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Sanitary valve, Community Center discussed in Allouez

By Joshua Staloch

ALLOUEZ – The Allouez village board unanimously decided Tuesday, Feb. 5, to start the bidding process for construction of a sanitary shutoff valve to be installed at Green Isle Park.

The move will save the village by diverting clean water away from the sewage system, leaving fewer gallons to be treated by municipal facilities.

Village of Allouez Public Works Director Sean Gehin addresses the village board regarding plans to install an emergency sanitary lateral shutoff valve at Green Isle Park Tuesday, Feb. 4. Joshua Staloch Photo

“To minimize the amount of clear water that gets into our sanitary sewer system, we’re proposing to install a valve upstream to the connection to our sanitary sewer,” said Public Works Director Sean Gehin. “That valve will be closed when flooding occurs in an attempt to prevent clear water from entering the system. In 2019, we had treated approximately $200,000 worth of clear water. The rainfall we received contributed to that.”

The cost of installing the valve is estimated between $7,500 and $9,000, and construction will begin as soon as possible to ensure its availability for what is forecasted to be a historically wet spring.

Impending weather-related troubles were also discussed and village leaders passed along some of the information from the flood preparedness meeting held Feb. 3, at the Brown County Emergency Operations Center.

Mainly, the county’s new emergency website, floodinginbc.com, was presented as being a tool every village resident should be familiar with as an uncertain spring weather season approaches.

Community Center project

The village will continue to explore options for the Community Center on Webster Avenue.

Built in 1947, it’s currently used for recreational classes, activities for seniors and group meetings, but it’s in need of repairs.

One option discussed for the site was to sell it to a private developer who was familiar with utilizing Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

“Those tax credits can be very useful to someone who knows how to leverage them properly,” said Planning and Zoning Administrator Trevor Fuller. “There are several good examples of it around town; Hotel Northland, the Downtown YMCA. The right developer can leverage these credits to their advantage and make something happen.”

The possibility of constructing a new community center was also discussed.

But, similar projects in neighboring municipalities have come with price tags in excess of $4 million.

Major renovations to the facility were again explored, and the estimated cost of the necessary updates looks to be just shy of seven figures.

Sidewalk repairs to the Community Center are going forward as budgeted at around $15,000, while $52,000 in roof repair has not been budgeted at this time.

Finally, the board unanimously approved a motion to address the pay of school crossing guards.

Allouez crossing guards start at $11.60 an hour and top out after three years at $14.

This was the lowest rate in the area.

The board decided to increase the starting pay of crossing guards to $16 per hour with $18.40 being the ceiling after four years.

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