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Howard board selects utility routes for County VV interchange

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – Much of the village board meeting Monday, Oct. 14, was spent discussing how to extend sanitary sewer and water service to the area in Howard where the County VV diamond interchange will be built along Wisconsin Highway 29.

An issue underlying those utility extensions is property owners with their own wells and septic systems facing possible special assessments in the future.

On a 7-2 vote, with trustees Craig McAllister and Ray Suennen dissenting, the board approved a staff recommendation to extend water main along Milltown Road and sanitary sewer to the north off of Velp Avenue along a couple of future streets.

The drawing depicts the planned utility service route in Howard for the County VV interchange project.

Michael Kaster, director of engineering, said routing the water service along Milltown Road would provide an acceptable project cost and establish a redundant and abundant water service sooner, not only in the project areas, but also for the entire village west of water tower No. 4.

Without a looping water supply, Kaster said that could result in multiple customers losing water service in the event of a main outage.

“We wouldn’t get a redundant loop until a major main was run down Milltown or down (the planned) Evergreen (Avenue) in the future,” he said. “Any one of those two is better for looping. Milltown is better for looping and better for maintenance.”

McAllister, who stated a preference for sewer and water being installed together off of Velp instead of multiple locations, raised concerns about property owners potentially facing special assessments for multiple frontages with utilities being installed in multiple locations.

“I’m just trying to get us to think about eliminating one the major loops that we won’t need,” he said. “That’s my point. We’re all talking hypotheticals. We’re all throwing stuff up in the air and seeing what sticks.”

Village President Burt McIntyre said most of the property along Milltown Road is established with owners having no interest in connecting to the municipal water service.

However, without a backup to the primary water service, McIntyre said future development could be in danger.

Despite the lack of a backup water supply without a redundant loop, Suennen said the option McAllister favored might be the best for the residents.

“We’ve lived at different times with risks of not having loops and other things, and we may just be in a position where we have to address it in the future,” he said.

With the options the board approved for extending sanitary sewer and water service for the County VV interchange, Kaster said the majority of special assessments will be deferred without interest, and no properties along these selected routes will be required to connect to the utilities at this time because the two utilities are not being installed along the same route.

Kaster said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s utility work plan request for the interchange is due next February.

Work on the interchange is scheduled for completion in 2022.

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