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Rib Lake village board talks public works projects

Public works projects dominated the agenda at the October 13 Rib Lake village board meeting.

A representative from Mid State Associates (MSA) of Marshfield, Pat Morrow, gave his insight on the recent improvements to the town. MSA helped Rib Lake with the planning, design, construction, and funding administration of a major upgrade to the wastewater treatment facility. MSA worked with the village to secure one of the last loan/grant funding combinations from the Wisconsin’s DNR’s Clean Water Fund Hardship Program. The Hardship Program was phased out by the DNR and is no longer available.

In the case of Rib Lake, however, the village received about 70% grant funding for the entire Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade. The construction was complete in 2019, but the original design and construction did not include a cover for the sludge storage tank, in efforts to reduce total project cost. However, operational difficulties during the winter made it clear that a cover was necessary, and the cover was added at the very end of the project. The cover is now substantially complete. The most recent improvement that happened, was replacing the cover on the sludge storage tank.

MSA submitted a grant application to the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)- Public Facilities Program for the replacement of storm sewer on McComb and Landall streets. In addition to storm sewer replacements, the project includes resurfacing the streets and new curb, gutter, and sidewalks. CDBG grants are competitive, and can provide up to 67% of project costs up to a cap of $1,000,000. A grant application was submitted last year (May 2020), and was not awarded. The application was resubmitted in May 2021, and was accepted. The total project cost was estimated $1.17 million and the amount of the grant was about $760,000 (roughly two-thirds of the total). The previous cover wasn’t adequate because the sludge would freeze in the winter.

Staab Construction Company, of Marshfield, has some further items that were yet to be completed for example: applying steps to be able to open the hatch on the cover for accessibility. Some clean up of the stones around the tank from the overspray of the insulation has to be done. Also installing a chain for access to the tank itself and a railing along the steps.

Morrow brought a certificate of substantial completion for President Bill Schreiner and Village clerk Kristen Lueck to sign.

Morrow also talked about the street light addition on McComb Ave./Landall Ave. All board members were in agreement that it would be a great thing to do for the community.

“The surveying work was started on Tuesday, and further work will be on the way,” Morrow said.

Schreiner also elaborated on the lighting project for McComb Ave./Landall Ave. by saying “This is our only shot to do it.”

Regardless of the price being $120,000 more than estimated. Schreiner also assured the board that they shouldn’t have any trouble getting the funds to do this project. Along with trustees George Tesch, Rocky Jones and Russ Bullis, everyone was in agreement that it is the right timing for this project and they should move ahead with it.

Third Street is in need of repair. The board discussed ways they could start planning the touch-ups. If it doesn’t get addressed this year, they have 5 years to do it with only one change allowed to the plan if needed.

The suggestion of water tower rehabilitation was established however further information will be discussed in the future.

The purchase of a plow for the Public Works truck, from Medford Motors in the amount of $7,377.00 (this includes cost and labor of installation), was discussed and approved by the board. A lift gate for the truck was also approved for the amount of $4,354.

Lueck reported the Lakeview Campground host’s final day for the season will be October 22; however, the campground will remain open for hunters who are staying there.

Water to the campsites will be shut off as well, but the showers will still be in working order.

The board discussed fees for the campsites and they were all in agreement to make the sites $20 per day. Monthly fee was increased from $350 a month to $400 a month. Even with the increase in a monthly price, there is still a $200 dollar savings, if you were to pay a daily fee.

Bullis, proposed a budget increase for the fire department. He said that “It is very hard to run the department with the current budget that we have had for the last 8 years.”

Chief of Police, Derek Beckstrand, added “We have ordered a new squad car, it should be here by the end of October.”