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Board of Public Works created to authorize emergency work

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – In the event an emergency would arise related to public construction, a Board of Public Works has been created in Ashwaubenon to deal with situations without having to wait for approval from the village board.

Village Attorney Tony Wachewicz said the resolution approved Tuesday, July 23, by the village board is consistent with state law to deal with unforeseen situations arising during the construction process, such as a public emergency or a change order.

“Really what it allows for is a more quick action, as opposed to going through the public bidding process and convening a special village board meeting and things of that nature,” he said.

Wachewicz said the resolution creates an administrative Board of Public Works comprised of the village attorney, comptroller and engineer to act in those limited situations as delegated by the village board.

Village Manager Allison Swanson said circumstances such as a pipe bursting could be dealt with promptly by the Board of Public Works, instead of having to bid out the work and bring it back to the village board.

“We’re really just trying to clean up the authority to do so, because the state law requires it to kind of go to this that this authority will essentially be delegated, either internally, or have this administrative board, if you will,” she said.

Swanson said the Board of Public Works is not meant to circumvent bidding laws in any way, but rather to fix something that has to be dealt with immediately and can’t wait until a meeting is posted and bids are received.

“Right now we don’t have a paper trail that says you told us to go do that,” she said. “We’re just trying to clean that up and make sure everybody’s on the same page that we’re going to clean up the mess.”

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