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Removal of blight resolutions approved in Howard

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – After a public hearing Monday, Dec. 14, the village board approved resolutions related to using its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) revolving loan fund to remove blight in Howard.

The resolutions include submitting an application to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, authorizing $29,000 in village matching funds, adopting a citizen participation plan and a policy to prohibit the use of excessive force and the barring of entrances/exits for non-violent civil rights demonstrations.

Board members heard from Art Bahr of MSA Professional Services regarding the CDBG program, for which the village has identified 10 blighted properties.

“In the case of the CDBG (closing), which is the funding you’ll be using, there’s no match requirement, but what we will be doing is using the full approximate $900,000 for this slum and blight removal project,” he said. “There is $29,000 that is listed here, and that is listed for the administration of the grant, because the way that occurs, that part is not part of the grant-eligible cost.”

Village Administrator Paul Evert previously informed the board about State of Wisconsin having decided to close all local revolving loan funds started by CDBGs.

He said the village would need to return the money to the state by the end of this year, unless it’s allowed to apply to use the money for projects eligible under CDBG standards to benefit low- to moderate-income individuals or to eliminate blight.

The board wants to use its revolving loan fund money to demolish the Green Bay Corp. building, frequently referred to as the pickle factory, on village-owned land at 2014 Glendale Ave., and use the remaining funds to buy properties identified as with blight from interested sellers.

Sewer jetting truck

In other action, the board approved purchasing a 2021 Vactor jetting truck from MacQueen Equipment for $459,306, plus final chassis cost options.

Director of Public Works Geoff Farr said the village currently has a 32-year-old sewer jetting truck well past its life expectancy and technologically out of date.

“The village has actually repaired that substantially several times in the past already,” he said.

Farr said the sewer jetting truck is the most important piece of equipment for the sewer utility.

He said it cleans sewer pipes with high pressure water to dislodge debris and sludge and then removes that with the vacuum to prevent sewer mains from plugging, which could cause sewage to back up into homes.

Engineering services

The board approved a master service agreement with Mach IV Engineering & Surveying for civil engineering consulting services, contingent upon attorney review, and a proposal for design services from Mach IV for the Hazel Estates residential development planned along Shawano Avenue.

Director of Engineering Mike Kaster said the village has utilized private consulting firms to complete planned projects, rather than seeking to expand the engineering department, for temporary or infrequent engineering service requirements outside staff expertise or work that exceeds staff capacity.

“This particular year, with the things that are budgeted for 2021 and also the planning and design that needs to be done for projects that are coming up in 2022 in coordination with other larger projects, the engineering department is looking to, I guess, farm out, for lack of better terms, one of the projects to a local consultant,” he said.

Closed session items

After meeting in closed session, Evert said the board approved purchasing 6.75 acres located at 3800 Shawano Ave. at $35,000 an acre for a regional stormwater pond.

He said the board also approved selling 942 square feet of village-owned property for $3,350 to an adjoining property owner at 1401 Wilber Hill Circle.

Evert said the board took no action on the potential acquisition of four parcels located in the Village Center.

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