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Rib Lake looks at lighting options for downtown

Rib Lake looks at lighting options for downtown Rib Lake looks at lighting options for downtown

The village of Rib Lake is looking at changes to make lighting more decorative and energy efficient as part of a downtown street project.

Members of the village board at the September 8 meeting discussed including decorative street lighting and possible solar power lights as part of the planned McComb Ave. reconstruction project. The village received community development block grant funds for the street project with the village contributing a portion of the overall costs. The lights would be a village expense.

Village president Bill Schreiner noted the village was looking at needing to borrow about $325,000 for the project and the light upgrades would be part of that amount.

Trustee Russ Bullis reported on looking for lights similar to those that are along the village walking path along Hwy 102. “A lot of it is not available,” he said, noting that the model of lights used on the path have been discontinued. He said he has been also looking at solar options but has not been able to find much.

Phil Kriesel from MSA, the engineers working on the project noted that municipalities looking at solar street lighting did so for typically two reasons — either wanting to “go green” and not use fossil fuel energy or trying to save money.

Kriesel said that from a cost savings standpoint, the solar street lights were not there yet. He said the poles are lot more money along with cost of batteries and additional maintenance costs. “If you want to do it because you want to save the earth, that is a different thing,” he said. He said the best bang for street lights is to use line voltages.

“If we are going to do it that is the time to look at it,” Bullis said, noting that when the street is torn up would be the time to make any lighting changes.

According to Kriesel, the village would need to decide by Christmas in order to have the lights included in the engineering for the street project. He said knowing sooner what style and how many lights would be better. “If you came to me after Christmas it would be a hardship to get the work in the queue,” he said.

Kriesel said they would likely be able to get something similar to the LED lights that are on the walking path and that with them on a taller pole could space them out every 150 feet on the road. He estimated the cost per pole at between $5,000 and $9,000 each depending on what they wanted included. He gave the example of Antigo’s recent project which called for outlets at the top, bottom, speakers and banner arms. “The sky is the limit on where you can go with these things,” he said.

Trustee Vernell Van Hecker cautioned that the board must take into account the ongoing maintenance needed on any improvements they make. “We only have two people and we have to maintain those,” he said.

Bullis said the current LED lights along the path have been fairly maintenance free except for one that was damaged when struck by a car. “I think it is worth our while to look into this,” he said.

Based on the 892 foot length of McComb Ave. Kriesel estimated the cost of the poles and lights at about $95,000, noting it was a “really fuzzy number” without details about what features the village wants.

A subcommittee of trustees Cliff Mann, George Tesch and Bullis will look at options and bring a recommendation to a future board meeting.

In other business, board members:

_ Approved an update to the three-page ordinance regulating bicycles in the village. According to police chief Derek Beckstrand, the major change being proposed was to remove language requiring bicycles to be licensed with the village and that motorized scooters must follow the traffic laws.

_ Approved seeking a second quote and possibly holding a special meeting this month to move forward with a reroofing project for the Ice Age Pavilion. The pavilion’s 20-year-old roof was damaged during a vandalism spree in the village. Chief Beckstrand said the individuals involved were identified but that there is not much he could release due to their ages. In addition to the roof, there were picnic tables and benches damaged. The village would pursue an insurance claim and look at restitution from the offenders, but noted that may take years depending on the payment plan. The quote received for replacing the roof is $20,470. Van Hecker said he felt the village needed to get a second quote. Schreiner agreed and said they could get one and meet to approve hiring someone to get the work done this fall to prevent more damage from occurring over the winter. Funds for the project will come out of the village’s building maintenance account.

_ Discussed the replacement of an open shelter at Lakeview Park replacing the current shelter with a larger one that runs east and west. It was noted that the existing building there is not in good shape and a new structure would be useable for years to come.

_ Approved installing rain gutters on the senior center to address water issues and concerns over the impact water is having to the windows. Downspouts will direct the water flow to the west.

_ Approved setting trick or treat hours for Sunday, Oct. 31 from 3 to 6 p.m.

_ Approved purchasing a new public works truck from Wheelers in Medford for a net cost of $6,814 after a $26,000 trade-in allowance and municipal discount. Additional costs will include installation of a new lift gate and plow bringing the village’s expense to about $17,000. Van Hecker noted that the existing plow has been through three trucks and is showing a lot of wear. “It is time to get a new one,” he said. The village had also received a quote from Southworth Chevrolet of Bloomer but that cost was higher due to lower trade in and no municipal discount.

_ Approved replacing the existing police squad vehicle at a cost of $32,795, with all the necessary equipment it would be closer to $39,500 in total cost. The village had purchased the existing vehicle used from the sheriff’s department five years ago. It has 105,000 miles and about 4,800 hours on its motor. The concern is that the vehicle is beginning to have major repair work needed. Beckstrand said they have about $21,000 set aside in his budget for vehicle replacement. With the market for used vehicles, Van Hecker suggested the village could get between $8,000 and $9,000 for the existing squad on auction. He said now would be the time to strike while the used prices are high, noting that other than having a lot of hours, it is in good shape.