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Assessments authorized in Howard for interchange improvements

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – The village board voted 6-1 Monday, July 13, to approve a resolution authorizing special assessments where roadway and sewer and water improvements will be made near the planned County VV/State Highway 29 interchange.

With the interchange project scheduled to start next year, Director of Engineering Mike Kaster said some of the work the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has planned includes:

• An urban section of boulevard roadway on Marley Street extending approximately 250 feet north of the intersection with Millwood Court.

• A roundabout constructed at the intersection of Marley Street and Evergreen Avenue.

• An urban section of boulevard roadway for Evergreen Avenue from Marley Street approximately 3,800 feet to Milltown Road.

• A rural section of roadway for Connection Road providing access to existing businesses.

• Storm water management for the DOT-constructed roadways.

“The urban section roadways constructed with the DOT’s project will include curb and gutter, storm sewer, sidewalks and concrete driveways, and is scheduled to begin in April of 2021,” he said.

Kaster said it is the village’s policy to extend sanitary sewer and water main prior to rural roadway reconstruction, because it helps reduce the overall cost of utility construction.

He said the board last fall approved a staff recommendation to extend water main west along Milltown Road from the village’s fire station and water tower location on Shawano Avenue and sanitary sewer off of Shawano Avenue, just west of Mills Center Park, to the south and west along a couple of future streets.

Last October, Kaster told the board 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 the Shawano Avenue water tower No. 4.

Kaster said 45 properties would be special-assessed for the installed improvements, though most have land use and/or improvement conditions that would result in no required municipal utility connection and deferred assessments.

“Six of them, by our current special assessment policy, would begin paying on those assessments at the conclusion of the project,” he said. “There would be four of those six, by my count, that would be connecting to the sewer and water.”

Kaster said construction for the village’s sewer and water improvements could begin as early as September and be scheduled for completion next March, weather permitting.

He said the village will receive bids for the project, and then a schedule of assessments will be developed for the board to review with a public hearing likely to take place at the end of August.

Trustee Craig McAllister, who previously stated a preference for sewer and water being installed together and raised concerns about property owners potentially facing special assessments for multiple frontages with utilities being installed in multiple locations, cast the lone dissenting vote.

Water tower handrail

In other action, the board approved an increase of $53,380 for the Evergreen Avenue water tower No. 2 painting project to remove the existing antenna handrail and replace it with a 24-foot diameter handrail.

Director of Public Works Geoff Farr said two of three cell carriers requested the handrail be upgraded as part of the painting process.

The two carriers agreed to pay two-thirds of the new handrail cost upfront, while the village should be able to recover the other third within the next two years.

“The revenue from the tower No. 2 leases generates well over $100,000 annually, and the village would like to keep the carriers happy,” he said.

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