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Costly culvert

Costly culvert Costly culvert

Committee OKs cost share on new culvert connecting two lakes

A culvert that also serves as a connection point for boats traveling between two popular Taylor County lakes will be costly to replace.

The town of Hammel requested bridge aid from the county for help with replacing the culvert on Clear Lake Road. The culvert connects Clear Lake with Lake Esadore and currently is a 12 foot by 8 foot wide by 40 foot long galvanized arch pipe.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has also made requirements for the connector and the town is looking to have the county crew install an aluminum boat underpass structure that will be 13 feet wide by 12 feet tall and be 58.5 feet long. According to highway commissioner Ben Stanfley, the underpass structure will allow a little more clearance for the boats crossing from one lake to another. He explained the structure is bolted together and will have an expected lifespan of 100 years.

See COUNTY on page 4 “It should last three times longer than a normal structure,” Stanfley said. The cost of the projected structure with installation is $93,895. Under the county bridge aid program, that is split with the town paying half and the county covering the other half.

Stanfley said that in addition to the amount in the bridge aid program, the town will have additional costs for things like guardrail and blacktop replacement.

“That is a lot of money,” said highway commission chairman Ray Soper during Tuesday’s commission meeting. “If the DNR is mandating it, they should put their money where their mouth is,” Soper said.

Stanfley said the project is higher than their normal culverts, but that the benefit is that it will also last much longer than normal culvert projects. “It is a lot of money up front,” he said.

“This is a tough year to do this,” Soper said, of the county’s budget situation.

The county typically assesses for about $100,000 in bridge aid funds as the county’s share of the projects. However, Stanfley explained that over the years there has been an accumulation in the bridge aid fund from projects coming in under the projected amounts. He estimated there was about $120,000 in that account. The goal is to tap into those surplus funds to help cover larger projects and keep the amount going to taxpayers more level.

“This entire project isn’t going to go on the levy,” Stanfley explained.

In the end, Soper voted against accepting the project into the county bridge aid program with the other committee members voting yes.

Hammel also requested bridge aid for a culvert replacement on Perkinstown Ave. for the replacement of 6 foot by 40 foot galvanized pipes which are decayed. The new structure will be a 102 inch arched pipe that will be 60 feet long and cost a total of $29,230 with the county’s half at $14,615.

The total amount that will be going to the county board for the bridge aid resolution for projects approved through the year will be $94,080 with the amount being finalized at the finance and personnel committee meeting on Sept. 25 before going to the full county board next month.

In other business, commission members:

  Approved putting a $2,000 deposit on two single axle patrol trucks to secure the county’s order of the vehicles. The new vehicles will replace current patrol trucks and are projected to arrive in the second quarter of 2024.

  Received an update from Stanfley on the replacement of the Human Services Department parking lot. Stanfley projected the work would come in under budget despite needing to put in a significant amout of backfill due to poor base in some areas.

  Received word that Hwy 102 would be closed on September 25 and 26 near Rib Road, south of the Patrick Mink Ranch for a culvert replacement. There will be a detour for vehicles around the project.

The county project to replace and expand the parking lot at the Human Services building came in under budget. Highway commissioner Ben Stanfley noted they had to bring in a large amount of fill to build up the base of the parking lot in some areas. The existing parking lot was original to the building and had been expanded over the years. As part of the project, the county was able to remove the steps leading into the building improving accessibility.Brian Wilson/The Star News