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Village, county try road brine

Marathon City will experiment this winter

The Village of Marathon City has asked Marathon County to apply salt brine to selected village streets this winter in an experiment to see if it helps with snowplowing, administrator Andy Kurtz told trustees at their monthly meeting on Thursday.

Kurtz said the county highway department, which has invested in a large brine batch maker, will routinely spray the liquid on the Market Street hill and near the Fourth and East Streets intersection. The county already is in Marathon City, said Kurtz, to brine the STH 107 hill, the STH 107 bridge and the STH 29 diamond interchange.

Kurtz said that if the experiment is a success the village could contract with the county to permanently brine these and other streets for a fee.

The administrator said the areas to be brined are historically “icy and greasy” to drive on.

Kurtz said the county has had good experience using brine on county and state highways.

“The county is saving money on salt and improving road safety,” he said.

In other village board business:

_ Administrator Kurtz announced the village was involved in a program to switch over the village’s 140 streetlights to LEDs over the next seven years. Wisconsin Public Service will replace 20 lights a year.

Kurtz estimated the village would save $35,000 annually once the LED conversion is complete.

_ Board members approved Janine McCain as a Marathon Fire Department EMT.

_ Administrator Kurtz said he has met with representatives of the U.S. Census over procedures meant to insure all village residents are counted. He said 89 percent of Marathon City residents were counted in the 2010 census. Much of the 2020 census will be done online, he said.

_ Kurtz told village trustees the village’s insurance policy will increase 14 percent largely due experience-triggered workman’s compensation premiums.

_ Kurtz told trustees Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) have signed a letter asking for a state DOT grant to construct a frontage road north of STH 29 east of STH 107.

_ Administrator Kurtz informed board members deputy building inspector Darren Pagel drafted a raze order for a house at 704 Sixth Street. The home is a 1909 Craftsman-style house that is no longer inhabitable.

Kurtz said the owner can elect to raze the house or have the village do so. Cost of demolition, he said, was approximately $25,000 to $30,000.