Colfax approves $193,000 Park Drive project

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  The Colfax Village Board has accepted a bid of $192,916 from A-1 Excavating out of Bloomer for the Park Drive extension next to Colfax Health and Rehab’s new facility near Viking Bowl.

According to the developer’s agreement and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement, Colfax Health and Rehab will pay for the entire street project.

Although the Park Drive extension was listed on the village board’s October 8 regular agenda, board members tabled the item until after they had discussed a utility easement between state Highway 40 and Park Drive in closed session.

It was not clear from the meeting notice who owned the easement and how many entities would be bargaining competitively for the easement.

Wisconsin courts have ruled that it is not in the best interest of the public to keep discussions between a governing board and a developer in closed session because there is no third party competitive bargaining.

If discussions between a governing body and a developer are in open session and a second developer offers a better deal to the governing body, the better deal would be in the best interest of the public.

Alternate bid

Bids for the Park Drive project also included an alternate bid for a water main loop at a cost of about $25,000.

The work for the water main loop would not be done until next spring, noted Lisa Fleming, an engineer with Ayres Associates.

If the village board decided not to do the water main loop, that part of the contract could be cancelled, she said.

The alternate bid for the loop could be added back in as a change order, but the prices would probably no longer be guaranteed, Fleming said.

The village board does not yet have an easement and does not know if there will be an easement, noted Village Trustee Richard Johnson.

Awarding the bid would be difficult until the village finds out if an easement has been granted, said Rand Bates, public works director.

The alternate bid for the water main loop was $27,797 from RM Schlosser Excavating out of Durand and was $24,275 from A-1 Excavating.

On the other hand, the bid for the Park Drive extension from A-1 was just shy of $500 more than the bid from Schlosser, with the Schlosser bid coming in at $192,459 and the A-1 bid at $192,916.

Following discussion in closed session about the utility easement, the Colfax Village Board awarded the bid to A-1 Excavating and authorized Fleming to get information from A-1 about removing the second leg of the eight-inch water main.

At a previous meeting, the Colfax Village Board had agreed to add a second loop to the water main to boost water pressure for the fire hydrants along the Park Drive extension.

Nursing home payments

According to the developer’s agreement between the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center and the Colfax Village Board, CHRC will make a one-time payment of $67,000 toward the Park Drive project.

According to the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement between the village and CHRC, the nursing home will make annual payments of $15,000 to defray the cost to the village of providing basic municipal services (sewer, water and street).

The $15,000 in annual payments will result in Colfax Health and Rehab paying for the entire street project.

After the Park Drive project is paid off, Colfax Health and Rehab will continue making payments to the village.

Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center is a non-profit tax-exempt organization.

The $15,000 PILOT payment will begin with the January 1, 2012, assessment date for the existing nursing home facility and will begin with the January 1 assessment date following the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the new nursing home facility.

The annual PILOT payments of $15,000 will continue for as long as Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center operates as a nonprofit, according to the agreement.

If the Colfax Health and Rehab facility is determined to be partially tax exempt or no longer completely tax exempt, the PILOT agreement would be renegotiated.