Colfax approves improvements for Swanson Road

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  The Colfax Village Board has agreed to pay half the cost of hauling in 20 loads of crushed rock for Swanson Road.

And where — you ask — is Swanson Road?

Swanson Road is on the edge of village’s southern limits, at the edge of the Henderson property, just on the other side of the cut on state Highway 40, explained Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s August 26 meeting.

The Village of Colfax owns half of the road and the Town of Colfax owns the other half.

The 20 loads of crushed rock would cost an estimated $4,000, and the Town of Colfax would charge the village $200 for half of grading the road.

Swanson Road has no base, noted Rand Bates, director of public works.

Water runs over the road during the spring when the snow is melting, and the road turns into a muddy mess, he said.

Fortunately, because there is only water running over the road in the spring, the road does not wash out, Bates said.

Crushed rock would make the road better in the spring for the school bus and for those people who live on the road, he said.

At one point, the Town of Colfax had been talking about installing culverts along the road, but the ditch is not deep enough for a culvert and the water that runs through there never washes out the road anyway, Bates said.

Rick Johnson, village trustee and chair of the streets committee, said the proposal for Swanson Road should have gone to the committee first rather than coming before the village board.

Beverly Schauer, village trustee, pointed out that the village board had hired Ponto (as the administrator) and Bates (as the director of public works) to eliminate many of the committee meetings that had been held previously.

Ponto said the streets committee had discussed the Swanson Road project last year.

“You knew it was coming last year,” she said.

Johnson said he had heard about the culverts for Swanson Road but not about the crushed rock.

“All of a sudden, it’s a project,” he said.

Ponto suggested that if the village board did not want to take action on the Swanson Road proposal at the August 26 meeting, then the proposal could be forwarded to the streets committee for discussion.

Several board members asked which municipality maintains the road.

The village usually plows snow from Swanson Road, but the township will bring a grader if it needs to be winged out, Bates said.

On the other hand, the Town of Colfax plows snow from South Boundary Road, “so it evens out,” he said.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, asked when crushed rock had last been spread on Swanson Road.

“I do not know when it was done last, but now it is a matter of maintaining,” Bates said,

Mark Halpin, village trustee, said he had no problem with cost-sharing with the Town of Colfax, although he was wondering about the township’s maintenance plan for the road and how much maintenance.

Bates said he would discuss maintenance with the Colfax Town Board.

The Colfax Village Board approved a motion to go forward with the Swanson Road project.

“Twenty loads of base will last a long time if (the road) has had nothing before,” said Mike Buchner, village trustee.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved Advanced EMT training transition refreshers requests for Travis Borreson, Julie Dohms, Jessica Erickson, Scott Johnson, Don Knutson, Roger Knutson, Dawn Roberts, Mark Levra, Tammy Sauer, Nick Mann, Miranda Onerheim, James Osterman, Tim Swenson, and Adam Vnuk.

• Approved a training request for an advanced EMT course starting September 10 for Shaylee Miracle.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Michael Buchner from August 26 to June 30, 2014. Buchner abstained from voting on the motion.

• Approved a request for the Outhouse Bar to hold a benefit for Dave Tuschl on September 7.

• Approved a hunting permit in the village limits for Leon and Brad Hoyt.