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Agreement approved for maintaining portion of County U

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOBART – In anticipation of County U no longer connecting with Wisconsin Highway 29 once the County VV interchange is built, the Hobart village board approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for maintenance Tuesday, Oct. 1, with the towns of Oneida and Pittsfield.

“As you know, County U is being transferred to the local jurisdictions with the interchange project,” said Hobart Village Administrator Aaron Kramer. “That raises questions like: Who plows it? Who fixes it? What addresses are we going to use? What are we going to name it?”

For the village’s purposes, Jerry Lancelle, Hobart director of public works and utilities, said County U would end at County VV when the interchange is built.

Lancelle said the addresses won’t have to be changed because County U is known as North County Line Road, which is located on the Outagamie/Brown County and Town of Oneida/Village of Hobart line.

The MOU calls for a jurisdictional transfer of about six-tenths of a mile of County U between County VV and Highway 29.

The conditions include the Town of Oneida agreeing to accept jurisdiction over the west half of that roadway section with the Village of Hobart agreeing to accept jurisdiction of the east half.

The Village of Hobart has agreed to assume responsibility for the maintenance of both sides of County U from County VV to Old State Highway 29 Drive, which is approximately six-tenths of a mile long.

Those activities will include winter maintenance (snow plowing, salting and sanding), pavement maintenance, grass mowing and signage.

The Town of Oneida will be assuming responsibility for summer maintenance on both sides of the Old State Highway 29 Drive from County U northwest to the north county line, approximately a half mile in length, with activities that include pavement maintenance, signage and grass moving, while the Town of Pittsfield would have the responsibility for winter maintenance on that roadway section with plowing snow, salting and sanding.

Interchange funding

Kramer said he has been informed by Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson about the state not planning to increase its upfront contribution for the County VV interchange project.

But on any cost overruns, he said the state will now pick up 50 percent instead of 25 percents of those extra expenses.

“We don’t view this as now we have more money on a credit card to go spend,” Kramer said. “We’re still committed to keeping this thing at the budget that we agreed upon at the very beginning – including condemnation costs. I’m confident we will keep it under budget.”

The Press Times reported in August about 79 acres of land critical to Hobart’s plans to connect Centennial Centre to the interchange previously being assessed for less than $200,000 and sold this summer by David Lewis to the Oneida Nation for $9.87 million.

Hobart, along with Brown County and the Village of Howard, have been seeking to have the Highway 29/County VV intersection improved because of concerns about safety as well as a desire to attract more development by having a diamond interchange.

The bulk of the approximately $27.8 million in funds to build the interchange will be coming from a federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant.

According to the project’s funding table, Howard and Hobart are each committing 11.5 percent, or around $3.2 million apiece, with the county’s share being 5.65 percent, about $1.57 million, the state committing $75,000 (.27 percent) and almost 71 percent, around $19.7 million, in federal funds.

The interchange is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2022.

Unnamed street vacated

After holding a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 1, when no one showed up to speak, the village board approved a resolution to vacate an unnamed street located between two parcels at 4758 and 4724 Forest Road.

The village, which owns the parcel to the north of street right-of-way, is seeking to sell it for development purposes.
In an effort to clean up some of the excess street right-of-ways that are not being utilized as public streets in Hobart, Kramer said the village initiated the process to vacate this small portion of right-of-way.

Kramer said no properties will be negatively affected by this street vacation, because the two abutting properties have frontage along Forest Road and the property to the rear has frontage along Centennial Centre Boulevard.

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