a couple of years with a predicted 10% inflation is approximately $712,000. The county would be putting in for a grant if the Board goes with this option, so the state would potentially be paying 80%, the Village would be paying 10%, and the county would be paying 10%. This ends up with a total cost of between $80,000 and $100,000.
The final option is to close the road completely and remove the bridge. The cost of this would be between $25,000 and $75,000 depending on environmental factors. If this option is chosen, the bridge still needs to be inspected every 6 months at least due to its poor condition.
The bottom line for Taylor County is that they do not want liability for this bridge. There was a discussion regarding snowmobile and 4-wheeler traffic if the bridge was removed. The board
did not make any decisions at the meeting.
In other business:
Engineer Phil Kriesel of MSA presented a previously discussed contract to the Board regarding the 2nd, 3rd, and Church Streets Utility Reconstruction Project. For the CDBG grant that they are applying for, there was a survey sent out to residents living on 2nd and 3rd Streets regarding their income status. Only 8 people did not respond. Ideally, there would be 100% participation. The Board elected to sign the contract without those 8 people’s responses, with a promise that if they decide not to go through with the project, MSA will void the contract with no payment required. The total cost for this project will be $194,015 disregarding the grant.
Gary Thums from the Rib Lake Ski & Snowshoe club came to the meeting to ask for a donation from the board to go toward the new trail grooming equipment they bought, including a 2011 Rubicon Jeep that “has never seen salt.” The Village was unable to give any money at this time, but the Board is very supportive of this venture.
The Village Board approved an agreement with Aspirus Wausau Hospital in regard to ambulance space and use. There was never a written agreement in the past that either Aspirus or the Village of Rib Lake could find. The eventual goal for both the Village and for Aspirus is to have staffing at the Ambulance Garage 24 hours a day. The agreement states that Aspirus will pay for any renovations to the Rib Lake Ambulance garage, while the Village will provide furnishings for the building, including recliners and necessary food preparation equipment, and utilities. Aspirus will be paying the village $1,500 a year in rent for the building. There was a long discussion that the Board engaged in, some Trustees disagreed with some terms of the agreement, but the agreement was eventually approved and signed with an overall sentiment from Trustee Cliff Mann, who said “We cannot jeopardize our ambulances … so many communities are losing their ambulances right now, and we cannot afford to do that here.”
The Board discussed a new Vacant Building Registration ordinance. The intent of this would be to require the property owners of vacant commercial buildings in the Village to register with Village and maintain these buildings. The opinion of the Board was that the ordinance as written is too vague as to who is enforcing it, and provides too many loopholes.
The Board approved new brush pick-up dates of the 1st and 3rd Friday of the months from May-October.
Trick or Treating in the village of Rib Lake will be on Sunday, October 30 from 3-6 p.m.